What are Rats?
The brown rat is the larger of the rats in Britain, often weighing over half a kilo and measuring about 23 cm, without including the tail. It has a blunt muzzle, small hair-covered ears and a tail that is shorter than its body. The black rat weighs half as much and is shorter. It has a pointed muzzle, large, almost hairless ears, a more slender body and a long thin tail that is longer than its body.
Rats have well-developed senses of smell taste and touch. They have an acute sense of hearing, frequently using ultrasound to communicate, and is especially sensitive to any sudden noise. Both species breed rapidly and become sexually mature in about three months. Each female may produce from 3 to 12 litters of between six and eight young in a year. Rats need to gnaw to keep their constantly growing incisor teeth worn down. They damage woodwork, plastic, bricks and lead pipes, and will strip insulation from electrical cables.
Brown rats live in any situation that provides food, water, and shelter. In homes, they will live in roof spaces, wall cavities or under floorboards. In gardens, they will burrow into grassy banks or under sheds. Brown rats are often found living in sewer systems. Black rats are rare and are occasionally found in shipping ports.
Rats feed mostly at night and an average rat will eat 50 grams of food a day. Preferred foods are cereal products, although rats are omnivorous and will eat almost anything that humans eat.
Why control Rats?
Rats can inflict an enormous amount of structural damage. They can cause severe fires by gnawing away the insulation around electrical cables, floods by puncturing pipes and even death by chewing through gas pipes. The insurance sector has estimated that rodent damage to wiring is responsible for 25% of all electrical fires in buildings.
Rats can ruin an organisation’s reputation. If clients and customers spot evidence of rodent infestation in the premises you manage, they are unlikely to want to do business with you.
Property owners have a legal obligation under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 to keep premises rodent free, or, if rodents pose a threat to health or property, to report infestations to the local authority.
How to Prevent Rats
You can put steps in place to try and avoid a rat infestation:
- Eliminate any harbourage points such as sealing gaps around pipes and under sheds; rats only need a gap of 15mm to gain entry.
- Remove potential nesting sites by keeping yards and gardens clean and tidy, by cutting back overgrown areas and clearing any piles of wood/debris.
- Ensure that drain inspection covers are in a good state of repair.
- Cover any household waste where rats can get access to it, close dustbin lids and cover compost heaps.
- If you feed garden birds, do not do this to excess and use a bird table or feeder basket if possible.
How to get rid of Rats
Rats are adaptable, highly mobile and breed rapidly; this combination can make rat control a difficult task for the untrained individual. For any rat infestation, we would always recommend contacting a professional pest control company like us at MIDS Pest Control, we also recommend that you us a member of the BPCA. We are trained in rat control services and will have access to a range of professional use rodenticides and traps which the general public don’t have access too which are not available to the public.
If you decide to carry out the work yourself, then you can buy amateur use poisons and traps from a hardware store or garden centre, but please make sure that you don’t place poisons just on the ground, a nice external box is the right way, as with Traps make sure they are fixed in place.
Most rats are wary of new objects such as traps or poisons placed in their environment and will avoid them for a period before exploring them, this is why we recommend using are Nara Products if you choose to do it yourself. If not using anything please don’t expect instant success. When placing poison or traps, make sure they are in a safe and secure place out of reach of children and pets, the last thing you want to do is poison the family Pets. If you cannot do it Call the exerts in pest control. Get Rid of the Rats Fast today.
WARNING: When using rodenticides always follow the instructions on the label, and importantly search for and dispose of any dead rodents in a safe manner.