In the UK, the largest and most prevalent type of rat we encounter is the brown rat, also known as the common, sewer, or street rat. Much like its cousin, the black rat, these omnivorous critters reproduce very quickly and will live just about anywhere that offers them shelter, food (particularly cereals) and water, making your home or workplace ideal targets.
The threat rats pose is two-fold; not only are they known carriers of several bacteria and diseases like Leptospirosis and Toxoplasmosis, their teeth are also capable of chewing through cables, pipes and wiring, which can lead to electrical fires, water damage and even potentially fatal gas leaks.
While it’s possible to discourage rats from taking residence in your property by regularly maintaining your drains and keeping your garden clear of debris and rubbish, these rodents are notoriously resourceful and are capable of squeezing through gaps as small as 15mm, so these steps aren’t always enough. Since early intervention might just save you from being overrun with unwelcome visitors, we’ve listed some of the most common signs you may have a rat infestation below:
- Small, dark droppings about 1cm in length.
- Strange noises in your floor or loft, such as scratching, squeaking and hissing.
- Teeth marks in food, wires or furniture, the latter of which they often gnaw to keep their teeth at a manageable length.
- Footprints and rub marks, particularly near small holes in the ground or walls.
- Foul ammonia-like smells or urine puddles.
So, you know the risks and you know the signs to help spot them, but how do you get rid of these creatures once they’ve burrowed their way in?
Tackling the problem yourself with amateur poisons or traps may seem like a good option, but these pose a health risk to children and pets and often aren’t enough to completely eradicate an infestation, leading to a reoccurrence further down the line. That’s why the BPCA (British Pest Control Association) always recommends you contact a local professional pest control company – like us – for help.
Armed with the knowledge and tools to combat even the toughest rat infestations, every member of our BPCA qualified team is on hand to not only resolve the problem for you, but give you the advice and assistance you need to make sure those rats stay gone. So, if you live in Cambridgeshire, Bedford, or the surrounding areas and want to speak to one of our experts, please call us on 01480 274 848 or complete the short form opposite, and we’ll aim to get back to you within 24 hours!