'Mutant' rats the size of small cats are multiplying on our fair shores.
That’s the opinion of one Liverpool pest controller who says he has witnessed a veritable explosion in numbers in the past 18 months.
Sean Whelan of Whelan Pest Prevention told the Liverpool Echo: “We’re seeing bigger rats in Liverpool. They’re super rats in my opinion.
“They’re like humans, they eat and eat and get bigger and bigger.”
Whelan says part of the problem is the animals are “gorging” themselves on food left in bins near restaurants, take-aways and homes – particularly fast food waste.
And he says in many cases the rodents are becoming immune to traditional rat poisons and that pest controllers want to use stronger types - which will require the permission of the Health and Safety Executive.
He said: “They’re becoming very resistant to bait in Liverpool. Soon we’ll have to be putting third generation bait down which we will need to get legislation for.”
And it’s not just Liverpool that is seeing the rise of the “super rat”.
Last month pest controller Colin Watts told the Birmingham Mail he had seen a 2ft-long rat as “wide as a brick”.
He added: “One of the biggest I’ve seen much have been 14 or 15 inches long. That was just the body, without the tail.
“With its tail it would have been over 2ft. It was like a small cat.”
And in Sweden last month a 16-inch beast terrorised a family after chewing through a concrete wall and landing in their kitchen.