Let’s face it, when people think about pest control they don’t really think about our fluffy caring side, especially when dealing with rats. Hopefully, this little story will let you see a different side of pest control and the people and personalities involved at Prokill.

Late afternoon of November 5th a call came in from a gentleman who had spotted what he described as an albino rat scurrying around a conservatory and that it had already located a packet of bird seed which was now scattered around the floor. In all of my years in pest control I have not seen a wild albino rat first hand and was rather excited to have the opportunity to hopefully see one in person. Unfortunately, for the rat, the end game when we get involved is mostly not so good!

We arrived at the property and began to search the seriously cluttered outhouse (definitely not a conservatory) and after 15 minutes of hunting there was not a rat to be found. I looked up at the resident to explain that the remaining option was to set traps and, as I began to utter the words, his attention moved from me to the corner of the outhouse where, from under a cupboard, appeared an Albino rat!  Totally undeterred by our presence it simply walked towards me, sat up on its haunches and looked me square in the eye.

Shocked as I was, I managed to pick it up by the tail and placed it into a plastic box and fitted the lid on tightly. This was clearly no wild rat and had all the hallmarks of an escaped pet that was probably loved by someone. We set about knocking on doors in the neighborhood but after 20 minutes we drew a blank. I suspected that the people found our question rather incredulous and that we were perhaps distraction burglars!

So, nothing for it then but to call home and request that the unused glass tank in the shed be readied for an unusual visitor.

Later that evening Ben (yes, I had given him a name by this point), seemed quite at home in the tank and was happily consuming chicken pellets washed down with tap water and had made a tidy little nest from toilet paper. Half an hour later he was fast asleep.

So, unless we could find the owner it looked like I was stuck with a rat for the near future. It’s at times like this that the power of social media comes into its own and my good lady wife suggested posting a request for help on the “Free, Wanted & For Sale” Facebook page in Swindon.

Well, within the hour a friend of a friend spotted the posting and, knowing of her friends loss, put us all in contact. So, at 12.30 the following day “Ratty” (his actual name) was re-united with his owner and everybody was a winner!

Ratty must be the luckiest rat around as to be found and recovered to the owner is unlikely, but to be returned safely by a pest controller is surely the rat equivalent of winning the lottery.