A pest control company is warning people to watch out for an influx of rats in their homes following recent bouts of flooding in Eastbourne.
Cleankill Environmental Services, which has an office in Seaford, believes the recent wet weather will force rodents out of their underground burrows or flooded drains as they look to seek shelter and dry places to live.
Those whose houses are near rivers are particularly at risk of unwanted guests, while burst drains and damaged pipework also allow the pests to escape from the flooded underground.
Chris Davis, of Cleankill Environmental Services said, “Rats like water and are good swimmers but they can’t tolerate being submerged for long periods and can drown.
“Their usual food sources may have been washed away, so they will be searching for things to eat too.
“Rats are generally nocturnal but the flooding will have disrupted their normal patterns. As a result they will be sleep-deprived, exhausted, very nervous and hungry – they will be more scared of you than you are of them.
“Rats carry lots of diseases so it’s best to keep clear of them and dispose of or disinfect anything they have come in contact with.”
Homeowners are advised not to try and tackle the rats themselves as they can become aggressive when cornered, especially in an unfamiliar environment.
Residents are also told to keep food in sealed containers and ensure to put rubbish in collection bins to avoid further attracting the rodents, who tend to wall cavities and lofts where there is dry, nesting material.
If you have a pest control problem, call the Eastbourne Borough Council on 410000.