Sydney council seeks rat solutions

The City of Sydney has commissioned a study into rat eradication looking at overseas examples as it battles to manage a growing rat problem which it which it is putting down to increased development activity.

Clover Moore

A spike in developments across the city has stirred rat activity “significantly” in recent years, according to council.

The issue has seen council double the number of rat baiting stations across the city and triple its rat eradication budget to tackle a recent outbreak of Leptospirosis which has been responsible for a number of dog deaths across the city.

Council has also rapidly increased the frequency of bait inspections, but says it’s too early to say how effective these measures have been.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City of Sydney was yet to assess the effectiveness of the rat baiting efforts.

“While we monitor the effectiveness of the enhanced baiting program, we will also look to what other cities are doing and assess whether those methods are safe and suitable for Sydney.”

Council will now undertake a study into measures being adopted overseas to tackle the problem – surveying the work being done in other cities with similar conditions to Sydney.

It has already consulted with multiple organisations on the crisis, asking Sydney Trains, Property NSW and NSW Land and Housing Corporation to increase baiting and monitoring of rats on their land.

The City is also urging residents and businesses to carefully dispose of food scraps and waste to reduce the spread of vermin – with a crackdown on illegal dumping.

“There has been a major increase in illegally dumped waste across the city and this is no doubt contributing to the problem,” the Lord Mayor said.

More than 135 City of Sydney workers are responsible for monitoring rat populations.

Auckland distributes traps to residents 

Auckland Council in New Zealand has also been grappling with a rat population and says a recent review of the 21 local boards revealed rats were at the top of the list of pests in all areas.

Auckland Council has partnered with the Department of Conservation and other interest groups to provide backyard traps at no cost to residents, local media reports.

According to the NZ Herald 1083 rat traps had been lent out since the project began in 2017, resulting in the capture of more than 687 rats.

As well as helping the city to control the vermin, the initiative has also reportedly seen the return of some native birds.

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