A rat for every person in the population?

Game devices full of rat Droppings, suspicious holes in the sand boxes, closed kindergartens and schools: this year a lot of rats seem to be noticeable to frolic in Germany.

When the rodents were in the middle of July in a Ludwig Burger, Kita wide, had to undress the children and teachers temporarily. Two of Cologne’s elementary schools were closed due to rat infestation. In North Rhine-Westphalia Dinslaken the rats in a kindergarten have provoked even a local scandal, because the city kept the attack secret, the “parent unsettle unnecessary”, as a spokesman for the city said.

Germany has a rat problem?

How many rats live in this country, no one knows. Reliable, nationwide statistics, there is not. However, the rats are messages piling up in some cities this year. In Hamburg alone there were by the end of July, 1050, informed the Institute for Hygiene and health on request.

In Berlin, the Situation seems to be much more dramatic: In the capital city of Hellersdorf, are alone dealt with in the district of Marzahn-1027 rats messages. According to the Landesamt für Gesundheit und Soziales (Lageso) have doubled the documented operations between 2013 and 2018, almost.

A plague could not be the speech. “The number of reported rat sightings are not an indication of the total number of rats,” said Dennis Krämer from the Federal office for health and consumer protection in Hamburg in the MIRROR. The reason for this is Not the number of rats in many places is increased, there are simply more people who report the animals to the authorities.

One rat per resident?

A persistent rumor, that per capita a rat lives in a city also. For Berlin, the more than 3.7 million rats would mean, for Hamburg, at least 1.8 million.

However, this theory is based on more than a hundred-year-old investigation. The British researchers William Richard Boelter was in 1909 that per Acre (equivalent to 4047 square meters) of a rat lives in. Britain was at the time 40 million Acres in size and happened to have 40 million inhabitants. Therefore, the Thesis comes to a rat per inhabitant.

A carrier of the disease

Ultimately, the exact number of rats is irrelevant, says Erik Schmolz by the Federal environment Agency. “It’s about the animals to get rid of.” A few specimens can be a Problem, because they can transfer pathogens, such as viruses, fungi, bacteria, and parasites.

The most famous of the plague bacterium, which plays in Europe, however, hardly a role. Far more common leptospiral and Seoul Hantavirus, which are also transmitted by rats are today. Victims suffer from flu-like symptoms, and pain in the head, neck and back. In very rare cases, can develop the infection is a life-threatening Sepsis, also known as blood poisoning.

In this years, at least 46 people in Germany are diagnosed with leptospirosis, show statistics from the Robert Koch Institute. At least 834 more have been infected with the Hanta-Virus. However, it is not clear whether the diseases are due solely to rats, except for you, mice are considered to be Vectors.

The rodents excrete the virus via saliva, urine or feces. People can be infected for example, if you are bitten or breathing dust that is contaminated with excretions of the animals. Alone because of the danger to the health of rats should be reported to the competent authorities.

This helps against the unpleasant roommate

So that the rats do not spread further, citizens should pay attention to their garbage disposal. “Improperly disposed of food are the biggest Problem,” stresses Kremer. Authorities in Germany recommend, therefore, food in public places are to allow or to throw in the already overflowing trash can. In addition no one food should flush down the toilet.

The rats cavort on private land, the owner is the pest responsible. Experts advise, however, to hire an exterminator. For public places, the city is responsible.

To combat put exterminator and a rat poison. In the poison bait contained substances to inhibit the blood coagulation. After a few days, the animals bleed to death internally. In order to protect Pets and children, experts recommend the poison traps in special boxes to interpret and fix, in addition. In addition, the area in the rats to be fought, it must be marked with signs.

It is important to dispose of the dead rats and the poison bait properly. The guidelines of the Hamburger rats regulation recommend to burn these. Otherwise, the chemicals are damaging to the environment. Researchers have found residual amounts of the Rattengifts including foxes, birds and even fish – from where you are on the food chain back to the plate to land.

Summarized: The number of rat reports is increasing in many places. A plague of rats there are in Germany, according to experts, but. Nevertheless, citizens are encouraged to dispose of their waste more carefully. For a pest control rat poison exterminators are responsible.