No sane person is fond of rats. They are dirty, disease infested creatures of the underworld, which, oddly enough, makes them perfect for politics. It seems some rats thought they should have a go at politics, and decided to see about getting in office (or in the office) themselves. Their first move was to invade and take over the Los Angeles city hall, and they certainly made media waves when they did. Any press is good press…right?

Los Angeles’ iconic 26-story city hall building has had plenty of unwelcome visitors over the years. But their current visitors are not of the human variety, but rather rats. Employees complain that the rat infestation has been growing monumentally worse over the past few months. What started out as a simple problem of finding evidence of rats gnawing on a few office items, has skyrocketed into a public health crisis. Staff from all over the building have reported seeing rats regularly. They arrive to work to discover tiny pawprints, plants that have been nibbled on, and even rat droppings and puddles of pee on their desks. These rats are making themselves right at home, running straight into the cupboards and eating employee’s food, leaving droppings on Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez’ desk. One employee noticed a horrible smell and discovered a dead rat in the ceiling, and the wonders of bureaucracy meant it took days to actually get the carcass removed.

City Clerk Holly Wolcott was literally chased out of her office by one huge rat the size of a possum. Another rat was found inside the copy machine. One very unlucky deputy city attorney actually contracted typhus from the dirty rodents. Elizabeth Greenwood was diagnosed in November, saying, “If only my 15 minutes of fame were about something wonderful I did. But no. I’m now the international poster child for typhus.”

City Hall has made an effort to help lessen the problem by cleaning up around the outside of city hall where the rats are coming from. They took care of 60 rat burrows, treated 114 tree wells, and placed 24 rodent stations around the building. Members of the city council are quickly trying to pass a motion to explore ways to rid the seat of government of America’s second largest city of these dirty, rotten rodents, but, of course, there is no easy fix available. Politics is just getting dirtier and dirtier every year.

Have you ever experienced a rat infestation?