Did you know that 22nd July is Rat Catcher’s Day?
It’s the day that commemorates the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin in Germany in 1294. The town of Hamelin had a rat infestation, and the Pied Piper was called in to get rid of the rats.
The Pied Piper drove all the rats out of Hamelin by blowing his pipe – the river swept them all away. But the Mayor of Hamelin wouldn’t pay the Pied Piper for his services, so the Piper took his revenge by playing his magic pipe which led all the children of the town into a cave.
Luckily today, customers pay pest controllers for their services!
The history of rats in the UK
Introduced to the UK in the nineteenth century, the brown rat thrived here. Since rats breed quickly, the population soon increased. By the mid-1850s, rats had infested the countryside as well as London.
Buckingham Palace even got infested. When it did, Queen Victoria employed Jack Black, who caught rats with an iron cage with ferrets in it. He also had two or three terriers who would work with him. He almost died three times from infected rat bites!
By the early 1900s, scientists had manufactured a poison that killed the rats. British Ratin was the first company to use the poison. Their pest controllers carried an Oxford bag containing small parcels of stale bread with rat poison hidden inside.
Pest control today
The pest control industry has come a long way since the Victorian era and most rat catchers also specialise in other pests. But rats are certainly still one of the most hated pests in the UK – so they do their fair share of rat catching!
Use Rat Catcher’s Day as a chance to check for rats in your home. If you have rats, we’ll put you in touch with pest controllers who can to help you. Simply fill in the form below to get up to 4 FREE no obligation quotes.