Why these fussy rats are taking over Stockholm

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Why these fussy rats are taking over Stockholm
Rats scale a bin in Stockholm. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Rats have taken over some of Stockholm and Sweden's most exclusive addresses, with the pest problem exploding in the country's capital city this year.


The number of rat-related incidents reported to the local municipality is up by 30 percent, with the invasion at its worst in the exclusive Östermalm district, newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) reports.

“Karlaplan is awful right now,” City of Stockholm pest coordinator Tommy Tuvunger told DN.

The expert explained that the rat invasion could be down to exterminators being forced to change the kind of poison they use, after the producer of an effective brand chose not to renew its licence.

The new kind is simply not as enticing to the rats, who have plenty of better dining options available.

“The rats can find so much else to eat – a real smorgasbord. What would you choose if you were a rat? A half-eaten hotdog or some poisoned grains of wheat?” Tuvunger said.

There have been around 740 rat complaints to the City of Stockholm in 2016, an increase of 30 percent on 2015. The number is expected to hit between 1000 and 1100 before the end of the year.

In June, Malmö experienced the full force of its own rat invasion when canals in the city’s central park filled up with the dead animals.

Dozens were found floating in the waters of Kungsparken and the Castle Garden after heavy rain caused urban drains to overflow.


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