A 2ft giant rat - ‘the size of a small dog’ - has been caught by a Lincolnshire firm who say it is the biggest they have ever seen.
Jeff Sullivan and Spencer Harris, of SWAT Pest Control, in Norfolk Street, Boston, were left stunned when they encountered the whopping rodent.
The pair were called to reports of ‘something big’ living in an attic near Cleethorpes after owners heard ‘footsteps’ running across their ceiling.
The huge creature was eventually caught in a trap left on the patio.
“I’ve caught a few rats in my time, but this mega rat is by far the biggest I’ve ever seen in 15 years,” said ex-soldier Jeff. “It was the size of a small terrier dog and had massive teeth.”
Spencer added: “We often encounter extra large rats - particulary at places where there is water, like Boston Dock. But this is the biggest yet. The owners could hear it running across their attic, like the sounds of footsteps. Before we even saw it, we could tell by the size of its droppings that it was going to be huge.”
The pair said the rodent measured 2ft long, or 24 inches, from the nose to the tip of the tail. The rats they usually catch are about 10-15 inches.
Spencer, a kickboxing champion, said: “Sometimes we use Jack Russells to help locate the rats for us by scent. But I didn’t want my dog involved with this one, as I was worried the massive rat would injure him.”
The pair said the rodent was killed ‘instantly’ in an industrial-sized trap.
They believe rats have become immune to some poisons, eating maize from the fields in Lincolnshire which acts as an ‘antidote’ due to its vitamin K content. Jeff also claims rats are growing in size each year by gorging on fast-food leftovers in bins.
“We’ve noticed they seem to be getting bigger and bigger,” he said. “I think it’s a combination of living off high-protein scraps from the growing number of fast-food outlets - and their immunity to some poisons.” He added: “It is a serious issue as they can carry various diseases.”