Where does the rat problem within London come from?

Rats are certainly one of London’s, and indeed the United Kingdom’s, primary pests. This article investigates the reason why we have a rat problem and why it appears to be getting more serious.

Rats are probably the main pests our capital, London, and indeed our nation in its entirety suffers today. It has recently been estimated that we now have today around the same number of Brown Rats as there are human beings in the United Kingdom. Rats have been somewhat of a plague for decades: the extent of their nuisance rising in peaks and troughs throughout this time. Being attracted to where there is a continuous food and water supply, as they need to drink a lot of water in order to survive, it is not shocking they’re drawn to major cities such as London where there is an enormous sewage system and a lot of food waste. Currently however there’s data to suggest that the rat problem in cities such as London is getting even worse. There are numerous reasons for this, which will be pointed out and explored below

Bird feeders

One significant problem identified as a reason for the increasing rat problem is the level of bird feeders individuals put out. Whilst people along with councils may believe they are supporting the environment and more particularly helping the wild birds which they enjoy to see in their parks or backyards, there exists a darker and less attractive side to park and backyard bird feeders. A recent survey by the National Pest Technicians Association learned that 80% of pest control or environmental health officers held responsible the large quantity of bird feed in and around cities, their suburbs and towns for the escalating rat problem. The problem comes from the fact that rats have an essentially infinite supply of food from all of these feeders which they can certainly rob and hoard, thereby guaranteeing their own survival.

Public sewers

The second major source which has been identified as a reason for the rat problem is weak management of public sewers. The United Kingdom is lined underground with countless miles of sewers, meaning cities such as London host a major spot in which rats can breed and dwell without disturbance. In a recent survey 55% of specialists interviewed stated that sewer mismanagement was an important reason behind increasing rat numbers. Sewers present an ideal environment for rats; there exists a plentiful water supply and they can live largely uninterrupted as humans will rarely come into contact with them.

Home compost and fortnightly bin collections

A third and remaining major origin of the rat plague throughout towns and cities, and especially London, is the heightened use of home garden compost bins. One reason for the increase, it has been speculated, is the fact that bins are collected merely fortnightly, and for that reason persons are creating more room in their bins simply by getting rid of food waste using home compost bins. Home compost bins, like bird feeders, present an ideal and plentiful supply of foods for rats, who’re once again able to rely on a dependable food supply and hoard it for the future.

What this means for London

With these three life sources as it were, rats are able to sustain a ‘healthy’ life. The consequence of this is that they have the appropriate conditions to breed month in month out. In other words if they have an ample supply of water and food then they can end of having as much as thirteen litters yearly. When each litter may consist of as much as nine young, it is easy to see how the rat population is rising quickly. When one considers the volume of bird feeders, home compost sets and kilometers of sewerage in a city such as London, it is far from shocking that the rat population is so high and rising.

The solution to the rat problem in London

Whilst the ostensibly obvious answer to this is to improve awareness as to the dangers of using home compost bins as well as supplying bird feed, this in reality is a difficult aim to achieve. For the short term in the event that you discover yourself affected by the rat problem, whether it is that they have started using your compost bin and now rats frequent your garden or even your own home then the best option is to use a pest control business who have got numerous proven means of dealing with localised rat problems. It may not be the answer to London’s or indeed the nation’s problems however it could help if you are personally affected by this scourge.

The writer works closely with expert pest control company Terminex, who deliver domestic and commercial pest control in London. They can help not simply with rats, but also mice, bedbugs, flies, cockroaches, pigeons and many other sorts of pest.
Terminex Ltd

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