Amalgamated Pest Control technician Ricky Brewer finds a decaying rat carcass in this Goonellabah ceiling cavity. Experts say rats are currently enjoying a ‘population explosion’.
Amalgamated Pest Control technician Ricky Brewer finds a decaying rat carcass in this Goonellabah ceiling cavity. Experts say rats are currently enjoying a ‘population explosion’. David Nielsen

Rats running riot in Lismore

IT’S not quite a plague but rodents have been running riot around Lismore lately.

Pest control agents around town have noticed a spike in the number of rat problems well before their high activity season.

The largely disliked rodent is most prominent in winter when it enters human habitats in search of food.

But a local pest control manager has noted a steady flow of rat activity, including some strange hiding places.

“The population is definitely on the increase,” Michael Powell of Sanctuary Pest Group said.

“Usually rats are more prominent in winter but I haven’t seen a drop in summer for a few years, it has been constant.

“I think rats can cause more damage than termites because they chew through anything.

“I recently found a rat’s nest with a mother and nine baby rats, in a person’s couch that contained the home owner’s underwear, clothes and tea towels they thought were missing,” Mr Powell said.

There are a few ‘hot spots’ in Lismore and parts of Byron Bay and Goonellabah have seen their fair share of the furry pests too.

Contrary to popular belief, rat infestation is not a sign of poor house-cleaning but a sign there is an easy entrance for the rodents somewhere.

Amalgamated Pest Control owner Tom Busby said macadamia nuts and the recent weather could be partially blamed for the infestation-like conditions.

“There has been a population explosion and there is certainly an increase of rats around,” Mr Busby said.

“They are attracted to the macadamia farms and all the recent rain would have flooded their burrows.

“The rats can get through holes, climb up in the gap between the drain pipe and your house, chew through anything and the only thing that can stop them is steel wool,” he said.

Instead of using poisonous pellets to rid of rodents, which they can easily carry away and hide somewhere else, wax blocks that are tied down to something are recommended.



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