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Fears over Crawl Hill rat numbers

Rats will always be with us, but enough is enough for one Crawl resident: “They’re not even afraid when you see them,” the woman told The Royal Gazette, of the rodents around Sleepy Hollow Drive.

Charging that the rat population has soared in recent months, she reported seeing well-fed rats “waddling” around the area in daylight, eschewing poisoned bait to climb into the neighbour’s trash.

“Whatever they’re doing, it’s not working,” she said. “It sounds crazy, but it looks like it’s gotten worse since the number of feral cats went down.”

She queried whether shooting was an option, as is occasionally used to dispose of feral chickens.

Earlier this month, a short video circulating on social media, showing a rat enjoying a meal of loquats, got mixed reactions from locals — largely less than enamoured.

While rats find their share of natural food, a government spokeswoman advised residents to contact waste management for tips on lidded waste bins, and to put out trash only on collection days.

Contrary to popular belief, she said, the presence of feral cats can lead to a greater rat population, as cat food attracts rats.

The inspector for Hamilton Parish reported weekly monitoring of the area of Sleepy Hollow and Rocky Lane, where “no abnormal rat activity” has been found.

Poison is the method of choice for Vector Control, and a property owner can call to reopen a job, submit a new complaint or gets tips on keeping the rats away.