SUPER mutant rats resistant to poison are on the rise, according to pest control experts who say Britain could be under threat of a huge rodent invasion.
By Nicole Stinson PUBLISHED: 10:35, Fri, Feb 16, 2018 | UPDATED: 10:53, Fri, Feb 16, 2018
Experts at the University of Reading found cases of super rats with the poison-resistant genetic mutation, dubbed L120Q, across southern England and they fear the population is growing.
While data for the rest of the UK was not available co-author of the study Dr Colin Prescott warned the rest of the country cannot relax.
He said: “This doesn't mean the rest of the UK can relax, because lack of sample availability means we just don't have the data.”
Dr Prescott added that L120Q is the most severe form of resistance discovered so far as he also warned of “pure-bred” super rats.
Super mutant rats resistant to poison are on the rise, according to pest control experts
The director of the Vertebrate Pests Unit at UoR said: ”Most rats with L120Q resistance carry the gene from both parents.
“Where this occurs, it suggests most or even all rats with some susceptibility have been eradicated by widespread use of resisted rodenticides, leaving a population of resistant pure-breds."
The startling discover was made by experts at the University of Reading (UoR) who were commissioned by the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) to identify “the massive extent of L120Q resistance across the whole of central southern England”.
Dee Ward-Thompson, from the British Pest Control Association (BPCA), said: “Their study highlights that resistance is growing in rat species across a swathe of the country.
Dr Colin Prescott warns the rest of the UK cannot relax
“There could be a significant risk to public health if left unchecked.”
Meanwhile, a BCPA spokesman told the Daily Mail: “Reports of poison-resistant rats have been increasing in recent years and it seems likely that there'll be a further surge in numbers.
“Rats must be dealt with by a professional pest controller who knows the area in question and their likely habitat, and knows how to treat any particular strain.”
The news comes after a pest control company in Dorset warned of the potential of 200 million swarm of rats infesting homes across the country.
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Reports of poison-resistant rats have been increasing in recent years and it seems likely that there'll be a further surge in numbers.
British Pest Control Association
Terry Walker, managing director of TP services, said: “Rodents, including mice, are on the increase.
“Some people, particularly those with larger families, tend to store stuff alongside the bins, which becomes a huge attraction for rats and mice.
“Also, what we have noticed, is a lot of people - instead of having a bin - put out rubbish in plastic bags. You can see all the rubbish strewn up the road.
“The rodents seem to have a clock to know what time bins are put out. You see them running out to the bins a few moments after they have been put out.”
Dee Ward-Thompson, from BPCA, warns of 'a significant risk to public health if left unchecked'
Meanwhile, Paul Bates, boss of Cleankill Environmental Services, told the Sun: “Once rats or mice are in your home, it can be difficult to remove them.
“If you suspect you have an infestation, don’t delay.
“Rat colonies can grow at an alarming rate.”
Last month a disgusted mother claimed thousands of rats had taken over an Essex estate with horrified families finding dead vermin in their bins and back garden.
Lisa Walker, 44, said shell-shocked locals had been plagued by a terrifying rat infestation for weeks after "thousands" of the dangerous pests had set up home among a massive build-up of rubbish over Christmas in Passive Close, Rainham, Essex.