Rats 'the size of cats' sneaking through toilets into UK homes, pest expert warns

22 February 2022, 12:20

Rats could be invading homes in the UK
Rats could be invading homes in the UK. Picture: Getty Images
Heart reporter

By Heart reporter

Giant rats are thought to be invading homes in the UK through toilets.

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Experts are warning there could be an influx of rats making their way into homes across the UK.

The population of rodents is on the rise in this country, with numbers set to be around 150 million.

And with rats capable of treading water for up to three days, pest control expert Ian Heland has said that many are crawling up water pipes and even reproducing in them.

Rats could make their way out of toilets
Rats could make their way out of toilets. Picture: Getty Images

Speaking to The Daily Star, Ian said: “I have had more call-outs than ever from homeowners who have heard a noise, looked down into their toilet only to find a giant rat.

“No-one is safe. Rats are excellent swimmers with bendy bones and can squeeze into the smallest of spaces.

“They can hold their breath for three minutes and tread water for three days, and they are coming up waste pipes.

“They’re cunning and getting bolder and bolder. Basically, if they want to get into your home, they will.”

The number of rats in this country is said to have increased by 25% each year over the pandemic.

Ian, who runs Sussex pest control business Pests Be Gone added: “There are more rats than ever and they are taking over. I have seen some the size of cats.”

There are plenty of ways to rat-proof your home this winter, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying sealing up holes is the best way to prevent entry by rodents.

There has been an influx of rats in the UK
There has been an influx of rats in the UK. Picture: Getty Images

You can use materials like heavy-gauge wire screening to cover holes, metal mesh around pipes, and expanding foam sealant to spray overtop of metal mesh to fill other gaps and cracks.

It’s also best to eliminate possible rodent food sources by keeping food in thick plastic or metal containers with tight lids and cleaning up any spilled food right away.