A tale of two rats: exploring the role of rats in everyday life

‘A tale of two rats’ is a PhD study being coordinated at the University of Liverpool, exploring the role of rats in our society. We are interested in peoples’ experiences of rats and the role they have in everyday life.

Love them or loathe them, everyone has a rat story. Embedded within our society as carriers of disease, wild rats are one of our most common, but unwanted, urban neighbours. Classified as vermin, for many people the thought of sharing a home with rats will evoke feelings of fear and disgust. However, there is an increasing number of people who choose to invite rats into their homes; pet rat owners. In contrast to its wild equivalent, the pet rat is viewed as friendly and sociable and in some cases become part of the family. This project is aiming to explore these differing roles of rats within society and look at how interactions and relationships with rats affect our health and wellbeing.

For part of the study, we are looking to recruit people who come into contact with rats as part of their day-to-day job. Taking part in the study involves an interview with the PhD student (Charlotte Robin), at a time and place to suit you. Interviews are focused on your experiences of working in the pest control industry, your opinions of rats and how you think they might affect your health and wellbeing. Taking part is entirely voluntary, and all data will be anonymised. You don’t necessarily have to have a lot of experience working in the pest control industry, or with rats – all you need is an opinion on them and be willing to talk about it.

If you or any of your colleagues are interested in taking part, or just want some more information on the study, please contact Charlotte at the University of Liverpool.


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