In what seems to SFist to be welcome news, the City has recently begun an aggressive rat control campaign, focusing initially on Chinatown. The article has some fascinating information, including that there are approximately 800,000 rats in San Francisco, at a proportion of approximately one rat per person; that the first rat entered the City some 120 years ago off a ship; there are primarily two species of rats in San Francisco, one of which, the Norway rat, is described as "as big as a cat," (7-9 inches long yikes!); and part of this campaign will involve catching live rats and having the health department comb their fur to see if any of them carry the flea that causes the bubonic plague. Also, the article helpfully provides a list of severely rat-infested buildings (if you see a FOR RENT sign in any of those windows, walk on) and a list of telltale signs of rat infestation (small black cashew-sized deposits and oily stains on walls). SFist is glad we dont have the fur-combing job.
If SFist were less of a girly-girl, we would definitely be reading more about rats in what everyone says is a fascinating book, Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the Citys Most Unwanted Inhabitants", but honestly, SFist couldnt even get through the New Yorker article about the same because it was just too gross to even touch the pages the article was printed on.