“Cannibal” rats becoming more aggressive as they enter homes during pandemic

The warm winter kept rat populations high adding to the pressure on the animals which partly explains why they started eating each other

Aggressive “cannibal” rats are making their way into households as they search for food during the coronavirus lockdown.

Residents in Stoke-On-Trent say hungry rodents have been swimming up drains and into people’s toilets, as they adapt their behaviour during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Local pest controllers say they have seen a 10% rise in reported indoor sightings of rats, in areas of the city including Fenton, Burslem, Smallthorne and Tunstall.

Rentokil has noted an almost 80% increase in visits to its website compared with this time last year.

The company believes the warm winter kept rat populations high, adding to the pressure on the animals which partly explains why they have started eating each other.

Mike Flynn, of Alpha Pest Control, also said rats have adapted their behaviour to survive as they scrabble for food while restaurants remain shut.

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The rodents have even turned to eating each other to stay alive as they forage and breed in gardens, drains and household voids.

Flynn, who has worked in pest control since 1979, said: “There has definitely been a change in behaviour with the rats over lockdown.

Read more: yahoo