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Rats: controlling a global problem
Rats can damage buildings, roads, dykes, pipes, electrical wires, fishing nets and household goods such as blankets, clothes, kitchen utensils and furniture. In keeping with many people’s worst nightmares, rodents are vectors and reservoirs for more than 60 diseases - including leptospirosis, typhus, viral haemorrhagic fevers and, of course, plague. Many living in rural communities in developing countries are bitten by rats while sleeping, leading to gangrenous infections and sometimes permanent disfigurement.
Reducing crop damage by rodents not only improves food security and nutrition, but can lead to increased income. Reducing post-harvest loss and food contamination by rats improves health and nutrition, as well as lowering disease transmission.