As if the disease-carrying, stomach-churning rats invading our homes weren’t enough, a new breed of ‘super rats’ is now threatening to take over entire cities and towns. This new type of rodents is already overrunning most British towns and cities, and the prognosis is not favorable at all: it seems that they have developed resistance to traditional rat poisons, and there is currently no known remedy to guarantee their extermination.
While scientists warn about the new capabilities of this new species – deeming it ‘fitter, faster, and almost impossible to kill’ – pest control professionals are doing the best they can to keep up with the staggering number of inspection requests received on a daily basis. Since the rats do not react to conventional pest control methods, the only solution seems to be a stronger generation of poisons capable of putting them to sleep, although it would surely be difficult to make such potent poison and still adhere to current health and safety restrictions.
According to Professor Robert Smith at the University of Huddersfield, the super rats have suffered genetic mutations, and their current DNA ensures their protection from conventional poisons. In fact, after extensive testing, it was revealed that the rodents have a whole new string of DNA that simply blocks any attacks from the once-effective pesticides.
Rodenticides such as warfarin, bromadiolone, and difenacoum have been successfully used over the last half century to eliminate infestations. Without taste or odor, these poisons were highly effective when mixed with bait; rodents continue to feed on the same bait for days, until a sufficient amount of poison was accumulated to cause internal bleeding and eventually death. Such substances can also be sprayed on the animal’s fur and ingested during grooming.
It was in the 1950s when it first became obvious that the same poison that successfully kills millions of rats leaves others unharmed. Since then, numerous government-funded research centers have been performing feeding tests on animals, trying to determine what genes protect some rodents from sure death.
At the moment, several other scientists from the University of Huddersfield have created the Rodenticide Resistance Mapping Project, through which they attempt to collect DNA samples from hundreds of rats all over the country and establish the prevalence of poison-resistant rats across the affected regions.
Even if there is still no sure method of wiping out the super rats, professional pest control companies are still your best bet when it comes to detecting, treating, and preventing rat infestations. Traps, repellents, non-toxic substances, and several other highly-effective devices are now used to kill rodents and discourage potential intruders from invading your home. It is also important to remove food and water sources or limit rodents’ access.
Efficient rat and mice management is not only about wiping the pesky invaders out – it is also about taking the necessary preventive measures to guarantee future infestations will not take place. Resorting to a professional pest control company will prevent rodents from accessing the old entry points, allowing homeowners to regain control of their home and property. Furthermore, using professional services that have adopted non-chemical extermination methods will ensure that no humans, pets, or wildlife living on your property will ever be harmed.
About the Author
Daniel Mackie, owner of GreenLeaf Pest Control, is a Toronto pest control expert well-known as an industry go-to guy, an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions, and is a regular guest on HGTV. Mackie, along with business partner Sandy Costa, were the first pest control professionals in Canada to use detection dogs and thermal remediation for the successful eradication of bed bugs. In his free time, he is an avid gardener.