JEDDAH — Citizens have called for new methods to combat an alarming increase of rats in Jeddah, especially at the beach.

Answering a Saudi Gazette question about the estimated number of rats in the city, Jeddah Municipality spokesman Mohammad Al-Bugami said a female rat can give birth to up to litters of eight rats, five to seven times a year.

Baby rats become independent within one month, he said. Norwegian rats are mainly spreading in different locations of Jeddah, especially in storage areas, said Al-Bugami.
He believed that rats increase in numbers due to the environment of Jeddah, which offers different locations that allow the rodents to breed in huge numbers.

The municipality, he added, combats the rats using mousetraps through weekly tours at different locations where they breed heavily.

The municipality also focuses on removing garbage as it helped reduce the number of rodents in northern areas of Jeddah and in the historic Balad area.

Awareness efforts are also needed to educate the public on disposing of their rubbish responsibly, he said.