HUGE foot-long rats have been discovered lurking in homeowners’ toilets by a pest controller.
There have been several incidents of the rodents being discovered both drowned and alive in lavatory bowls in the Dorset area, after they managed to climb up the pipes.
Pest control experts called out to deal with the threat say they have found petrified customers weighing down the toilet seat to stop the rats getting into their home.
One woman even used a whole roll of duct tape to secure the lid against an intruding rat.
Paul Storey, a specialist in pest control, said the worrying development is down to the sheer tenacity of the rodents.
Mr Storey, from Poole, Dorset, said: “It sounds like the stuff of nightmares but I have had a number of calls recently from homeowners finding rats in their toilets. As you would imagine, they were left terrified.
“When I joined this industry 13 years ago I didn’t know that trying to calm people down would be such an important part of the job.
“But when you look into your toilet and see a rat down there, it’s really scary for the customer and they can get quite hysterical.
“In the jobs I have attended, when a rat comes up through the pipes into a toilet it doesn’t want to go back the way it came and so has to be removed either dead or alive.
“They appear to have learnt how to climb and swim upwards through the pipes.”
Mr Storey said there is a simple solution to the problem in the form of a ‘drain guard’.
The guard is inserted into a sewage pipe and works like a cat flap, allowing waste out while blocking anything coming the other way.
He added: “Rats will get in to properties for a variety of reasons – from searching for food and shelter to general inquisitiveness.
“Home owners often feel ashamed or embarrassed but there is really no need to.
“It’s generally not a reflection on them, it’s a reflection on the abundance and tenacity of rats.
RAT RACE – how to stop a rat coming into your home
There are a number of things you can do to prevent rats from coming into your home.
Before calling in the experts, which might be costly, you could try these:
Fill in any holes or gaps and remember the rodents can squeeze themselves through holes a quarter of their size.
Don’t encourage them to come in by leaving food lying around that they might see as a tasty treat, this includes any crumbs.
Trim any trees or shrubs back four feet from your home.
Set traps inside and outside your home.
Remove any potential nesting sites from your property, such as leaf piles and mulch.
Most read in news
“Luckily there is a simple solution to the problem, by inserting a drain guard in the sewer pipe.
“They work like cat flaps and let the waste out while preventing anything coming back up.
“It is a simple and cost effective solution that will give people peace of mind.”
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at email@example.com or call 0207 782 4368. You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.