Dog packs are being sent to flood areas to catch rodents the 'size of possums'.
Dog packs are being sent to flood areas to catch rodents the 'size of possums'.

Giant rats invade Goodna

A PLAGUE of over-sized rats has invaded Goodna, with rodents the size of possums now thriving in parts of the flood-ravaged suburb.

Ipswich City Council has already reacted to the vermin explosion and is planning to use a fox-terrier canine force to hunt down and kill the rats.

The vermin have doubled in numbers since January’s flood and, with the cooler weather setting in, are now nesting in people’s homes.

Goodna resident Keiron Butler said there had been a surge in rats on his property.

“Some are as big as possums, they’re massive things,” Mr Butler said.

“My greyhounds have caught a few big ones.

“With so many abandoned properties around and mess everywhere, rats are bound to thrive.”

Des Ryan, owner of Savige Pest Control, which services the Ipswich region, said he had clients whose homes had lost power because rats had chewed through electrical wiring.

“They’re scavengers,” Mr Ryan said.

“They eat anything and there’s so much around Goodna because of the flood for them to eat.

“I’ve seen some big ones around there. In winter they come into people’s ceilings and so now people are noticing them a lot more.

“One of my friends is a dry cleaner in Ipswich who’s had a lot of people bringing in clothes soiled from rats.”

The primary species of rats in Ipswich are the brow, or sewer rat, and the roof, or black rat.

Goodna councillor Paul Tully said it was hoped the fox terrier dogs would be in Goodna within two weeks.

“Rats have become a real problem in flooded areas and the fox terriers are a great way of getting rid of them,” Cr Tully said.

Redbank Plains resident Ian Henderson said he had not had a rat in his home in a decade, until last week.

“I heard noises in the walls and thought surely rats haven’t come in, but there were actually a few of them in there,” he said.

Mr Henderson called pest eradication company 1300 Pest Control to bait the rats.

That company’s CEO Paul Byres said their rodent jobs in the wider Goodna region had doubled since March.

“All properties should have a rodent protection program because of the significant dangers of rodents, which include spreading disease,” Mr Byres said.