How Do I Get Rid Of Rats?
Prevention is better than cure – and there are many simple things you can do to avoid having a problem with rats in or around your buildings.
Rats are very much larger than mice and can grow to a body length of 27cm and vary from grey to brown in colour. Rodents need three things to thrive: food, warmth and water. Typically as the weather gets colder or a readily available food source outside dries up rats tend to head indoors.
Unfortunately, one of these sources may be your home or within your business. Rats are excellent climbers and are capable of gaining entry through holes around soffit vents, around cables entering the building or even via breaches in the sewer system.
Outside, rats live in fields, wooded areas, sewers, farms, rubbish tips, banks of waterways etc. Inside a property typically rats will live below floorboards, in cavity walls or at height, and they will come to investigate the whole property at night to feed, so a thorough inspection is required to establish the extent of the infestation.
Unlike mice, rats need to drink water, so a good way to avoid invasions of rats is to prevent access to water sources as well as food, as these will attract them in the first instance, so maintaining a high level of cleaning is key.
Once in a building, rats can cause damage to your property, and any goods or items within. Rodents typically gnaw at items to keep their incisors in check; they have been known to chew through cables and even some metals.
All of our technicians are qualified experts and are certified in the safe use of rodenticides, the initial training program that we put our technicians through means they are able to tackle the smallest infestation within a residential property to a widespread problem in a commercial building, we have the knowledge and the expertise to provide and carry out a solution that meets your needs.
WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT RATS?
You can make your environment less attractive to rats by using the following tips.
- Poor housekeeping – can increase the attraction of rats. Keep everywhere clean!
- Debris – accumulations of debris and materials in grounds can provide rat harbourage. Remove any unwanted items
- Refuse – ensure all external food waste is kept in lidded bins with plugged drainage holes, and keep bin areas clean
- Vegetation – remove potential breeding sites by keeping vegetation cut back and grounds clean and tidy.
- Food storage – ensure all food storage is indoors and off the ground, and keep opened packages in sealed containers
- Bird feeding – be careful how you feed wild birds as you may be encouraging rats.
- Compost – protect your compost from access by rats, or do not use it for waste food that might be attractive to rats
But if rats are present then you need to install methods of control to get rid of them, such as poisons and appropriately located traps.
HOW CAN I TELL IF I HAVE RATS?
The following are signs that rats may be present:
- Droppings – these are cigar-shaped and around 1cm in length. Rats produce around 40 per day, so if you have an infestation, some of these are likely to be seen
- Gnawing damage – rats have to gnaw constantly to keep their teeth in good condition, and as a result teeth marks may be seen on timber, soft metals, pipes, cables etc.
- Noises – scraping noises may be heard from under floors, behind walls or in the loft
- Smears – black greasy marks may be left by rats running over prominent objects over a long period of time
- Holes – burrows, with entrance holes of 5cm to 7cm diameter, may be seen in gardens and grounds
WHAT CAN A PEST CONTROL COMPANY DO TO HELP ME GET RID OF RATS?
Once they have identified the root cause of the rat infestation, Terminix technicians have a number of control tools, such as traps or poisons, at their disposal. They will select the appropriate control techniques to use depending on the local situation, such as whether there are children, pets or non-target wild animals in the vicinity. They can also carry out proofing to make sure further rats are unable to enter.
Choosing Terminix means you’re in safe hands.