Date of release: Friday, May 27, 2016

Better rat control will save lives: Public lecture at Medway The threat to human life caused by a burgeoning rat population will be discussed by Professor Steven Belmain in a public lecture next month.

A member of the University of Greenwich's Natural Resources Institute, Professor Belmain says that rats are one of the most neglected problems across the world in towns and cities, as well as in rural settings.

Improving rodent management in developing countries could be one of the most important interventions of the 21st century to reduce poverty and improve people's livelihoods, he claims.

"Rats attack virtually any crop we try to grow. They enter warehouses, home and factories in search of food. In cities they feed in our refuse, damage sewage and drainage systems, and undermine foundations.

"They drive outbreaks of diseases such as bubonic plague, typhus and haemorrhagic fevers. Many thousands of people die each year from rodent-borne diseases which are often not recognised, diagnosed or treated," Professor Belmain adds.

Professor Belmain is a leading international scientist who is researching the ecology of rodents across Asia and Africa. His inaugural lecture, Sex, Breeding and Population Dynamics: When Rodents get out of Control, takes place on Wednesday 8 June at the Medway Campus.

It will present new research into ecologically-based rodent management which uses sustainable methods of control without using poisons.

The lecture takes place from 6pm in the Pilkington Lecture Theatre. To attend, please contact Heather McAvoy on 01634 883911 or at

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Story by Public Relations