Melbourne rats refuse to take the bait

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jan 7, 2015 in Rat News | Subscribe

Melbourne is in the midst of a rat resurgence, with pest controllers reporting double the number of call-outs.

And despite a council baiting program around the CBD, the trap-savvy vermin are refusing to take the bait.

Pest control companies are receiving hundreds of call-outs a day, particularly around Flagstaff Gardens.

“There’s probably two for one rodents in Melbourne so for every one person you have two little rodents running around,” said Simon Dixon of Exopest.
Melbourne City Council runs a baiting program to control the CBD’s rat population but it said the success of the baiting program had been limited by environmental factors.

“Such as the proximity of the gardens to the railway tunnel and stormwater pipes,” the council said in a statement.

Traps have also been set up around Queen Victoria Market.

The species known as “rattus norvegicus” is mainly nocturnal, aggressive and between 30 to 45 centimetres in length. 

Their life expectancy is 9 to 12 months, and a healthy pair can produce 2000 rats a year.

Rat enthusiasts say there is a big difference between pet rats and wild ones, and they are an often misunderstood creature. 

But you certainly shouldn’t handle one that you find on the street.

“Whilst they’re the same species, they’re entirely different,” said David Layton of Australian Rat Fanciers Society.

“They’re much more social, they’re less aggressive, they don’t bite and they’re clean.”

Experts hope numbers will dwindle as the weather cools down, but they say any major city will always be home to a few rampant rodents.

© ninemsn 2015

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