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24th May 2024

Experts warn of rise in ‘mutant super rats’ invading homes

Ryan Price

Some of them can be as big as 22 inches.

A rodent expert has warned that Brits may be unintentionally inviting ‘mutant super rats’ into their home without realising.

According to pest controller Kieran Sampler, the problem is only getting worse, and there are certain parts of the country that he considers to be giant rat hotspots.

The West Yorkshire based ‘rat-catcher’ claims that more food waste on the streets and a reduction in pest control during the pandemic has resulted in an increase of rodent infestations.

Sampler describes the rats of today as being ‘completely devoid of fear’ and warns they are only getting ‘bigger, bolder and more brazen’.

The rise in mutant super rats in recent years has resulted in extreme consequences such as savage attacks, unsanitary conditions, property damage and even cliff erosion.

The 29-year-old runs a Facebook page called Yorkshire Rat Pack, where he hunts and catches giant rats, one of which he claims was as big as a Yorkshire Terrier.

Be warned, the following image isn’t a pleasant sight.

Sampler started the page in 2018 and, over the years, has received hundreds of hateful comments from hunting saboteurs who disagree with his job role.

But the determined ‘hunter’ says he “takes it with a pinch of salt”.

He said: “There’s 67,000 people from all around the world who follow us on Facebook.

“There was something from Scotland who phoned me and told me he knew where I lived and that he was going to stab me in the head. We get loads of other messages – people tell me they are going to murder my daughter but I just take it with a pinch of salt.”

In order to help people avoid inadvertently welcoming these unwanted creatures into their home, Sampler has revealed to the Mirror a number of steps that members of the British public can take to ensure their home stays rat-free.

Adam Juson, co-founder of commercial pest control company Merlin Environmental, told The Northern Echo: “Like most pests, rats are opportunistic creatures constantly on the lookout for food, water, and shelter. Unfortunately, human homes can provide these in abundance, making our properties and gardens attractive targets for these unwelcome guests.

“We’re currently seeing an influx of giant rats in gardens and homes across the UK, and the new two-weekly bin collection schedule in some areas could be directly impacting this increased rat activity, but there are other ways we could be inadvertently making our homes a bigger target than others! Known as brown rats, these giant rats can grow significantly bigger compared to traditional sizes, especially when conditions are favourable and food and water are available.”

Shield Pest Control state that people should take note of any gaps under doors and around drainpipes, which they claim is “the equivalent of rolling out the welcome mat for rodents”.

They advise that these gaps “should be filled with wire wool and bristle strip”.

The next step of course is making sure that any food kept in cupboards or out in the open are properly sealed.

Kieran Sampler warns: “Rats are used to detect mines in Cambodia, they’re very smart animals. Say you’ve got two Easter eggs, one is Cadbury’s and the other is Lindt. They’ll go for the Lindt. Honestly! You’d have to see it to believe it.”

The next one might come as a surprise. Although bird feeders are a lovely way to support your local wildlife, they can be a sure-fire invitation for pesky rodents.

The pros at Shield explained: “Bird feeders, bird seed and bird food could also be attracting rats into your space, as well as fallen fruits if you have fruit trees. Plus, animal food and pet food are very attractive to a family of rats who will be on the look-out for anything to eat.”

Lastly, pet owners should be aware that even your dog’s bowl could attract a passing thirsty rat, with Adam from Merlin Environmental warning: “Water is also essential for rats, so look out for leaks and refrain from leaving pet water bowls out for prolonged periods. Damp areas are also attractive to rats as they prefer moist environments, so ensure gutters can drain well and check areas by washing machines and dishwashers are dry.”

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