Monday 16 September 2019

Return of cranes to cities and scorcher of a summer see rat numbers explode

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

Extreme weather and the rising number of cranes on our city horizons has sparked the unpleasant scurry of little feet - with a dramatic surge in rat populations across the country.

Exterminators nationwide have reported a rise in the number of call-outs, due largely to the unprecedented hot summer conditions causing rodent populations to thrive and multiply.

Rentokil, the largest pest control company, has noted a 34pc increase in call-outs this year, with Dublin accounting for the majority of infestations.

Another exterminator firm, Complete Pest Control, confirmed it had purchased as much rat poison this summer as it had done last winter, which they described as unprecedented.

The company has noted a "huge increase" in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway, while Rentokil had most of its call-outs in Dublin (32pc), Galway (11pc), Clare (9pc) and Limerick (8pc).

Trevor Hayden, managing director of Complete Pest Control, said the amount of groundwork taking place in key cities is driving rats indoors, out of their preferred nesting places.

"About two years ago we started noticing that there was very little difference between our summer and winter call-outs," he said, adding that this was around the time that the rate of building works began to escalate.

"The snow last spring did kill a lot of rats, but it also drove any that could escape indoors."

Dr Colm Moore, area technical manager for Rentokil, said it generally experiences a sudden spike in call-outs for rodents every year during autumn, as the population begins to move indoors.

"Notably, in 2018, this annual spike increased by 45pc and occurred a month earlier when compared with the previous year," he said.

He believes extreme weather conditions as a result of climate change has led to the rodents changing their habits, moving indoors earlier and in higher numbers.

The companies are warning householders and businesses to be vigilant.

Mr Hayden said rats generally enter buildings from holes no more than waist high, advising that all broken vents be checked, and that no food is left outside for animals or birds.

Irish Independent

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