Airport pest controllers to put cable-munching mice to flight

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 December, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 08 December, 1997, 12:00am

A pest control firm is being hired to stop mice causing chaos at the new airport by gnawing through cables.

The controllers, who will operate in the terminal building and ground transport centre, will complement an in-house 'immediate response team' which will roam the rest of the airport.

The mobile team will combat snakes, dogs, cats, buffaloes, rats, mosquitoes and any other undesirables that want to set up home on the 1,248-hectare site.

The immediate response team even has the special equipment needed to handle swarms of bees and wasps.

Bob Gallop, Airport Authority environmental health co-ordinator, said in the months up to the opening an 'eradication exercise' would take place.

An anti-dog campaign has caught 60 to 80 animals.

Mr Gallop said rats were not attracted to new buildings, but mice and their appetite for PVC cable would be, and special contractors would be expected to control and monitor them.

Rats were more of a problem on the beaches on the eastern side of the site.

'There's so much rubbish in the sea that they get two meals a day just from the tide,' Mr Gallop said.

The fear is that black-eared kites will be attracted to the rats and cause serious problems if sucked into jet engines.

The team has also caught boa constrictors, pythons and a common cobra on the site.