New investigation to reduce rat numbers

A City of Sydney investigation will look at different rat eradication measures used across the globe and whether they can be applied to our area.

Rat activity has risen significantly over recent years, stirred by an unprecedented number of major construction and infrastructure projects taking place across the City of Sydney area.

The study follows action to double the number of rat baiting stations in City of Sydney owned public areas to 860 in response to a recent outbreak of leptospirosis. The disease has been responsible for the deaths of numerous dogs across the inner city.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City of Sydney is taking fast and responsible action to tackle the problem.

“Rats are a problem in every major city, but the recent rise in rat sightings and outbreak of leptospirosis have been very concerning,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We recently doubled the number of bait stations in public areas, increased the frequency of bait inspections and tripled our rat eradication budget.

“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.”

The City has also written to Sydney Trains, Property NSW and NSW Land and Housing Corporation to urge them to increase baiting and monitoring of rats on their land.

The City is also urging residents and businesses to take care with food scraps and other waste.

“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.

“We have one of the most comprehensive residential waste services in the country, with residents entitled to 52 free bulky waste collections every year, so there’s no excuse for anyone to illegally dump rubbish in our area.”

Regulatory staff will continue to target poor waste management practices and illegal dumping in hot spots.

The City also recommends private property owners ensure regular pest control is carried out and remove overgrown vegetation and accumulated rubbish that may attract vermin.

Pet owners concerned about recent cases of leptospirosis in the inner city should contact their vet.

There are more than 135 City of Sydney staff and contractors who monitor rats as part of their duties in public places such as parks and streets, and food premises.

More than 110 of those workers are based in public areas, removing food waste, identifying and backfilling rat holes and reporting rats for targeted baiting.

Twenty-five environmental health officers carry out regular inspections of food premises and shopping centres. The officers ensure operators are fulfilling their responsibility to eradicate pests and vermin and prevent their entry into food premises.

The City recently introduced a requirement for all developers to provide a pest management plan ahead of major construction work.

/Public Release.