The St. Ann Health Department is acknowledging that there is an increase in reports of rat infestation in Ocho Rios and other parts of St Ann.
Chief Public Health Inspector for St. Ann, Leroy Scott says the fact that rats were being reportedly seen in the daytime in some common areas was of concern as this meant an excess of the rodents.
Mr. Scott was speaking at the monthly meeting of the St. Ann Municipal Corporation on Thursday, April 11, in St. Ann’s Bay.
Responding to a question by a Councilor if there was an increased rodent infestation in the communities, Mr. Scott said there were increased reports but he was not sure whether the numbers of the rodents have increased.
The Chief Public Health Inspector said the increased reports of the presence of rats could reflect the fact that food waste was not being disposed of properly. He had made the same point in the meeting in March, about poor waste disposal in Ocho Rios. He said that rats were being seen in areas where they would not normally be expected, including around the clock, on main street in the centre of the resort town.
He reminded the meeting that last month he had stated that “We are observing the presence of rats in areas which we would not normally have expected to see them.”
In reference to rats being seen in these common areas including in Ocho Rios, near the clock, he noted that “rats are harbored particularly in common areas where food is not properly managed.”
Mr. Scott said rats are “normally nocturnal animals that come out at night to feed…if you see them during the day it means there is an excess number and that they are competing so much for food that they have to come out during the day.”
The Council did not take a position on what to do about the increased reports of rodents.