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Rat Control: How to Deter Rats

Discovering rats in your home or business can be very distressing. Fortunately, there are ways you can exercise rat control and prevent an infestation.

Proofing your home to deny rats entry and removing easy access to food and water can really make a difference. Rats need easy and consistent access to a water source, even though they only drink between 15 - 60ml per day. They will eat almost anything available, but they do prefer to eat small amounts of a variety of different foods.

Rat Prevention Tips

See our rat control tips below on practical ways you can help to prevent a problem:

  • Keep foodstuffs in metal or glass containers with tight fitting lids.
  • Tidy inside the house and around the garden - less clutter means less places to hide.
  • Place outdoor rubbish bags in metal bins with securely fitted lids to stop them feeding from contents.
  • Clean up pet food and bird seed debris, and store pet food in robust containers with fitted lids - preferably above ground level.
  • Keep gardens free from debris. If you have a compost heap don’t include organic food waste, as this will attract them.

If you have already spotted signs of rats, such as droppings, prevention may already be too late.

Contact Rentokil today to arrange a survey to check for signs of rats.

By proofing your home, you will help to make it seem less attractive to rodents. Rats will make the most of any opportunity to enter your home in the search for shelter and food.

While black rats are good climbers and will happily inhabit lofts, brown rats can climb but tend to burrow more. They are very adept at swimming in sewers and drain systems and both species will gnaw at gaps to enlarge them enough for easy entry.

Proofing Your Home

  • Entrances - fit strips to the bottom of doors and weather-stripping around exterior doors as a form of rat control. Young rats can squeeze through small gaps under doorways and will also use cat flaps to enter. They will enlarge gaps by gnawing to enter homes via integral garages.

  • Gaps in exterior walls - fill holes or small openings (around utility cables or pipe work) with stainless steel wire wool and caulking or concrete. Steel or aluminium plating can be used. Rats can jump, so check up to a height of about 1.2m.

  • Roofs - repair roof damage and use wire mesh to seal gaps. To exercise rat control, trim vegetation away from your home. Rats climb along electrical cables or use overhanging branches to get into loft spaces and attics through gaps in broken roof tiles or under eaves.

  • Drains and sewer pipes - keep toilet seat lids closed. Rats have been known to swim up damaged sewer pipes and get round u-bends in toilets. They will also use drain pipes and drainage outlets. Use tightly fitting metal grates or screens to cover drains, especially in basement areas. Check that all drain pipes are in good working order.

  • Eliminate clutter and items like firewood next to your home.

Advice on DIY Rat Poison and Rat Traps

Wondering how to catch a rat? Do you have a rat infestation and planning on eliminating rats with rat poison, rat bait or rat traps? 

First things first: there is no single rat killer product that can offer a 100% guarantee to completely remove rats. If effective rodent control is not implemented quickly, a rat infestation can quickly spread. A wide range of DIY rodenticides - such as rat traps and rats poison - are available in your local supermarket that may be partly effective for dealing with rats in low risk areas.

DIY Rat Poison

Rat poison is mostly sold in corrosion, or finished bait form. There are also various contact dust and gels are available from supermarkets that attaches to the fur of rats and is spread and consumed during their cleaning reflex. 

The problem with DIY rat poison: Due to alternative food sources, the edible bait is often not accepted satisfactorily, and the increasing resistance in rats lead to them becoming immune to rodenticides.

DIY Rat Traps

Different rat traps are available on the market; from snap traps to live traps. With live traps, regular checks at shorter intervals are required, where the “snap trap” is sold with a rat bait. 

The problem with rat traps: They are not completely reliable and are not likely to ward off a rat infestation in general. There are always a number of case-shy rats (especially in heavy infestations), making complete rodent control challenging. In addition, only a pest control expert can effectively distinguish between nesting grounds and walkways and therefore stage rat traps in the most targeted and effective area possible. 

Remember: It is essential to follow the product instructions carefully for safe and effective use and to ensure humane rat control. Rat baits traps and traps are very powerful and should never be used in areas that children, pets and wildlife can reach.

Need Professional Rat Control?

Regular pest control is often the most reliable form of prevention. Rat bait stations professionally managed by Rentokil is a trusted rat deterrent and is safe to use even in locations where children or pets are present.

Your local qualified Rentokil technician can provide the most suitable treatments to a rat problem identified in your home or business. Professional services are often the most reliable way to guarantee long-term solution to a pest problem.

Do you have a problem with rats? Commercial clients can call us on on 0861 117 851 and residential customers on 0861 117 852 for rat control services.

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