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One of the things you really don’t want to see inside your home is rats.  Because they rarely come in the singular – rats are group animals.  And they can cause a lot of damage.  Plus, they often carry diseases, fleas and are generally not ideal housemates.  But how does a rat infestation happen and what can be done for vermin control?

Don’t make your home appealing

Rats are opportunists and that means they will grab whatever opportunities you leave them.  They are also omnivores and will eat almost anything.  But if you leave them easy opportunities to find food, they are more likely to say thanks and move in to make the most of the opportunities you have provided them.

Top rat prevention tips from pest controllers include:

  • Make sure food is kept in metal or glass containers that have tight fitting lids
  • Put rubbish outside in metal bins with lids that fit securely to stop rats getting in
  • Keep pet food and bird seed in strong containers with fitted lids and ideally store above ground level
  • Remove clutter from around the outside of the house so there are fewer places for rats to hide
  • Don’t use organic food waste in a compost heap as this will attract rats

Rat proofing the property

If you have seen signs that there are rats around, then you might want to take steps to rat-proof the property to make it hard for them to get in.  Much of Cheltenham and surrounding areas will have a rat population though you don’t often see them until you need pest control to deal with a growing problem.

Rats can squeeze through small gaps such as under doorways so add strips along the bottom of the door to stop this.  Cat flaps are also a vulnerable point and they will also gnaw through from integral garages into homes.

Small gaps in exterior walls can offer the same opportunities to get access to the home such as around utility cables or pipes.  Use stainless steel wire cool, concrete or caulking to make these gaps rat-proof.

Rats will make their way long electrical cables or from overhanging branches and use gaps in the roofline in the same way as gaps in the walls.  Again, use wire mesh to seal gaps and deal with roof breaks as soon as possible.

Perhaps the most surprising is the rat’s ability to swim up drain pipes if there is a break and even swim up u-bends in toilets.  So, keep the toilet lid closed, add metal grates or screens on drains, particularly in basements and check for broken pipework.

Rat problem

If you spot any signs that you might have a rat problem such as droppings or signs of gnawing on anything, call pest control as soon as possible.  Rats can breed at a prodigious rate and soon you could be overwhelmed with them.  So, deal with a potential rat problem as soon as you see even potential signs of a new resident in your home.