A mega giant rat more than two feet long has been caught by a professional pest controller in Grimsby, a large seaport in Lincolnshire, North East England. Rats across the United Kingdom and many other parts of the world are not only becoming considerably bigger, they are also progressively getting more resistant to rat poisons.
Owner of SWAT Total Pest Control, Jeff Sullivan, 58, captured the giant rat at the home of one of his clients. He said he had never come across such a massive specimen in his eighteen years as a pest controller.
Professional pest controller Jeff Sullivan, who caught the massive rat, said that in his eighteen years in the business, this was the largest rat he had ever seen. (Image: facebook.com/Pestcontrollincolnshire)
Proper giant rat – not a trick
Online readers are becoming wary of claims people make regarding giant animals, and then post pictures of their finds online. Often the freak specimen they show is a normal-sized creature. If you hold it at the end of a stick, point it out towards the smartphone taking the picture so that it is quite close, the creature will seem much bigger than it really is.
Mr. Sullivan insists his specimen and the photos he posted online were of a real giant rat – no trick photography or optical illusions were used.
Mr. Sullivan explained:
“There is a lot of misrepresentation with guys taking photos of rats with mobile phones and holding it out at an extreme arms-length to create the illusion that it’s bigger than it really is. But this is the real deal, it’s the largest rat I’ve ever seen.”
Rats are consuming a different mix of food today compared to many years ago. Their diets are now protein-rich and they are ‘bulking up’, Mr. Sullivan said, i.e. they are becoming stronger, not just bigger.
Mr. Sullivan had pictures of himself with the rat taken at several different angles to show there was no trick photography. The specimen looks massive in all of them. (Image: facebook.com/Pestcontrollincolnshire)
Rats today are much more difficult to get rid of compared to twenty years ago, because they have become resistant to many of the poisons people can buy over-the-counter in shops.
Giant rat could kill a small dog
A two-foot long rat, bulked-up on a protein-rich diet could sort out any domestic cat in a matter of seconds, and probably most small- and medium-sized dogs, say experts.
Regarding his own dog, Mr. Sullivan said:
“I’m just glad I never had my jack Russell on this one, I think the rat might’ve won.”
If you had a giant-rat infestation on your property, perhaps rather than going for a dog or cat to help solve the problem, a pet python might be the solution. However, you would have a major panic down your street if it managed to escape.
Rats and public health
When people in the UK report a rat infestation, local authorities take it seriously, because they can potentially become a serious public health problem.
Was this specimen just a freak of nature? How big were its mother and father? Perhaps it has reproduced – how large are its offspring? Is Grimsby now free of mega rats? (Image: facebook.com/Pestcontrollincolnshire)
The two most common species – the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) and the black rat (Rattus rattus) – are known to carry more than thirty-five dangerous diseases, including leptospirosis and rat bite fever.
Leptospirosis, a particularly nasty infectious bacterial disease caused by corkscrew-shaped bacteria called Leptospira, if left untreated can lead to meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the spinal cord and brain), respiratory distress, kidney damage, and in severe cases even death.
According to the NHS, symptoms of mild leptospirosis infection include chills, fever, sudden headaches, loss of appetite, muscle pain (especially calves and lower back), cough, a short-lived rash, conjunctivitis (redness and irritation of the eyes), and nausea/vomiting.
Symptoms of severe leptospirosis infection, sometimes called Weil’s disease, include jaundice (yellow skin and whites of eyes), coughing up blood, shortness of breath, symptoms of meningitis or encephalitis (vomiting, headaches, and seizures), swollen ankles, feet or hands. If you, or any member of your family or a friend has these symptoms, call your doctor or the emergency services immediately.
Fortunately, leptospirosis is not common in the UK.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informed that rat bite fever, if left untreated, can be a serious and even fatal disease.
Signs and symptoms of rat bite fever may include a skin rash with reddish-brown or purple plaques, swelling of the lymph nodes, headache, fever and chills, ulceration at the bite site with red streaks, vomiting, and sore throat. The following complications are possible: hepatitis, meningitis, pneumonia, and infection of the heart.
Week of giant creatures
This has been a week of giant creatures around the world. In Alberta, Canada, authorities are telling residents to stop flushing their pet goldfish down the toilet, because there is an invasion of giant goldfish in lakes, rivers and ponds. When they get into large ponds and lakes, they just keep growing and growing.
In Malaysia, construction workers found a 26-long python, which if confirmed will probably be registered in the World Guinness Book of Records as the longest snake in the world.
Video – Rat size of toddler caught