Paris is overrun by rats attracted by the abundant food thrown away by the human population. A video shown by 'Le Parisien' from the banks of the Seine shows a multitude of rats in a city dumpster. The rats are shown falling out and fighting over food and the usual detritus humans no longer need.

Rats are becoming a common sight in the French capital to both residents and tourists. Garbage workers report being attacked by rats but no one as yet has been bitten. The animals are seen all over the city now and it now seems the authorities are finally realising what a rat problem they have.

One may ask is this nuisance having an impact on the tourist trade? Of course, not every tourist visiting the city will be aware of the problem. But by the end of their stay or tour of the city, they may have noticed the little blighters going about their daily lives.

Rats not to blame?

Paris has been singled out in the press for its rat population. Every city, town, village and hamlet will host some population of rats in the world.

Rats must be one of the most hated creatures on the planet. Even that lover of animals Sir David Attenborough has admitted he has a phobia of the highly intelligent Rodents. It goes without saying, women, and some men cannot stand the sight of them. They are associated with decay and it is easy to see why we humans see them like that.

The fact they live in sewers does their image no good either.

Try seeing things from the rat's point of view though. They need to make a living, they need easy access to food and a place to live and bring up their young ones. By coming into our domain this is where the trouble starts between our species and theirs.

Rats were always blamed for many diseases and suffering particularly in the Middle Ages.

The latest theory, however, is that the rats did not cause the bubonic plague. It was, in fact, humans who spread infection and disease because hygiene was not as well understood.

The wonderful world of pet rats

Rats can and do make wonderful pets. Speaking from experience they are highly entertaining and companionable creatures to befriend.

They do need exercise but not like in the case of a dog who needs regular walks. As long as they have a sizeable cage, fresh bedding, food and water they are happy.

The thought of even keeping one as a pet will seem horrific to some. If you hold that view, fine, however, again speaking from experience this is certainly not the case for me as explained above. Pet rats, unfortunately, can be prone to cancer as they are descended from lab rats.

So finally while admitting wild rats can bring problems pet rats in the main are delightful creatures to have.