January Pest of the Month: Rats

January Pest of the Month: Rats

This month we are taking a closer look at rats.

Rats can cause problems throughout the year but due to the weather conditions in January rat activity tends to increase. At this time of year rats enter homes and businesses in search of dry, safe shelter as well as food. Rats don’t hibernate so as food sources become scarce rats will scrounge food from human sources for them to store for later consumption. All year long Urban Pest Control are called out to solve rat infestations in a variety of properties including warehouses, shops, office buildings and homes but the frequency of these calls tend to rise during the winter months. We are committed to providing quick, discreet and reliable rat control services to all our commercial, domestic and agricultural customers.

Interesting facts about rats:

  • The most common breed of rat in the UK is Rattus norvegicus also known as the brown rat.
  • The brown rat measures on average 23cm in body length not including its tail.
  • Rats can jump up to 3 feet in the air.
  • Rats have very poor eyesight and they depend on their whiskers to feel around them.
  • Rats can reproduce every six weeks with each litter typically containing six to eight pups.

How to recognise you have a rat issue:

  • Droppings – Rats often use the same spot to soil; their faeces look like large brown jelly beans approximately 1-2 cm in size.
  • Smell – A strong smell of urine can indicate a rat problem as rats use urine to communicate with each other, with several rats often using the same area for urination. They then walk over food and surfaces, increasing the risk of spreading diseases and pathogens.
  • Noise – Often rats can be heard scratching and scuttling around at night.
  • Gnawing – Damage to your property such as visible gnaw marks on cables, brickwork and pipes.
  • Footprints – This clear evidence of a rat presence can be seen in dusty areas.
  • Nests – Rats prefer dark spaces to make a nest. Their messy nests will be made from items within reach, normally piles of shredded materials, cardboard, loft insulation and soft household rubbish.
  • Burrows – Domestic properties may find burrows under sheds, outhouses and around manholes.

How to prevent rats:

  • Hire a professional pest control company – Such as Urban Pest Control! We are a leading specialist pest control company, with loads of fantastic google reviews from our lovely customers, and our team can advise the best solution for your needs. For business owners rats can have financial repercussions – as per the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 you have a legal obligation to provide adequate pest management, or you could be issued an enforcement by the Environmental Health and receive a fine. A professional pest controller will be able to identify harbourage points, offer solutions to solve the rat problems, use professional rodenticides and are qualified to RSPH level 2 in pest management.
  • Remove harbourage points – Firstly identify points of entry into the property, such as air bricks and doors, and fill in any holes and recommendations to prevent future infestations. A trading standard approved pest controller can use their trained eye to help with this.
  • Tackle nesting – Rats looking for safe shelter will find their way into roof spaces, wall cavities and under floorboards as well as burrowing under sheds and in sewer systems. The best way to prevent them nesting is to remove harbourage and implement adequate rat proofing. Professional pest control companies will happily advise you with a suitable solution.
  • Drain proofing – Rats commonly access homes and businesses via the sewage system. Using a rat wall, a device which is installed on underground drains, will stop rats accessing the residential sewage system without reducing the flow of the system. Ask Urban Pest Control for a quote to provide you with a rat wall.
  • Secure your waste – Rats are attracted to the smell of pet food, bird feeders and refuse waste. Take care to dispose of your waste properly, ensuring any broken dustbins are fixed and sealed with a lid. Some commercial properties may need to investigate the bungs at the bottom of the bins and replace plastic with metal to prevent gnawing.

At Urban Pest Control our expert team is always happy to offer advice over the phone or carry out a free site survey to help you with your pest control needs. Whether you are searching for professional rat removal services or you require another type of pest control in Poole, Bournemouth, Christchurch, Dorchester, Weymouth or any of the surrounding areas please do not hesitate to contact us.

Image credit: Scooberdigital