x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Developer and residents struggle with rat influx

Mangrove Village opened in 2007 with more than 300 homes

ABU DHABI // Some residents of an exclusive gated community are being troubled by rats.

"It is truly horrible when you hear them scurrying along," said a UK resident of Mangrove Village in Abu Dhabi Gate City. "We are at a loss of how to handle it."

Mangrove Village opened in 2007 with more than 300 homes that cost Dh250,000 to Dh330,000 a year to rent. The development is managed by First Gulf Properties, part of First Gulf Bank. The company said it was aware of the problem and was trying to solve it.

"We have been working on providing an efficient solution after discovering that the source of the problem did not lie within Mangrove Village itself, but in the surrounding area," a spokesperson for the company said. "We are currently awaiting a proposal from a specialist company on how to best deal with this problem."

The British resident said she had hired a pest-control company to place traps, but the rats living in her false ceilings were "too big".

"They get caught and then manage to free themselves, creating a huge amount of noise," she said.

Another resident, from Germany, said she discovered rats in her villa last year. She put out poison, and they eventually disappeared.

A third woman said she had a rat problem a month ago. The management company helped her, she said. "We called them and they actually did quite a lot to fix it," she said. "I think they are definitely aware that there is a problem."

But many other residents said they had never seen vermin in the area.

The Centre for Waste Management, which is responsible for pest control in Abu Dhabi, said it has not received any complaints about rats in Mangrove Village.

Omar Al Shoubaki, pest control contracts manager, urged residents in the capital who notice rats around their homes to call the centre's toll free number, 800 1122.

In general, rats are more active during the summer, Mr Al Shoubaki said. Residents with infestations should keep all food and rubbish out of the reach of vermin, and should block any possible entries to their homes.