Rats can be a real problem I have received a number of complaints about them recently which I am trying to get addressed. I fully understand residents concerns.It's estimated that rodents are responsible for depleting one-fifth of the global food supply every year. And rats communicate and mark their territory by urinating pretty much everywhere they go.
Rats are considered a public health pest because they:
· contaminate food intended for human consumption
· carry diseases such as Leptospirosis (Weils Disease), Salmonella and Typhus (which can be fatal to people)
· cause damage by gnawing, burrowing and digging
Rats are found in properties where there is a food and water source (e.g. cupboards, waste bags on the floor or left out pet food/ leftovers). They can also be detected by droppings, evidence of fresh gnawing and tracks.
Some estimates put the annual financial cost of soiled or damaged goods caused by rats at over £11 billion
The[ rat UK population of brown rats is peaking at 15 million… and rising.You can deal with rats yourself but many rats due to the over use of poisons that are used by residents are becoming immune and professional treatment can be expensive (it is best to shop around and check out the internet.).
You can help keep rats away by• Avoid leaving food lying around either inside or outside your home;
• Place all household rubbish in bins with tight fitting lid;
• Keep bird food off the ground (or invest in a rat proof bird feeder); Feed early and not after dark.
• Do not store pet food in garages and sheds (or ensure that they are in galvanised containers) and cover drain pipe ends with chicken wire to help prevent rats climbing into roof spaces;
• Clear up fallen fruit from trees, leftover bird food and pet mess in your garden;
• Check buildings for access holes and fix any broken air bricks or gaps round pipes;
• Make sure gaps in walls and around pipes are closed as rats can get through a space as small as 10 millimetres
Also do not leave waste food out over night or fly tip bags with waste food in them.
Rats impact on our wildlife too, preying on insects, small mammals, amphibians, reptiles and more. Ground-nesting birds make particularly easy targets. If you are using open spaces like the Queslett Nature Reserve, please put any litter or food waste in a litter bin for collection or take it home with you.
Rat infestation is a problem which changing weather patterns not helping. Rats should be taken seriously by all; the government also needs to do more with extra funding to help control the numbers of rats.