Jack Russell Max catches huge rat as Tunbridge Wells residents warn of invasion

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 4, 2014 in Rat Answers | Subscribe
  • Jack Russell, Max, caught one of the huge rats spotted around Britain
  • Max’s owner Mark Willmott says it is the biggest rat he’d ever seen
  • His is the latest report of large rodent sightings in Royal Tunbridge Wells
  • Reports come after pest controllers warn vermin ‘as large as cats’ now in UK

By
Richard Spillett

06:54 EST, 3 April 2014


|

10:03 EST, 3 April 2014

This is the moment a pet dog catches a giant rat in his mouth, amid warnings the disease-carrying rodents are surging in numbers around the UK.

Jack Russell, Max, grabbed one of the extra-large rats during a walk in a park in the Kent town of Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Pest controllers around the country have reported increasing numbers of the over-sized vermin, which are growing as big as cats on fatty foods and developing an immunity to traditional poisons.

Jack Russell, Max, owned by Royal Tunbridge Wells resident Mark Willmott, caught one of the large rats whose numbers are increasing around the country

Jack Russell, Max, owned by Royal Tunbridge Wells resident Mark Willmott, caught one of the large rats whose numbers are increasing around the country

The problem had been mainly confined to large cities, but Royal Tunbridge Wells resident Mark Willmott was shocked to see his dog Max emerge from bushes with one the creatures in his mouth during a walk in local park, Southborough Common.

Mr Wilmott, 50, said: ‘I’ve never seen a rat that big in my life. When I saw my dog come out of the bushes with it I was shocked that something like that was living so close to where people live.’

His daughter, Lexie O’Hara, 20, described the rat as ‘terrifyingly big’.

It comes as residents in the town report an increase in sightings of the extra-large rodents, with some fearing their numbers could lead to a spread in disease.

Peter Vincent told local paper, The Kent and Sussex Courier: ‘It’s disease. Rats carry everything, absolutely everything.

Residents in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent have reported a surge in the numbers of over-sized rats

Residents in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent have reported a surge in the numbers of over-sized rats

He added: ‘This was the cause of the plague. They killed half the population in Medieval times. We need to get to grips with responsibility with this.’

It has been suggested the rats are using the disused ABC cinema in the town as a breeding ground.

A spokesman for Tunbridge Wells Borough Council played down the claims of an increase in numbers today.

But she insisted the council has moved to tackle any rodents living in the former cinema.

The spokesman said: ‘The empty cinema site in the town centre is due to be demolished and we have imposed strict conditions on the owners about how they must use specialist contractors to eradicate, not displace, any vermin before demolition.’

The picturesque spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells, near the border between Kent and Sussex, is a popular retreat for wealthy Londoners and is famous for its ‘Pantiles’ Georgian walkway.

Pest controllers have seen an increase in the numbers of huge rats, which experts say are growing fat on junk food thrown away by humans

Pest controllers have seen an increase in the numbers of huge rats, which experts say are growing fat on junk food thrown away by humans

The town’s rat fears come just days after pest controllers in Birmingham reported more than 5,000 sightings of large rats, some as big as cats, in the past year.

Dr Robin Allaby, professor in evolutionary genetics at Warwick University, has said the increase in size is probably down to high-sugar and fatty foods now thrown away by humans .

He said: ‘Humans have got bigger with nutrition and it’s a quite likely explanation for rats as well.’

Earlier this year, pest control experts warned that rats are mutating and developing an immunity to tradition poisons.

The pesticides wipe out weaker animals, meaning that those that survive are able to withstand increasing amounts of poison.

David Cross, from pest control firm Rentokil, said the biggest rats still live in rural environments and grow large by eating animal feed meant for bulking-up livestock.

He added: ‘Rats, much like the rest of us, are focused on finding food and shelter.

‘Once they find a good supply of food and the environment is favourable, they’ll end up staying there and can grow to a decent size.

‘One way to control the spread of these creatures is to go back to basics and not give them the ideal conditions in which to thrive.

‘Simple things like ensuring that food waste is properly disposed of can make a big difference in cutting their food supply, while sealing any obvious holes in the exterior of your property with wire wool or caulk should stop them entering your home.’


Comments (312)

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John,

Wales, United Kingdom,

3 hours ago

Only to be expected after the liberals decided they knew best. The rats have better rights than humans. Years ago rat catchers could dock a dead rat of its tail as proof of a killing, then it was decided that the officials at their desks knew how best to control the pest by employing people directly to tip tons of poison all over the place. Now because the liberals and desk jockeys have failed we are plagued by rats.

Claire37-London,

London, United Kingdom,

5 hours ago

I think there is definitely a gap in the market for old school pest control. I love the falconry pest controllers who fend of pigeons etc in the cities and think that someone could make a business out or re-training the terrier type breeds to do what they were originally designed to and catch rodents. Why not, to some it comes naturally as with this dog? The only concern with random pet terriers doing this – they may not always have the necessary jabs or protection against the diseases the rodents could pass on. So if someone does make a business of this – the dogs would need the relevant vet services and whatever would be needed to make sure that they remain as healthy as possible.

Mike,

Poole,

5 hours ago

Rats this size are a common sight on the underground, and on farms, and have been for the last 30 years. Field rats are moving into towns, and picking up disease, not bringing it with them.

Johnny Combat,

Corby, Northants,

5 hours ago

April fool!!!

Bert Dock,

Liverpool,

6 hours ago

This must be the third rat story this week. Someone`s got shares in a pest control firm maybe.

Dungogvolts,

Newcastle, Australia,

7 hours ago

Aren’t Jack Russell’s breed for catching rats?

Max,

Leicester, United Kingdom,

7 hours ago

Man’s best friend.nice one Max

Shamael,

Luxembourg,

7 hours ago

is this not the opportune moment to offer a free piece of land to a Chinese luncheon meat factory around there?

St George,

Ipswich,

8 hours ago

……………. good reason to slash house prices – who would have thought RTW would have such huge disgusting creatures ………….. crossing them off my list of places to live

chockybikky,

Kent, United Kingdom,

12 hours ago

Makes me think of the 3 James Herbert novels The Rats..saying that rats are large rodents..end of, i have had pet rats before and they were huge..also it was cats that brought the Plague not rats

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