Rise of the genetically-mutated SUPER RATS: Giant rodents that are immune to …

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 28, 2014 in Rat News | Subscribe
  • Humans have been using the same rat poisons since the 1950s
  • But rats have developed a mutation that allows them to survive poisons
  • Out of 17 UK counties tested, every single one of them had resistant rats
  • Reports this year suggest that rats in the UK are also becoming bigger
  • ‘Super rats’ are expected to outnumber humans two to one by next year
  • Footage of the rats will be shown on the Tonight programme, on ITV at 7.30pm BST 

By
Ellie Zolfagharifard

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Deep within our city sewers, a new breed of genetically mutated ‘super rats’, immune to poison, are spreading at alarming speeds.

Scientists have now begun charting their rapid invasion into new communities by monitoring their progress in 17 counties in the UK.

Genetic testing by Huddersfield University has revealed that the rodents have developed a mutation that allows them to survive conventional poisons.

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A new breed of genetically mutated 'super rats', immune to poison, are spreading at alarming speeds. This giant vermin was reportedly found in Gravesend, Kent

A new breed of genetically mutated ‘super rats’, immune to poison, are spreading at alarming speeds. This giant vermin was reportedly found in Gravesend, Kent

In counties such as Berkshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Kent, all the rats tested were found to have immunity to poison.

Places such as Shropshire and South Gloucestershire had slightly less resilient rats with immunity levels at 33 per cent, and 50 per cent respectively.

Around 30 per cent of rats in Kingston are immune to poison, in Sheffield it is 40 per cent, while 75 per cent of rats in Southampton are immune.

A giant, two-feet long rat caught in Liverpool. A swarm of 'super rats' spotted across the country is expected to outnumber humans two to one by next year

A
giant, 2ft (0.6 metres) long rat caught in Liverpool. A swarm of ‘super rats’
spotted across the country is expected to outnumber humans two to one by
next year

While the rats have been changing, humans have been using the same anticoagulant poisons since the 1950s.

Research earlier this year found that the swarm of ‘super rats’ spotted across the country is expected to outnumber humans two-to-one by next year.

For the very first time, the Tonight programme, which airs at 7.30pm BST on ITV, will show footage and images of these tested ‘super rats’.

‘I think people should be concerned about these resistant rats because of public health concerns – because they carry disease and various other bacteria and viruses,’ said researchers Dr Dougie Clarke.

‘They also damage buildings…they cost billions of pounds of damage worldwide.’

‘With the use of rodenticides, that will kill off the normal rats, and then the resistant ones will remain.

‘So it’s a sort of time bomb of resistance building up over generations of rats.’

‘The fact we’ve tested 17 counties and every single one of them has got resistant rats was an amazing find to us. We didn’t expect to have every single county having resistant rats.’

While the rats have been changing, humans have been using the same anticoagulant poisons since the 1950s. This photo shows a huge rat that was caught in Cornwall earlier this year. It measured 50cm from tail to nose

While the rats have been changing, humans have been using the same anticoagulant poisons since the 1950s. This photo shows a huge rat that was caught in Cornwall earlier this year. It measured 50cm from tail to nose

Dr Clarke claims communities across the country are running out of defences as the government contemplates the future of rodenticide use.

The most potent rat poisons are currently for professional use only and cannot be used outside without special license.

The decision about the future regulation of rodent poison – mainly because of secondary poisoning to birds of prey and other animals – is expected this autumn.

Dr Clarke explained how the costs of pest control will escalate as a result of these poison-tolerant rats.

‘Unless there’s new legislation for the more toxic poisons and maybe for the more lax use of them, then it will have to be the more physical forms of killing the rats,’ he said.

‘The costs are going to escalate because of the monitoring and the picking off of the rats, and the dead bodies.’

 


Enlarge

 
Jack Russell Max, owned by Royal Tunbridge Wells resident Mark Willmott, caught one of the large rats whose numbers are increasing around the country. And the problem is not just confined to Britain. Other huge rodents have been caught recently in homes in Stockholm and Dublin

Jack Russell Max, owned by Royal Tunbridge Wells resident Mark Willmott, caught one of the large rats whose numbers are increasing around the country. And the problem is not just confined to Britain. Other huge rodents have been caught recently in homes in Stockholm and Dublin

Scientists have now begun charting their rapid invasion into new communities by monitoring their progress in 17 counties in the UK. Pictured are the counties in which all the rats tested were immune to poison

Scientists have now begun charting their rapid invasion into new communities by monitoring their progress in 17 counties in the UK. Pictured are the counties in which all the rats tested were immune to poison

Figures have revealed that, in some regions of the UK, the number of vermin has already surged by 50 per cent since April last year.

And experts believe the rat population could soar from 80 million to 160 million by the end of the year.

In April, a 2ft (0.6 metres) long rat was captured in Cornwall while other monster rats have been reported in Kent and in Liverpool.

Rats thrive in damp and soggy weather – of which the UK has seen plenty during the wettest year on record. Vermin are also swapping rural areas for the big city.

They can carry illnesses which can be passed to humans, including Weil’s disease, which has flu-like symptoms initially but can lead to jaundice and kidney failure.

Across the country, councils have reported a rise in the number of rats being reported. Birmingham has the highest number of call-outs with 5,100 in the past year.

And the problem is not just confined to Britain. Other huge rodents have been caught recently in homes in Stockholm and Dublin, where one rat was trapped by pest control after terrorising an Irish family in south Dublin.

The Dublin-based ‘monster vermin’ had been terrorising Grace and Ian Walters’ home in Kingswood shortly after they moved into their new flat.

RATS COULD ONE DAY GROW TO BE BIGGER THAN COWS, CLAIMS STUDY

Rats could grow to the size of cows or even bigger as they evolve to fill vacant ecological niches, it is claimed. Pictured here is the capybara - the largest rodent in the world

Giant rats, the size of cows or even bigger, could one day fill a ‘significant chunk’ of Earth’s emptying ecospace.

The terrifying scenario could become a reality as super-adaptable rats take advantage of larger mammals becoming extinct, an expert predicts.

‘Animals will evolve, over time, into whatever designs will enable them to survive and to produce offspring,’ said geologist Dr Jan Zalasiewicz, from the University of Leicester.

For instance, in the Cretaceous Period, when the dinosaurs lived, there were mammals, but these were very small, rat and mouse-sized, because dinosaurs occupied the larger ecological niches
Only once the dinosaurs were out of the way did these tiny mammals evolve into many different forms.

‘Given enough time, rats could probably grow to be at least as large as the capybara, the world’s largest rodent, that lives today, that can reach 80 kilos (17lb).

‘If the ecospace was sufficiently empty, then they could get larger still.’

 

Comments (393)

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BreederOne,

Albuquerque, United States,

1 day ago

They are sooo furry and cute. Want to bring them over to the US to breed for smarts and train them. GMO rat. Put on a leash and walk them like my dog. Attack rat. Sentry rat. Rat burger. Rat pelts. Bed warmer rat. Who’s going to bother you when you have a few rats on a leach. Wonder why these rats are in the UK and not America? i thought the biggest rats are in Washington DC?

johnrs67,

norwich, United Kingdom,

1 day ago

I have an electric trap that works very well. Four batteries and a dollop of whatever the curry house served my son and the beastie gets a 4000 volt shock. I just empty it into the bin and reset it.

Umoth,

Abingdon, United Kingdom,

1 day ago

And despite this, I bet the wildlife and countryside act still makes it against the law for me to shoot a rat with an air-rifle….

Christopher Smith,

Telford, United Kingdom,

1 day ago

Who did the map? Norfolk is near Liverpool now. Just another example of low quality journalism, repeated text with no information, bad grammar as well.

Richard,

Midi Pyrénées, France,

1 day ago

I’m not so concerned about the rat or it’s resistance, we’ve had them around us for years. But the so called larger rat is a worry. If it’s scavenging on our waste, what the hell is in that food that makes them grow so big? Is it stuff that seems to be making cancer so prevalent, perhaps?

BreederOne,

Albuquerque, United States,

1 day ago

McDonald’s leftovers.

BreederOne,

Albuquerque, United States,

1 day ago

McDonald’s leftovers and high fructose corn syrup.

John77,

Bournemouth,

1 day ago

Simple solution – Organise a cull of the local rat population. I can remember my grandfather telling me how people used to be paid by the local authorities for killing rats, cut off the tail, present it and you walk away with a bit of extra cash in your pocket.

Peter,

Kingston, United Kingdom,

1 day ago

You’ll just get people breeding rats in their back yards if there’s cash in it.

Stukeley,

Devizes, United Kingdom,

1 day ago

He is not a rat Mr Fawlty, he is a Siberian hamster

Kalaxan Harleqane,

Vancouver, Canada,

1 day ago

Imagine the Horror if Giant Rats took over Parliament…Oh no Too Late!

riki55,

London, United Kingdom,

2 days ago

As if it wasn’t enough the news of the rat attack in Brasil¿¿..

essexwitch,

Essex,

2 days ago

as rats are scavengers just stop leaving tonnes of food waste (or free food to them) and their numbers would naturally decline. rats have one main predator, the Fox, even the smell of foxes unnerves them. dogs and cats however are no issue for rats but rats love dog and cat food the smell draws them out! Our pet rats food is almost identical to dry dog food, they love it!

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Article source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2669542/Rise-genetically-mutated-SUPER-RATS-Giant-rodents-immune-poison-spreading-rapid-speeds.html

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