x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Dubai officials team up to stamp out a growing rat problem

Dubai Municipality's Public Health Pest Control Section has joined forces with the Food Control Department to develop an emergency action plan to combat rodents.

DUBAI // When Anna Ohlson moved into her apartment in Jumeirah Beach Residence, she was greeted by a few unwelcome guests.

The dirty kitchen left by the previous tenant had proved a perfect breeding ground for cockroaches.

 

"This was a proper infestation, which we were horrified to find," said the 47-year-old from Sweden. "Now the problem is solved."

But pest problems in Dubai do not stop at creepy-crawlies.

Dubai Municipality's Public Health Pest Control Section has joined forces with the Food Control Department to develop an emergency action plan to combat rodents.

The plan involves more inspections, said Hisham Abdul-Rahman Al Yahya, the head of Pest Control. Results will be sent to the Food Control Department and action will be taken against any restaurants infested with rodents or cockroaches. According to Dinesh Ramachandran, the technical director for National Pest Control in Dubai, the dominant rodent is the brown rat, which is hefty in size and nests in soil.

"Rats cause serious damage because they can even chew through concrete," said Mr Ramachandran. Last week, a supermarket called with complaints of rodents.

"We found a box with young [rat] pups which had been brought from a warehouse with a huge rat problem because of an inefficient pest control programme," he said.

Cockroaches and bed bugs are also common. Elias Kanaan, the president of Unimar Pest Control Services, said bed bugs were the biggest concern in the emirate. "It's especially worrying in labour accommodation," he said. "But sometimes in hotels, too."

melshoush@thenational.ae