Liverpool facing increasing rats problem

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Pest control calls outs at an all time high due to rat problem © WikiCommons/geograph.org.uk

Pest control call outs at an all time high due to rat problem © WikiCommons/geograph.org.uk

Rats are becoming more of a problem in Liverpool, as more than 6,000 calls have been made in the first nine months of this year.

The invasion of the rodents is set to rise even further, as rats are said to be learning to outsmart traps, driving many residents to despair.

Liverpool City Council’s pest control has been flooded with calls about the problem, which are currently the highest in years. Numbers of complaints about the rodents have been steadily increasing, starting from 5,478 in 2012, 5,806 in 2013 and now 5,963 from January this year until the end of September.

Tom Farrell, Liverpool City Council’s Communications Officer, told JMU Journalism: “We work with United Utilities on things like this, they deal with rats in people’s houses. Every time we get a call, we respond and take it seriously.

“There has been a huge increase in house and building disturbances, but just because there are 6,000 calls, it doesn’t mean there are that many incidents, some may call about the same disturbance.”

Occurrences with rats are set to rise as the weather gets starts to get colder, statistics show more rodent problems happen in winter. Roof voids and any other small hidden spaces provide the perfect place for rats to make nests and shelter from the cold conditions, leading to more entering people’s homes.

Mr Farrell continued: “We notice there is an increase in problems this time of year. We are aware of this and plan to act proactively to put a stop to the problem.”

The RSPCA offers advice on how to keep rats out of your home and garden, including: ensuring all rubbish is disposed of efficiently in a closed container, limiting the amount of food people leave out for wild birds and being more careful where food for pets, such as rabbits and guinea pigs are left.

About Emma Marsden, JMU Journalism