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

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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.

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