Monocolumn: A Job For The World’s Leading Rat Catcher

Monocolumn: A Job For The World’s Leading Rat Catcher

Back from August holidays, residents of Milan’s posh Brera neighbourhood have discovered some unwelcome squatters in their midst: a rat colony.

  • 13 september 2010

Monocolumn- A Job For The World’s Leading Rat Catcher

Monocolumn is Monocle’s daily bulletin of news and opinion. Catch up with previous editions here.

Back from August holidays, residents of Milan’s posh Brera neighbourhood have discovered some unwelcome squatters in their midst: a rat colony. But while the influx of rodents may have caught locals off guard, the news didn’t come as a surprise to Massimo Donadon, Italy’s Pied Piper in the battle against urban vermin.

Just a few years ago city officials had sought out Donadon’s expertise on how to combat the local rat population, estimated to be over 10 million. (”On average, a city has about eight or nine rats per inhabitant,” says Donadon.) Nothing came of the talks, however, and municipal authorities took their eye off the problem, more concerned it seems with planning for the World’s Fair that the city will host in 2015.

But after a blistering summer and reports of uncollected rubbish bags left on sidewalks, sightings of brown rats – sometimes mistaken by passers-by for squirrels – have become more frequent. While the city-owned agency responsible for keeping streets clean places the blame elsewhere, merchants are up in arms about the potential damage to business since Brera is a magnet for tourists, who are drawn to its pedestrian lanes lined with art galleries, eateries and independent boutiques.

Forced into action, public health authorities moved to prune fruit trees to deny rats a food source. Yet overzealous cutting recently sparked an impromptu protest by residents, which included well-heeled ladies with handbags in hand placing themselves between chainsaw and tree to protect the neighbourhood’s greenery.

From his company’s headquarters in Treviso, Donadon looks on in amusement. Since the 1970s, he’s helped to disinfest cities from Beijing to Dubai – Rudy Giuliani even hired him to clean up New York when he was mayor. Today, his firm Mayer Braun Deutschland – he believed a German-sounding name would be more credible in the field of pest extermination – is a world leader.

To continue reading, click here.

Monocolumn is Monocle’s daily bulletin of news and opinion. Click here to read more, or here to subscribe to the monthly magazine.

Image by Veer.

Veer has recently relaunched its site,, with a simplified, easy to use interface allowing for enhanced and simplified image search. The site, which is a go-to source for creative and affordable stock photography, illustrations, fonts and merchandise, helps people add style to business, marketing, and personal design projec

tumblr analytics


Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

Design & Architecture
Technology october 21, 2016

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images

Design & Architecture october 21, 2016

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online


Get PSFK's Related Report: Sports Debrief

See All
Retail october 21, 2016

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry

Travel october 21, 2016

Become A Citizen Of The First Nation In Space

Asgardia is a new concept for a floating society above Earth

Entertainment october 21, 2016

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

AI october 21, 2016

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 17, 2016

Home Depot Green Energy Expert: Americans Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Green tech expert Jennifer Tuohy discusses new home energy tech and developments for renewables in the US

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Millennials october 21, 2016

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out

Food october 21, 2016

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising october 21, 2016

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Work october 21, 2016

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

Retail october 21, 2016

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children october 21, 2016

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants october 21, 2016

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Technology october 21, 2016

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

No search results found.