‘Protect your home now!’ Britons warned of ‘ultra-rats’ invasion

Grimsby: Alleyway infested with rats after rampant fly-tipping

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With autumn just around the corner, temperatures across the UK are set to drop in the coming weeks which could lead to an infestation of giant “ultra rats”. Rat experts claim the recent uncharacteristically hot UK weather and an abundance of food from uncollected rubbish bins has provided ideal conditions for rats to feast and breed fast, resulting in an invasion of alleged “ultra-rats”. Scientists claim rats are now getting larger due to their leftover energy going into their body mass growth.

Rats are also breeding more than ever with female rats able to have a staggering 72 babies per year.

These baby rats are then ready to breed themselves within a week of being born.

Rats are likely to set their sights on people’s homes and gardens in the cooler months since there are a lot less burrows for them to seek shelter in thanks to the droughts, and their usual food sources start to dwindle.

Now, experts from Gardening Express have identified the best ways to prevent rats from making their way into people’s homes and gardens.

Chris Bonnett, the founder of Gardening Express said: “It is time to protect your garden, and home, now.

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“When rats get hungry, they will eat virtually anything – even dog poo, so you really don’t want these randy infested ultra-rats around.

“Some of the imperative measures to take to protect yourself and your home are laying preventive scents around your home and clearing any rubbish, debris and garden waste that’s accumulated during summer.”

Here are Gardening Express’ top tips for preventing “ultra-rats” from entering homes and gardens:

Check gardens for sources of food

Fruit trees, bushes or vegetable patches should be harvested for their produce as soon as they’re ready.

Any windfall on the ground from apple trees or other fruit trees needs to be removed as soon as possible.

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Stored produce needs to be in a safe space where pests can’t access it.

Clear any rubbish, debris and garden waste

Rubbish, debris and garden waste that has accumulated and is ready for disposal needs to be removed as soon as possible.

Rats will likely be looking for a new place to nest over the cooler months.

Clear up bird seed

Bird tables are notorious for attracting rats and mice and may need to be removed completely.

For now, remove spilled seed and bird food regularly once birds have finished with it.

Rats are expert climbers so ensure bird tables are in an open area away from shrubs, fences and walls.

Check doors

Rats can easily shelter in sheds and garages so it’s important to ensure the doors of outdoor structures are closing properly and are free of any gaps.

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Fill in any holes and consider fitting a metal kick strip to doors to prevent gnawing.

Protect pet food

Pet food is often stores in bags in sheds and outhouses if there is a lack of storage space indoors.

Instead, store pet food in a lidded bin or bucket that’s ideally metal.

Rats that are hungry are known to chew through plastic containers just to get to food.

Check drains

Check drain grates are intact and drains are covered and replace them straight away if needed.

Also, check air-bricks for weak points and take action immediately if need be.

Cut off water access

Rats need a source of water, so if there’s a dripping garden tap, water-butt or a blocked drain, get it sorted now.

Protect compost heaps

Rats love a compost heap, especially if there are food scraps in it. Don’t put food waste in it and instead turn it and keep it wet.

It may also be worth thinking about enclosing it in chicken wire to make it less penetrable.

Keep an eye on greenhouses

Those with greenhouses or cold-frames should remove any stacks of pots and trays which could provide the perfect shelter for rats.

Use scents

Rats likely won’t venture past strong scents like garlic powder or white vinegar. Apply it liberally around the perimeter of certain rat-prone or vulnerable areas.

Consider traps and baits

Be prepared and invest in conventional traps and baits in case a rat invasion hits your garden or property.

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