Rats Surry Hills
Rats Surry Hills

Empty bars and eateries attract hordes of hungry rats

Brazen rats are scurrying to city fringe suburbs in search of food because their usual source of restaurant scraps is off the menu during lockdown.

The closure of city bars and restaurants and the retreat by humans indoors has forced the rodents to come out of hiding.

The closure of city bars and restaurants and the retreat by humans indoors has forced the rodents to come out of hiding. Picture: Bill Hearne
The closure of city bars and restaurants and the retreat by humans indoors has forced the rodents to come out of hiding. Picture: Bill Hearne

These brown were captured feasting on discarded rubbish in Goodlet, St Surry Hills in the early hours of Thursday morning.

It is now a common scene around Sydney, according to rat catcher Steve Beale from Insight pest control.

"They're everywhere," he said. "They are definitely on the increase because we have had extra rodent inquiries."

An unusually high number of Rats were seen scurrying around gardens at Goodlet Street, Surry Hills. Picture: Bill Hearne
An unusually high number of Rats were seen scurrying around gardens at Goodlet Street, Surry Hills. Picture: Bill Hearne

He said residents in suburbs around the city and those in the eastern suburbs had reported an increase in sightings.

Paul Errington from Inner West Pest Control said rats are invading homes in a desperate search for food.

"Because of the lockdown (and) the lack of food they are foraging harder," he said.

Another Surry Hills rat. Picture: Bill Hearne
Another Surry Hills rat. Picture: Bill Hearne

University of Sydney rat expert Peter Banks said our absence meant rats were taking to the streets in broad daylight.

"People are reporting them being a little bit bolder," he said.

A City of Sydney spokeswoman said the number of rats being caught in their traps had more than doubled between February and March. "In February, (the traps) captured 53 rodents. In March, this number increased to 128," she said.

A brown rat, also known as the common sewer rat, enjoying a night out feasting in Surry Hills. Picture: Bill Hearne
A brown rat, also known as the common sewer rat, enjoying a night out feasting in Surry Hills. Picture: Bill Hearne

Micropest owner Gerard Dallow said he had seen a 10 per cent spike in rat infestation inquiries in suburbs including Broadway, Darlinghurst, Haymarket and Surry Hills.

Originally published as Empty bars and eateries attract hordes of hungry rats


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