Flipboard

Toilet rats! Vermin are all over Britain – and they’re climbing up our waste pipes | Animals

Orignally published on 2021-09-28 14:25:24 by www.theguardian.com

Name: Toilet rats.

Age: Nothing new, but an upward trend.

Appearance: Like a regular rat, but this time in your toilet.

I’ll be honest: I do not like the sound of this one bit. You are not alone.

How did the rat get in the toilet in the first place? It came up the waste pipe.

You mean they’re coming from the toilet? That’s correct.

Why is this happening? It started during the first lockdown in 2020, when entire business districts were depopulated. With less rubbish lying around to eat, rats invaded abandoned offices in search of food.

By swimming up the loo pipes? If toilets aren’t being used the water in the U-bend can evaporate, making them even easier for rats to access.

So as long as someone flushes the loo regularly, everything’s fine? Not really. Rats are excellent swimmers – they can hold their breath for three minutes and tread water for three days. If they want to get in your toilet, they will.

OK, that settles it – I am never going back to the office. The rats have taken that into consideration. With food supplies in city centres running low, they’re now invading our homes as well.

Please no. “I was called out to one job in Norwich and the customer could barely speak, she was in so much shock,” the pest control expert Andrew Dellbridge told the Norwich Evening News.

Don’t tell me any more. “She’d been using the bathroom and heard a noise,” he said. “She looked down and it was in the toilet bowl. And this is happening more and more frequently.” Chilling.

Is there anything else I need to know about these toilet rats? They’re getting bolder, and they’re increasing in number. The British rat population grew by about 25% in 2020, to about 150m.

Should I get a cat? Dellbridge reports seeing “rats as big as cats” in Norwich, so it probably won’t help. “A sensible cat doesn’t like a big rat,” he says.

In that case, could we not make it a bit harder for these mega-rats to swim up into our toilets? So-called rat flaps – spiked, one-way gates fitted to waste pipes – have become increasingly popular.

Is there anything else I should be doing? Rat-proof your compost bin, take your bird feeders down at night and keep the toilet lid closed.

It’s the end of the world, isn’t it? Almost. Not long now.

Do say: “What about a cat the size of a goat?”

Don’t say: “Can they get into an HGV? I was thinking of retraining.”

Orignally published on 2021-09-28 14:25:24 by www.theguardian.com

Back to top button