Irish homes are being infested with huge rats as the rodents make their way indoors for the winter.
Andrew Dellbridge, head of Ace Pest Control, has said that he has seen rats 'as big as cats' creeping into homes.
"They used to work around us but now they're gaining access they wouldn't have attempted before."
And the numbers of the pests are just as frightening as their size. An infestation of two rats can quickly become a family of 50 rodents in just 6 months.
Top pest control experts Rentokil estimate that in Dublin, there could be “as many rats as there are humans.”
Not only can the sneaky rodents cause damage to your home, rats can also carry serious diseases. From salmonella to Weil’s disease, the vermin can bring a number of health complications for you and your family.
Discovering a rat problem can be frightening and distressing but knowing how to deter the rodents will give you some peace of mind as the danger of infestation rises coming into the winter months.
Top pest control experts Rentokil explain that “the best way to deter rats is to deny them access to food, water and shelter.”
Unlike mice, rats need daily access to water. But the pests are “renowned for eating just about anything,” so preventing them from sneaking around your food waste is key.
Here are the top tops on rat prevention:
Cats can be useful, but Andrew Dellbridge said that 'a sensible cat doesn't like a big rat'.
Rats are nimble, taking any opportunity to sneak into your home. Both black and brown rats can climb, swim through sewers and drain systems and both species chew at gaps in a bid to enter your home.
To rat-proof your home, experts recommend reinforcing your entrances, exterior walls, roofs and drains.
One woman was recently left speechless when she used her bathroom, heard a noise and then saw a rat in the toilet bowl below her.