Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 August 2019

Dubai tenants rattled by rat menace as numbers spike

Rodents usually seen in industrial areas are being reported across residential communities

Jerwil Aguirre from Pro Shield Pest Control installs a rodent bait station trap outside a building in Dubai's Al Warqa area. Reem Mohammed / The National
Jerwil Aguirre from Pro Shield Pest Control installs a rodent bait station trap outside a building in Dubai's Al Warqa area. Reem Mohammed / The National

Tenants across Dubai are reporting a recent spike in rats in their communities, with some sightings in the upper floors of tower blocks.

Rubbish left in the street and vegetation allowed to grow unchecked is most likely to be the cause, pest control companies have said.

One resident even claimed neighbours deliberately left food out for the rodents to the frustration of other tenants.

Rodents are most commonly seen in industrial areas such as Al Quoz and Dubai Investment Park.

But residents of Silicon Oasis, The Greens and Garhoud said they have seen more rats in their homes and surrounding streets in recent months.

On Saturday, experts urged the public to report sightings to the relevant municipalities.

Minerva Elmasry, 28, an IT consultant from Egypt, moved out of her apartment in The Greens in November, halfway through her annual contract.

She began finding what looked like coffee beans on the floor of her apartment, only to realise they were rat droppings.

"I contacted the landlord to pay for pest control but he refused,” she said.

“I put traps in and around the apartment but had to go a pest control company myself who told me there were a lot of holes in the walls that the rats were getting through.”

This image of a bay rat inside a house was taken by one of our appalled readers.
This image of a rodent inside a house was taken by one of our readers.

The problem persisted and she went to another pest control company for a second treatment of her home.

“The issue continued and I wasn’t able to sleep for a month with worry,” she said.

“In the end, I had no option but to leave the apartment.”

Dozens of residents on the community's Facebook page shared similar experiences, with many finding rats on upper levels and not just ground floors.

Emaar, which built The Greens more than 15 years ago, installs traps and carries out regular pest control of communal areas. But tenants are responsible for having their own flats sprayed.

In another area, Lydia Kocur-Aziz, 48, moved out of her villa in Garhoud near Dubai International Airport after experiencing similar problems.

“The municipality came and laid poison down to deal with the rats,” she said. “The problem continued though.”

Seeing rats running inside the house was a common occurrence.

“I found out that the previous tenants had moved out because of problems with rats as well,” she said.

“I was only told by neighbours when we were moving out.”

She also reported the issue to the management company responsible for the property, who came out several times to deal with the rats.

“I was told the rats were from all the construction work around us and they were coming onto our property to get away from it," she said.

Another resident in the desert community of Dubai Silicon Oasis said she no longer used her garden after seeing rodents scurrying around.

“There has been a huge increase in the number of rats here recently,” said the tenant, who did not wish to be named.

“I was sitting out my back garden one evening when I noticed a black thing running across the wall, I went back inside and came out again 10 minutes later and saw five rats.”

She said that since then her husband had trapped and killed 27 rats in six months.

She said the problem had gone until recently when they returned.

“I was outside putting the Christmas decorations up when I saw a rat sitting on a chair. I nearly broke the glass on the door because I was running so fast to get back inside," she said.

She had paid for a pest control company to come to her property, but claimed her neighbours are not helping.

“I actually saw neighbours feeding the rats,” she said.

“People need to get real and take responsibility.”

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Mohamad Harb, manager of Pro Shield Pest Control, said that rats often came from the same source.

“A lot of places that are close to industrial areas will have vegetation around the perimeter where rats are attracted to,” he said.

“These companies will have contracts though that require annual pest control which should take care of the matter.”

He said that Dubai Municipality has a range of measures to tackle the rodent population, but that tenants should take responsibility too.

“People should invest in rodent bait stations, they are small plastic boxes that can be placed on the floor with the bait inside it,” he said.

He added that a major attraction for rodents was waste.

“You need to make sure to keep the house clean and free of garbage as that attracts rodents,” he said.

Updated: January 5, 2019 02:23 PM

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