As if depressingly short days, freezing limbs and the X Factor aren’t enough to put up with, the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) says that ‘super rats’ will invade our homes as temperatures continue to plummet.
That’s right, rats the size of horses are set to smash down our front doors and windows, in their quest for a warm place to curl up during the lean months. Okay, they won’t quite be horse-sized, but they could certainly give cats a run for their money. Worse still, it turns out that the poisonous pellets many of us use to kill the poor old buggers could actually be stimulating their growth.
“The rodents have become resistant and, in some cases, immune to off-the-shelf poisons to the point where they’re actually feeding off the toxic pellets, which means their size and strength is increasing," said Simon Forrester, the head of BPCA. Unfortunately for home-owners, the stronger stuff can only be used by professional pest controllers.
Therefore, the best way for most of us to tackle the situation is through rat-proofing. Since rodents can squeeze through ridiculously tight gaps, you need to ensure you plug any 'crawl space', either by fixing flaps to the bottom of doors, stuffing small holes with steel wool or covering up drains. It may seem obvious, but it's also worth inspecting the outside of your house, and filling in any areas that look like they could serve as easy entry points. Finally, keep your house clean.