There are two species of rat in Britain, the most common of which, and the one most likely to be invading properties is the Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus), also known as the Norway Rat, or Common Rat.
- Approx 21 - 29cm (without the tail)
- 200 - 400g
- Brown to dark grey colour, with a lighter underside
- Tail shorter than body
- Blunt muzzle
- Sturdy body
- Small eyes and small hair covered ears
Rats live socially in small colonies made up of different family groups. They naturally live in shallow burrows underground, but given the opportunity will readily inhabit buildings, gardens and sewers. They will make use of many undisturbed, sheltered places; such as overgrown or cluttered gardens, in and under sheds and garages, alleyways and bin storage areas. Once in a building they will scurry around loft spaces, wall cavities and under floors.
Rats move around using highly developed senses of smell and touch. They also have acute hearing. Rats are omnivorous and will eat almost anything, including other rodents and small animals.
Why Rats Need Controlling
- Rats carry many infectious diseases harmful to humans. Theses include Salmonella, Hantavirus, Listeria, Toxoplasma gondii and Weil's disease, which can be spread through urine and faeces. Rats urinate wherever they go to mark their territory and communicate. There is further contamination risk from general body contact with floors, walls, pipes; basically wherever they are rummaging around.
- Rats can cause serious damage to property. They are not too particular and will chew through plumbing pipes, electrical wires, wooden joists, door frames, any other plastic and even brickwork. They do this to help gain access to areas of buildings as they explore and also to keep their constantly growing incisor teeth down.
Signs To Look For
Rats are generally nocturnal, so not always seen. However, they can be active during the day and will leave tell tale signs behind.
One of the most common indications of a rat infestation is their faeces. 12mm - 20mm long, sausage-shaped pellets with points at both ends. Often in groups.
Often late evening or overnight, scratching and scuttling noises are a common sign of the presence of rats. They can be heard in the loft, ceilings, walls and under the floor.
Rat runs can be seen as trails through grass and shrubbery and often in insulation in lofts.
Chewed open food packaging and gnawed items in cupboards and lofts are a sign rats have been there. They will even drag whole packets away to places they feel happier eating them.
- Smear marks
In well used, regular routes rats can leave a visible smear over the floor or wall, from the grease on their fur.
Methods Of Control
Following a full survey our technician will employ the most effective and safest method to control the problem. This will usually involve identifying and removing any possible access points and taking steps to deter rats. This will often be accompanied by a course of rodenticide baiting or trapping to remove any infestation. The process is a course of treatment over a series of visits to the property.
Safety of people, pets and non target animals is paramount, so we only use the right equipment in the right location to make sure only unwanted rats are targeted.