Rats Bite UK Economy

Pile of moneyInvasive non-native species cost the British economy over £1.7 billion a year, with the Norwegian rat creating £62 million pounds worth of havoc.

The agricultural and horticultural sectors are the hardest hit, amounting to just under two thirds of the total estimated cost. Rabbits, costing £263 million pounds worth of damage are the main culprit in this sector.  The construction, development and infrastructure sector has the second highest cost at approximately £212 million, with Japanese Knotweed  followed by the brown rat, the most costly species.

Norway rats  are sometimes called brown or sewer rats. Their burrows are found along building foundations, beneath rubbish or woodpiles, and in moist areas as they need water to survive. When Norway rats invade buildings, they usually remain in the basement or ground floor. A strong concentration of urine can be indictive of a rat infestation, along with rat droppings and gnawed material. Rats teeth never stop growing so it is neccessary to gnaw regularly to grind their incredibly hard teeth down.

Damage Caused by Rats

  • Rats are known to spread infections such as Salmonella, Hantavirus and Weil’s disease.
  • Damage to stock and buildings. Rats sharp teeth can gnaw through cables, plastic, wooden doors and even mild steel.
  • Contamination of foodstuffs and goods.
  • Gnawing on electrical wires poses a potential fire risk.
  • Tearing up insulation in walls and ceilings for nesting.
  • Undermine building foundations and slabs with their burrowing activities.
  • Gnawing on copper pipes may create leaks.

    Diseases Carried by Rats

    On the rats underside, wet fur soaked in urine can transmit diseases to work surfaces, table tops or anywhere the rats have climbed. Among the diseases rats may transmit to humans or livestock are murine typhus, leptospirosis, trichinosis, salmonellosis (food poisoning) and the plague.

    In these tough economic times some local authories are no longer able to offer free or low cost rat control services so the most cost effective way to bite back is to protect your home or business from rats is to deposit rubbish in sealed containers, and make sure your property or premises are in good repair.

    1. Brigitta

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