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Wednesday 18 September 2019

It's Bait Bait Show as RTE spends €10k to chase mice from HQ

Building work disturbed mice
Building work disturbed mice

Darragh McDonagh

RTE spent more than €10,000 on pest-control services last year after its campus in Montrose was hit by an exodus of mice disturbed by building works on the site.

Pest controllers called to the campus 26 times as rodents were detected in a range of locations, including the canteen, the newsroom, the television building and near the main kitchen.

In January, Ryan Tubridy told his RTE Radio 1 listeners that staff at the state broadcaster were on "high alert" for mice that had scurried from an adjacent site after builders began excavation works.

He said there had been "great excitement" among the staff over the furry intruders, which were "the talk of the town".

Pest-control inspection reports released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that a mouse was spotted in the RTE canteen at the beginning of last December, while a dead mouse was found in the same location two weeks later.

In January, "light mice activity" was detected in the RTE library building, while bait also had to be set in the Republic Of Telly studio. The next day, mice were spotted in the newsroom.

A risk assessment was carried out, which found evidence of "target rodent activity posing a risk to the site".

The pest-controllers undertook to "search for rodent bodies every seven days until control is achieved".

They also laid toxic bait in Link House One on the campus after rodent droppings were reported.

Staff were advised to use drain bungs on wheelie bins after mouse activity was detected near the main kitchen. The bins were providing rodents with "access to a food source", it was noted.

Mice were also reported in Stage 7, the television programmes building, on a number of occasions.

Textile or clothes moths were also detected there, as well as in the on-site credit union. These were treated with an insecticidal spray.

A spokesman for RTE confirmed €10,400 was spent on pest-control services last year.

"The vast majority of rodent activity was as a direct result of works on RTE land, both in preparation for and following the sale of part of the Donnybrook site," he said.

The spokesperson also noted that "almost all" of the rodent activity referred to in the reports related to field mice.


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