Rats - How to get rid of Rats
- Why rats are pests?
- How to look for evidence of a rat problem?
- Removing access to food
- Getting rid of rats
- Proofing against future rat infestations
- Long-term 24/7 Rat Monitoring Option
Why rats are considered pests?
Rats can cause significant structural damage to buildings, including electrical fires, due to their gnawing habits.
Rat teeth marks - chewing electrical wires
Rat damage to PVC water pipes
They leave bad smells, faeces, and chew food, but also a range of diseases including Salmonellosis, typhus and Weil's disease, a potentially fatal disease transmitted through contact with rat urine.
Under certain conditions, rats will also nest in gardens, under sheds, decking and will even dig burrows under shrubs.
Rat burrow in garden (Dublin)
Contact Owl Pest Control to arrange a professional rat treatment.
How to look for evidence of a rat problem?
The most common species of rat in Ireland is the Norway rat (rattus norvegicus). It is also called Brown rat, Sewer rat, Grey rat or Common rat. Their colour varies from a pure gray to a reddish brown, with a pale grey belly. Brown rats weight 100 to 500 grams (average 335g).
Signs of rat activity in the home or garden include the following:
- Gnawing marks
Rats gnaw continuously to keep their incisors short. Rat tooth marks are noticeable at base of wooden doors. Rats will also gnaw through soft metal.
Rat teeth chew through metal can
- Rat droppings
This is the main way to differentiate between rats and mice infestation. A rat stool is approx. 12mm long (i.e. longer than a grain of rice) and tend to be tapered at one end. A mouse dropping is half that size and thinner (i.e. shorter than a grain of rice). Norway Rats produce about 40 droppings each per day.
Rats and Mice droppings size comparison
Rats produce a characteristic 'stale' smell. This can be readily recognised when infestations are long-standing.
- Rat noises
Rats make loud walking, scratching, tapping and chewing noises behind kitchen presses, ceilings, plaster boards walls, attics and cavity spaces. These noises are far more noticeable with rats compared to mice.
- Smear marks
Rats and mice have greasy hairs and always walk the same path, rubbing along walls. This quickly leaves dirty black smears.
The presence of rats in houses is noticeable within a few hours. Rats nibble fruits, tear bags, carry full slices of bread under kitchen units, and turn over bins bags.
- Footprints and Tail Swipes
These can be noticed where rats have been moving over muddy or dusty surfaces.
Rat footprints left on dusty insulation panel (Dublin)
Removing Rat Access to Food
- Dry food such as bread should be kept in sealed containers or cabinets so rats cannot access.
- Rats are also eating pet food (bird seeds, cat & dog food). If you have a pet make sure to keep such foods in sealed plastic/metal boxes. Spillages and left over food should be removed after meals as rats will clean up any leftovers.
- Outdoors: Ensure all bin bags are placed in well closed wheelie bins to stop rats from feeding.
Getting Rid of Rats
Rats litter size is 6-11 babies. The gestation period is only 3 weeks and females can mate and conceive within 24/48 hours of giving birth. It is important to get rid of rats quickly before they are too numerous, infest your facility and damage cables, pipes and insulation.
Ultrasonic devices, rat poison and various traps can be used in order to control rats. There are situations were rat harbourage cannot be easily identified or accessed such as wall cavities or ceilings. If a situation is not straightforward it is preferable to consult a specialist Pest Controller who is trained to handle each situation in order to achieve complete rat control rapidly.
The video below illustrates the mess rats can create, the damage to electrical wires and how difficult it can be to identify their entry point(s):
Rat in kitchen presses - Damage to wires and walls
Owl Pest Control Technicians have extensive experience and knowledge in dealing with rats from all areas indoors and outdoors, around all types of buildings, e.g.:
- Rats in walls - rat nests in wall cavity insulation.
- Rat burrows – treatments, identification and repairs to sewers damaged by rats.
- Rats in ceilings and attics - scratching noise, etc.
- Rats under floor boards – survey cameras and identification of access points.
- Rats in kitchen – removal of kitchen appliances as necessary.
- Specialist cleaning and biocide treatments of infested areas.
Proofing the building against future rat infestations
Rats are very clever and will gnaw at any gaps to enlarge them and get entry to a building. Here is some advice to help preventing rats from accessing your home:
- Rat entry points
Possible rat entries to the house should be sealed, such as ESB/cable boxes, holes in walls, gaps under doors.
Garden should be kept short and tidy, particularly around buildings. Rats and mice do not like crossing open spaces, where they feel vulnerable.
- Roof areas
Rats can climb along gutter downpipes or use overhanging branches to gain access to attics through gaps under eaves. Any roof damage should be repaired.
We provide rat proofing inspections/surveys and undertake a range of Rodent Proofing Work covering all situations if required.
Long-term 24/7 Rat Monitoring Option
Optional remote radio controlled pest alert monitoring service
- Radio transmitter send an alert SMS/email when a rat trap activates.
- The system offers 24/7 protection
- Suitable for residential and commercial applications.
- Reduces and optimise call backs and routine visits
- Allow sites to become non-toxic, no requirement to use poison
Contact Owl Pest Control if you need expert help on how to get rid of rats or to schedule a professional rat inspection / treatment.