The director of the Son Reus animal protection centre, Pedro Morell, recognises that there are more rats on Palma streets and that this is because the city is dirtier. He says that over the past four or five years rats have been coming to the surface because more food is available than in the sewers. The food accumulates around rubbish containers and litter bins.
Certain parts of the city are most affected, e.g. Nou Llevant, Son Gotleu and an area of Son Roca. In Son Gotleu, a video has been circulating on social media which shows numbers of rats by containers. Morrell adds that abandoned plots, both public and private, are other places where rats proliferate.
He explains that his department has done what it can to solve the problem, but notes that is cannot put raticide down in public areas. The city needs to be cleaner, he states, and that means more cleaning and people creating less mess.
The town hall has received 31 calls so far this month about rats. In May there were 97, an increase of 73% over last May but almost identical to May 2017, when there were 99.
By contrast, there have been fewer calls about cockroaches. The May figure was 107. In May 2018 it was 167 and the year before 222. There have also been fewer alerts regarding mosquitoes. Morell puts this down to sewer treatment three times a year.