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Pest control

Rats on the rise in big cities

Published måndag 6 augusti 2012 kl 11.40
Rat exterminations skyrocketing. Photo: Maja Suslin/Scanpix

Rats are a growing problem in Sweden. So far this year the exterminating company Anticimex has responded to 18,000 calls to remove the pesky rodents. That is almost as many calls Anticimex received in all of 2006, reports Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter. The rodents are most prevalent in the big cities.

The number of rat exterminations performed by Anticimex has gone up 48 percent between 2006 and 2011. In Stockholm there was a 79-percent increase during that period.

Why rat populations are on the rise stymies Anticimex. Large construction projects and food left out in parks tend to bring out the rats.

But while they're usually spotted in garbage collection rooms and courtyards, now they're being seen in apartments several storeys up.

"Rats are really good at climbing and swimming. And they're fantastic at getting through small holes. A two centimeter opening is all that's needed for a grown rat," Anna Engwall, a group supervisor at Anticimex, told Dagens Nyheter.

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