In a bid to be environmentally friendly, owls were introduced to the area to hunt rats; rat cages were given to select households – and most recently a bucket system has been introduced.
“A bucket trap is put in a hole surrounded by refuse. Bait is placed on a lid that spins whenever a rat walks on it. Rats then get caught inside the bucket and will be gassed,” said Danny Mauwane, environmental health practitioner for the city.
Initially 190 rat cages were set up in private homes, but that number has grown to 340. Over 26 257 rats had been caught using the cages since 2012.
Four owl boxes were set up at Minerva High School, Iphuteng and Zenzeleni schools in Alexandra. The city partnered with EcoSolutions to set up the owl boxes at a cost of R930 per box and R390 for annual maintenance.