Rat Control in London has 3 fundamental approaches. Prevention, treatment and rodent proofing can be combined to offer an integrated pest control solution that will offer you long term results.
Inoculand Ltd offers a rat control service for a flat fee of £129+vat that includes 2 visits within 3 months. We can place rat bait stations outdoors or carry out a rat treatment indoors. But whenever rats have been seen inside the rooms, we put a strong recommendation on rodent proofing right away.
How to get rid of rats
A rat infestation in London could affect any type of property with various degrees of consequences. Past the initial shock, most residents worry about their health and potential damage to their property. And rightly so, a rat problem could build up as rapidly as they could chew through the drain pipe of the toilet or the electric wire of the washing machine.
You shouldn’t underestimate the issue and investigate how the rats managed to work their way in.
Carrying out a rat treatment
There has been a lot of progress within the pest control industry. Nowadays any rat poison would (by design) act slowly and painlessly enough, so the rats never associate it as something bad. This in turn allows to achieve better level of control and quicker results.
There is a very wide range of products available on the market that come in all sorts of formulation. The key is not only about the efficacy of the active ingredient, but also what it is mixed with and how palatable it is overall.
Rats in house: place rat poison at void space
At Inoculand, we found that the best rat poison is Deadline Wax Rat Bait 120g blocks. Nevertheless, rats are quite greedy and would eat also Whole Wheat bait and other cheaper rat poison blocks.
The key is in placing the bait as upstream as possible as to minimise the impact on the household. Thus we will endeavour to place the rat bait at void space level. This way the rats will find what they are looking for immediately and will have less need to go further into the rooms where they are not welcome to start with.
We will also look for their primary entry points and provide the relevant rodent proofing recommendations.
Rats in the garden: use of a rat bait box
There are 2 scenarios we can distinguish. Rats could be coming from another area and just walk across your garden. Or it could be that your rat infestation is linked to a fault that is beneath your garden, or that rats colonised the space under your shed or decking.
One way or the other, we cannot place loose bait in the open as it could easily be eaten by non-target animals. That would be especially detrimental to birds. Therefore bait need to be kept secured within a specially design rat bait box. Whenever possible, it is best to keep the bait boxes hidden from sight. We would preferably place them at the back of a shrub or along a rat run.
Using rat traps
A break-back rat trap can of course be used and can be quite efficient if baited properly. Rat glue traps can also work but they will catch them alive, so the rat would have to be disposed of in such a way as to avoid unnecessary suffering.
Getting rid of rats at living space level
Typically the client would have either seen the rat inside a room, or found rat droppings inside the kitchen units or on the floor.
Keep rats out of your kitchen
Rats getting in your cupboards and kitchen are an unacceptable health and safety hazard. And every effort should be made in order to keep them out. Placing rat traps and rat baits at living space level will be counter-productive as it will encourage rats further.
We must look thoroughly around the kitchen and underneath the kitchen units for holes and gaps large enough to let them in. At time, it is as simple as blocking one single hole at floor or wall level. But most of the time, the full proofing of the kitchen needs to be carried out.
How to keep rats away from basements
Basements are not really living space. But we often store there our spare stuff. Most of the time, Victorian house basements are wide open. And carrying out the rodent proofing in these conditions is tremendously difficult as the full thing would require panelling and all pipe work being sealed around.
The client needs to balance the benefit of doing the proofing at basement level, against the cost involved. Normally only commercial properties using their basement as a storage space do really need it.
Identifying where the rat problem is coming from
It is important to investigate what was the primary route of entry into your property. A good way to find out if your rat infestation is linked to the drains would be to place bait inside the inspection chamber. If rats are eating the rat bait up, then you have rats inside your drains.
Rat infestation linked to the sewage system
In some case the solution is as simple as replacing the rodding eye cap or fitting a one-way valve. In other instance the solution would involve repairing the drains that are damaged and that allow the rats out.
Missing rodding eye cap at manhole level
To begin with, rats are mostly linked to the main sewers where they are difficult to control. The rodding eye allows tools to bypass the U-Bend and is normally covered by a cap that stops rats passing through. But sometimes the cap goes missing or falls off. When this happens rats can access the domestic sewage system freely.
A break in the main sewer line or in a domestic sewer pipe
Our sewage system is nearly 100 years old and there are many faults and exit points scattered everywhere that would allow rats out in the open and back in again. When this happen rats will their way out a create rat holes.
Rats gnawing through PVC pipes
In some cases there is no damage to speak off, only the rodding eye cap missing. The rats can then work their way upstream until they encounter the U-bend of your toilet. Hence they may decide to go back where they came from, they may gnaw through the PVC pipe linking your toilet and escape into the void space of your house, or they may try their luck through the U-bend itself and come out off your toilet bowl.
Rats coming from nearby areas
Rats need food and harbourage. Therefore they will often settle down in areas that can provide them with a safe heaven and readily available food supplies. Also a further difficulty is that they can easily travel more than 300 meters around the nest.
Besides, rats may be coming to your home simply because they can, rather than because they need to.
Rats feeding on rubbish containers
In some instance restaurants and take aways have their rubbish containers in the back alley. It is not unusual to see bins overflowing and rats going back and forth to get a meal. The same problem exits in some residential blocks. The solution is to have more bins capacity, to collect them more often, or to rodent proof the bin chambers.
Rats taking up residence in overgrown gardens
The areas along railway tracks are often overgrown with vegetation. Sometimes behind the fence at the back of the garden there is an area between two properties that cannot be accessed and maintained. In some instance you find people or businesses keeping a mountain of rubble and scrap in their back garden. Derelict ed and abandoned out buildings/sheds could easily shelter hundreds of rats if colonised.
Ideally you would want to have your garden and the one of your neighbours clean and tidy. It would make it less friendly for rats, easier for you to spot a possible rat problem. And it would be a sign that you are on top of things that is always reassuring.
Rats: a major London pest control issue
The most common rat in London is the brown rat or Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus). The Black rat or Roof rat (Rattus rattus) is now rarely found in UK.
Brown rat: appearance and characteristics
Rats are nocturnal animals but they are often seen during day time too. Rats are very resourceful animals and adapted perfectly to urban environments. They can climb very well and they are very good at excavating burrow systems.
An important particularity is their incisor teeth that grows continuously. Therefore they need to compensate the overgrowth by grinding them off. Hence they will cause damage on wood beams, electrical wires, plastic, some metals. They can gnaw through brick,plaster and even concrete.
Typically rats can consume almost any type of food. They require an average intake for an adult rat of 15-30g per day. Sadly this can be achieved easily from the litter found in our streets or directly from our bins. Finally, males will eventually reach a weight of 300-500g and females 250-300g and live 2-3 years. However most rats will die within the first year.
Rats are also reservoirs for pathogens and can transmit them through their urine, droppings and hairs. Diseases such as Toxoplasmosis, Weil’s disease and Salmonella are particularly relevant to the residential context of London. The most prone to infections are new born, immuno-depressed individuals and elderly people. It is then paramount to take all the precautionary measure possible to avoid contamination of food and kitchenware.
They are social animals living in groups which dynamic will evolve depending on how high competition for harbourage and resources is. Their reproductive ability is extraordinary. In optimal conditions, a rat population could be multiplied by 10 within 3 months. Such population increase rate is unlikely to be possible in the wild but this hints to their formidable ability.
Rats are wary of new stuff that has been introduced into their environment. In the old days, rat bait relied on arsenic or on thallium and rats that will have ingested a sub-lethal dose only, would never touch it again due to the acute pain they felt. Nowadays, rat baits rely on anticoagulant that takes days to act and do not cause acute pain. This allows for a much stronger and sustainable approach.
Rats living locally will tend to rely on it more readily than rats coming from further away. So a rat that would just happen to pass for the first time, would possibly not eat at once a lethal dose of it. This rat will of course recover without detrimental consequences. But more importantly it will not have associated the bait with pain. The next time it will come across the same bait, it will gladly have another take.
Dead rats & Death smell
Whenever you use poison, rats will die. It is as straight forward as that. The issue is where will the rats die. In most of the cases, rats will join their colony and get on with their business. After a few days they will become weaker, less active, and in a way fall asleep never to wake up.
Rats will normally die from the rat bait where they spend most of their time, or on one of their ventures. In most cases, nobody will take notice of where they died either because it is underground/in the sewers or outdoors/in overgrown vegetation/ in an area that is not inhabited.
The issue is when a rat dies within your home underneath the floor boards, at the back of a bath panel. Because they are large animal, the carcass will take time to go through the decomposition/drying process. It will sometimes generate bad smell, sometimes a bluebottle fly out break and sometimes both of them at the same time.
The difficulty is deciding if it is worth looking for the dead rotting body lifting up floor board. Or if it is best to wait 5 days for the smell to disappear. The flies can be dealt with residual pesticides, and the smell can be neutralised by diffusing into the air a suitable disinfectant or deodoriser solution.
As a cautionary tell: we worked with a surgery that suffered from death smell. They choose to rip every thing off. After £3000 of ripping and later repair, they did not find the body and still had to rely on smell stations to neutralise the smell. But in another instance, a tenant requested floor boards to be lifted in a room, the estate agency maintenance staff did it at no expense, and they found the rat right away.
Our service of rat exterminator
Our pest control technicians will first survey your property and identify areas that need to be treated. More importantly, they will put a sharp emphasis in identifying entry points and advise on the appropriate rodent proofing recommendations.
Our rat proofing service with one year guarantee can be implemented indoors or outdoors. We can also rat proof bin sheds of residential block of flats or commercial warehouses. Sometimes the proofing can also involve to place airvent covers or metal composite plates at the base of a door.
The materials we use can include mesh, board, timber, wirewool, sealant, composites metal plates. But we do not use expanding foam as rodents can easily gnaw through it. The one year guarantee is in place so the clients have all the peace of mind they require.
If you suffer from a rat infestation and require rat control in London, call us as early as possible to prevent them from colonising the premises any further.