SO-CALLED “super” rats describe ratty pests that have built a resistance to over-the-counter poisons and can grow as big as a cat.
An increasing number of these furry monsters have been spotted in the UK – but what exactly are they, and how do you get rid of them?
What are ‘super’ rats?
The term describes larger than average rodents which appear immune to many over-the-counter rat poisons.
Pest controllers have reported frequent sightings of rats bigger than cats in the UK, though it is not fully known where they come from or how they build their immunity.
However, fortnightly collections mean rubbish is left out in the street which provides a ready food supply for rats.
Peter Higgs, who runs PGH Pest Control in Surrey, says he’s seen a massive increases in the numbers of rats he’s found inside UK homes over the past few weeks – and says they can get into houses via holes as small as half an inch.
He said: “These super rats can be over 20 inches long from head to tail – that’s about the same size as the average domestic cat.”
Worryingly, these super-sized rats can also have teeth so strong they can gnaw through concrete and through walls.
And once the rats have invaded a home and located a food supply they are experts at evading pest controllers.
Rats are responsible for millions of pounds worth of damage to homes across Britain by causing fires from gnawing through electrical cables as well as causing structural damage to properties by eating away at beams.
Winter is the time to prepare for the “invasion” as rats – which can have up 72 babies a year – take up residence in cosy lofts, attics and stair cupboards to escape the chillier weather.
Supersize rats are invading the UK[/caption]
How can you get rid of rats in your home?
There are a number of ways to ready your property against a rodent invasion.
Pest controllers advise residents to inspect their property thoroughly, sealing up any external gaps, holes or crevices that could give rats a way in.
They should also remove potential nesting sites by keeping yards and gardens clean and tidy.
In addition, householders should make sure their doors and windows can be closed properly and that drain covers are maintained.
Bins should be closed and no leftover food should be left lying around, including pet food bowls.
Finally, areas around any bird feeders should also be kept clean to discourage any nearby rats.
How to protect yourself against rats
- Don’t leave any food out in your home
- Ensure all outdoor bins are secured
- Don’t leave bird food on the floor in the garden
- Fill in all holes into and out of house with wire wool and cement
- Keep pet food in sealed containters and remove all remnants from pet-feeding area
- Don’t put any organic food waste on your compost heap
- Fit strips to the bottom of doors that have more than hald an inch gap
- Keep toilet lids closed
- Use rat deterrents like isotronic repellers which emits different frequencies of ultrasonic wave to irritate nervous system of insects and rats
- Keep peppermint oil out – they hate the smell