Tag Archives: RAt Control

Gambian Pouch Rats Population Rises Again In Florida Keys

HuffingtonPost.com: Gambian Pouch Rats Population Rises Again In Florida Keys

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and U.S. Department of Agriculture officials are battling an invasive species in the Keys they thought they got rid of years ago: Gambian rats — giant rodents the size of cats.

The outbreak started around 2000, when a Keys resident who breed the 9-pound rats released 6 or 7, according to FWC. Ten years ago, they were often imported from their native Africa as pets until they were banned after a Monkey Pox outbreak in 2003.

The half dozen loose multiplied quickly. The FWS says they can have 5 litters in 9 months with an average of 4 young per litter.

Animal Planet says female Gambian rats average 30 newborn rats every year. Watch the Animals Planet video on the rats below.

“We thought we had them whipped as of 2009,” Scott Hardin, FWC’s exotic-species coordinator, told KeysNet. “In the early part of 2011, a resident e-mailed me and said he saw one of the rats. We were skeptical but went back and talked to people and [saw] there were rats that we missed.”

Hardin says they’ve caught 20 since then through peanut butter and cantaloupe-laced traps in Grassy Key residents’ backyards, reports KeyNet.

When officials began a targeted campaign to kill rampant Gambian rats in the Keys in 2007, their bodies and fecal matter were tested for any trace of Monkey Pox.

When none tested positive, Gary Witmer, a biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Wildlife Research Center, told Reuters, “We’re lucky that’s the case. They sure can bite.”

Although this particularly dense population of Gambian rats is regulated to Grassy Key, about 60 miles north of Key West, the rodents have made plenty of headlines around the world.

Last year, Gambian rats killed and ate two infants in a horrendous incident in South Africa, where they are breed as food.

Also last year, a public works employee speared a giant Gambian rat with his pitchfork in public housing in the Bronx. The gruesome picture quickly went viral on the web.

A few months later, another was spotted in a Bronx Foot Locker.

Woman Hospitalized For 17 Days After Kissing Pet Rats

Let this be a lesson to all, no kissing pet rats!

FOXNews.com: Woman Hospitalized For 17 Days After Kissing Pet Rats

An Australian woman who kissed and cuddled her pet rodents was admitted to the intensive care unit with rat bite fever.

An article by South Australian Pathology employees, in Monday’s Medical Journal of Australia (MJA), said the 26-year-old office worker spent 17 days in the Royal Adelaide Hospital last year after she contracted the potentially deadly condition, more properly known as streptobacillus moniliformis infection.

Co-author of the article and infectious diseases physician Dr. Narin Bak said the woman was admitted to the intensive care unit with severe headache and fever and developed severe pneumonitis and meningitis (inflammation of the lungs and brain).

“This condition was more prevalent in the past and is associated with slums and poor living conditions,” Bak said.

The woman, who has since fully recovered, was not bitten, but said she had liked to kiss and cuddle her two pets.

“As this case demonstrates, a bite is not necessary for infection. Close contact with rodents may be sufficient,” the MJA report said.

The Australian Veterinary Association and health officials said good hygiene, particularly hand washing, is important after contact with pets.


GIANT Rat Found Inside Foot Locker

Checkout this great article from Thegothamist.com. It’s about a giant rat that was found in a Foot Locker in the Bronx. It won’t disappoint, I promise.

Giant Rat Found Inside Of A Foot Locker In The Bronx

By Jen Carlson

A couple days ago someone Tweeted this photo of a giant monster rat, discovered at a Foot Locker in the Bronx. You might recognize this guy, as he bears a striking resemblance to the 3-foot-long beast that was stabbed with a pitchfork in Brooklyn last year. That one was believed to be a Gambian pouched rat, and may have been someone’s escaped pet. However, it wasn’t the first one spotted in that area, and locals believed they were multiplying faster than Gremlins taking a bath.

With this spotting in the Bronx, we think it’s safe to say this superbreed of mutant rat is priming for a takeover of the five boroughs (everyone grab some Mountain Dew). Was there anything in that Mayan prophecy about rodents?

Contact the author of this article or email tips@gothamist.com with further questions, comments or tips.

FDA Warns Delta After Discovering Rodent Waste On Plane

FDA Warns Delta After Discovering Rodent Waste On Plane

By Peter Loftus

U.S. health regulators told Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) to demonstrate that it is properly cleaning its planes following the discovery of rodent waste on a plane in Atlanta earlier this year.

The Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter to the airline on April 13, saying: “We believe a recurrence is likely without adequate preventive measures in place.” The letter was posted on the FDA website this week.

The FDA conducted an inspection of a Delta aircraft between late January and early February to determine whether it complied with requirements that food-preparation areas remain clean and free from flies, rodents and other vermin.

According to the FDA letter, the agency found numerous “rodent excreta pellets” near areas of the plane where food is prepared by flight personnel. Some of the pellets were located above door panels in the forward galley and above passenger seats.

Another finding cited in the letter: “Rodent excreta pellets (too numerous to count) in three areas in ceiling panels located in the middle cross over galley G2, which is directly over places where food and drinks are stored in the aircraft.” The FDA also found “mammalian urine” on ceiling panels of the plane.

Delta told the agency in late January it was taking actions to exterminate the rodent infestation on the aircraft, according to the FDA letter. But the agency said the Delta response didn’t include actions the airline “is taking to prevent future rodent infestations.”

The agency instructed Delta to take prompt actions to correct the violations. It must respond within 15 working days of receiving the FDA letter, the agency said.

Rodent waste can transmit to humans a virus that causes hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a rare but potentially deadly disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a written statement, Delta called the rodent-waste discovery “an isolated incident and we cooperated with the FDA immediately to resolve it earlier this year.” The company said it has an established routine servicing program to inspect its aircraft. Delta said the health and safety of customers and employees are its top priority.