Rats: Adaptable, Highly Mobile and Breed Rapidly

Rats are one of the UK’s most common pests. Black rats are now rarely seen in the UK and are probably close to extinction.  However, brown rats can be found almost everywhere, in any habitat that provides food, water and shelter. As a result, these unwelcome guests can be tricky to keep out of your home or workplace. It’s important to have some understanding about rats so you can take the right steps in having an infestation removed.

What do Rats Look Like?

Resembling a large mouse, brown rats have thick bodies, small hairy ears and a blunt nose. Their tails are slightly shorter than the length of the head and body. They are also one of the UK’s larger rodents, growing up to 23cm in length, not including the tail.

What are the Signs of an Infestation?

Rats can leave behind a number of signs both inside and outside your property. Gnaw marks on items like cables, wood and pipes are clear giveaways, along with rat droppings, about the size of a raisin or sultana. If you notice any dark marks on surfaces around your property, these could be ‘smears’ left behind when dirt and grease from their fur makes contact with walls and floors. Rat droppings, urine and smears can produce a foul smell which can linger in your home, a key reason why you should deal with a rat infestation as soon as you see the signs. If you’re a light sleeper, you might also hear their nocturnal scurrying at night, when they’re most likely to be out scavenging for food.

What Health Risks do Rats Pose?

The reputation rats have for being unhealthy and unhygienic speaks for itself; they can carry a number of diseases which can spread to humans through their urine, faeces and fleas. The most common of these diseases is Weil’s disease, while others include salmonella, tuberculous and E.coli.

How do I get rid of Rats?

These pests are prolific breeders, being able to reproduce every three weeks, which can make getting rid of them quite difficult. Of course, there are some simple steps you can take to limit the risk of an infestation. Ensure rubbish bins are tightly closed and compost heaps are covered, as well as sealing any gaps around pipes – rats only need a 15mm gap to gain access into your home! If you are unable to keep them out, rat traps can be effective but will only kill a small number, while mainstream poisons are becoming ineffective as rats become increasingly resistant the more they’re used. Consequently, it’s best to call a professional pest control service to handle your rat problem. With the right skills and equipment, a professional can completely eradicate the rats far more efficiently than any amateur.

If you think you’ve spotted any signs of a rat infestation, don’t hesitate to call us on 020 8430 4133, or learn more information about rats and other pests here. Also. follow our social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.