How to Stop a Rat Infestation

We are able to provide a pest control service to remove any infestation and take steps to try and prevent another infestation occurring whether it is through one-off treatments or continued maintenance.

Rats, along with mice, are one of the most common pests in the UK causing damage to food and stock in particular.

The brown and black rats are amongst the most common found in the UK and likely to be the ones causing you problems.

Rats are similar in appearance to mice and cause similar problems but there are differences between the two for you to identify whether you are dealing with a mice problem or a rat problem.

Given the speed of both rats and mice, as they scurry across the floor, it is not always easy to notice the differences particularly given that their fur can be the same colour.

Rats are bigger than mice and have hairless and scaly tails while mice have hairy tails. Rats produce 20-50 droppings a day while mice can produce 40-100 droppings a day.

Why do I have a rat infestation?

Despite a rat’s relatively large frame, it is able to squeeze into holes as small as 20mm so even small cracks and other openings are a point of entry for them.

Once rats are inside, they will look for shelter which can be small holes in wall cavities but can also be the gaps behind ovens or other appliances.

Rats are attracted to food crumbs as well as food waste so the presence of these on floors, countertops or uncovered bin bags will attract rats into your property.

Once rats have made their way inside and know that the property can provide food and shelter, they are likely to remain within the property.

Generally speaking, rats are attracted to unsanitary conditions so if your property is dirty or there is a pile-up of waste, rats are more likely to be attracted to your property in the first place.

Signs and consequences of a rat infestation

Rats are more active in the night so the scuttling of rats as they run across the floor or across countertops can be heard while the rest of the property is silent.

Rat & Rodent Control Pest Exterminators EssexWhile rats move, they often leave smudges on surfaces due to the grease and dirt on their body; these can usually be spotted on skirting boards and walls as rats tend to use these for direction.

Spotting rat droppings, which are granular and brown-coloured, is an important step to not only to identify a rat problem but to prevent the problems rat droppings can cause you.

Contact with rat droppings as well as urine and saliva can lead to a number of diseases occurring in humans so you need to avoid any surfaces or food you suspected may have been soiled by rats.

Rats can get into food packaging so there will be holes in plastic, cardboard and paper packaging which indicate that a rat has got into the food supply.

In this instance, food stock for businesses will be spoiled and unsellable meaning they will have to be thrown away leading to a loss in income.

Rats in restaurants can be a reputation killer which can lead to a loss of customers as well as losing business while the restaurant is closed while the rats are dealt with; in some cases, the presence of rats can cause restaurants to have to close down for good.

Rats aren’t only just interested in food though as they like to gnaw on wires and cables, gnaw marks will be visible on these cables to let you know you have a rat problem.

How to cope and deal with a rat infestation

It is difficult to remove a rat infestation yourself but there are steps you can take to limit their damage until a professional provides pest control treatment.

Rat traps can be bought to kill rats and sticky traps can catch them but this is not a feasible idea if there is an infestation of rats to deal with.

  • Surfaces should be free of food crumbs and kept clean
  • Food supplies should be stored in glass or metal containers (as well as bin bags containing food)
  • Seal off entry points within your property
  • Fill in cracks in walls

If you have a cat, these can help to hunt rats in your property but it is not a reasonable expectation that cats could clear out an infestation.

If you have or suspect you might have, a rat infestation in your property, you can call us on 01245 526726 or email [email protected] to discuss the options for treatment with you.