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rats and housing issues
  ACES pest control is often asked to work with either the tenant or the landlord on the issue of rodent control. ACES provides online payment meaning the landlord doesnt have to be present to make payment at the appointment date.    Tenant with rats in walls can't afford to move     A woman living in a Wellington flat with rats in the walls says the Prime Minister's view that soaring rental prices are a sign of "success" is stupid and ridiculous. A social housing provider said the shortage in the capital was the worst it had been. Yet Prime Minister Bill English remains steadfast that there is no housing crisis. Rental prices shot up 7 percent last year in Wellington to a median of $480 a week. At the same time, the number of properties available for rent plunged. Wellington's prices are just shy of Auckland's. When asked if he was concerned that a queue of prospective renters lined up outside a flat in Wellington at the weekend, Mr English said the heated Wellington rental market was a "problem of success". The rental squeeze was a concern for people looking for accommodation in the capital, but he believed the Wellington City Council understood the problem, he said. "I hope they [the council] are working hard to enable the development that's needed," he said. "Wellington hasn't experienced pressure on its housing market for quite a long time. And as long as they respond quickly, they'll be able to deal with it." Mr English maintained housing was not as big an issue as some said. "No, I don't think there's a housing crisis". A renter from the suburb of Brooklyn said she, her partner and their newborn baby live in a house with rats in the walls. She said it was covered in black mould when they moved in. They could not afford something better so were reluctantly renewing their lease. RatsA Brooklyn renter says she is living with rodents because she can't afford to move. Photo: 123RF For that reason she asked RNZ not to use her name. When asked what she made of Mr English's comment, she said, "Success for whom?" "We went to a whole bunch of open homes and you just see so many people that are in similar situations to us, or have more kids, it's just impossible. "Is the city, are the councillors, successful because a whole bunch of people in their city can't find a place to live? It's just stupid." Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said Mr English's comment showed he was out of touch. "This is a housing market that is beginning to look like Auckland and some of the other markets around the country - it's enriching landlords, speculators and those who own their own homes, but it's impoverishing everyone else, including the half of the population that are renters. "This is not good news," Mr Twyford said. At a public meeting on renting in Wellington last night, social housing provider Dwell chief executive Alison Cadman said there was a housing need in Wellington when she started the job 13 years ago. "I hoped at that time I'd stand here 13 years later, today, and say things are better - but they're just a whole lot worse," she told the meeting, which was organised by the Labour Party. "On top of being a whole lot worse, I just think the stories are a lot sadder and a lot more complex as well." Ms Cadman said since 2001 the Wellington region had lost more than 1200 social houses. The region was going backwards "big-time", she said. by Benedict Collins

big decline in rats
New traps trigger big decline in rats at Pelorus   Gas triggered traps are being used to trap rats at the Bat Recovery Project at Pelorus Bridge scenic reserve. Gas-powered traps have triggered a "dramatic decline" in rat numbers in the Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve, conservationists say. The 60 automatic traps, which can automatically reset up to 24 times, were introduced to the Pelorus catchment five weeks ago.  The Pelorus Bridge reserve is home to a critically endangered population of long-tailed bats.  Te Hoeire Bat Recovery Project manager Debs Martin said there had been a big drop off in rat density in the area where the traps had been used compared to the control area  within the Pelorus catchment where no traps were placed. The team had not collated exact numbers, but would have more data after the next check up in mid-October.  Martin said the lure inside the trap only needed replacing once every six months, making it an economic way of pest trapping. Once the animal is killed, it falls from the trap, which is then reset. One of the Goodnature A24 traps cost $130. That was more expensive than other traps, but they needed frequent checking.  "Cost weighed up against effectiveness and need for frequent checking, especially during a rat plague," Martin said. It took the team of three members two hours to attach the traps to trees spaced 100 meters apart in the 200 hectare trapping area. The traps were placed 900mm up trees so weka were not caught.  "Weka are really inquisitive ... but the weka would have to fly up and extend their necks straight up to get into it.  "They're just not that agile." Martin said they did not know exactly how many bats were in the catchment, but estimated there were at least two or three colonies.  The bat recovery project aimed to create a predator-free Pelorus catchment that would help other species as well. "We know that the bats really like the Pelorus catchment, we don't really know why, although we suspect there's still some big old big grand trees that are in that catchment and there's so much that hasn't been cut down." Martin said the group would eventually like to see the reintroduction of some species, such as the blue duck, kākāriki, robins, toutouwai and ultimately the great spotted kiwi.   MARION VAN DIJK

pest control auckland rats; rat exterminator north shore
Pest control reports high surge in rat infestations in Ireland   reland's rat population has exploded. As many as 4 out of 5 jobs for Pest controllers this season are rat- Fears are growing that Ireland's rat population has exploded, as pest control experts report the number of vermin-infested households across the country has soared to unprecedented levels. Pest controllers have noted an unusual surge in the number of call-outs for rodent-infested homes over the summer months, with as many as four out of five jobs over the season being rat-related. The problem has become so widespread that in recent weeks some pest control companies ran out of specialist equipment and supplies to tackle rat infestations. Experts believe the sharp spike in vermin-related cases is due to a combination of increased building work, a rise in fly-tipping and the mild weather of last winter. Trevor Hayden, who runs nationwide company Complete Pest Control, said his team has been tackling multiple rat-infested households every single day this year, the first time this has happened. "In the past rats have generally been a problem for householders mainly in the winter months, but this year there has been no let-up at all since the start of the year, and that's something that's never happened before,” he said. "We've had rat jobs every single day of the year and over the summer months we've been getting between 15 and 20 calls a day for rats, which represents about 80 percent of our business. You'd normally expect ants and wasps to be the dominant pest in summer, but this time it's been rats that have been causing most havoc.” Hayden, who works with the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use, has previously voiced his concerns about the increased size of rats, caused by rodents growing immune to conventional poison. He said he believes the spread of vermin in Irish homes has been accelerated by failed home treatments which have helped rats grow bigger and stronger, as well as building up their immunity.   Nick Bramhill