Shropshire Star

Telford people outnumbered by rats as lockdown boosts rodent population

Residents in Telford are now outnumbered by rats as lockdown has boosted their population to 358,616, according to a pest control company.

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PA photo: Peter Jordan

This means people in the borough are outnumbered 2.2 to one by the long-tailed rodents, and Telford-based company Pest said quiet urban areas and plentiful food waste are to blame.

Jenny Rathbone, of Pest, said: "They say you are only ever 6ft away from a rat – and in typical 2020 fashion it’s now more likely in Telford than ever this year.

"We are seeing a huge increase in rat problems throughout Telford as lockdown has really helped them breed in relative peace, with closed properties with poor waste management practices providing them with plentiful food and shelter.


"The problem we have right now is that rats are trying to bed down for winter, and this will happen when we get a few cold snaps.

"The main thing to remember is rats need food and shelter to breed, so any food source should be quickly cleaned away – keeping bin and yard areas clean and tidy is key to keeping rats under control.”

Rats have enjoyed a bumper year breeding during lockdown, making their nests in vacant buildings on quiet streets with poor waste practices. Pest reports that the infestations they have been called to have been 25 per cent larger this year than last.

Rats can typically have six litters of between six and 12 pups each year, and a group of rats carries the fitting nickname of a mischief, giving a clue to the damage and chaos a large infestation can cause.

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