THE number of super-rats swarming Britain is set to double next year until they outnumber humans two to one.
Shock figures have revealed a surge by 50% in some regions from April 2013 to April 2014. And experts estimate the rat population of 80 million could top 160 million by the end of the year. It was yesterday revealed home-owners are facing a wave of infestation because of council cuts. Authorities across the country have ditched free pest control services for domestic premises. And bins outside homes are now collected only once a month in some towns, creating piles of trash for rubbish-loving rats. Rat-catchers also point to slashed drain clearance services, which are helping to harbour the vermin. A spokesman from London Rodent Control admitted: “Government cuts could lead to an even larger surge in rat infestations. “The introduction of fortnightly bin collections has caused a build-up in refuse as well as an upsurge in fly-tipping. “So there is no wonder rat infestations are becoming an all too common blight on properties.” Pest control expert Steve Clemo also warned about the dangerous “knock-on effect” of the cuts. The rat-catcher, who works for Cornwall-based pest and vermin company Pestakil, has seen populations jump by up to 50% in his area. He fears that figure is widespread across Britain.
Steve said: “Since the free pest service was discontinued the numbers have increased. “It could be a result of cuts in council budgeting.”
In his region, figures from Cornwall council showed complaints went up from 206 in 2012 to 304 in 2013, plus another 297 unofficial complaints. Cornwall resident Kirstie Rollason, 41, of Penryn, found one rodent that measured almost 19 inches in her back garden. She said: “It was so big, even our dog was scared to approach it.” Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles wants councils to bring back weekly bin collections. His bin bible, published in January, was a “direct challenge of the fortnightly bin industry”. He said: “This Government is getting rid of barmy bin policies which made families’ lives hell. “Rubbish collections are the most visible service that people get for their £120-a-month council tax bill. “People deserve a comprehensive weekly service in return for their taxes. “If councils adopt this guide as their bin bible, they will be able to save taxpayers’ money and still increase frequency and quality of rubbish and recycling collections.”