Controlling Rodents

While rats and other rodents are a part of man’s environment, they are often not only hazardous to health but can also cause great damage to buildings, food, and other commodities. Apart from its nuisance value, rats are responsible for diseases like the Plague, Rat-bite fever, Salmonellosis (Food poisoning), etc.


Mumbai has remained an active port since historical times and hence has been in constant danger of Plague epidemics. During the Plague threat of 1994 in Mumbai, the Insecticide branch of MCGM had played a very important role in preventing the probable entry of Plague incidence in Mumbai.


The invention of an antiplague vaccine was done at the Municipal Rat Destruction Unit at Haffkine Institute, Parel. Regular sampling of various Rat species for ascertaining the Index of the vector flea and dissection to assess the susceptibility to plague bacilli are also carried out.


The common species of rats in Mumbai are:-

  • Rattus rattus :- House Rat
  • Rattus novergicus:- Sewer Rat
  • Bandicota bengalensis & Bandicota indica :- Field Rat
  • Mus musculus :- Mice.




The common methods of rat destruction are Physical and Chemical. Poison baiting is a method used to get rid of rats. The chemical used in the poison is called Zinc Phosphide (Zn3P2). The Zinc Phosphide is mixed with flour and rolled into small pellets. These pellets are dropped into rat holes. On eating the pellets, the rats are poisoned and helping eliminate the problem of rodents in society.

If the nuisance of rodents is reported by a society to the local civic body, the MCGM supplies rat traps to the society.

Additionally Night Rat Killing is a unique method of rat control used only in Mumbai. At night, Rat Killers roam the streets of Mumbai with bamboo sticks to personally exterminate rats. Each rat killer has a target of 30 rats per month. If a Rat Killer catches more than thirty, he is rewarded with Rs. 11/- per extra rat.


Source: This information was obtained from the MCGM