Deratization: when a ferret from the Gers is called to the rescue to dislodge rats in Marseille

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After the town hall of Toulouse, it is the turn of the city of Marseille to call on ferrets to help reduce the number of pests in certain districts.

Gers ferrets become the stars of rat extermination. The experience had already been tested in Toulouse and the city of Marseille seems interested. To dislodge the rats which swarm in certain districts, Aïcha Guedjali, municipal councilor of the Marseille city, announced to call on a ferret during an interview with 20 Minutes. And not just any ferret: it’s Prune, an animal specially bred in the Gers to hunt rats.

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“The cities of Toulouse and Vitry-sur-Seine are already using this process with a breeder and have great feedback,” explains the municipal councilor responsible for insalubrity and pests in Marseille. “So we made a call for projects for a test phase. This breeder responded. By this method, according to him, we can have 50 to 60 rats per intervention.” Regarding the method, it’s simple, as Aïcha Guedjali explains to our colleagues: “The ferret enters through an orifice A. We place nets. The rat comes out through an orifice B at the other end. And then, we come euthanize”.

A technique that dates back to Roman times

In December 2021, in Toulouse, in the Empalot district, the same technique was used with two Gers ferrets. Two three-year-old females, baptized Mûre and Nuit, trained by breeder Alexandre Raynal. Thanks to the latter, his team and the city’s agents, around thirty rats had been put out of harm’s way in thirty minutes.

As we explained at the time, this technique was already used by the Romans who used ferrets to hunt rabbits. And later, by shipowners to scare rats off their ships.

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