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Christmas Rat Warning
6:03am 4th December 2014
First it was spiders, now could rats be heading for our homes in Cornwall?
There is a warning a cold snap could drive them indoors after the mild weather sent populations soaring.
But the trouble is that could coincide with bins packed with festive treats - and fewer waste collections.
The creatures can pass on a string of diseases to humans - by setting up nests close to attic water tanks.
Experts say it is easier to prevent a rat infestation than try to get rid of one.
Leyland Phillips is a pest control expert from Redruth. He told Pirate FM: "Forgetting about the diseases and forgetting about what they can cause to humans - I think at 2 o'clock in the morning when you're lying asleep and hearing scratching noises in the loft or walls or even if you see one in the kitchen it's more of a fright.
"You quite often now see bin liners chucked outside people's houses when they aren't going to be picked up for a week. This in itself is going to cause a massive problem with rodents. It's free food.
"We're basically feeding them."
Three Things You Can Do To Avoid Rats...
- Take a look around the outside of your house and seal up any gaps that rats could use to squeeze their way in. Bear in mind they only need a hole 2cm big - and can gnaw their way through. So make sure you use metal mesh or concrete
- Make sure you put a lid on your bin (preferrably made of metal) and don't leave bags of unprotected food lying around outside or in sheds
- Tidy up waste food lying around bird feeders and don't leave pet food outdoors
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