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Tuesday 30 May 2023 Dublin: 16°C
# another problem
Flooding drives rats out of their homes, and there is a hidden danger to worry about
The floods we’ve had over the past weeks have made germs and bacteria a danger.

THE RECENT FLOODING has left homes across the country gutted from the inside out.

With work well underway to repair electrical fittings and structural issues, there is another less obvious concern.

Rats have also had their homes flooded over the past few weeks, and people living in the affected areas can expect to start seeing a lot more of them.

“There is no mystery to why,” explains Brendan Ryan, co-founder of the Irish Pest Control Association, “many rats are subterranean, they live under the ground and in the sewers as well.

Just consider the fact that our shores, sewers and riverbanks are flooding, and our rats are natural swimmers.

However, while there will certainly be more sightings of the animals, it isn’t this isn’t necessarily what the public should be worried about.

Rather it’s what they can’t see that’s the problem.

Ryan’s biggest concern is with the germs and bacterial risks that rats carry with them, and these can be left by a rat that isn’t ever seen by the homeowner.

“The point that I am making is that after the clearing out of any flooded property, attention should turn to carrying out certain anti-bacterial and anti-virus treatments specific to what rats carry in their urine,” Ryan added.

shutterstock_149284907 Shutterstock / Erni Shutterstock / Erni / Erni

While the danger posed by rats is very real, Ryan is quick to put paid to notions of giant rats and the rats with a super resistance to poisons.

“First of all, the notion of giant rats is an absolute myth. Anyone from our industry that suggest there is a phenomenon in Ireland related to giant rats is wrong.”

Resistance to poison is a more realistic proposition.

Ryan, who works on the task force focusing on the issue for the Department of Agriculture says that it is in the process of rolling out long-term testing to determine whether it is an issue in Ireland or not.

Read: Do we really need to worry about a plague of giant rats this winter?

Also: ‘It’s like the Burning Man of rats’: Have you heard about the rat crisis in New York?

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