The Brown Rat is the most common species throughout UK. They tend to be heavily populated, living close to man, in urban cities and towns.
Rats breed rapidly and become sexually mature at 3 months. Each female may produce from 3 to 12 litters of between six and eight young in a year. The life expectancy of a wild rat is approximately 10-14 months. Breeding can occur all year round and it is possible for a breeding pair to have up to 800 young.
Rats carry microbial infections. When they gain entry into your home they can spread diseases such as Salmonellosis and Weils disease (also known as Leptospirosis). It is thought about 30% of rats carry this disease.
How Do I know Whether I have a Rat Problem
The most common signs are:
- rat droppings (typically 12mm long) found near food sources
- evidence of gnawing and scratching
- greasy rub marks along walls/ floors.
However, if you actually see a live rodent it is a good indication that you have a problem.
How Do I Prevent Rat Infestations?
The following measures act as deterrents:
- If you feed birds only put a small amount of food out at anytime. Do keep the area beneath the bird feeder/table clear of excess food at all times.
- Do not leave waste food outside overnight.
- Keep all household rubbish in bins with close fitting lids.
- Do not allow your garden to get overgrown or allow rubbish to pile up which could provide harbourage.
- Repair all broken or damaged drains.
DO NOT leave a rat infestation to develop otherwise you will soon become overrun and the damage could be considerable.
How Do I Treat Rats?
If you think you have a rat problem you should contact the Council’s Pest Control Officers who will deal with this professionally.
A Pest Control Officer will visit your property and inspect areas for signs of rat problem/infestation and, if confirmed, will bait the area with wheat based poisons or wax blocks used in tamper-resistant bait boxes. The Pest Control Officer will arrange for return visit(s) to monitor bait and rebait if required. Please note that rat treatments can take 2 to 3 visits, sometimes longer dependent upon infestation.
IMPORTANT - WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND YOU USE A PROFESSIONAL RATHER THAN SELF-TREATING AS OFTEN THIS ENDS IN INADEQUATE OR FAILED TREATMENTS. HOWEVER IF YOU DO SELF-TREAT YOU MUST ALWAYS READ THE LABEL AND FOLLOW THE MANUFACTURER'S INSTRUCTIONS. INSECTICIDES AND PESTICIDES ARE POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS AND MUST BE STORED AWAY FROM CHILDREN AND PETS.