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Rat warning: ‘Flushed out’ pests invade UK homes – ‘health risks’ identified by experts

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Rat warning: 'Flushed out' pests invade UK homes – 'health risks' identified by experts

London has been hit by flash floods as parts of the capital saw a month’s worth of rain in just one day in horrendous scenes that sparked travel chaos. It saw residents evacuated from their homes, train services cancelled and cars submerged in water. The Met Office issued a yellow warning as Kew experienced 47.8mm of rain in a 24-hour period and recorded its third wettest day on record.

There are now fears that “flushed out” rats will invade homes affected by the flooding after sewage seeped from drains and toilets.

Chris Davis, at Cleankill Pest Control, previously explained why UK homes could come under siege.

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He said: “The rats are simply trying to find dry places to live. 

“Rats like water and are good swimmers but they can’t tolerate being submerged for long periods and can drown.

“Their usual food sources may have been washed away, so they will be searching for things to eat too.”

He explained that drain covers pushed off by flood water can allow rats to escape into residential areas.

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But Mr Davis warned against homeowners taking action against any invading rats as they can become aggressive.

He added: “Rats are generally nocturnal but the flooding will have disrupted their normal patterns. 

“As a result, they will probably be sleep-deprived, exhausted, very nervous and hungry – they will be more scared of you than you are of them. 

READ MORE: Rat ‘plague’ hits NHS as ‘uncontrollable rodent infestation’ found 

Their urine and droppings contain pathogens that transmit diseases such as Weil’s disease, Rat Bite Fever and Salmonellosis.

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David Cross, head of technical training academy at Rentokil, warned in 2017: “Rats carry a particular health risk in flooded areas, as their urine contains leptospires which survive outside the rat’s body for much longer periods in extreme wet weather.”

Rentokil’s website explained how the leptospires within the rats’ urine can cause Leptospirosis (commonly known as Weil’s disease). 

Hantavirus is another pathogen that they say can be transmitted from rats and mice to people via food and water contaminated by rodent urine and excrement.

Rodents are also potential sources of allergens. 

Their droppings, dander and hair can cause people to sneeze, itch and experience other allergic reactions.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: UK Feed

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Rat warning: 'Flushed out' pests invade UK homes – 'health risks' identified by experts
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