If you suspect there might be rats on your premises, you’ll want to tackle them fast. Rats not only constantly urinate to mark their territory, but they may also carry a number of serious diseases such as Weil’s disease, salmonella and listeria, posing a significant public health risk.
What are the signs of a rat?
Evidence of rats is easier to spot than the rodents themselves. There are many (mostly unpleasant!) signs that these furry foes might have set up camp, including:
- Holes – rats can cause considerable damage to property. Some species burrow extensively to build tunnels and nests so look out for holes around your property in floorboards and skirting. Keep an eye out for any chewed holes in shed doors, too – these are particularly popular destinations for rodents looking for shelter.
- Chewed pet food – this could be bags of cat or dog food kept in cupboards, or food kept in outbuildings for animals such as rabbits, birds and guinea pigs.
- Smear marks – rats can squeeze through very small openings and often leave dirty marks on woodwork or skirting from the oil in their coats.
- Odour – the smell of droppings and urine can create a musky smell throughout the home. Rats also often retreat into dark, out of the way corners to die and the smell of their corpses can be particularly pungent. If you notice any new and unusually strong aromas, or if you have a keen-nosed pet such as a cat or dog that becomes excitable in a particular area of the home, investigate immediately.
- Bird feeders – birds can be fussy feeders, discarding unwanted seeds on the ground below a feeder. These crumbs can create an easily accessible feast for rodents and you might spot them having a snack in your garden among the robins and sparrows.
When is a rat infestation most likely?
Food and shelter are the two main reasons a rat will enter your home which is why it’s important to maintain good hygiene in places such as kitchens, larders and bin areas and ensure any redundant holes in brickwork, woodwork or around pipes and sheds are blocked-up.
Rats are more likely to seek a cosy, warm house in the colder months between November and February but they can be an issue at any time of year.
Can I deal with rats myself?
DIY treatments and methods are available but given the potential health risks, property damage and exceptional rate at which rats can breed, it’s highly advisable to call in the professionals as soon as possible.
We use a number of methods to tackle a rodent infestation including professional rodenticides which can be safely deployed in your garden or home. These also pose no risk to other pets or animals. We can also use spring traps which kill rodents instantly and humanely.
If you’re concerned about a potential rat problem, contact us today for friendly advice and a pest control quote.