July 29 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Suffolk residents are being urged to take simple precautions to prevent an outbreak of “super rats” which are plaguing other parts of the country.
Scientists have charted the breed’s invasion into new communities by monitoring their progress in 17 counties across the UK.
It has been reported that some of the genetically-mutated “super rats”, which are immune to poison, have been found in Suffolk.
Researcher Dr Dougie Clarke, of Huddersfield University, has warned of a rat “time bomb”.
Ipswich Borough Council’s environmental health team has confirmed it has had no sightings of “super rats” but said precautions should be taken to prevent infestations.
A spokesman said: “Do not leave household waste where rats can get to it, ensure it is sealed and placed in a bin with the lid closed.
“Keep your home in good repair: remove potential nesting sites by keeping yards and gardens clean and tidy; ensure drain covers are in place, and seal gaps around heating and water pipes.
“If you have a compost heap, position it on a hard surface such as on paving slabs or a fine steel mesh which will allow the liquids to drain away and secure any gaps beneath external buildings such as sheds and garages with galvanised wire mesh.”
Other tips include only putting bird food in feeders and not throwing unwanted food waste into the garden.
Dr Clarke said: “I think people should be concerned about these resistant rats because of public health concerns – because they carry disease and various other bacteria and viruses.
“Using rodenticides will kill of normal rats, but then the resistant ones will remain.
“So, it’s a sort of time bomb of resistance building up over generations of rats.”