PEST control chiefs have warned that the UK’s population of 120million rats is hungry and cold — and heading straight for our homes to get warm.
As the colder weather hits Britain, the population of 120m brown rats – nearly double the human population of 67m – are on the hunt for somewhere ‘warm and cozy’ to nest for winter.
They often move into lofts, attics and stair cupboards — and can have up to six litters of between six and 12 babies each year.
But the rats can cause serious damage by gnawing through electrical cables and eating away at beams.
Paul Bates, of Cleankill Pest Control, said: “Recent heavy rain has forced many rats above ground.
“There is lots of food around for rats at the moment, with ripe fruit and crops from harvesting, so the rat population is peaking at the moment.
‘No House Is Rodent-Proof’
“As it gets colder, however, as it is now, rats will move closer to food supplies indoors and for somewhere warm to nest – that means people’s homes.”
Paul urged homeowners to block gaps in brickwork, clear out stair cupboards and not leave food where rats can get it.
But he warned: “No house is completely rodent-proof.”
Firms usually see a 30 to 40 per cent rise in call-outs for infestations during this time of the year, and they warn that anyone hearing “scuttling and scratching sounds” should get it investigated.
And with some weather forecasters predicting the coldest winter for decades, Brits are being warned to “act now” to protect their home from rats.