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Saturday 16 November 2019

Rats and insects overrun parts of capital, costing council €64k after hundreds of complaints

Marmion Court resident Paul Maguire with caught rats. Picture: Colin O'Riordan
Marmion Court resident Paul Maguire with caught rats. Picture: Colin O'Riordan
Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

Rodent problems were behind hundreds of complaints to Dublin City Council in the first nine months of this year.

A total of 608 reports in relation to pests were received by the council between January 1 and September 27.

Figures reveals that rodents accounted for 502 of these reports, while wasps and bees were the second most complained about pests with 54.

There were 43 reports about birds, five about ants, and one report each in the case of foxes, woodworm, flies and cockroaches.

According to information supplied under the Freedom of Information Act, the number of cases that were referred by the council to the environmental agency of the HSE during this timeframe was 502.

The council, however, said that it "cannot categorise pest reports as infestations. The term 'infestation' can be opinion based, and open to misinterpretation".

Therefore, quantification of the extent of a pest issue is left to the relevant qualified authorities, it said, adding the council's function is to forward reports received to the relevant department or authority.

It said that the types of pest reports received included: internal sightings; external sightings; sightings of evidence of pest activity and audible concerns of pest activity.

The council shelled out €64,000 in relation to "external costs" from the HSE.

The HSE invoices Dublin City Council as it carries out the pest control works on behalf of Dublin City Council, it explained. Pest control calls logged are then interpreted and responded to.

"It may also be necessary to refer, in isolated circumstances, some pest control issues to private pest control operators," the council added.

Last July, the Irish Independent revealed how the council had moved to address rodent issues at the Marmion Court complex in Dublin 7.

An astonishing 19 rats had been caught after residents used a large cage-style rat trap.

The council said staff had identified access points for the rats, and arrangements had been made to curb the issue.

Irish Independent

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