Edinburgh locals warned as Christmas scraps cause rat population to surge
and live on Freeview channel 276
Most homes produce large quantities of food waste over Christmas, and, with less frequent waste collections, bins are overflowing causing the rat population to skyrocket.
2020 has been a bumper year for rats – with the population of rats in Edinburgh up 25% caused by lockdowns, vacant commercial property, and poor waste management. However, many rats are now being forced to move towards residential areas are commercial food sources are drying up.
The advice is to avoid placing any food waste outside of a secure bin. The warning is even extended to cardboard and wrapping paper, which make perfect bedding materials for rats seeking shelter.
Jenny Rathbone from Edinburgh based pest controller Pest.co.uk, said: “The advice is really simple – do not leave any Christmas waste in the open or outside a secured bin. Do not, under any circumstances, leave any Christmas food waste inside your home – as the rat threat level is currently extremely high.”
The other worrying news is that 74% of rats now carry a “hybrid-resistance” to common pest control poisons – which could mean next year rat infestations are harder (or more expensive) to control. The recent 2019-20 Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use survey of rats showed that three-quarters of rats in the UK carried a resistance gene to popular rodenticides, and even more worrying in some locations in the UK, 20% have two different genes, making them super resistant.
“More and more people in Edinburgh are seeing rats in the open – this is a sign that numbers are very high. We are heading for a cold snap, and rats are busy raiding food sources and bedding down – calls for infestations are already increasing,” says Rathbone.
Pest.co.uk is issuing the following advice to anyone worried about rats over the Christmas and New Year break:
Do not leave any food waste unprotected – Any excess rubbish containing food of any sort should be kept secure, do not leave any bags anywhere outside of a bin, especially Christmas dinner leftovers Consider placing a brick or heavy object on top of your wheelie bin Keep all areas of your home clean and tidy Block up any gaps or holes in brickwork Remove cardboard and wrapping paper – these are idea bedding materials for rodents