Giant rat invasion warning as vermin infiltrate houses via water pipes and crawling out of toilets

Rats/Flooding in May 2024

Homeowners have been warned of a possible rat infestation amid a spate of poor weather across the UK

Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 29/05/2024

- 15:02

Fast moving water pushes the vermin out of the burrows and forces them to search for new homes

Homeowners have been warned of a possible rat infestation amid a spate of poor weather across the UK.

Despite a pleasant start to the bank holiday, the weekend ended with a washout which has continued into the new week.

Yesterday, the Met Office issued three yellow thunderstorm warnings for England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The alert for Scotland is currently in place and expires at 7.00pm today and the weather office has warned that flooding is a possibility in affected areas.

Flooding can not only cut off certain communities, lead to power outages, and create difficult driving conditions, it can also force rats out of their burrows and result in them searching for a new place to nest, causing headaches for many homeowners.

Rats/Flooding in May 2024Homeowners have been warned of a possible rat infestation amid a spate of poor weather across the UKPA/Getty

The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) said that rats thrive in the damp weather, as they are strong swimmers who are relentless in their pursuit of finding a new home.

They often use pipes to gain access into homes and once inside, will find a warm place to create their nests.

Dee Ward-Thompson, BPCA Head of Technical, said: “Rats are strong swimmers and are capable of 72 hours’ nonstop swimming in their search for a new home.

“They can travel along flooded drains, surviving even the most aggressive weather conditions, which is a definite concern from a public health perspective.”



Rats could be looking to come inside to avoid the damp weather


“Rats are exceptionally agile and despite their size even adult males can get through gaps and crevices as small as two centimetres.”

BPCA estimates that there could be around 250million rats in the UK - many of whom are being driven into people’s homes by the poor weather.

They advise that people plug any gaps or holes in their exterior walls so stop the vermin from getting in.

Ward-Thompson added that rats can have a devastating impact on homeowners, especially as they can quickly breed and multiply in quantity.

Met Office alert

A yellow thunderstorm alert is in place until later today

Met Office

Pest control expert Ian Helands has previously warned homeowners to remain alert as these rodents are "getting bolder and bolder".

“Rats are excellent swimmers with bendy bones and can squeeze into the smallest of spaces. They can hold their breath for three minutes and tread water for three days, and they are coming up waste pipes,” he said.

“They're cunning and getting bolder and bolder. Basically, if they want to get into your home, they will.”

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