Mutant “super rats,” which cannot be killed by regular poisons are spreading across the UK, according to researchers and pest control experts.
Just like those creatures in James Herbert’s classic pulp horror novel, The Rats, these super rodents eat toxic pellets “like feed,” and have spread as far as Kent, the West Country and Sussex.
In an interview with Metro newspaper, Richard Moseley of the British Pest Control Association said:
“Normal rats are being killed off by poison, so these resistant species are taking their place—it’s only natural that their numbers are expanding. But they’re being found further afield than previously anticipated. They eat poison like feed; you might as well be leaving out grain for them.”
There are an estimated 10.5million rats in the UK. Rats can breed rapidly and have a gestation period of 21-days, one female can have as many as 14 “pups” at a time. It is believed that some breeding pairs can produce as many as 800 young in just two years.
While poison resistant rats have been observed in the UK for over 50 years, researchers from the University of Huddersfield have claimed these mutant rats are spreading rapidly. Last year, researchers discovered that up to 70% of rats tested in some counties were resistant to poison.
Dr. Dougie Clarke told Metro that a naturally occurring mutation of genes was most likely responsible for these “Super Rats.”
“It’s now a big problem in some areas of the south of England. The only solution is stronger poisons.
“There are concerns about poisoning secondary animals and birds but, if it’s carefully controlled it can be kept to an absolute minimum.”
Rats are considered a major health risk to the public, if their populations are left unchecked. However, Jeff Knott from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said:
“We cannot afford to lock ourselves into a toxic arms race we can never win, as wildlife will be the loser.”
Mutant giant rats are also a problem in Iran, Central Europe and New York, but now that Mr Herbert’s once fictional “super” Rats are spreading across the UK, how long before Guy N. Smith’s giant Crabs and Shaun Hutson’s mutant Slugs make their appearance?
Via the ‘Metro’