The king of rats is dead! 18-inch long rodent ‘the size of a small dog’ is killed by pub boss after seven-year battle to death
- Derek Blamire, 82, and his wife are in a constant war with rats invading his home
- The pensioner, of Blackburn, said he has caught 50 of the vermin in seven years
- Ex-pub boss Derek says the creatures flood into his garden from land nearby
- In his latest capture, Derek is pictured hold up the 18-inch beast by his wife
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A great-grandad at war with giant mutant rats that plague his garden has claimed to have caught an 18-inch whopper the size of a small dog.
For the past seven years, pensioner Derek Blamire has been locked in a constant battle with the army of vermin that invade his garden to feast on his bird feeders.
So far, the 82-year-old has captured 50 rodents in poisoned traps during the past few years, with his latest mega find taking place last month.
Derek’s terrified wife Sylvia Blamire, 80, snapped a stomach-churning picture of the monster creature as it was held up by her 6ft 1ins husband.
Whopper: 6ft 1ins Derek Blamire holds up the 18-inch rat with a pair of litter pickers. Derek, 82, has spent seven years battling the rats plaguing his garden in Blackburn
‘It was quite big, from nose to tail it was about 18 inches long. It was the length of a small baby,’ said Derek, from Blackburn, Lancashire.
‘It’d been knocking about for a few weeks.
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‘I’ve lived here for about seven years and I’ve caught over 50. Sometimes I poison them, sometimes I catch them in a trap.
‘If they keep coming, I’ll keep catching them. I’m not going to give up.’
Unimpressed Sylvia said she was ‘scared’ by Derek’s latest capture. She added: ‘I was in the bungalow and Derek was outside, I thought he must have been in the garden.
‘He said “come out with your phone I’ve got something to show you”. When I opened the door he was stood on the doorstep with that litter picker in his hand. It scared me to death.’
Keen gardener Derek said he believes the rats living on the spare land next to his garden are attracted by the food he puts out for the birds.
The pensioner said: ‘I feed the birds you see and if you feed the birds it’s obvious rats are going to turn up. There’s probably more rats than people.
The retired pub boss claims to have killed at least 50 of the rodents terrorising his garden. Pictured is one of the creatures
Derek says the rats come to feast on his bird feeder, invading his garden from nearby land
‘I put seed and fat balls out for the birds. It attracts all sorts of birds – jackdaws, starlings, magpies, sparrows, robins and wrens.
‘Rats breed pretty quickly. There are small ones, which are young ones, and the older ones.
‘The young ones are pretty easy to catch but the older ones are really crafty, they won’t go in the trap and they won’t eat the poison so you’re lucky to catch one.
‘The rats don’t bother me because I’m used to it, Sylvia doesn’t like them.’
Derek ends up embroiled in a lengthy game of cat and mouse, laying traps for the critters to scurry into that the older wily ones avoid – choosing instead to feast from the bird table.
To tackle this problem, Derek stops feeding the birds temporarily to lure the hungry ones into his trap.
Derek said: ‘I see the rats on the bird table, they can climb up anything, they’re quick as well. As soon as you see them, they’re off.
‘I stop feeding the birds for a week so the rats are a bit hungry so it’s easier to catch them.
‘I hadn’t put food out for the birds for a week, it was hungry so it went in the trap after I put a bit of cooked chicken in it.
‘I had a pellet gun and I did one shot to it and that was it.
‘I’ve not seen any for a few days but they’ll be back. They might disappear for a couple of weeks and then all of a sudden they come back.’