Demand For Pest Control Up 70% In Chile

Rats, spiders and cockroaches thrive after earthquake

An influx of rats and spiders after the earthquake have caused a boom in pet control business. Janice Wu, Santiago Times

The number of pests in Chile has gone through the roof, causing up to 70 percent increased demand for pest control services. The most unwanted houseguests are rats, cockroaches and spiders.
President of the Chilean Association of Pest Control Companies (Achicpla), Juan Carlos Acuña, said that in the months before the winter there is usually an increase in the presence of rodents, which “migrate” from patios and gardens to the houses to keep warm.
Acuna said this habitual behavior combined with the collapse of houses from the earthquake has seen the rat population expand more than usual.
Juan Pablo Jamett, general manager of Desan, said that the quake also triggered an increase in spiders.
“The spiders are present throughout the year and generally become more visible in spring, but the movements of the earth have made them appear now,” he said.
According to experts, the presence of pests in Chile is directly proportional to the intensity of the earthquake in the area. Cities such as Chillán, Curico, Talca and Concepción are facing major problems, especially because of rodents.
“After the earthquake one would think the pest population would be severely affected in the areas hardest hit, but we found quite the opposite happened,” said Claudio Vargas, operations manager of Truly Nolen.
In the metropolitan area, communities with higher demand for pest control services are Ñuñoa, Providencia, La Reina, Peñalolén, Paine, Buin, Renca and Huechuraba.
Although anyone can try to exterminate a pest, authorities recommend using companies with quality certification. In the metropolitan area there are over 200 businesses authorized by the Regional Secretariat of Health. It is a highly competitive market with the largest bills (for factories and offices) reaching up to thousands of dollars a month.
Experts say traps and poison are the most effective means to eradicate mice and rats. Operations manager of
Fumigax, Waldo Salinas, says bromadiolone compounds are often used to slowly kill rodents.
“Rats are very intelligent and if they realize that a food has killed one of them, usually the others will stop eating the food,” he said. With bromadiolone, death takes long enough coming that the rats don’t connect it with the bait.
Exterminating insects and spiders most frequently involves chemical spraying or ultraviolet radiation.
Prices for these services vary depending on the company, and the size and location of the site that needs to be treated. Pest control for a 200-meter square house can cost from US$76, which usually includes two visits, the first to implement control systems and another a few days later to examine the premises.
By Laura Burgoine ( )