However, one of the main factors fuelling an increase in the rat population is the habits of humans - many of whom are unwittingly providing a helpful source of food through exposed refuse, and an increase in garden bird feeders and compost heaps.
London, UK (PRWEB) February 11, 2009
Britain's rat population is set to explode in the near future as the trend for urbanites to live a greener, organic lifestyle unwittingly attracts rodent visitors to the plentiful sources of food and shelter.
HomeServe, the home repair and maintenance experts, believe the number of Brits reporting rat and rodent infestation, will increase as urban homeowners switch to a more natural way of life. More worryingly, the number of rodent sightings going unreported could significantly add to initial estimates.
The rise in green living has been attributed to celebrity chefs, such as Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay, who have heaped praise on this way of living. Their endorsement has led to increased numbers of people who regularly recycle and adopt greener methods.
Up to 1.2 million households admit to keeping chickens whilst 8.8 million admit to having a garden compost heap. 19.5 million households say they leave out food for birds and animals. All this is likely to have contributed to the 6.5 million Brits who've reported rats in their gardens.
"One Contact Service is seeing an increase in the number of call-outs to deal with rats. There are a number of climate factors that are behind this increase, including warmer winters and wetter summers," commented Jon Florsheim, CEO, HomeServe Membership.
"However, one of the main factors fuelling an increase in the rat population is the habits of humans - many of whom are unwittingly providing a helpful source of food through exposed refuse, and an increase in garden bird feeders and compost heaps."
The relaxed approach of Brits with good intentions will do little to help the problem. Estimates of the rat population vary from 15 million to 100 million and the average pair of rats can produce up to 200 offspring in a year (2).
HomeServe anticipate a doubling of enquiries relating to rats over the coming months. As the winter weather sets in, homeowners are more likely to see rats move into their home or surroundings as they seek refuge from the cold, wet climate.
"It really is essential to report the presence of rats or other pests," added Jon Florsheim. Don't think that they will just go away of their own accord; the longer you leave reporting any sighting, the more visits it will take to get rid of them."
"People should check with their local council to see if they offer a service to remove unwanted pests. If not, HomeServe, which has tradesmen available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, offers Pest Control services as part of its emergency home insurance policies or as a standalone job service."