The aptly named Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) reports that a survey of British farmers and countryside managers found 61% of respondents noticed a rising rat population already and 74% believed that climate change would exacerbate the problem.
The survey is corroborated by the National Pest Technicians Association (NPTA), which found a 15% year-on-year increase in treatments in local authorities for rat infestations.
CRRU chairman, Dr Alan Buckle, said the UK rural rat population consumes an estimated 200t of food a day that would otherwise be destined for humans. One in every two farm fires, he adds, is believed to be started by rat damage causing electricity cables to short.
Even in Kansas, rats have twice sought shelter in our parked car’s engine and gnawed through the ignition wires.
And if those rats are frolicking and fornicating in the country, their numbers will only get worse in the city.
According to the CRRU:
• One rat produces about 40 faecal pellets and 15ml of urine each day, or 14,600 and five litres respectively per year.
• Salmonella, leptospira, toxoplasma, listeria, campylobacter and cryptosporidium are some of the highly pathogenic organisms carried by rats.