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I Got a Crash Course in Rodent Control at D.C.’s Rat Academy

The much-loathed rodents are enjoying a post-pandemic population boom in many US cities. To learn how humans can cope, I had to go back to school. 

The real king of the city: a Norway rat in its element — an urban street.

The real king of the city: a Norway rat in its element — an urban street.

Photographer: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Bobby Corrigan is the kind of guy who, when he sees a rat, will follow it until it reaches its destination.

“In my world, I cannot walk a block or anywhere without thinking, ‘Rats rats, rats,’” says Corrigan, a rodentologist who consults with US cities on their pest problems. “No rats; yes rats.”