Living in poorly maintained accommodation, students may find themselves playing host to hundreds of unwelcome visitors--rats. Ellen Welch and Geoff Gill give you the lowdown on these common pests
Student houses in the United Kingdom are renowned for being pretty disgusting. Stereotypically owned by a dodgy landlord, juggling to keep a dozen properties within the legal health and safety requirements, they are often overrun with a host of nasties--mould, damp, carbon monoxide poisoning, and rats.
Some 16% of UK students live in vermin infested flats and up to 950'000 UK homes have been found to be afflicted with the same problem.12 A recent report by the National Pest Technicians Association claims that brown rat infestations in Britain have risen 32% in 5 years.3 But, contrary to popular political viewpoint, it is not just the United Kingdom that is home to lots of rats; they can be found scurrying around every country in the world.
Rats have gnawed their way into the lives of humans for centuries, gaining recognition as one of the most destructive pests on earth. The great