Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Haley Reading Group: “The Case for Leaving City Rats Alone”

[The Best American Science and Nature Writing (2017)]

Becca Cudmore details the work of two scientists who study the over-population and disturbances of rats in popular cities. The scientists state their initial reason for the study stemmed from their desire to “address health concerns” since people believe rats carry bacteria and diseases (59).

The scientists learned that rats adapted not only to the human environment but also to pre-human existence and likely stole food from other organisms before us (60). Scientists used this study to expose the many diseases rats carry their adaptive qualities and touch on the best way to prevent them from disturbing humans.

What did you find most interesting or surprising about what the article covered? Why did that point or information interest you?

66 comments:

Sierra Taylor said...

This whole article was very interesting to read, but what shocked me the most was the passage that revealed all that rats need to survive. "Rats need only a place to build a burrow (usually open soil but sometimes within buildings or piles of material), access to fresh drinking water, and around 50 grams of moderately calorie-rich food each day." I did not know that was all rats needed to survive. In big cities, food is easy to find. People waste food all the time, and fifty grams is not that much. To be honest, I hate rats. This made me dislike them even more because they're so resourceful.

Asher said...

I thought it was interesting that rats have thrived for hundreds of years because of people and that they have adapted to human environment unlike some animals. I like the quote "they were likely stealing other species' food before us" (60). It goes to show that rats have been perfectly positioned, as the article says, to adapt to the disruptions in our ecosystem caused by human beings. I've always hated rats. I don't think there are a lot of people who like rats. But we can't deny that they are the result of our neglect to our planet.


- Asher Denkyirah

JaLeah M . said...

I thought the portion of the article that read, "It seems that rats pick up human MRSA from the sewers or streets and canine MRSP from our yards, then mix them in their guts. These new human-rat bugs could then potentially spread back to people via the rats' dropping and saliva" (61) was intriguing because MRSA is such a nasty, pathogenic infection in humans. It's responsible for several infections that are difficult to treat. If this resistant strain is being mixed with another and then spread due to rats it's scary to think of the result when it comes to human contact.

Kyla Tinsley said...

I thought the whole article was interesting, but the one portion that really caught my attention was on page 62: "Many of the diseases that we share with rats are already part of a human disease cycle established over centuries, he says. Seen this way, rats are irrepressible. Rather than focusing on killing them, we need to try to keep their populations stable and in place." As humans who hate pests, we tend to think that killing them would solve most of our issues. The fact that this article is suggesting that we do the opposite is almost confounding and makes me wonder if there are other pests we kill that we could stabilize instead.

-Kyla T.

Aleeya Barrolle said...

I found the rat territorial battles the most interesting because it shined light upon the diseases that rats spread. "It's during these territorial brawls, Byers and her colleagues believe, that bacteria can converge, mix, and create new diseases" (61).

-Aleeya B.

Samontriona Perkins said...

In this article what I found most interesting was that rats don't need much of anything to survive. The author states that they just need 50 grams of food containing calories, water and a place to burrow. This is interesting because I have always heard of the huge rats in cities like New York, and now it makes perfect sense that they would be as big as they are. If they do not need much and there is a lot of food that gets thrown out they have everything they need to live and grow.

Unknown said...

One thing that I liked about the read is that we basically keep rat alive with all the garbage that we have.If they didnt adapt to us they would have a lot harder of a life. If spoke to me because of all the work that must have gone into adjusting like that to human society

-Tara Thompson

Mackenzie Cohoon said...

The part of the article that I found most interesting was on page 61, where it stated that "the current pest control approach of killing one rat per concerned homeowner call could be backfiring, and spreading disease rather than preventing it". I found this interesting because it always shocks me how much damage we actually cause just because we don't think about the consequences of our actions. Any time any minor inconvenience occurs, we call an easy fix such as pest control, but the reality is that those easy fixes typically cause more harm than good

-Mackenzie C.

Brandy Collier said...

A part of this article that I found interesting when the author talked about how rats obtain and pass around bacteria. In the article it states, "Their garbage- based diets allow them to absorb a diverse collection of bacteria that live throughout their city, in human waste and in our homes" (61). I thought this was interesting because I didn't know that rats get their bacteria from the food that they eat which is mostly human waste. Most people know rats just carry bacteria but not where they acquire the bacteria so I thought it was interesting to find out that the bacteria comes from their environment.

-Brandy Collier

Jeremiah Terrell said...

What did you find most interesting or surprising about what the article covered? Why did that point or information interest you?
I found it interesting that rats have a family and do not come in contact with rats outside their family. Page 61 stated that "stranger" rats urinate out of fear and draw blood when they come in contact. I always thought that are all rats were a like and they all mixed with each other no matter where they were from.

J'kolbe Kelly said...

The part of this article that i found interesting is when the author praises rats as "real disturbance specialists(60)." They followed this stating, "Very few wild animals have adapted so well to the human environment without active domestication." I found this interesting because i never really cared much for rats but this proves that they are a strong and resilient species.

Jasmin Smoot said...

Rats have always had this negative reputation. It was almost shocking to know that calling pest control may be a terrible idea. When homeowners have a rodent problem, their first instinct is to get rid of them. Rats have families are known for certain areas, blocks, or homes. Those rodents carry their own disease. When a rat is caught, the rest of it's family flees, possibly causing the spread of the rat family's disease. It is almost as though you have to accept having a rodent problem if you ever encounter the issue.

Brandon Nichols said...

What I found the most interesting about this article is the process of making a new diseases. It's terrifying and amazing to know that rats can create new diseases when families come into contact with each other. I also find the solution for this problem to be interesting. There seems to be no clear way to get rid of rats. Getting rid of rats can just make the rat problem worse for everyone. Makes me wonder what the purpose of rats is.

-Brandon N.

Trevon Bosley said...

Overall this was a very interesting article about rats. Usually I never think of rats in any positive light so when the article stated,”Her research has made her reconsider the age-old labeling of rats as invaders that need to be completely fought back. They may, instead, be just as much a part of our city as sidewalks and lampposts. We would all be better off if, under most circumstances, we simply left them alone.” I’ve never considered how much rats truly build off humans ecosystems. It was cool to learn the best way to deal with rats is to leave them alone.

Nia Piggott said...

What I found the most interesting about " The Case For Leaving City Rats Alone" was when the article discussed how pest control might be doing more harm than good. On page 61 it states " The Rat Project hypothesized that when a rat is ousted from its family by pest control, its family might flee its single block territory spreading diseases rather than preventing it." I found this interesting because one the purpose of pest control is to prevent the spread of diseases rats may carry.

Kenisha Townsend said...

I found it interesting how instead of trying to get rid of rats it may be better to leave them alone. I found this quite intriguing, because I don't see myself accepting rats as any other creature on earth. However, it could be because society has brainwashed us into believing rats are unfavorable rodents. Though, if someone can admire a hamster, then the same could be for a rat.

Aliyah Johnson said...

One point that interested me is when the researcher, Combs, explains that rats were "likely stealing some other species' food before ours"(60). This is hard to believe because rats are typically viewed as primarily being a nuisance to humans, and scavenging off of human resources. Its crazy to learn that they came before us and have adapted to our presence so easily.
--Aliyah Johnson

Alliyah M. said...

The the most surprising point from the article that I found was the fact that humans are the cause for rats solely being seen as unsanitary and disease-carrying species. On page 60 Combs stated. "The reality is that rats were perfectly positioned to take advantage of the disruptions caused by human settlement long before we arrived." I think this article showcased how humans should sometimes look at what we might cause and to reconsider how we treat certain species and our environment before we cause any more disturbances.

Zuriah Harkins said...

One thing that I found interesting is that rats live in families, and that taking one rat could cause the family to scatter and encounter another family, thus spreading and creating diseases. I knew that rats carried diseases, but I assumed that they all had the same disease. It's kind of scary to think that a new and dangerous disease can be created by two different families exchanging bacteria that they carry. I also thought it was interesting that the City of Vancouver isn't doing much about the rat problem. Himsworth brought up a good point when she said that she thinks it is a social issue, since rats are usually spotted in low-income areas. We would probably get a similar response in the United States as well. The problem won't be taken seriously until it either starts to actually effect humans, or if rats start to appear more frequently in middle-class neighborhoods.

Zuriah Harkins

Shaina Falkner said...

On page 60 it reads, "they were likely stealing other species' food before us". I found this to be interesting because this show that rats had quicker brain development than us humans. This would shock most people because rats are looked at as small rodents. They are looked down on as little, dirty, creatures, not as intelligent beings.

Mike Dade said...

In all honesty I didn't find this article too amusing. However, I was impressed with the rats' toughness. Cudmore stated "Very few wild animals have adapted so well to the human environment without active domestication." (60) Rats really just persevere through any circumstance, and know how to get by. It's kind of funny to me because I just see rats as nasty rodents when they really are some acclimated go getters.

Jazsmine Towner said...

One of the most interesting aspects of this article is the role that humans play in the spreading of diseases by rats. On page 61, Cudmore says, “In other words, the current pest control approach of killing one rat per concerned homeowner call could be backfiring, and spreading disease rather than preventing it”. This shocked me because, I always thought killing the rats that invade your home was what you were supposed to do, and then to find out that this action is a part of the problem was hard to wrap my head around. Does Cudmore suggest you safely capture the rat and release it back onto the streets? What if it returns? In the end, I just found it interesting that we contribute to the rat problem, but then again, humans are the reason for majority of the earth’s problems.
-Jazsmine Towner

Ronald Akpan said...

I was very intrigued by the effect that a single family of rats could have on a person or group of people. I knew, from past knowledge, of something called the bubonic plague (commonly referred to as the Black Death) which was spread from fleas to rats. Once rats contracted this, they spread the bacteria to humans which was a major cause of death in the past. Although this illness has been almost completely eradicated, the thought of a rats survival is crucial, but due to major diseases, such as bubonic plague, it is increasingly more difficult to keep their high survival rate intact.

Ivyanne B. said...

I found this article to be somewhat interesting. More shocking than interesting. The thing that shocked me the most was on pg 64 when it said "They're not taking it seriously because they don't see it in humans but thats not where disease starts". I would be taking something like this seriously because we never know what diseases these rats could pass on to humans. These diseases could be seriously hurt the human population. -Ivyanne B.

Donovan Washington said...

After reading the really interesting article on rats there was one part that really stood out me."The reality is that rats were perfectly positioned to take advantage of the disruptions caused by human settlement long before we arrived" (Cudmore 60). This quote stood out to me because it makes me wonder what other species of animals like rats have adapted to humans. We as humans really should take a second to think about our actions because they can really impact the animals around us who were here before us.

Kelsey McNeil said...

Something that I found the most interesting while reading this article was where it was said "The diseases that rats might be spreading aren't just their own... Their garbage-based diets allow them to absorb a diverse collection of bacteria.."(61). This stood out to me because I've always just assumed that some diseases only come from rats when in reality they pick them up from the places they reside in. That made things make a lot more sense and it's something that I had no idea about.

Kelsey McNeil

Lyric Barnes said...

The most interesting part of this article was how bacterias create new diseases from rats. "It's during these territorial brawls, Byers and her colleagues believe, that bacteria can converge, mix, and create new diseases" (61). This was the most interesting to me because I never thought about how rats carry new diseases. I actually never thought about how new diseases in general are created. So the fact that rat brawls can create new diseases is really eye opening.

Lyric B. Barnes

Jada Baker said...

I thought an interesting point/topic was when the author talked about how rats get bacteria from other places and that they dont just naturally carry them. The author quotes Himsworth, "So its not like the presence of harmful bacteria is a characteristic of rats themselves,"(61) meaning that the rats get bacteria from different environments. I found this to be interesting because we always look at rats as gross or disease filled, when they really got their bacteria from our environment.

Erica King said...

I found the fact that rats only need 50 grams of food containing calories, water and a place to burrow in order to survive to be most interesting. This explains why so many areas have a lot of rats compared to others. Humans waste food all the time.

A. Robinson said...

so ound the whole article very interesting. I learned a lot about rats and their existence over the years and the kinds of diseases we carry as well as them. I think the part I found most interesting was where the article talked about how minimalistically rats could live. Only 50 grams of food and water and a hole to live in and they can survive. I guess I always thought since they were such a big nuisance, not to mention very gross, they would require more than that simplicity to live. I think typically I would say they need more room and more food to fester and thrive but I learned that that is not the case.

Dayejah Coates said...

What caught my attention in this article, or what made me afraid rather, is how resourceful and easily adapting rats are. Since they need so little to survive, and they have shown that they can be versatile with their food choices I feel that it would be hard trying to get rid of them.

gabby said...

I found this particular section of the book to be quite interesting as the author discussed how rodents such as rats acquire and then subsequently emit bacteria to other organisms. On page 61 the author writes, “Their garbage based diets allow them to absorb a diverse collection of bacteria that live throughout their city, in human waste and in our homes”. I think this is very gross, especially because these rodents can be found in everyday places that humans interact with. Although it is interesting to discover that their bacteria is from what they eat, I think it is strange how the bacteria does not affect them how it would effect us.

Gabby Wimes

Adejoke Adanri said...


The most interesting claim made in this article to me was “The reality is that rats were perfectly positioned to take advantage of the disruptions caused by human settlement long before we arrived” (page 60). I find it so interesting how they have adapted to our waste. I was also shocked that trying to get rid of rats is only making our problem worse.

DESMOND CRUMER said...

Like most people who commented on this post, my first reaction was disgust. But as I read further I could not help but be filled with awe at the adaptability of different species on this planet. "Rats need only... 50 grams of moderately calorie -rich food each day". Humans have a skewed view of our superiority to other species. It really puts you in your place when you realize that certain species will and have outlived you. We are just a tiny speck in the whole universe.

Jordan R. said...

From the entire passage, what I found to be the most interesting was how the disease-carrying capabilities of rats was depicted, "...garbage- based diets allow them to absorb a diverse collection of bacteria that live throughout their city..." (61). Yes, this was interesting, but it was not surprising as it is well known that the fleas that inhabit rodent fur aided in spreading infections like the bubonic plague.

Jordan R.

Devin Ellis-Martin said...

In this article, I found the rat's ability to thrive in almost any situation and adapt the most interesting. They can find a food source in creative ways, even stealing others. A rat is seen as a simple organism, however, this read shows how intelligent and adaptive they can be.

- Devin Ellis-Martin

Anonymous said...

As the human population, we refer to rats as creatures that come out and around in dirty dingy situations. While reading the article, it was suggested on page 59 that rats have been in the big cities proir to human migrations. As well as, the rats have been learning to live on the remnants of other beings. I thought that was interesting because I also assumed rats can along when the human population are being dirty and littering everywhere.

Tatyana C

Anonymous said...

One of the most interesting parts about this article was something that is hinted at in society, the insane resourcefulness of rats. Since the beginning of time, “rats have been perfectly positioned, as the article says, to adapt to the disruptions in our ecosystem caused by human beings.”(60). This is something that is hinted at humans when they grow up and speak of rodents but this fact enlightened me even more on the resourcefulness of these species. The fact that they can survive on such little food, and such dire living conditions, was insane to me. This article further educated me on the living conditions these rodents can endure. Raillane K.

TOMIKA COLLINS said...

"It seems that rats pick up human MRSA from the sewers or streets and canine MRSP from our yards, then mix them in their guts. These new human-rat bugs could then potentially spread back to people via the rats' dropping and saliva" (61) was mind blowing to me. Upon further reading I found that MRSA is: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. MRSA is a bacteria most commonly encountered in humans; usually on their skin or in
their nostrils while MRSP is: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermediu MRSP is a bacteria most commonly encountered in pets; usually on their skin.
If both of these bacteria are mixed together inside a rat's belly and spread to humans that could create some type of deadly disease for there is no cure.

Jasmyn Kloster said...


In the article “The Case for Leaving City Rats Alone”, by Becca Cudmore, I found that the fact that rats are able to carry diseases from environments unnatural to them was an interesting point. On page 61 the quote, “So its not like the presence of harmful bacteria is a characteristic of rats themselves,” really expresses that some of the bacteria rats are able to carry really are not from them. It is from other animals or the human environment and that was very eye opening to me.

Kaelyn Blunt said...

One moment that made me go "huh" was the section that talked about how rats are actually helping preventing disease from spreading. On page 63 it says "it seems that the established rat population at the port acts as a buffer". So yes, some rats do carry diseases as do all organisms including us humans, but rats are actually in a sense protectors from diseases that could very easily be spread, therefore this "epidemic" is blown way out of proportion.
-Kaelyn Blunt

Jayla Pierce said...

What I found most interesting is how much we play a part negatively in the disturbance that rats cause. Becca Cudmore writes that Byers says, “So it’s not like the presence of harmful bacteria is characteristics of the rats themselves,” she says. They get that bacteria from their environment, and when they move, they take these place-specific pathogens with them.” This stuck out to me because society tends to blame the “lesser” race for the problems they essentially caused. Instead of taking responsibility and trying to fix it the correct way.

Joshua Jones said...

The article was overall a new insight into the importance of rats in our neighborhoods. What stuck with me the most was on page 61, where Cudmore notes, "...the current pest control approach of killing one rat per concerned homeowner call could be backfiring, and spreading the disease rather than preventing it." I had never thought about this idea beforehand. The work done by Byers and her colleagues is to take advantage of this issue and treat rats like vectors for disease. This allows them to understand the different bacteria that is within the V6A area.

-Joshua J.

Sydney Oats said...

"They were likely stealing other species' food before us" (60). I always think about how easy it is for animals to adapt to the things that they have around us. If there were to be a mass city power outage for a minimum of 3 days we would not know what to do. We have this society built where we are so dependent on non organic materials. Rats are very intelligent and will know how to survive no matter what.
Sydney Oats

Youssef Hassan said...

What interested me the most in this article was when it mentioned how rats have adapted to certain diseases that has allowed them to survive for a long time. This interested me because i have studied biology and i always found the topic of natural selection very interesting.

Anonymous said...

What I found most interesting or surprising is how well rats are able to adapt and survive many different environments over a long period of time. This is due to the fact that rats don't need much to survive, They only need a burrow, water and a few calories. And with it being some much wasted food in the streets in this world, it wouldn't be hard for rats to find food.

Thomas Moses

Unknown said...

This article was interesting especially since they were able to survive so long. I used to study biology and it was cool to see the natural selection of it all. What was most interesting was how those rats were able to survive for a period of time.

James Beverly

Kendall Clark said...

One part of the article I found especially interesting discussed how rats are some of the most well-adapted animals in regards to urban development and the human environment as a whole (60). It makes sense to me now seeing the conditions most rats can live in, but I would have never thought of it before. I also found it interesting to learn that rats invade an environment when it is disrupted, and are able to live on the bare minimum (60).

Alishiana Ivy said...

I thought that this was a very interesting article. This reminds me of darwin's theory of evolution and how the rats learned how to evolve with their environment. I always thought that rats were bad and something we should kill so it surprised me that the article suggests otherwise. Rats seem pretty smart since they can adapt to human environment better than most species. It is sad that our garbage and littering harms other species but keep pests like rats thriving in our society.

Cheniya A. said...

The article was interesting, but also very cringey for me to read. I hate rodents and I know they’re able to survive on the streets – especially in big cities where there is wasted food EVERYWHERE. More than this, though, I hadn’t been completely aware of what they needed to survive. Cudmore states, “Rats need only a place to build a burrow (usually open soil but sometimes within buildings or piles of material), access to fresh drinking water, and around 50 grams of moderately calorie-rich food each day.” This both scared and intrigued me because they have been here for whoever knows how long and are getting along just fine due to their adaptable nature. This is cool to consider that they’re more intelligent than we give them credit for.

Daeja Daniels said...

Daeja Daniels

One of the things that I found interesting was how rats are able to adapt to humans. Rats have been around for a very long time and have thrived due to humans. Many animals are not capable of withstanding the damage that we are doing to our ecosystem and environment. Because of this fact knowing that rats have been able to survive so long it leads me to believe like the article said, "they were likely stealing other species' food before us" (60). Being able to adapt to their surroundings regardless is an essential surviving tool that they have perfected.

Maya Searcy said...

The part that stood out to me the most was on pg. 62 where it says, "Many of the diseases that we share with rats are already part of a human disease cycle established over centuries, he says." This stood out to me because I know rats and mice are often used in scientific research and one reason may be because they share similar diseases. On one hand they help with research but on the other they are seen as pest. I think when most people think of rats, they immediately think pests and gross rodent, but they actually can be beneficial for us.

Anonymous said...

The point that stuck out to me was humans role in the thriving of rats. "Rats thrive as a result of people. The great modern disruptions caused by urban development and human movement across the world have ferried them to new ecological niches." Instead of being driven to extinction by humans like many other animals, they have found new places to thrive without being domesticated.

-Marcus Underwood

Crystal Rice said...

The article itself was interesting to me. One part that caught my attention was in the beginning where it discusses what attracts rats and how they thrive. " Rats thrive as a result of people. The great modern disruptions caused by urban development and human movement across the world have ferried new ecological niches,"(60). When an ecosystem gets invaded, this brings about new rats, and new rats also bring about new diseases (63). It was explained that all rats need is "...a place to build a burrow... food each day," (60). I don't think anyone knows how resourceful rats actually are because no one really likes the, but it's very interesting to know how well they use the environment to survive.

Crystal Rice said...

The article itself was interesting to me. One part that caught my attention was in the beginning where it discusses what attracts rats and how they thrive. " Rats thrive as a result of people. The great modern disruptions caused by urban development and human movement across the world have ferried new ecological niches,"(60). When an ecosystem gets invaded, this brings about new rats, and new rats also bring about new diseases (63). It was explained that all rats need is "...a place to build a burrow... food each day," (60). I don't think anyone knows how resourceful rats actually are because no one really likes the, but it's very interesting to know how well they use the environment to survive.

Crystal Rice

Bianca w said...

I was shocked to find out that getting rid of rats using pests control only creates much more of a bigger problem. Getting rid of rats that have always been in one area can help foreign rats to enter."New rats mean new diseases"(62). Most people don't know this piece of information and it could cause an even bigger health problem than what it may already be.

Jonathan Sanchez said...

What I found most interesting was that the scientist argue that we should not get rid of rats that live in our areas. This is because the rats that live in a said environment get their disease(s) from that same area. If these rats flee, then rats from other areas will come in and bring in unfamiliar diseases to an environment. "new rats bring new diseases" (62) and when a new disease enters a new environment, it can break that environment down worse.

Stella Nguepnang said...

What I found most surprising about Becca Cudmore's article was the fact that the existence of humans affected rats so much. They even adapted to it. Our trash helps keep them from going extinct which is interesting considering most for many species humans actually cause harm. It was also amusing how they are just animals that like to steal from other organisms. Overall, this article enlightened me on how tough rats can be.

Carlie Bibbs said...

One thing that interested me is how they don’t spread disease on their own. The diseases start somewhere, and humans help it to happen with our garbage and other wastes. It’s crazy to think that they can create new diseases just by interacting with one another.

Marcus Barnes said...

Many people are disgusted by the thought or sight of rats and them being anywhere near them. Mouse traps, pesticides, you name it is out there to help you kill these unwanted guests. It was interesting in the article, it brought up the thought that rats actually aren't so much a problem, and maybe humans need to learn how to live with them and prevent them from getting inside their homes in a non-killing manner because in reality, “the current pest control approach of killing one rat per concerned homeowner call could be backfiring, and spreading disease rather than preventing it” (p. 61).

- Marcus B.

Anonymous said...

p.61

The text said that pest control makes rats flee and spread diseases. It is interesting to think that 'killing' one rat or a couple rats will do the exact opposite of what everyone thinks it will. It is interesting that typically, rat families are combined to a single block. When you think of rats,especially in major cities , you think they are everywhere. I've never had to deal with rats and I hope I never do!

Shelby W.

Jada James said...

I was extremely surprised to find that pest control can actually backfire and spread more disease than we think. When I was a kid I actually remember finding out that there were mice in my kitchen, and my family called pest control because that's considered the appropriate reaction. I think that since rat infestations are such a problem, and since clearly people don't actually know the way to deal effectively with them without spreading more disease, that information like this should become common knowledge.

Kobi Phillips said...

The most interesting topic that was covered, in my opinion, after reading the article was on page 60 where Cudmore wrote that "They were likely stealing some other species' food before ours" I find this interesting because she blatantly states that rats have been around long before humans existed and have simply become accustomed to the available habitats that they ccan thrive in, such as new york city and other places with increasingly high rat populations.

Dakarai P. said...

I thought it was interesting that rats have survived for hundreds of years off of people and that they have adapted so well to human environments when compared to other animals. And at this point, the harder we try to get rid of them through pest control, the more harm we are creating for human with the even further spread of diseases.

Alexis Acoff said...

One statement made in the article that I found interesting was when the author stated that rats thrive as a result of people. Although now that I think about it, it is not surprising. The article mentioned that rates take advantage of disrupted ecosystems. Most, if not all, ecosystems seem to be disrupted purely because of our expansion. Even though I think rats would still be around if we weren't, I think we aid in their ability to multiply so much and take over certain areas where their predators would have just gotten rid of them.

Kamela Cross said...

To be honest, this whole article made my skin crawl, but I did find it pretty interesting. The most interesting part was on page 60, when Ken Aplin said that the rats have adapted to human environment without domestication. It's a little scary to think that an animal that installs so much fear in humans has gotten so used to our home.