How To Get Rid Of Rats
Why Get Rid Of Rats?
Rats carry salmonella, e.coli, Weil’s disease, cryptosporidiosis and tuberculosis, which they can pass to us and pets. Not only that, they carry fleas, mites and ticks and can cause acute allergic reactions. Enough said?
They Live In The Garden – Is This A Problem?
It is most certainly a problem if you use your garden – and if they’re in the garden it’s only a matter of time before they find their way into your home, particularly if you have a cat flap. But they needn’t have this type of access – rats only need a gap of about 1cm; anything more than that and they can squeeze their body down to push their way through.
How Will I Know If I Have A Rat Infestation?
It’s unusual for you to see Rodents because they are nocturnal and tend to hide from humans. Instead, you need to watch out for signs of them. If you are digging about for them, make sure you wear a protective mask and gloves.
Rodent droppings – look out for dark, tapered droppings about 10 to 14mm long.
A nasty smell – Rodent leave a strong ammonia-like smell (abit like stale wee) that will be stronger in lofts, beneath floorboards or in cupboards.
Scratching noises – ever lain awake at night and heard scratching noises? It’s not the neighbours, but it might be Rodents in cavity walls, under the floorboards, in the loft or under decking in the garden.
Teeth marks on food packets – check your food cupboards – have packets got teeth marks in them?
Signs of gnawing – like other Rodents, rats gnaw on wood and plastic continuously.
Holes – check your compost heap, under the deck or shed, even for holes under the eaves – these will undoubtedly lead to food sources or nests.
Nests – look in warm, dark, well-concealed places for nests made of newspaper, plastic and fabrics – often full of baby rats.
What’s Attracting The Rodents?
Like any other animal, they’re looking for sustenance and shelter. So, check in and around the shed, outbuildings or garages for signs of nest; remove food sources, such as open bins, compost heaps with the wrong type of food in them and easy-to-get at food indoors – put anything they can access in sealable containers, and only buy squirrel-proof bird feeders; remove access to water, such as dripping pipes or pet bowls, and stop up access to the house – small gaps around doors, broken airbricks and pet flaps will all allow them indoors.
So you’ve identified the infestation – how do you go about getting rid of them?
You can buy pest control products from supermarkets, DIY and garden centres. Follow the instructions to the letter and ensure the one you have bought is safe for your children, pets and wildlife.
You can deter Rodents with ultrasonic repellers, which emit a sound that Rodents don’t like (but which we can’t hear). However, these won’t help with existing Rodent infestations.
Check your sewer. Broken sewers are usually to blame when a Rodent infestation just won’t go away, so get it mended as a priority. It makes sense to install a ‘rat-stop’, too, within the sewer, which will allow the water to flow but stop the rats. It should be used in conjunction with traps and poison for sure success.
However, if the Rodents are already in your home – or you just can’t get rid of the ones outside – you’re best getting a professional pest control company in to get rid of the infestation.
Cleaning Up After Rodents
Once you’ve killed all your Rodents, you’ll need to clean up their mess. You might find that loft insulation is soaked in their urine; there will be droppings and possibly even rotting rats or rat skeletons. Remove and bag up the insulation, wear goggles, a protective mask and gloves. Vacuum up the faeces. Clean anything you can that they’ve had contact with a weak solution of bleach and water. Better still, call Maximum Pest Management to do these nasty jobs for you!
Please feel free to call us at 1800-MaxPest (1800-6297378)
Our Technical Specialists will be happy to offer you further advice and assistance.