Residents fighting back after rats run rampant in Christchurch’s Port Hills - 'filthy little fellows'

Rats have been running rampant in the Christchurch Port Hills, destroying native bird life, and damaging homes.

A year ago Sumner residents decided to do something about the vermin infestation, trapping hundreds in a bid to save wildlife, and their homes. Source: 1 NEWS

A year ago, however, the community said enough is enough.

Predator Free Sumner was formed and has set 350 traps across the hills, which have claimed the lives of 500 pests in the first year alone.

Sumner resident Phil Loughan, who has six traps along the Sumner esplanade, has caught 150 since Christmas and says: "They're voracious breeders and voracious eaters so the more of these you get rid of the better."

It's believed cleared red zone land, and homes left derelict following the earthquakes, have contributed to the growth of the rat population.

Sumner resident Paul Harrow has dealt with the frustration of rats chewing through his electrical wires year after year, but now he's set his own traps.

He's killed 40 rats since the start of the year and says: "They're filthy little fellows and there's just so many of them, or there were so many of them."

Now he's encouraging more of his neighbours to get traps too.

Predator Free Sumner's Paul Cragg says the goal is to have 4000 traps in the Port Hills in the next couple of years to get rid of all the pests.

"They're killers - possums, rats, stoats sadly - they're introduced killers."

Mr Cragg says once they're gone he hopes birds like the tui will start to return.