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A rat catcher says fortnightly bin collections are creating “monster rodents”.
Pest controller Terry Walker said higher-calorie food waste left sitting in bins for up to two weeks had led to a boom in giant vermin.
The 56-year-old, who works with his dog, Max, said: “Years ago, I would have been excited to catch a 19in rat but now I catch them regularly. I’m seeing some huge rats.
“They have easy access to high-calorie food so they’re getting bigger.”
He added: “It’s about the type of waste and how long it’s left before being collected.
“Bins used to be collected every week – now it’s once a fortnight. When it comes to them being collected, the rats have already had their fill.”
Terry, who runs TP Pest Control Services in Bournemouth, said better waste management was needed to curb the surging numbers of mega-rodents.
He caught what is thought to be the UK’s biggest rat – measuring 21in – in November 2018.
But he added: “I’m sure my record is going to be broken soon. It’s only a matter of time.”
Bobbie Dove, from Bournemouth Council, said: “We can reassure residents that we have adequate provision to deal with any pest control issues.
"We employ the latest techniques and have experienced no reduction in their effectiveness.”
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In other news, "cunning" rats the size of cats are sneaking through toilets to invade UK homes, an expert has claimed.
Pest control expert Ian Helands warned: “I have had more call-outs than ever from homeowners who have heard a noise, looked down into their toilet only to find a giant rat.
“No-one is safe. Rats are excellent swimmers with bendy bones and can squeeze into the smallest of spaces.
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