There are four times as many rats as humans in Paris – perhaps eight million in total, according to this BBC article. Watch out New York!
Just in time for the tourist season, Paris is launching a two-month-long, city-wide information advertising campaign in the city, followed by inspections, aiming to reduce the numbers of rats on the streets. Apparently, tourists don’t like to walk past boulangeries at the end of the day and see rats or mice running around inside the shop. Go figure.
The main problem is that Parisians don’t realize that they are actually obliged to fight rats. That is what the campaign is supposed to change. Those who refuse to carry out the recommendations – on cleaning up their area, correctly disposing of rubbish or closing up access holes, for example – face a fines of between 90 and 750 euros ($1200).
My favorite part? Paris’ municipal rat-catching team is nicknamed “Le S.M.A.S.H.”