The ideal breeding conditions of a hot, dry summer has meant more rats are being spotted in Tauranga's urban areas.
Bay of Plenty pest control companies say they have been swamped with work from people needing their services - and not just in the rural areas.
Owner of Bay of Plenty pest control company Resolveit, Paul Corkin said that in the space of one hour on Tuesday, he received four new calls from people, solely about rodents.
"We're much busier than last year, probably just due to the summer being ideal breeding conditions for them," Corkin said.
"The families were able to survive and breed and you also possibly get another generation out of them during the season when its like that as well," Corkin said.
Pestworks Tauranga owner Patrick Allen said this year was different to previous years as they were not only being called out to rural properties but residents in suburban areas also required his services.
"This year it seemed like we were still doing quite a lot of rodent work throughout the summer months as well which is quite unusual, but we're certainly getting a lot of calls now," Allen said.
Predator Free Wellington spokesman Kelvin Hastie said the main driver behind the increase in the number of rats was down to New Zealand's hottest summer on record, which meant plenty of food around and their breeding season is longer.
Thankfully there are a number of community groups in the Bay of Plenty getting stuck in to tackle the predator problem.
One of those initiatives is the Envirohub collaborative project, involving local councils, New Zealand Landcare Trust and the Bay Conservation Alliance.
The project wants to see a rat trap installed in every fifth backyard in the Bay of Plenty.
So far, 140 rat trap boxes have been distributed in Matua, while Merivale will be next to receive traps, in mid-May.
One family which has become involved in the project is the Lavin family.
Mother and community lead trapper Fiona Lavin said being involved had been a great learning process and exciting for the children.
Chief Executive of Bay Conservation Alliance Michelle Elborn said Matua School was on board as was Merivale School.
"The kids are pretty excited about it, Matua School had a rat within two days of trapping so they were stoked about that," Elborn said.
Hastie has been involved in the birth of the Envirohub project and said it is an awesome project.
"The Envirohub project is an awesome project, I was invited up to talk and hopefully helped inspire a few people, they're doing an amazing job up there," he said.
Simple ways people can deter rodents
-Get your own trap. Check to see if there is a local community pest-free group you can join, they will often supply a trap at no cost.
-Keep food sealed up tightly.
-Seal up holes larger than 1/4 of an inch.
-Clean up pet food debris and store above ground level.
-Tidy clutter so there are less places for the rodents to hide.