Rome's rat emergency

Rome holds meeting to discuss rat infestation.

An urgent meeting is being held by Rome environment and health authorities on 4 February to discuss ways of dealing with the growing number of rats roaming the city centre, often during daylight hours.

Experts blame the burgeoning rat population on an extremely mild Roman winter as well as the dozens of construction sites for the Vatican's Holy Jubilee Year of Mercy.

In recent weeks Rome's refuse agency AMA has had to contend with ever-increasing reports of rats on streets as well as in parks, markets, schools, crèches, hospitals and other public areas, according to the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera.

The summit on 4 February is also expected to discuss ways of coping with another of Rome's perennial pests, the tiger mosquito.