The Brown Rat is considered one of the most serious mammalian pests ever known; it's opportunist lifestyle, intelligence, agility, omnivorous diet and prolific breeding potential make it one of the worlds most successful mammals. They carry dangerous diseases such as salmonella, weils disease and rat bite fever. Rats must be controlled as they cause serious damage to property and crops. Some rats have developed resistance to modern rodenticides and that resistance is expected to increase. Rats are very difficult to trap but relatively easy to poison with rodenticides.
How to Prevent Entry
The objective is to prevent rats getting into your house. Before you start sealing holes, be sure there are no rats left in the house. If you trap a rat inside your house it may cause considerable damage trying to get out, or worse still trying to get water. Rats need to drink regularly and if deprived of water they will chew through a water pipe.
First eliminate all the rats using your house, then very carefully and thoroughly search all aspects of your house for potential access points. Go round several times and from different directions. Rats can gain access through holes as small as 1.5 cm (½ inch), but usually they quickly open holes to about 5 cm (2 inchs). If rats are using the hole regularly it will probably have a used look about it, clear of cobwebs, dust, leaves etc. Rats like to be able to move quickly and easily around their territory.
Here are some tips to help keep rats out:
- Remove all rubbish from around the house, sheds, garage etc. Rats feel vulnerable in open spaces so get rid of any places they can shelter
- Keep any vegetation around the building short and tidy
- Rats like to use ivy and creepers to access the eaves and roof where they may be able to gain entry to the loft. They are very good climbers and can run up a brick, concrete or harled wall
- Trim tree branches that overhang the roof. Rats are excellent climbers and jumpers and will readily use a tree to gain access to your roof
- Ensure no food is stored to which rats can get access, inside, outside or in sheds and out-houses
- Repair broken slates or roof tiles. Pay particular attention to areas where mortar is broken
- Repair holes in the eaves and search for areas where timber may be rotten or insecure
- Seal holes around pipes and cables going into the house
- Make sure ventilation grates are not broken
- Make sure windows and doors fit tightly and are not damaged
- Seal gaps beneath the garage door
- Look for holes in the earth around the base of the building as rats frequently gain access to the foundations and then into the cavity walls
This is what rats need to survive; make sure you deprive them of all these elements and you should not have a problem again:
- Shelter, to make nests, raise young and hide from predators so make sure your yard and garden is tidy
- Food, of just about any description so keep all potential rat food in sealed steel containers
- Water, rats drink a lot of water so make sure you are not supplying them through leaking pipes etc.
We provide a number of products to help you rat proof your house. It is far cheaper to make sure rats never again get into your house or buildings than it is to try to eliminate them every year.
Here are some products to help you stop rats entering your building:
- Expanding foam, ideal for filling gaps around pipes, cables, under roof tiles etc. Simply spray the foam into the cavity, allow to dry and then trim the excess level with a sharp knife
- Wire wool, can be used in conjunction with the foam but be sure to wear disposable gloves as the foam is very sticky and the action of pushing the wire wool into the wet foam is messy
- Wire mesh, for fixing over broken air vents and larger holes; can be used in conjunction with the expanding foam