Edinburgh named as Scotland’s most rat infested city

EDINBURGH has been named as the most rat-infested city in Scotland after one pest control company recorded more than 120 call outs to eradicate vermin this month.

By Stephen Wilkie
Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 4:45 pm
A brown rat, rattus norvegicus, with dustbin
A brown rat, rattus norvegicus, with dustbin

The capital was in tenth place in a UK league table of cities with the highest number of callouts over the scurrying rodents according to experts at Pest.co.uk following a survey of 3400 calls.

It is believed that lockdown has created an ideal habitat for the rat with careless waste habits, vacant shops and quiet streets leading to a breeding frenzy across the country.

Birmingham topped the league with 353 call outs, followed by Newcastle (305), Leeds (266), Liverpool (251) and the City of London (190).

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A rat come out from under a building

Manchester (187), Sheffield (155), Cardiff (139) and Bristol (131) were also ahead of Edinburgh.

Empty shop units and uncollected waste have previously been linked to an explosion in rat numbers, along with discarded fast food and a mild summer.

Pest control expert Jenny Rathbone said: "They say you are only ever 6ft away from a rat - and in some cities this is quite possibly true.

"Rats can breed like mad, so we get localised infestations, where a breeding pair can create six litters of six to twelve pups a year, creating more breeding pairs and so on – hence why you need to get these problems under control fast."

Pest control professionals have reported an increase in rat activity

She warned that a cold winter and further Covid-19 lockdowns could create a "perfect storm" of rodent infestations.

Ms Rathbone added: "Rats are loving life at the moment, they are being left to breed in vacant shops with abandoned bins - the technicians out on the road have seen nothing like this before.

"It’s really important not to leave food scraps around, even compost bins have been known to attract rats in large numbers, a tidy and clean environment helps reduce these problems massively."

The cities with the most rat infestation callouts in October were:

Birmingham – 353

Newcastle - 305

Leeds - 266

Liverpool - 251

City of London - 190

Manchester - 187

Sheffield - 155

Cardiff - 139

Bristol - 131

Edinburgh - 120

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