Rodent activity in Dublin jumps by 25% during pandemic

ireland
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Rodent activity in Dublin has increased by 25 per cent according to health authorities, with the closure of bars and restaurants leading to rats and mice diverting to residential settings.

As reported in The Irish Times, pest-control experts say the changes brought about by Covid-19 restrictions, leading to quieter city streets, in addition to increasing rates of fly-tipping have led to greater rodent activity in domestic settings, particularly apartment blocks.

The issue has prompted Dublin City Council to establish a pest-control unit and increase the number of trained pest-control staff.

Data from the HSE showed public requests to its pest-control department increased from 4,647 in 2019 to 5,831 last year, representing a jump of more than 25 per cent.

Head of the National Pest Technicians Association, Chris Izart said private pest-control companies noticed a shift in their working patterns in 2020 as food businesses closed due to lockdowns, adding: "Rodents tend to follow the food."

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Overflowing bins caused by people spending more time at home has lead to infestations, which may lead to rodents entering residential buildings.

"The turnover we lost on restaurants and coffee shops, we gained it back on the private house calls that have problems," Mr Izart said.

Dublin City Council confirmed drains are being assessed and repaired where necessary, the storage of bins in apartment buildings is being altered and CCTV cameras are being installed to address the issue of illegal dumping.

"We continue to maintain the green space in our complexes to reduce harbourage for pests," the Council added.

Of the four local authorities in Dublin, three reported an increase in reports relating to rodent activity.

Fingal County Council reported a 4.6 per cent increase in referrals to the HSE on the matter of pest-control, while South Dublin County Council disclosed a 31 per cent increased in 2020 compared to the previous year.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council was the only local authority in the county to report no increase in rodent-related referrals.

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