Dr. Himsworth speaks with Pest Control Canada

Read the Q&A by Dr. Himsworth with Pest Control Canada about her in-depth study on rats on the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. More »

News 1130: DTES neighbours want vacant lot cleaned up to stop rats: Concerns over potential health risks

People on the Downtown Eastside are worried about rats that have made their home in the empty lot where the old Pantages Theatre once stood on Hastings Street. More »

Vancouver Sun: Vancouver rat population growing, residents out to count (VIDEO)

Downtown Eastside residents who say the rat population at the former home of the Pantages theatre has become unbearable hosted a rat count tonight to highlight what they say is a blight on the neighbourhood and a health threat to those living nearby. More »

Global TV BC: Downtown eastside neighbors hold rat count on vacant lot (VIDEO)

A group of residents on the Downtown Eastside held a rat count Tuesday night to try and force a property owner to clean up his demolition site. More »

Global TV BC: New light being shed on old rat problem (VIDEO)

Continuing problem with rats in Vancouver is finally getting some new attention. More »

Calgary Herald: Alberta rat-free status in jeopardy after rats found at Medicine Hat landfill

Albertas rat-free status could be in jeopardy after more than a dozen Norway rats were discovered at a landfill in the southeast corner of the province. Agriculture Minister Verlyn Olson announced the discovery of the rat colony during a news conference Wednesday at the Medicine Hat regional landfill. The province prides itself on being rat-free, and has only seen isolated cases of the rodents since the 1950s. More »

Live Science: Sandy May Drive Subway Rats onto NYC Streets

New Yorkers may see an unwanted group of refugees in the wake of Hurricane Sandy — the rats that live in the city subway tunnels. More »

The Star Phoenix: Student studies diseases of wild urban rats

Wild urban rats carry bacteria and viruses that can pose a significant health risk to people, yet very little is known about them in Canada. Thats why I am studying the natural diseases of this often despised mammal, one of the most successful invasive species. The Vancouver Rat Project, of which I am a team member, is the first study in Canada to systematically evaluate the health of wild rats. While diseases of laboratory rats have been extensively studied, little is known about those in wild rats. More »

The Capilano Courier: THE RAT KING Surrounded by urban wildlife, everything comes back to rodents

Infestations are common, and with rats and urban wildlife come zoonotic diseases – diseases transferred by animals – which can have a negative impact on the human population. These zoonoses include everything from the plague to the avian flu to Lyme disease. The problem with these diseases is that often the symptoms are similar to that of the average flu, like nausea and fever, which makes them hard to diagnose as having come specifically from an animal. This diagnosis is one of many things Dr. Chelsea Himsworth and her team of researchers is hoping to address with the Vancouver Rat Project. More »

MRSP in Urban Rats

A year or two ago, I received an email from Dr. Chelsea Himsworth, who was doing some interesting work looking at different bacteria found in rats in Vancouvers Downtown Eastside......This multidrug resistant bacterium was found in nasal or oral swabs from 2.1% of rats (Himsworth et al, Emerging Infectious Diseases 2013). So it was relatively uncommon but certainly present. More »

Did New York rats relocate after Sandy?

At the height of Superstorm Sandy, city residents could not help but wonder: What will become of all the rats? Four months later, that is still a mystery. More »

Rats as a source of hantavirus in England and Wales, 2013

We report the detection of a strain of Seoul hantavirus (SEOV) in pet rats in England and Wales. The discovery followed an investigation of a case of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in Wales. More »

Vancouverites might have to learn to live with rats as population scurries upward.

Vancouver’s rat population is growing and no neighbourhood is immune to the rodents and their pesky and dirty ways. Dr. Rana Sarfraz, a UBC ecologist and expert on pests, said that Vancouver’s rat problem has been getting worse in recent years and it’s not limited to the downtown core. Sarfraz said urban rats remain a mystery because there has never been a comprehensive study of rats in Canada – until now. The Vancouver Rat Project is underway now, and claims to be the first study of its kind in Canada. More »

The Vancouver Sun: Vancouver rats carry disease that can infect people.

Study shows some rodents on the Downtown Eastside carry leptospirosis. More »

Global AM/BC (TV)

Vancouver Rat Project feature with Jill Krop. Watch the video! More »

Rat Project Researcher Interviewed on Global Morning News

Fri, Jun 20: Dr. Chelsea Himsworth from the Vancouver Rat Project joins Global News to explain the research done on urban rat populations. More »


Welcome to the homepage for the Vancouver Rat Project

Please use the links above to navigate the site. This project is run by researchers from University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health. It is funded by The Canadian Institutes of Health Research.