Rodents go with the territory in Astoria, Oregon

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s largest cities — Portland, Eugene and Salem — have been seeing uptick in urban rats this year.

Rats have also been spotted on the streets of Astoria, but that is nothing new for the city in northwestern Oregon. Seventy years ago, Clatsop County was one of 22 places in the U.S. selected for a demonstration on how to deal with outsized rat populations.

The Daily Astorian reports that thousands of tiny rodent footprints dot the ground in the tunnels below downtown, and city workers bait 38 manholes every month to keep the rat population down in the sewer system.

Despite the effort, rats remain Astoria’s No. 1 pest.

Meredith Riley, a county environmental health inspector, says: “Anywhere you’ve got water and harborage then there’s going to be rodents.”