These British Rats Are Cat-Sized, And Immune To Standard Rat Poison
They’re being called “super rats,” but there’s nothing heroic about them. Over the past year, the rats in Liverpool have grown as big as cats, and they’re developing an immunity to traditional rat poisons. The situation is getting so bad that pest controllers may have to deploy a toxic that can only be obtained through the English government. In other words, cancel any Liverpool vacation plans you may have had.
“They’re super rats, in my opinion,” said Sean Whelan of Whelan Pest Prevention. “They’re like humans. They eat and eat and get bigger and bigger.”
Over the last year, Liverpool has seen a 15 percent rise in house calls for rodent infestations, and some of them are reported to be as big as small cats. In normal circumstances, exterminators would use warfarin or bromadiolone to kill the rats. But these aren’t normal circumstances.
Both warfarin, a blood-thinning drug, and bromadiolone, a stronger toxin that was only approved for rat-killing purposes in 2012, have proved ineffective at killing the critters. Pest controllers, having exhausted there options, may be left with no choice but to request permission to use stronger poisons from the Health and Safety Executive.
“They’re becoming very resistant to bait in Liverpool,” Whelen said. “Soon we’ll have to be putting third generation bait down,.which we will need to get legislation for.”
It’s unclear what precipitated the rat explosion. A 2009 study out of the University of Huddersfield suggested that genetic mutations could be granting rats immunity to poison; however, that research was released in 2009, a good four years before the current outbreak began.
This must be mildly terrifying for Liverpool residents. At least they’re not facing a capybara infestation.