As Paris announces the closure of several public parks in an attempt to control its rising rat population, the question on everyone’s lips is whether London will do the same.
Parks including the Champs de Mars, famous for being home to the Eiffel Tower, have been closed in an extreme move by authorities to tackle to the level of rats in France’s capital as numbers continue to increase.
Paris and London Rats
Rats are attracted to London for the very same reasons that they are attracted to Paris. Both cities are built on rivers and the plentiful buildings and expansive sewers all provide the rats with ideal nesting places. On top of this, there is a constant supply of waste food from restaurants, take ways, people eating on the go or picnicking in parks.
With over 6 million rats in Paris, with around the same number in London, there are 2.5 rats for every person living in the French city. Hence the reason why authorities have declared it time to take action and deployed an extensive and aggressive rat control treatment plan.
As well as park closures, exits to sewers have been blocked off, bait has been laid to trap the rats and rat proof bins have been installed in public areas. In addition, there is also a movement to clear rubbish off the streets in as little time as possible and people are being urged not to feed rats or pigeons in order to limit the amount of food on the ground.
Rat Control, Not Eradication
Paris authorities admit that total eradication is unrealistic but that they are aiming to lower the number rats radically to eliminate occurrences such as the one documented in Tulieries Gardens in front of the Louvre, where photos showed giant rats congregating in close proximity to the locals and tourists that the prestigious area attracts.
These measures will also lessen the number of rats that access Parisian buildings, be them offices or flats. Paris and London are home to many extremely old buildings that can be damaged when rats choose to nest inside them.
Risks of Rats to Parisians and Londoners
Unfortunately the playful image of rats created by the 2007 film of Ratatouille, which saw a cute little rat cooking in a top Parisian restaurant, is not at all in line with the risks that rats cause to human health.
Famous for carrying the bubonic plague that killed millions in the Middle Ages, rat continue to carry a wealth of nasty diseases, some of which can lead to kidney and liver failure. Apart from the damage they can do to your Paris or London home, or the fact that they breed at an astounding rate, their incontinence means that your home or office will be contaminated without you even being aware of it, putting you and others at serious risk.
It will be interesting to see if the radical rat control measures taken by the French authorities will have the desired effect, and to see if London will follow in their footsteps.
Author: This article was written by Dean Mannion, Senior Pest Control Technician for Top Dog Pest Control who provide London rat control services.