Rats that are resistant to poison could infest homes across the United Kingdom over Christmas and New Year after a breeding boom during the lockdown.
Experts have warned that Christmas waste and food debris could entice ravenous vermin into homes to chow on leftover turkey and gathered discarded wrapping paper.
An expert from Pest.co.uk said vermin are now trying to enter homes as there’s less food waste from pubs and cafes due to stringent tier constraints across the country.
Data shows how the rat population swelled by 25 per cent during the lockdown as swathes of pest controllers warned back in the summer how the national lockdown created an ideal storm for the rat population boom.
Deserted urban areas and an upsurge in residential food waste during the lockdown saw the UK’s rat population skyrocket to a horrendous 180 million, that’s 2.2 rats for every one person in Britain.
And with Brits restricted to their homes, people took matters into their own hands, leaving out rat poison for the critters rather than call in the professionals, Pest.co.uk experts theorised.
But as rats and mice ingested small quantities of poison over long periods, they mutated and became resistant to the effects, with the only way to destroy them now is rat traps smeared with peanut butter or to call in the professionals.
Rodent removal specialist Jonathan Ratcliffe of Pest UK told a news outlet that mice and rats reproduce like mad, so when you see one there’s more and it’s normally an indication of some kind of problem.
Jonathan Ratcliffe has worked in pest control for more than five years and said that vermin are moving their nests into residential properties after the first five-month national lockdown left them hunting for grub.
He said that once they’ve consumed everything around the back of the cafe or a pub, they’re on the lookout for more.
Pest.co.uk is a UK wide pest control company with more than 200 professionals located across the country, and with tier 3 restrictions now enforced across nearly two-thirds of the country, Jonathan Ratcliffe fears rats and mice will be driven into people’s homes to munch on Christmas scraps as they’ll be starving with thousands of pubs closed.
He said any garbage bags with lots of Christmas stuff in will be a Michelin starred feast, and they will be starving by then with pubs shut, and now rats have developed a genetic mutation allowing them to endure all the usual poisons.
Sit up and take notice, they may well already be on the streets where you live, and now there’s research showing there are now more of them in more areas of Britain than earlier thought.
Now it looks like every house in England will be singing ‘there’s a rat in my kitchen, what am I going to do, as opposed to the traditional auld lang syne.
There have been recent reports about rodents being sold for food in markets and restaurants in Southeast Asia being contaminated with coronaviruses, which may have boosted concern about rodents transmitting the virus.
During the COVID 19 lockdown, there have been numerous cases of rats and mice becoming bolder as their sources of food have disappeared, even turning to cannibalism and creating a risk of infestations.
Homeowners have reported more sightings of rats and call-outs to pest controllers have increased, but these reports of infected rats will only add to people’s concerns about keeping safe from the virus.
Anything can invite rats into your home, even boxes from toys, wrapping paper and pieces of wood. Anything that can be used for nesting material needs to be put inside a bin.