Pest identifier: Rats

RatsRats are a hazard to public health. They can transmit a number of diseases, such as Weil's disease and murine typhus, and other organisms such as Salmonella bacteria, viruses and parasites such as worms and fleas. In an urban environment rats can readily find food from a variety of sources such as refuse from commercial kitchens and restaurants, in addition to food waste obtained from scavenging in domestic refuse or in drains and sewers.

Rats will burrow, especially into soil, compost heaps, under coverings such as paved areas and under sheds. Gas and water pipes are also at risk and rat burrowing can undermine building foundations. They can be frequently found living inside buildings in the cavity between walls and in roof spaces, or beneath piles of rubbish, near water, or in drains and sewers. Due to their agility
and ability to squeeze through small openings it is sometimes difficult to keep rats out of buildings without some form of rodent proofing being carried out.

Rats continually gnaw, they have very hard front (incisor) teeth which can penetrate materials as hard as concrete, lead and aluminium. This can result in expensive damage and even fires when electric cables are damaged.

Life cycle

Rats can breed quickly. A healthy female can produce five litters a year, each of 8-10 young with offspring attaining sexual maturity in 8-12 weeks. At any time as many as 30% of females in a population may be pregnant.

It is quite easy for infestations to build up without ever noticing a rat - their nocturnal habit tends to keep them away from the human contact. If a rat is seen during the day, it is usually an indicator of a sizeable infestation. Signs of infestation are droppings, gnaw marks, runs and ‘smear marks’ produced by the continual rubbing of their fur against surfaces.

If signs of infestation are noticed, for example fresh rat droppings, gnawing marks, smears, you are advised to take immediate action to control the problem and contact the Council’s Pest Control Service for treatment.

Treatments and advice

Using only the best products, our responsive and discrete service can keep your home or business pest free. You can be assured that we are able to deliver a truly professional, safe and effective service. We have the local knowledge and expertise in both residential and commercial sectors to solve your problem fast and effectively. Priced competitively against other pest control companies, you can trust us to tailor our services to your exact needs and keep prices low.

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