Scorching summer has caused huge increase in number of rats and mice near our homes, warn pest experts

·News Editor, Yahoo News UK
Scorching summer has caused huge increase in number of rats and mice near our homes, warn pest experts

Pest controllers have warned that Britain's sizzling summer caused a huge increase in the number of rats and mice near our homes.

The warmest, driest summer since 2006 helped Britain's rats and mice reproduce in big numbers, according to Rentokil.

And with temperatures set to plummet this month, they've warned homeowners that these rodents will now be seeking shelter indoors.

The summer of 2013 saw lower rainfall than previous years and less flooding, allowing rodents to stay in their burrows longer and have undisturbed periods where populations grew.

They now expect rats and mice to cause problems in Britain's homes after their numbers grew 'exponentially'.

Female house mice can give birth to litters of up to 14 young, as many as ten times a year.

David Cross. Head of Technical Training Academy at Rentokil UK, said: 'Rodents like warmth, quiet and a source of food and as the first cold-snap is set to hit, it is worth following a few simple steps to avoid attracting rodents into your home.'

Rentokil advise homeowners to seal any holes and fit bristle strips around doors, as well as checking pipework, sealing food in containers and avoiding clutter.

They say people can check for rat or mouse activity in their home by looking out for scratching noises, droppings, ripped food packaging, or the distinctive 'amonia-like' smell rodents carry.

Rentokil also suggest laying down plain flour along the edges of the floor and by walls, as tracks in the powder will indicate if you've got a rodent problem.

Mr Cross added: 'Rodents can carry bacteria and viruses which can pose a serious health risk to people and pets.  These pathogens may be spread throughout an infested property via urine and faeces, as pests forage for food and build nesting sites.'

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