Get Rid of Rat Problems | Rat Removal Specialists
Why is it necessary to control rats?
Rats are one of the ultimate survivor species because they are natural scavengers, remarkably intelligent, highly adaptable to their surroundings and can squeeze through tiny spaces. This is what makes them one of the most successful animals on the planet and makes controlling them a difficult task.
They are prolific breeders and the potential for exponential growth in the rat population in a very short time is massive. This is because they breed year-round and are able to reproduce from being just 10-weeks old. A female rat can live for two years and produces up to six litters each year, resulting in a total of 120 offspring.
Urban areas provides rats with perfect living conditions: food, water and shelter. However, it’s not ideal for people to live in close proximity to rats. Not only do they cause structural damage to properties by chewing through cables, water pipes etc., they carry severe, sometimes fatal diseases which can infect humans and dogs.
What are the signs of a rat problem?
It’s important to recognise the signs that you have rats so that you can treat the infestation as quickly as possible. This is because once rats enter your home they will hide away and breed so you will soon have a major infestation.
Droppings A rat produces up to 40 droppings each night. They are dark and shiny and about the size and shape of an olive. You’ll find them in large groupings (see adjacent image).
Urine puddles Rat urine has a very sharp smell which you can’t miss.
Scratching Rats can climb walls so you’ll hear scratching noises behind walls, particularly at night when they’re most active.
Footprints In dusty rooms where rats have been running around you’ll see footprints or tail marks.
Gnaw marks Rats have incisors that never stop growing so they gnaw constantly to keep their teeth ground down. You’ll see gnaw marks on anything hard such as cables, concrete, wood, metal, walls, pipes, and furniture (see adjacent image of metal drain and concrete that rat has gnawed to make a hole).
Foul smell When rats live, breed, defecate, die and decompose between your walls or under your floorboards you’ll notice a foul smell.
Nesting materials Rats bunch together shredded paper, cardboard, fabric and plastic to make their nests. You’ll see shreds of the materials around their burrows which they dig into the earth and nests built in drains, around rubbish bins, in compost heaps, amongst logs, under sheds and in outbuildings (see adjacent image showing rat holes with nesting materials around the entrance).
Rats out and about during the daytime… If you see rats feeding during the daytime it usually means the rat infestation is heavy. These rats are the older and weaker members of the colony, feeding at a more dangerous time to avoid the more aggressive dominant rats.
How do we get rid of rats?
Various natural events help control the rat population such as scarcity of food and shelter, predators, diseases and in-fighting. However the rat population continues to grow so intervention is required. Because rats breed at such a rapid rate it’s important to achieve a complete kill of all the rats in a colony.
PEST UK’s technicians use a grain-based bait containing an anticoagulant. The bait is put into specially-designed feeding boxes installed in the correct places throughout the site to ensure the whole population of rats feed on it. It can take up to 7-days before the rats start feeding on the bait as they are suspicious of new objects. The rats may feed several times before dying. If they do consume enough poison to give them a lethal dose on their first feed they won’t suffer any ill-effects immediately, ensuring that the other rats don’t become suspicious and associate the bait with illness or death.
Our technicians makes a second visit to the site to remove the bait and any dead rats for disposal. Dead rats must be buried or burned. Protective gloves and a mask must be worn whilst handling them.
We can treat loft spaces and other areas where rats have been present with a biocidal spray to eliminate the risk of disease. We also offer a loft insulation replacement service
Preparation prior to treatment
- Leave any droppings or damage for the technician to look at
- Keep a record of where you see rats and ask you neighbours if they have any
- If you are feeding wild birds then stop
- If you have a compost heap then stop putting food on it
Aftercare to prevent future infestations
To prevent future rat infestations you must identify and deal with the reasons you had an infestation in the first place. The following measures should be implemented.
- Do not feed wild birds
- Always dispose of any spilled or leftover food from feeding pets, etc.
- Always dispose of any animal droppings; do not put them on a compost heap
- Rat proof hutches and runs
- Store animal food in rat proof containers
- Keep rubbish bins securely closed
- Do not put food on your compost heap
- Keep a check on your compost heap to ensure it’s not providing a home for rats
- Locate and fill all access points into buildings, e.g. gaps around pipes, etc.
What do we do if there are rat problems in the drains?
If we suspect that rat problems are coming from breaches in the sewer system, we investigate by using test bait to confirm the presence of rats. We then undertake a camera survey to detect breaches around the external wall/sewer entry point and up to 3-metres within the sewer.
A one-way return sewer valve can be fitted which allows sewage to flow out but prevents rats going ‘up’ the sewer, as well as preventing back ups of sewage from entering the property. It may be necessary to fit more than one sewer valve if the property adjoins other properties.
PEST UK’s guarantee
- The poison bait treatment is guaranteed to eliminate the current rat infestation provided preparation and aftercare measures have been adhered to.
- We cannot accept responsibility if any rats die in places where their bodies may smell, i.e. under floorboards.
- We cannot guarantee against future rat infestations. In flats, terraced houses and multi-occupancy buildings rats may spread from adjoining premises.
What products do we use?