Suffolk: Rats eat through car as weather sends vermin in search of warmer homes
13:49 22 January 2013
PEST control bosses have seen the number of rodent call outs go up by 50% in Suffolk as wet and cold weather drives vermin in doors.
One woman was left with almost £1,000 of damage after rats chewed away parts of her car while other residents have reported rodents clambering out of their toilets.
Martin Buckle, managing director of The Suffolk Pest Control Company, said their phones started to ring as soon as the weather turned.
“There has been a huge number of rats and mice this year. The main reason they are going into houses and cars is probably due to the water table going up and down with floods, they are looking for higher, drier ground, moving from sewers and ditches into people’s houses. The cold could be another factor.
“We have seen a lot of calls, especially when the weather started to turn. We probably have seen about a 50% increase on last year.”
Mr Buckle said he often sees rats going into cars, usually if they have been left for some time in garages or gardens.
He added: “We have also seen them coming out of toilets this year, especially in places that are on Victorian sewerage. Recently I had a case where a chap was in the bathroom on the second floor of his house. He lifted up the toilet seat and saw a rat. “He was lucky he had left the lid closed or it would have been in his house. It had climbed up the downpipe, probably due to the water levels rising.”
Jill Delaney, 74, who lives in a rural location Kentford, returned from a Christmas break to find that rats had swarmed inside her Ford Fusion.
She said: “I’ve got to keep my car in the garden because I’m not allowed to leave it on the drive because I live on a stable yard. I went away at Christmas and came back and rats had eaten my car – absolutely wrecked it. I’ve never seen anything like it –it was just devastated.”
Mrs Delaney, who said the repair bill came in at £800 has now sent the car off to have wire wool inserted into its cavities to stop the rats striking again.
She added: “I know where the nest is and where they go in my garden because I can see their footprints in the snow.”