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Rat Horror Stories – The Worst Rodent Infestations

Halloween is the perfect time for horror stories, and as pest season is in full swing, we asked pest controllers about the worst rat infestations they’d ever dealt with. From rats destroying plumbing to not being quite dead after all, here are some of our picks of real rat horror stories! The photos are for illustration purposes unless otherwise stated.

Armies of Rats

A common theme was rat infestations that had been going on for far too long:

Facebook user Heidi Wise described a job from 3 years ago – where a house was so heavily infested with rats that they’d become semi-domesticated!

“We got the home owner somewhere else to live for a while, sealed the house then treated them. We physically collected just short of 400 bodies, and there were others in the cavities etc that we couldn’t get to.”

Daniel Schofield from ISCA Pest control had to deal with an infestation which previous pest technicians had struggled to resolve:

“One of the worst rat infestations I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with over the past 10 years of being a pest technician… Rats eating through the back of a ground floor toilet waste pipe, making their way into the property to feast on anything they could get their little claws on – which included electrical wires, water pipes and each other! On inspection of the drains, I found historical evidence that this had been going on for many months. After fitting a rat blocker to the drain, the problem was finally resolved.”

And for Facebook user Pete Clarke, the horror was ongoing with a persistent infestation of some very wily rats: 

“When I first went into the attic, I was finding plastic bags of grain dating back to 2013, 74 in total including diy blocks. I’ve still not caught 1 rat in 6 visits, hearing the noise every few nights, no evidence with tracking dust, no new bait taken, and now I’ve put 2 cameras up and nothing! Real horror story for me…”

The sheer numbers of rats in one small space also qualified for a horror story – Kevin Kirk from NG Pest Control found a huge infestation rats inside a single rubbish bin, taking out 15 of them – see the photo from his video below!

Screenshot from a video by Kevin Kirk

Plumbing Horror

For pest controller Anthony Smith, the real horror was the expensive damage caused by a rat infestation – directly and indirectly:

“Young couple, she’d come home from giving birth and was having a bath. She heard noises under the bath and gave me a call.

Drain issue – the concrete drain had dropped about three inches and you could see a clear run under the patio. I baited the drains, the bath was all tiled in, walls, floor and surround so I informed them I’d be back in three days to rebait.

That night, the rat gnawed through the plastic cold feed – dad came down in the early hours to find water pouring through the kitchen ceiling!

Emergency plumber destroyed the bathroom getting to the pipe to fit a service valve across the defect area. I came back the next day, kitchen was trashed, bathroom trashed. I felt so bad I gave them a free treatment!”


Rising from the Dead?

For Tony Smith from All Aspects Pest Control, what he expected to be a simple loft check turned into trouble very quickly:

“It was last summer, late in what was a long, hot, tiring day and all I had to do was pop up into the loft and check on a handful of TRex traps. Pretty sure that we had things under control, and this was a quick in and out followed by the last wasp job of the day and home to a cold beer! So there I was, head torch, t-shirt and shorts in the loft and to my surprise we had two good sized rats caught; nice catches around the neck.  All routine.

I was feeling a bit complacent and because I hadn’t expected to find any catches, I had neglected to bring a bag for the bodies. Looking around, I saw a shallow empty cardboard box which would do for the bodies, I’d free them, reset and get onto the last job … and that beer.

To say my mind wasn’t on the job was an understatement, as I released the lever on the back of the first trap to drop the body into the box, which was between my legs, I thought I heard a noise. Having committed myself to action, I had immediately grabbed the second trap and pressed down on the lever, releasing the second body.  It was then I discovered that the first rat wasn’t dead!

It was in fact leaping from groin onto my chest, falling back down into my groin. PPE? It was around 35 degrees outside so I was wearing a pair of tighties and a thin pair of sports shorts, thinking that the heat would be the risk of the day.

The customer, an elderly church going lady, was at the bottom of the loft ladder and bless her, she was concerned. All she could here was me screaming “F@#k off” at the rat as I tried to get it off my nuts! Not my finest moment but I was laughing as I climbed back down the ladder. I beat the rat to death with the head torch in the end, who knew it’d be good for that?”


Preventing the Horror

These certainly aren’t the only rat horror stories popping up in the UK over the last few years, with UK rat populations on the increase and growing bolder, attracted by the increasing amount of waste produced by people and becoming more resistant to poisons

In 2021, a major infestation was reported on a council estate in Sheffield, with the rats potentially nesting in the building foundations and the council failing to address the issue. And in summer 2022, rats were filmed crawling over fresh croissants in a Sainbury’s in Islington , and a café was shut down after rat droppings were discovered all over the food preparation area! 

How can home & business owners avoid rat horror stories in the future then? Preventative proofing often helps avoid costly extermination jobs later on – for example Metex Nordisk rat blockers are the market leaders in their field, with over 250 000 installed worldwide.

We also recently looked at how the future of rat blockers could look in the UK, comparing to e.g. Denmark where rat blockers are a legal requirement in public buildings – read more HERE!

Have questions? You can always catch us on 0800 130 3646 or email!