Noticing rats in your home is never nice, they are unsightly and when in your home they can cause sleepless nights. If you’re looking to get rid of rats in your home, our article will give you some fantastic free advice to safely deter them.

We would always recommend contacting a pest control professional to solve your rat problem as they are trained in the removal and identification process. A company like ourselves offers rat control in London and all the south-east to ensure you’ll never have a problem with rats again.

However, many people like to conduct DIY pest control, so our guide will give you all the advice you need to attempt it yourself.

how to identify a rat

How do you know if you have rats?

The most common rats you’ll find in the UK includes the brown or Norway rat. Often referred to as the sewer rat as that’s where the problem usually stems. We recommend reading below to help identify if you have a rat infestation.

Appearance

Rats tend to have much smaller ears than their often confused counterparts, mice, learn more about the difference between a rat vs mouse. They are relatively large in size, often measuring above 20cm, which isn’t counting their tail. In England, rats tend to come in two colours, brown and black. They have slight differences in appearance, but overall they can be identified using similar aspects.

Characteristics

Rats in London and other areas we service are often found living in sewers and are usually spotted outside buildings rather than inside. Their senses are exceptionally well developed, allowing them always to be one step ahead of preditors. Unfortunately, if you’ve noticed a rat at your property, expect more, they breed at a fast rate of 5-10 pups per little and can produce 3-6 littles per year. Due to this, a small rat in your garden or home can develop into a serious issue in no time.

Noise

Rats make noise, which is usually the first indication that you may have rats at your property. But you may be wondering, what sounds do rats make?

  • Scratching – rats will often scratch at surfaces when they are climbing and digging.
  • Chewing – rats have a constant need to chew, which is often why they damage electrical cables.
  • Squeaking – rats communicate with each other, so expect to hear a few squeaks.
  • Movement – as they move around your garden, home or loft, you’ll be able to listen to them moving around.

How to get rid of rats in the house?

If you’ve read the above information and you’re sure that rats are causing you problems, you should run through our five helpful tips on how to get rid of rats.

1. Eliminate food sources

Rats need food to survive, and there is a good chance that they are using your home to gather food. We advise removing all food sources that rats would be able to gain access too. This includes placing food in sealed containers and ensuring your home and garden is an overall clean environment. Once all possible food sources have been eliminated, there’s a high chance that your rat infestation will move on to a different location.

If you see rats on your building’s external parts, such as the garden, check all shrubbery and bushes for seeds and fruit. Make sure to remove all possible food source, yes, that means the bird feeder as well.

2. Seal ingress points

If rats are entering your home, there has to be an area where they gain access. This step can be difficult for an untrained professional, as years of experience and training allows pest control technicians to locate rat entry points with ease. Once you have found all possible ingress points, the next step is to rat-proof them. Possible increase points include:

  • Small gaps – young rats can easily squeeze through small gaps under doors and will gnaw their way through holes to enter your home. 
  • Cracks in walls – check your properties external walls for openings, usually around pipework.
  • Roofs – rats are known to penetrate lofts and attics, check your roof for broken tiles and entry points. Be warned; squirrels can often have the same signs as rats.
rat proofing

Unfortunately, many rat problems stem from a drainage problem. If you think that is the case, you’ll need to call us at 0208 914 7894 to arrange an expert drain survey. We have a range of specialist equipment ready to survey your drains. Please don’t rush to call a drainage company as they know very little about rats.

3. Place traps

Now that you have sealed any possible entry points for the rats, it’s time to place traps around your home. Putting them in the right place is crucial as they need to be placed alongside a wall and are most effective when placed in areas you know rats will travel. Furthermore, a simple mistake we often see is that people move traps every other day. This is a mistake and rats have a fear process built into them called neophobia, causing them to avoid anything new in their environment.

4. Try not to use poison

Although it can be tempting to use a range of DIY poisons, we strongly recommend against it. Over the years rats have become more immune to DIY toxins, and unless you have access to professional-grade rodenticides, you’ll never manage to get the job done. Furthermore, have you ever smelt a dead rat? If you use poisons you’ll never know where the rat has died, it could be in your walls, under your kitchen or in your drainage, but trust us, you’ll smell it.

If you have kids or pets such as cats and dogs, then it’s even more reason not to use poisons. The lethal poisons can make humans and animals very sick and can even kill. As professionals, we believe no untrained individual should have access to toxins unless you genuinely know what they’re doing. 

5. Leave it to the experts

If you have tried all the tips and techniques listed throughout this article and still have problems, we recommend contacting us to arrange a treatment. We operate throughout London and all of the south-east of England. We will follow a similar process as mentioned above, locating the ingress points and proofing them as required; however, our BPCA training and years of experience allows us to narrow down the entry points. Furthermore, if the issue is located in your drains, we have a range of high-performance CCTV cameras that inspect and find if rats are the issue.

We guarantee to kill the rats at your property and manage the population, causing you issues, no long term contracts just solutions and proofing to solve your rat problem for good.