Brown rats are the scourge of many a farm and town. They are one of the most serious mammalian pests on the planet, spoiling grain and carrying disease, yet they remain one of the most successful. The secret of the brown rat's success lies in its opportunistic way of life and extraordinary ability to reproduce, with a pair multiplying to 200 in just one year. They are also expert jumpers, climbers and swimmers to boot. Living in dark damp sewers and rubbish dumps does nothing for their reputation. Originating from Asia, brown rats rapidly colonised Europe in the early 18th century.

Why are we being overrun by rats?

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