Travel

Rats are taking over Paris

Paris may have plenty of lost tourists and notoriously rude waiters, but they aren't the only pests scuttling about the City of Light.

Now, a swarm of rats has overtaken the Tuileries gardens near the Louvre.

Photographer Xavier Francolon (side note: awesome name) visited the popular tourist hangout last week to capture the rodents on camera, with droves surfacing during the peak hours of the day, crawling around horrified park-goers. In the two days he spent at the Tuileries, Francolon reportedly saw 30 rats.

They're as gross as you'd expect.

In an effort to combat the infestation, gardeners have set environmentally friendly deterrents in place of toxic chemicals, though so far the results have been lackluster. Despite twice-monthly pest control measures, the vermin have spread throughout the area.

Of course, negligent out-of-towners are the real culprits.

"The tourists throw their scraps of pizza and sandwiches all over the place", one distressed gardener told the Guardian.

A statement issued by the culture ministry and the Louvre on Monday defended their maintenance of the gardens: "Like any space or urban building near a river, particularly in the centre of Paris, the public domain of the Louvre museum can be the victim of a large and harmful presence of rodents, particularly in the summer".

So far, no solution to rid the world of awful tourists has been found yet, either.


Chloe Pantazi is an editorial assistant on Thrillist's travel team. Yes, that's a British accent. No, she doesn't watch Doctor Who. Follow her on Twitter at @ChloePantazi.