Pest problem? Oh, rats!

Rats infestation in a home or business can be a real pain, not to mention potentially dangerous.

Rats need to continually gnaw to grind down their teeth, which means they often cause a great deal of harmful structural damage. These rodents also carry and spread diseases such as Leptospirosis, Salmonella, and  Listeria, which is transferred through their urine. Rats in a place of business can result in your establishment being closed, and in often cases there is irreparable damage done to the property’s reputation which can impact business even after reopening. They can also cause pricey structural damage, as they are experts at gnawing through cables and insulation which can result in flooding and fire; in fact, it is estimated that rodent damage to wiring is the cause of 25 per cent of all electrical fires.

In accordance with the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949, property owners are under legal obligation to keep a premises rat free. This means responding quickly to any reports of infestation, and taking steps to rid the property of rodents either yourself or by instructing a local authority.

What causes rat infestation?

Rats can be attracted to unhygienic spaces, so if you have food or rubbish lying about, this could easily attract them. Rats will eat just about anything though, even cardboard or paper! Older buildings made with plenty of wood offer rats the opportunity to gnaw and exercise their incisor teeth, so they are able to make their home easily under floorboards or through skirting board.

How do I know if I have rats?

For some people, it’s simply a case of seeing them around the home or place of work, while others will see evidence of them having been there. You may see urine and droppings around your home or place of work, which could allude to a rat problem. As rats gnaw through wires and cabling, you may be alerted to their presence through noticing visible damage. You could also hear them in the walls or under the flooring, or may even catch them in the act of trying to access food in an open space.

What colour are rats?

Most commonly, rats are brown or grey in colour. Black rats, also known as Ship Rats, are very uncommon in the UK.

Where do rats live?

Brown rats gravitate towards comfortable habitats in which there is shelter, food and water. Brown rats can be found in sewers or in outdoor spaces such as underneath sheds, and in buildings, they can be found in roofs and loft spaces, wall cavities, and under flooring.

How do you deter rats?

Rats will gravitate towards food sources, so make sure to keep rubbish and recycling in bins that are covered to restrict access. You should also ensure that any gaps under sheds or any other potential entry points are quickly covered, and that gardens are kept free of overgrowth that can act as a nesting site.

How do I get rid of rats?

As rats are mobile, intelligent creatures that breed at fast rates, the job of managing the pest problem by yourself can be incredibly difficult. At Oxford Direct Services, our professional professional pest control team can put in place effective measures using rodenticides that will guarantee results. To find out more, click to contact us today.