Rats! Rats! Rats!

taras

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According to tonight's Reporting Scotland "nobody is ever further than 10 feet away from a rat". Is there any evidence for this? I mean, I'm pretty certain I'm not within 10 feet of a rat (I live on the 2nd floor).
 
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i believe it. we've got rats in the warehouse and i hear the scratching and scurrying of little paws in the walls at home.

when i see a rat it cheers me up. it reminds me that all is not lost in this sterile environment we call the present, and that actual living things are still thriving in that way. i was walking in New Orleans one evening and caught a rat thru the corner of my eye. it was scurrying from gutter to gutter. i laughed to myself and thought "you go little guy! don't let the 21st century beat you down!"

anyway, that's just me...i'm weird i guess :goof:
 
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Anonymous

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i sopose they are going on the depth of the average sewer benight ur feet... im in a flat too and sopose that im not at this momnet within 10ft of a rat..tho they can get up between cavity walls and easily get thro gaps that u wouldnt belive... not only that but In Truro they have colonies of Black rats too (yes plague rats)........
 
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Anonymous

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Since watching a documentary about rats climbing up through loos (despite the U-bend) I always keep the loo seat down at nights............rats make my flesh creep.
 
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tiz even worse when the creep over ur feet in bed... ...i know!
 

Dennis_De_Bacle

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You leave the endangered Black Rat alone, its the Brown Rat that wants exterminating.
 

_Gnomey_

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Heh, on the subject of rats, I bought two females three weeks ago and now the older one has given birth to 13 babies (1 stil born) so now I have 12 bloody rats to give away, and nobody seems to want them :(
She must've been pregnant before I got her.
 
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Anonymous

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I'd never seen a rat before last year but in the Summer I saw three in my town, in different locations.
Then my boyfriend helped my brother out on a building job. It was a Grade listed house with quite an extensive cellar on the creek opposite Portsmouth harbour.
In the cellar were millions of rats. The high pitched scream of en masse chattering rodents made all the builders rather apprehensive! They had to call in the experts, discreetly.
Incidentally, nearby is a small isle called Rat Island. Apparently it used to house convicts before transportation to Australia.
 
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Anonymous

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I recall a whole chapter dealing with this in an urban ecology textbook I have someplace, but can't find at the moment. It's not strictly true. Some areas of town have more rats than others, and some towns have more rodents. I'll dig out the book at some point, as I recall the stats in it were for NYC, but it's not so so likely that you have one within 10 feet. I always thought the more popular alarmist stat was the one about the rat to person ratio in various metropolitan areas, which ignores where exactly the little suckers are hiding.
 

lostcat2

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taras said:
According to tonight's Reporting Scotland "nobody is ever further than 10 feet away from a rat". Is there any evidence for this? I mean, I'm pretty certain I'm not within 10 feet of a rat (I live on the 2nd floor).
Well I know that the Old College Building on Chambers Street in Edinburgh has a large mouse/rats nest underneath it. We know because they come up and leave their dropping in our office...urrrgghh!!

Cheers

Lostcat
 

carole

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Well, I know I'm not more than 10 feet from a rat - there's one snoozing on the back of my chair as I type and the other two are grooming each other on the arm . . .

Carole
 

akaWiintermoon

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carole said:
Well, I know I'm not more than 10 feet from a rat - there's one snoozing on the back of my chair(Sofa.) as I typeCarole
I was just about to write the same thing! And I'm in a flat too.

Hayeze Comet - I live in Portsmouth and never knew that stuff. I've never seen a wild rat, but down Northend (Shopping area.) I have seen mice in the undergrowth. Obviously not fun if they're in your house (My mums' house in S'OTON has them.) but seeing them outside is a thrill, kind of like glimpsing a fox or rabbit at night. :)

Sidecar_Jon - Slap on the wrist to you! Rats have bad press anyway. It wasn't the rats that carried the plague but the flees upon them. Anyway, there's no plague anymore. :)

Lastly, I heard on a radio (Isle Of Whight Radio.) news report last night that it's predicted that within four years they'll be enough wild rats to match the number of the (UK) population! Uuum, curry...Only joking! ;) :D
 

Breakfastologist

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I've always found rats quite annoying - I don't have any phobia or general dislike of them as animals about the place, but my flatmate has one that pisses me off no end. I'm sure the feeling is mutual as he likes to eat any wires associated with my belongings, wee on my books and try to jump in my dinner if he is out at teatime.

The statistic is interesting though, correctly it should be interpreted as nobody is ever further than 10 feet away from a rat. The rat in question is of course, Manilla Envelope, the living rat goddess of Northampton. Being omniprescent she is permanently within 10 feet of every person, everywhere.
 
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So I'm watching the average-to-fair fly-on-the-wall documentary "a Life Of Grime", and the beautiful voice-over of John Peel re-iterates the 'well-known-fact' that in London, one is never more than 10 feet from a rat. How much truth is there in this, and how would one go about testing it as a hypothesis?
 

carole

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Well, it's definitely true for me, because there are three of them sitting not a foot away (pet rats, I hasten to add) . . .

. . . surely though, it must be a question of averages, some places are overrun with them and in other areas the rat population is sparse.

Carole
 

taras

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Well, we accidentally knocked the bottom of the cupboards in our kitchen off with a remote control car, and discovered lots of rat droppings behind them, which was certainly reassuring about the quality of our flat and the hygiene :D
 
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This is something that really annoys me- it's a horrible misuse of statistics.

It's easy to test the hypothesis- get a stepladder ten feet high and put it up in an open area. Climb to the top. Can you see a rat either below you on the ladder, or floating in the air around you?

I suspect that the '10 feet' figure was derived by estimating the total rat population of London, and dividing it by the total area.
 

Rrose_Selavy

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I seem to remember another Pest Control documentary where someone was asked about this statistic . While it obviously a serious problem in many areas. He didn't seem able to confirm or deny it .



One for the Mythconceptions column in FT perhaps?

I found a rat skeleton in my garden the other day.
 

evilsprout

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"You're never more than 10 feet away from a rat in London... oh dear... seem to have repeated that statistic at the wrong speed there... ah well, here's The Fall..."
 

original_fLeebLe

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when they say you are never more then ten feet from rats, they are meaning that you are ten feet away from the main sewers in the street where the rats live! ;)
 
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Evilsprout said:
"You're never more than 10 feet away from a rat in London... oh dear... seem to have repeated that statistic at the wrong speed there... ah well, here's The Fall..."

"My Son Thomas is particularly fond of this one... and I've got the record label's address on a piece of paper here... somewhere... umm..."
 
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Anonymous

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I've seen lots of rats in my town. We have a coastal park and they run over the sea wall and into the shrubbery. About a month ago me and my mum saw three giants hanging around in the flower beds and moved away, only for a school party of 5 or 6 year olds to take our place. My mother and a group of nearby pensioners alerted the teacher that the vermin was only inches away from the kids but the teacher ignored the warnings and let the kids eat their packed lunch (the worst thing imaginable) on the spot before laying down for a rest. We were amazed at the stupidity of the woman.
We understand the local council now employees permanent "groundesmen" ie ratcatchers to mingle unobtrusively and track the blighters. The big nets kind of give the game away;)
 
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Anonymous

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Similar factoid

A Chicagoan friend always used to quote the following factoid proving the superiority of Chicago over New York:

"In Chicago, there's one rat for every 10 people. In New York, there's one person for every 10 rats."
 
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Anonymous

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i see a lot of vermin around here, then i realise it just lads in rangers shirts:D
 
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Re: Similar factoid

c4miles said:
"In Chicago, there's one rat for every 10 people. In New York, there's one person for every 10 rats."
Lurching drunkenly, jet-laggedly and alone along 110th Street, West Harlem, at 5 AM back in Nov. 2001 (got the wrong subway train: was aiming for Cathedral Parkway and ended up somewhere along the northern edge of the 'Park), not a soul in sight, thought I saw a pair of cats crossing the street just ahead of me.

Then I got closer and got a better look and thought, "Are they foxes? Heads are wrong for cats."

Then they darted down into a side-street and I saw them -and especially their tails- clearly for the first time (the street was rather badly lit at that part) and bloody hell they were f***ing HUGE rats!!

Or maybe possums.
(But how likely would a pair of possums be in Manhattan? Even that close (about a block, block and a half, distant) to Central Park? Anyone?)
 
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Anonymous

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rats.

I have been at least three feet away from a rat.Where I work we have a basement carpark where vans are parked and when I was going back to office,I saw a nose pop out from a part broken drain cover.It definately was a rat,as I could see it's nose whiskers and muzzle.we beenhaving quite a lot of them about,even the flying kind(sometimes even get divebombed by them,the flying ones I mean) and they are a health hazard.We have even asked our bosses to get rid of them but the are still here.So yes you can find a rat within 10 feet,let's hope no noes gets bit!!!!
 

bugmum

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We had rats in our last house - an ex-showhouse, only two years old when we lived there. We could hear scurrying in the wall and the attic, and put poison down. Then one morning at 6am, taking the dog out for a walk, I stumbled bleary-eyed round the corner of the house to find a dead rat stretched out across the path. Luckily the dog was way too excited about walkies to take much interest in the dead rodent!

We got the exterminators in, and they found a hole beneath our garage wall where the rats had been able to get up into the insulating cavity; from there they had full access to the house walls. Don't let people tell you that new houses don't have a rat problem!

I've also seen a rat whilst walking into town about a year ago; it was poking its furry little nose out of a drainage pipe in an old wall. It didn't seem too concerned about the proximity of me or a very busy main road.

Rats don't really faze me; probably linked to all the rat dissections I did at school. It's worth noting that my husband refused to go near the dead rat in our garden, and got me to dispose of it instead!
 
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Anonymous

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those cute little pet/lab rats i don't have a problem with. i used to have a grilfriend who had them and often had the things crawling all over me.

however, those BIG brown f'kers the size of dogs, that's another matter.
 
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We had rats coming in to our kitchen, cos the flat is old and right near the fish quay. The chap from the council who came to put down some poison said it's very common for the rats to come investigating, especially in the hot weather (but I dunno if he was just trying to pretend we weren't filthy bastards! :eek: ).

It was fairly grim when the rats came out and died on the kitchen floor gradually over the next couple of days like.:eek:
 
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