Brisbane rodent problem is closer than you think


Black and white rat
Brisbane suburbs Inala, Camp Hill and Coorparoo all experience constant rat problems. Photo: Kim Sheridan

Brisbane residents are never more than ten metres away from a rat, a local expert has said.

Associate Professor at UQ’s School of Agriculture, Dr Luke Leung said Brisbane’s subtropical climate would always suit a rodent lifestyle.

“They are everywhere in Brisbane. People see them crossing roads but they don’t usually like to come down to the ground, they like to climb trees and stay in dark places,” Dr Leung said.

“People don’t like to live with rats but, on average, people in Brisbane might be no more than ten metres away from a rat. They have rats living in roof spaces, or in between their walls, sometimes they can hear them.”

Brisbane City Council has reported they have received more than 3500 rat complaints in the last two years.  Ten suburbs were identified as being the most problematic with rodents. 

Inala topped the list with more than 21 complaints about rodents between the 2016-17 financial year.

Bracken Ridge, Camp Hill and Coorparoo also had a high number of complaints.

Other popular suburbs to feature in the top ten included Sunnybank Hills, Aspley, Holland Park and Tingalpa.

The Brisbane City Council’s Lifestyle and Community Services chairman Matthew Burke said the council frequently monitored the activity of rodents on public property.

“The Council monitors more than 1000 sites for rodent activity, based on the complaints we receive and our knowledge on rodent hotspots,” Mr Burke said.

“Since the bubonic plague arrived in Brisbane, council has used rodent-detection dogs to sniff out rodents in public areas. In the 1920s, it was not uncommon for the council to catch up to 50,000 rodents in a year.”

However, Dr Luke Leung worried that the council’s use of dogs was an ineffective practise.

“I think they need to start measuring the effectiveness of their rat controlling exercise and evaluate whether they are really reducing the problems rodents cause,” Dr Leung said.

Residents concerned about rodents can contact the council on 3403 8888.


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