by LÃ©may Rogers
A few weeks ago ETV News aired a story about entrepreneurs in Alexandra, Gauteng who are making shoes out of rats.
The first thing that came to mind was; how safe was it to wear these shoes? Is the fur washed to kill any parasites and insects that might be living in the fur? Was this really such a good idea?
Upon reflection on this a few days later Iâ€™ve changed my stance on this story. I need to commend the entrepreneurs on taking a challenge and turning it into a business.
Over the years there have been many news stories about the rat problem in Alexandra. Think about it. This is a densely populated area with dwelling of all shapes and sizes that are not always built from conventional building materials. There are homes that arenâ€™t properly â€œsealedâ€ and with rats being able to flatten their bodies to fit through small openings, you have the risk of having rats in your home. According to Lund M (1994:23 – 43, “Rodent pests and their control”), young rats can easily squeeze through openings of less than 25mm.
Rubbish is also not always stored correctly before it is collected. Hence there is an abundant food source in this area which will encourage the rats to stay and breed. Did you know that rats eat approximately one tenth of their body weight each day? (Meehan, A.P. 1984).
Even if you, as a resident, keep your rubbish in a bin that can close, you proof your house as best you can, you buy rat poison and limit food sources, you still have many people living around you that donâ€™t. So the chances of controlling the infestation is slim to none. See more tips on what you can do to get rid of rats in your home.
I should really say thank you to these entrepreneurs for helping us control the rat population in their own way and shake off the concerns and chills this topic originally gave me. I believe we should also follow suit. In every way we can we should be helping to educate the community about rats and how they can protect their homes against these hazardous pests.
As a side note, I do really hope though that the shoes are treatedâ€¦