How to prevent a rat infestation

Reports of rat sightings have increased in London during lockdown, as rodents head indoors to stave off hunger and seek ideal locations to nest and breed. As restaurants remain closed and pedestrians discard less rubbish in roadside bins, rodents have tracked down new sources for food and lodging.

Many local authorities are prioritising food waste but not guaranteeing the collection of recycling and regular household waste. Councils have encouraged residents to limit their waste, however, countless used or unwanted household products from those who continue to hoard and stockpile items are still finding their way into bins. Many waste collection services are simply overwhelmed by the spike in waste disposal within their boroughs and this has attracted more rats to residential areas across the city.

Many Councils across the UK, misunderstood Government guidance and closed down amenity sites, this has led to a rise in fly tipping, whilst this in itself does not normally contain food waste it does introduce new nesting areas, quite often close to residential property, that rats can utilise and take advantage of.

Rats, like mice are not nocturnal although they are mostly seen at night when they are safe from humans and predators, this is called the circadian rhythm and their body adjusts according to a number of factors including when it is safe to come out of hiding. The number of incidences occurring during daylight has increased and experts credit the lower number of people outdoors, as a prime reason for their bold behaviour. Although rats are more likely to travel long distances when hungry, an upside to this for London pest control companies, like London Network for Pest Solutions, is that they are also more likely to take food from bait stations if the site or property is protected.

How to avoid a rat infestation

There are a variety of things you can do to prevent a rat infestation from afflicting your property during lockdown:-

  • Take waste and recycling out on the morning of the collection day that has been assigned by your council.
  • If your allocated food waste disposal bins are too full, purchase a metal bin with a tight-fitting lid to ensure the contents remain inaccessible to rats.
  • Keep waste collection areas as far away from the household as possible, or in a confined area with a secure door to prevent access to rodents. Rats can squeeze through small gaps, so look out for holes and cracks where they could enter.
  • Keep a close eye out for fly-tippers and ensure that you report it to your Local Authority straight away (there is a very easy to use app called FixMyStreet, which will notify the Local Authority once you have uploaded the information).

If a rodent infestation is in your property and goes unreported it can cause serious damage to your health and your property, and it can also lead to problems for others living in the same area. Landlords are legally obliged to deal with rat problems as soon as they arise. To learn more about our services for removing rats from residential and commercial properties, click here.

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