Super rats as big as cats are set to invade homes in the wake of Britain being battered by rain.
Experts claim the floods that have ravaged the country this week after Storm Ciarán will lead to giant rodent invasions as they become “hellbent” on seeking shelter.
And the giant beasts will take “no prisoners” in their attempts to get out of the flood-ravaged wild.
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Pest control expert Ian Helands said: “This is the next thing to come in this nightmarish scenario. Floods will drive even more rats out of their burrows, forcing them to find a new place to nest.
“Rats are strong swimmers and are capable of 72 hours’ nonstop swimming in their search for a new home. They will be hellbent on finding new shelter and they will be coming for dry, warm areas with food preferably.
“They will be coming to your homes and these are not small rats, they are now larger than I have ever seen.”
Mr Helands said the size of the rats comes down to what we are putting in our bins.
He said: “Brits have a fondness for chucking food down their sinks – leftovers when rinsing plates and so on,” he explained.
“Spaghetti, rice, sauces, it all goes down the sink and rats are incredibly clever. They can smell the food and follow the scent. And it is leading to the influx of rats, which are the biggest I’ve ever seen, coming near our homes. They are very brave and very clever.
“If they are wanting to find a way in, they will. It’s hard to stop, and we are making the monsters ourselves.”
The British Pest Control Association (BPCA), is also urging householders to take preventative steps now to avoid the risk of an infestation.
Dee Ward-Thompson, BPCA Head of Technical, said: “Each year winter weather forces some rats to seek warmer, indoor spaces near a source of food, but flooding can drive even more rats out of their burrows, forcing them to find a new place to nest.
“They can travel along flooded drains, surviving even the most aggressive weather conditions, which is a definite concern from a public health perspective. Rats may use plumbing pipes, as well as unscreened vents or gaps in the eaves and roof edges, to gain access.
“Rats are exceptionally agile and inside they will head under the floor or find a warm space to build a nest in the walls or loft.”
Experts have recommended Brits plug any gaps, holes or crevices in exterior walls in a bid to prevent rats from gaining access in the first place. Drain covers should also be checked to ensure they fit properly and have not dislodged in the flooding.
Communities across Britain are reeling after Storm Ciarán battered homes and businesses.
There is widespread flooding and damage around the UK, with thousands of homes left without power, hundreds of schools closed and major travel disruption.
Southern England and the Channel Islands have been worst-hit by Ciarán, with 80 flood warnings still in place across England.
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