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Super rats on Ashdown Forest in Sussex - is it a myth?

With our decades of experience in pest control there’s not much we don’t know about or have a view about.

This week we’ve been asked about super rats in the Ashdown Forest. To date we haven’t seen any of these giant rats but it’s true that were there is a lot of food around you will naturally find some larger than usual rats.

The topic of resistance to poisons keeps cropping up. This is not a new issue – there have been pockets of resistant rats in different parts of the country for years.

Resistance to poisons is a definitely a problem as there are fewer poisons available for professional pest controllers because they have been banned by the EU. We believe the problem is being exacerbated by farmers using poisons irresponsibly. With budget cuts leading to fewer local authorities offering free pest control service, members of the public are buying poisoned bait from DIY stores and not using it properly. It is so important that the correct quantity is used otherwise you are simply giving the rats a free meal.

Placing the bait in the correct place is also critical otherwise there is a risk that other wildlife could get poisoned by either eating the bait or species like owls eating the poisoned rodents.

Pest control must be integrated by which we mean professional pest controllers work in partnership with the people and businesses affected and proofing so rats can’t get inside premises. Putting rubbish in sealed containers is also very important.

Most importantly, problems need addressing as soon as they are discovered – don’t leave them to get out of hand or they will be more costly in the long run.

Listen to our MD Paul Bates talking about this issue on BBC Radio Sussex and Surrey: