Pest Control News

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Never more than 10 foot away from a rat at any one time…

Never more than 10 foot away from a rat at any one time…
… or is it 6 feet? Or is it 20 feet or more?
The truth is when it comes to the rat population in the UK, both urban rats and their agricultural cousins, we don’t really have a firm idea of numbers, just best guesses and estimates.
However, with recent news articles about super-rats, we are becoming aware of rats, the damage they do and how we are struggling to control their numbers. What doesn’t help is that scientists believe that without predators, the common brown rat could grow as big as a cow! Evidence that this could be a distinct possibility lies in fossilised remains found in the far east some years ago.
We are not at the point of cow-sized rat just yet – and the conditions for this to happen are nowhere near being reached – but rats are growing in size and in many ways, we are partly responsible.
Built environment
There are 1.8 million commercial premises across the UK and so not including domestic properties, a survey suggests that around 5% of these commercial premises have rats present; this means that there are 200,000 rats close by or in commercial properties. 
And then there is the sewer system. A marvellous modern invention that keeps us safe in terms of reducing the number of germs that blight our everyday lives. But for rats, they make an incredibly convenient highway to move from one place to another, at speed and without being detected. 
There is over 16,000 kilometres of sewers in Britain, with 5% of the rat population enjoying them. Back in the 1950s, there was a project in which people were asked to count the rats in sewers. From this work, it was concluded that there were 2,000 rats per square kilometre of sewer. 
Thus, in the urban environment the conservative estimate is that there are 3 to 3.5 million rats but there could be far more…
Not much better in the country
Agricultural premises of all kinds, from farms to livery yards, stables and food stores suffer from a huge rat problem too. With over 200,000 agricultural premises in the UK, nearly half will have rats present, nearly 90 rats per farm. Thus the rural landscape is blighted by 7 million rural rats.
This means that with the current population of the UK at around 60 million and a rat population of 10.5 million we outnumber rats by 6 humans to 1 rat.
And all this means what exactly?
The rat population is large and we need to be vigilant in how close rats are getting to properties, as well as understanding how our own habits and routines could be contributing to the problem. 
From finding food sources in rubbish bins to food on the ground, we need to be confident we are not creating the perfect breeding ground for rats. 

ALWAYS consult a professional pest controller if you spot rats in or near your home or commercial property!