Welcome to Rats-ville: Coast suburb under rodent siege
MICHAEL Norris fears a Buderim estate will be stigmatised as "Rats-ville" and his daughter forced to move after two of her cars were seriously damaged by rodents.
The desperate father, 71, has appointed himself as Joelle Norris's "advocate" after rats nested in her car's engine bay and chewed through the wires in April.
The pensioner said he had borrowed money to help the single mother of two after she took out a loan for another vehicle, which broke down Monday having also fallen victim to the "infestation".
Buderim Mechanical's Hamish Rice said every fifth car through their workshop had rat damage with the repair bill in the thousands of dollars depending which wires they chewed.
Have you noticed a "plague" of rats in your suburb?
This poll ended on 03 August 2018.
Yes! I'm glad I'm not the only one.
I haven't noticed but it might explain my car issues.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
He said faulty headlights, windows or lights on the dash could be simple indicators that a rodent has chosen your engine bay as a warm, cosy place to sleep.
"It's more common than people think, especially if the car isn't housed in a garage," he said, and suggested people also stick rat baits where they can't fall out and harm other animals.
"There's foam under (the hood), plastic, but they always go for the wiring first... they can chew them out, short out wiring and burn modules in computers out.
"We have had them on a BMW where they chewed through one of the main wiring harnesses. It can cost thousands of dollars."
Mr Norris said he had lived in the "pits of Sydney" but had never seen anything like the situation on Honeysuckle Drive, which he believes could suffer a high tenant turnover and plummeting property values.
The retired plumber believes Sunshine Coast Council stormwater works on surrounding Toral Drive and Jorl Court, combined with sub-division land clearing, had displaced the population who were now "inundating" the estate via swale drains.
"They have been disturbed massively, they have migrated and found a haven amongst the houses here," Mr Norris said.
He believes a "good old-fashioned grate" would suffice and could be cleared of debris and maintained by council.
The Sunshine Coast Council was contacted for comment.