A city pest control company has been ‘run off its feet’ over recent weeks dealing with rat infestations – and has asked the public to take special care with their bins and not to leave any waste lying around.
The double attraction of warmth and food has led to a seasonal explosion in the city’s rat population – but this Winter the problem has been reported as “worse than ever seen before”.
Cathal Dockery, proprietor of the Westpest service in Shantalla, told the Galway City Tribune that over the past six weeks the company had been ‘run off its feet’ with business.
“We genuinely never have been as busy and the problem with nearly all our callers is rats. I don’t think that it’s a weather thing – it’s just their seasonal move towards heat and food as wintertime approaches,” said Mr Dockery.
He said that a key factor in the control of the rodents was in the tidy maintenance of bins and waste food.
“Rats will always gravitate towards food,” he said.
The Westpest boss said that in a city context, one of the main problems facing householders is that while they might be keeping their bins and waste secure and tidy, their neighbours down the road might not.
A key ‘tool’ in the Westpest detection of rats is a specially-trained Jack Russell dog, who can scent out the rodents immediately after arriving on site.
“One piece of advice for householders who suspect that they have a rat or rats in their house, is not to put down bait inside in the house. The smell of a dead rat in a house can be absolutely horrendous,” said Mr Dockery.
Where rats are found to be in a residence or business, the pest company set traps for the rodents to ensure that the ‘remains’ can be removed from the property.
They also carry out detailed surveys of properties to identify the potential entry points for the rodents.
The city – with its huge influx of students for the Winter season – is considered a high-risk rat infestation area. Areas with high tenant populations of young people tend to have less emphasis on bin and waste control.
“Another thing for residents to watch out for is any type of renovation or building work being carried out, especially in relation to drainage or sewers. If the nesting area is disturbed then the rats will move on.
“A city like Galway with its network of pipes, drains and waterworks is a natural gathering ground for rats. Every so often, the population seems to explode, and this winter is one of those times,” said Mr Dockery.
If you see a rat close to your house in daylight hours, you can be guaranteed that there is a rodent problem nearby. They rarely venture out during daylight hours unless there’s a large colony nearby, according to Westpest.
€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms
Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.
The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.
A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.
Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.
Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.
Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.
The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.
“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.
“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”
Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.
“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.
The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools
Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.
“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.
“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.
A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.