Gummi Bears too cutesy for you? Not particularly threatened by a 1-inch candy bruin? You probably haven’t encountered Pet Rats, which have a more menacing look than other flavored gummi candies and are perfect for homesick New Yorkers.

But this ain’t Manhattan, so the rats are hard to find. They have been seen, appropriately enough, at a gas station--not around the dumpsters, wise guy, but in the candy section at an Arco on Mission in South Pasadena. And since the gummi rats are individually wrapped, the other candy is quite safe from contamination.

As for the taste, Pet Rats are much better than the real thing. They come in a variety of flavors and are produced by the Herman Goelitz Candy Co. Unfortunately, the marketers are trying a little too hard for adorable. Names like Molly Marshmallow, Louie Licorice and Barbie Bubble Gum push the candy rodents in the gummi cute direction, but the flavor is just not there. I say Pet Rats have their own special niche and should capitalize on it with more threatening names like Bubonic Billy or Ebola Edith. Those are the kinds of disgusting things kids love to bite.