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Katherine Linden @ed us, asking How come there aren’t rats in SF? I hate NYC, rats everywhere.

Luis A. Agurto Jr., president of Bay Area pest management provider Pestec, told me in an email that, “In short, New York does a better job housing and feeding rats than [does] San Francisco.”

Agurto pointed out that rats, just like us, need food, water, heat, and shelter. Rats in New York have more access to these basic needs, thanks largely to New York’s “infamous waste disposal services” and the simple fact that more people = more food.

“What’s being flushed, tossed, stacked on the curb in trash bags, or not picked up after the dogs is food [for rats],” Agurto wrote. “Everything else is found in abundance in the sewers. Remember that New York is older than San Francisco, and has been built upon itself. There are sewer systems on sewer systems.” Which, of course, means rats upon rats.

For those who yearn to know more on this topic, Agurto suggested googlingt rat-expedition-going Dr. Robert Corrigan, or reading Robert Sullivan’s “excellent” book, Rats.

Note: I personally do not recommend googling “rats” unless you want to see this.

Think of “Ask the Appeal” as your own personal genie: no Bay-related question is too big or too small. Whether you’re concerned with a municipal question, a consumer advocacy issue or simply with consuming alcohol, email us your questions at ask@sfappeal.com. We’ll either do the dirty work and talk to the folks in charge, contact an expert in the field, or – if your question is particularly intriguing or juicy – develop it into a full-blown investigative article.

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  • cedichou

    A rat jumped at me at caltrain’s 22nd st station. It was hidden in the trash bin and freaked out when I dumped something. There are plenty of mice at Rossi playground. Kids drop their birthday party pizza and feed a mice family for a week.

  • cedichou

    A rat jumped at me at caltrain’s 22nd st station. It was hidden in the trash bin and freaked out when I dumped something. There are plenty of mice at Rossi playground. Kids drop their birthday party pizza and feed a mice family for a week.

  • Becca Klarin

    The garden and outside areas of Yerba Buena Gardens has a mouse problem, though. At night, they scurry along the paths, and it’s quiet squeaky. Er, creepy.

  • Becca Klarin

    The garden and outside areas of Yerba Buena Gardens has a mouse problem, though. At night, they scurry along the paths, and it’s quiet squeaky. Er, creepy.

  • John Murphy

    There are plenty of rats for my taste here – we had one crawl into our heating ducts and die last year. And don’t get me started on the raccoons….

  • John Murphy

    There are plenty of rats for my taste here – we had one crawl into our heating ducts and die last year. And don’t get me started on the raccoons….

  • Eve Batey

    Ask Tim Ehhalt about the skunk that crawled in his family’s garage and died when he was a kid in the Outer Mission. It is quite a dramatic story, there are accents and everything.

  • Eve Batey

    Ask Tim Ehhalt about the skunk that crawled in his family’s garage and died when he was a kid in the Outer Mission. It is quite a dramatic story, there are accents and everything.