Rat (Common Rat) Pest Control
– Scientific Name: Rattus norvegicus
Rat Control is now required more than ever due to their growing problem throughout the UK. Firstly they can pass on disease to humans by contaminating food or surfaces with urine, droppings and hairs. Rats, in particular, can pass on Leptospirosis, a disease that can lead to Weil’s disease and can be fatal to humans. Brown Rats can also cause structural damage to property – they are capable of gnawing a range of materials, including electric cables and wiring, which could cause fire or electrocution within the home or any building.
The brown rat is usually active at night and is a good swimmer, both on the surface and underwater, but unlike the related Black Rat (Rattus rattus), they are poor climbers. Brown rats dig well, and often excavate extensive burrow systems. A 2007 study found brown rats to possess metacognition, a mental ability previously only found in humans and some primates, but further analysis suggested they may have been following simple operant conditioning principles. The Brown Rat is one of the most common pests we see at Town & Country Pest Control; we offer a number of different pest control solutions for rats.
Characteristic & Life Cycle
Brown rats are capable of mating at three months. Females come into heat every 4 or 5 days. Females have an average of 3 – 7 litters per year with 6 – 12 pups per litter. Their eyes open at 6 days and they are fully furred by 15 days. After giving birth the female goes back into heat in 24 hours.
Control & Prevention
At Town & Country Pest Control we use a number of methods to control or exterminate rats.
Poisoned Bait – The bait is placed in a protective box that only a rat can get into, thus ensuring that pets or any other species is protected from the poison. This is the best from of reducing a rat infestation within the home or building. This can take from a few days to a number of weeks to take effect.
Dogs – Trained terriers can be used to search and destroy any fleeing rat. The rat is pushed from its home using smoke. This method can only be used externally, but is instantaneous and shows great results.
Trapping – Traps can be positioned and the rat is trapped it can then be removed from your premises.
Rats can squeeze through a hole of 13mm diameter, so prevention can be difficult to a determined rodent. The first line of defence against rats is to proof your home. It is important to seal any holes to the exterior (for example pipe work for washing machines and dishwashers) and fit bristle strip around doors and also check sewer pipes for cracks.
All rodents require a harbourage, food and water to survive, without one of these present then the infestation will not thrive and then die off. Therefore it is important not to attract Rats with food – where possible, store food in strong plastic or metal containers. Regularly cleaning is essential, behind fridges, under cookers and cupboards. For the outdoors, animals such as chicken, horses, etc will attract rats with their food and water.