by a Thinker, Sailor, Blogger, Irreverent Guy from Madras

Why rats and mice flourish in Chennai

All over the world, one of the worst problems faced is rats and mice infestation in homes.  Whether the house is located in a metro, semi-urban or rural areas, rats and mice somehow find their way in.

About 2 years back, my apartment complex was overrun with rats slipping into my flat to build nests.  It was a horrible 2 weeks of trapping and killing the vermin.

While mulling about rat eradication and mice control and poking around for the reason mice and rats prefer a house or group of houses, I stumbled on one fine point, often overlooked.

The point being careless disposal or dispersal of food around the homes, and not maintaining a clean, hygienic environment, free of organic wastes - especially food waste and green waste.

In India at least, people wash the utensils and dishes in sinks, specifically designed balconies or on the ground space by the side of a house.  People, as yet, don’t use dishwashers or food waster grinders/disposers - chalk one more Carbon Credit Idea to me.  While they ensure the dishes are spin and span, without a speck, they aren’t so careful about the food waste that is washed off.

Such waste accumulates on the drain covers and attract the pests.  Even worse is the food thrown to the birds or stray dogs and cats as a distraction while feeding young children.

Today, an hour or so back, I happened across a spoonful of dal rice dropped in fun at a nearby apartment complex (not my own).  To my horror, a rat in broad daylight, sniffed out of a hole in the pavement nearby and merrily munched on the rice.  Score two on Pest Control Idea to me.

Watch the rat making trips to eat the dal rice.  I haven’t edited the background noise to show how unconcerned the rat was about the street noise, and movement, while I was standing 2 feet away.

Rat munching left over Dal Rice in broad daylight

Moral of the story:  If you are plagued by rats and mice, check your food waste disposal habits (and that of your neighbours in a city).

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