Fight against rodents continues Number of rats in Bonn not decreasing
For a year now, the City of Bonn and Deutsche Bahn have been taking concerted action against the rat infestation at the main railway station. However, not much has changed since then.
It was a scene in a Bonn playground: in broad daylight, a rat snatched a sandwich from a paper bag lying unguarded in a bicycle basket and disappeared into the bushes. This can happen anywhere in Bonn, and the rodent population was and is particularly large around Bonn's main railway station. And so annoying that the city, Deutsche Bahn and the previous owner of the disused multi-storey car park on Quantiusstraße wanted to work together to counteract the problem.
Car park at the centre of the rat infestation
This is because this multi-storey car park has been identified as one of the central locations for the rat infestation in the city centre. Soon, this problem will be solved by demolishing the dilapidated structure, as reported. The construction of a new multi-storey car park on the same site will make life difficult for the rats there for the time being. But in many other places in Bonn, this fight is proving to be a Sisyphean task. There is still a rat infestation, according to the press office.
Controlling the situation with bait
That is why little has changed in the city's response to enquiries on the subject: Controlling the situation with bait in the sewers is a plan that will continue. In the meantime, the city has implemented the plan to use bait boxes that allow for digital monitoring. This should provide information about the number of rats. However, since the animals find plenty of food in rubbish bins and litter lying around, the company commissioned to monitor the poisonous baits has so far been able to detect few infestations. The city works together with restaurateurs and grocers, and bonnorange cleans the area around the main railway station daily.
Rats run across Kaiserplatz
But the problem is still there, despite all the bait boxes distributed throughout the city. And with two to three rats per inhabitant, it won't be so easy to get rid of either - one dead rat on Bottlerplatz should not give cause for much hope. The pest has also been a recurring presence on Kaiserplatz. In shops like the Bacher health food store it is not so noticeable, but the staff there also see it as a problem.
The animals cause more trouble for the restaurateurs on the square, who all have an outdoor area. In the evenings from 6 p.m. onwards, you can see more of them at the fountain, says Alberto, an employee at the Eiscafé am Kaiserplatz - La Fontana Bonn. "They hide under the bookshop. When it's quiet, they sometimes come out and run across the lawn." The guests would also observe this. "I've had three guests complain and say they won't come back." In any case, he has not seen any improvement since last year.
Deutsche Bahn will remove hedge
From the point of view of Deutsche Bahn AG, the situation has hardly improved either. "There are relatively few rats on the platforms and in the station itself," says a spokesperson. A hedge on platform one near the bicycle parking area has been identified as a collection point, where additional bait has been placed so far. "We will soon remove the hedge and compact the soil at the site." This should prevent the rats from settling, he says. Railways and the city, he says, are trying to coordinate their measures. But one thing is clear, he says: "Wherever people live and rubbish is created, there are rats."
IF YOU NOTICE RATS
What citizens can do
Rats can carry diseases and also react aggressively, so people should stay away from them. The same goes for dogs: where rats live, they should not drink from puddles. Anyone who sees the animals can contact the public order office. According to the press office, the city investigates all reports of rat infestation in public areas and, if necessary, commissions a specialist company to combat the rats. The City of Bonn's Public Order Office accepts reports online: The corresponding page on www.bonn.de can be found under the search term "Rattenbekämpfungsmeldungen" (rat control reports). Telephone calls can be made to ☎ 0228 / 77 25 45, or in the case of reports of rat infestation in sewers, directly to the civil engineering office: ☎ 0228 / 77 4140. Otherwise, the city appeals to citizens to dispose of their rubbish properly and not to flush food scraps down the toilet into the sewage system.
Original text: Stefan Knopp Translation: Mareike Graepel