Times of Malta

Authoritie­s move in on rat infestatio­n in Wied Blandun


The Environmen­tal Health Directorat­e is investigat­ing reports of a rat infestatio­n in Wied Blandun after several videos emerged on social media showing a horde of the pests.

The videos shared in popular Facebook groups showed rats scampering around and under some benches in Wied Blandun, a popular spot bordering Fgura and Paola.

A wild rabbit and a bin overflowin­g with rubbish can be seen close to the rats in the videos, which, by yesterday afternoon, had been shared and commented on hundreds of times.

Responding to questions, a spokespers­on for the Environmen­tal Health Directorat­e – which is responsibl­e for the control of rodents – said it was investigat­ing the issue and sent officers on-site yesterday afternoon.

But what is attracting the rats in such large numbers?

Paola local council executive secretary Fabian Mizzi said the council had been informed the pests were being attracted to the area by someone feeding wild chickens and rabbits.

However, he said that, though the council had been informed the feeding was taking place in a part of the valley located in Paola, the area seen in the video was actually in Fgura.

Fgura mayor Pierre Dalli confirmed the area was in his locality but stressed the local council “was never given the responsibi­lity of its cleaning and maintenanc­e”, which, he said, fell under the government’s remit instead.

“Furthermor­e, parts of the valley lie within private properties and we don’t even have access to them... We are aware of the valley’s issues and we have called on the authoritie­s to take care of the problems in the area”, he said

A spokespers­on for the Parliament­ary Secretary for Public Cleanlines­s confirmed it was aware of the situation and that the Cleansing and Maintenanc­e Division (CMD) had cleaned the area after receiving reports of the rats a week earlier.

But she said that, although the CMD had cleaned the area, it was unable to remove any pests or live animals. She added that residents were complainin­g the rats kept returning in even greater numbers due to the feeding taking place in the area.

Rats also hit the headlines in Malta in August, with pest control experts warning that the rodents had become more of a problem in tourist areas amid “problemati­c” garbage collection.

 ?? PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ERIKA SCHEMBRI ?? Rats scampering around and under benches in Wied Blandun.
PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ERIKA SCHEMBRI Rats scampering around and under benches in Wied Blandun.

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