The South African Pest Control Association (SAPCA) confirmed that there is currently a huge rodent problem in South Africa. “Looking at the amount of enquiries and call outs for the treatment of rats these rodents are fast becoming huge pests,” says Sue Alcock, SAPCA board member.

The inner city areas of Durban, but also Cape Town and Johannesburg suffer from unusually high levels of rat infestations. “The problem seems to be getting worse,” says Deena Govender, Quality Assurance Manager. According to Govender the problem was first noticeable in the CBD and informal settlements; however residential areas are noticing a huge increase in the number of rodents seen in homes, gardens and nearby parks.

The rat problem can be accredited to various factors such as the lack of resources, littering, informal traders, lower sanitation standards in city centres and poor upkeep of basic amenities. Alcock advises that municipalities should educate street vendors about the importance of keeping the streets clean of waste. In addition to this they should collect refuse more regularly, removing the rodents’ source of food. “The majority of municipalities claim to have a current pest control programme in place, however as this problem is on the increase we would strongly suggest that these plans be revisited and possibly revised,” says Alcock.

Sue Alcock will also be a guest speaker at this year's Pestbiz conference in Johannesburg.