Experts believe the rat population in the UK could soar from 80 million to 160 million by the end of 2014. In some regions the number of vermin has already surged by around 50 percent since April 2013 and local authorities may only have themselves to blame.
Many local city councils have scraped their free pest control programs for homes as struggling with funds have taken priority. Together with reduced bin collections – once a month in some towns – they have left areas where rats can now flourish.
Recently, a 2ft long rat was captured in Cornwall while similar sized ‘monsters’ have been spotted in Kent and Liverpool. Because of their enormous size they are believed to have developed resistance to poison and are far more difficult to kill.
Vermin expert Steve Clemo, who works for Pestakil in Cornwall, said he’s noticed a dramatic increase of rats in his area, and that he fears the picture could be similar across Britain.
“Since the free pest service was discontinued the numbers have increased. It could be a result of cuts in council budgeting,” Clemo said.
Another pest control expert, Tony Marigocchi, set out to take pictures of these latest monster rats in Luton, where they are also becoming a problem. Marigocchi said he baited a deadly trap and waited with his camera.
“I was looking to take some photographs for my new pest control business and set up on Library Road in Luton. It’s just behind the main shopping center and is in the middle of the town. I put out a trap baited with some of John West’s finest Sardines in Tomato Sauce and sat back,” Marigocchi said.
“I was about 18 meters away using a 400mm lens when this massive rat appeared. He was so big I couldn’t get him all in the frame – even from that distance.”
Marigocchi thought he was in for a long stakeout to get the perfect shot, but it didn’t take long for the first specimen to show up. And before long there were several huge rats eating from the trap.
“Rats have an excellent sense of smell and that’s why I baited my trap with fish. Within minutes they arrived. I was taking photos and the flash on the camera was going off, but they had no fear. Rats used to be afraid of new things but not any longer.”
“When they approached the trap, I’m certain that they knew exactly what it was. They were very careful not to put their front paws on the trap as this would release the spring. Not only do we know have super-rats, but we have intelligent super rats.”