Rats are a serious problem and have been getting worse ever since the 2008 economic crash. The governments of major cities would treat rats in sewers and parks but when the crash occurred there had to be cutbacks and those government treatments and rat task forces were disbanded. There is no one in the government protecting you from rats. All you can do now is call a professional to deal with the situation properly and correctly without endangering anyone or anything on the property. Rats are attracted to food, of course, they must eat and they eat a lot. But the one thing a rat cannot survive without is water. They must consume water every day, like humans. They can also swim in the water, reaching high speeds and being able to hold their breath for up to 3 minutes and tread water for hours.
They can enter your home in many ways. The least common or likely is through the sewer however if your sewer line is not filtered then rats can come up through your toilet. Rats most commonly live outside in burrows. They try not to live in human homes as they know how large and obvious they are to us. They act at night. They will find an entranceway into your home. While mice can use weep vents only a very small baby rat could enter a home that way. Their most common entranceway is partially open plumbing vents. Often installed after the home was built as a necessity. The rats will also use low wall vents and disused vents and openings. They may even chew a hole through your wall just to gain access to your food, rats are rodents and have front incisors that can chew through plastic, metal, wood and even concrete.
They can burrow underground and enter through your plumbing or even burrow so far down they can enter through gaps in the walls of your basement. They will eat anything they find from other rodents to garbage to dead animals but they are preferential to the traditional food of rodents: seeds. If you have a bird feeder you are sending out flairs and alarms to rats in your neighbourhood to infest your property. So if you have any sort of birdbaths, animal feeders or loose garbage, if you eat outside or feed your pets and then fail to clean up the mess. If you leave back doors open and do not store your garbage properly then you will, eventually, get rats.