Having been spotted in Kent, the West Country and Sussex, there are fears that a new form of ‘mutant rat’ is spreading across the UK – a rat that can’t be killed by regular poison and eats toxic pellets “like feed,” according to International Business Times.
The British Pest Control Association’s Richard Moseley told the Metro: “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.”
Naturally occurring mutation of genes is thought to be the likely reason the rats are becoming immune to standard poison.
Dr. Dougie Clarke of the University of Huddersfield, said, “Poisons such as the ones you buy in B&Q are not effective against them, nor are those used by pest control experts. There are obviously health concerns and worries about the bacteria they carry, such as salmonella. They carry a lot of diseases, including Weil’s, which has been linked to deaths.”
Pest controllers are now seeking permission to use stronger rodenticides such as Brodifacoum and Flocoumafen in hopes of controlling the rising number of super rats. However, the Health and Safety Executive has denied those requests fearing the stronger poisons might damage the environment and poison other wildlife.