This week we have been on lots of radio shows and one of the questions I keep getting asked is how do rats get in my house?
The simple answer is anyway they can! This includes up the drain pipes, leaping from over hanging trees onto the roof, from the sewers into your soil pipes, but by far the most common way is by digging under the footings or into a weak spot, like where a drain comes in.
Rats are highly intelligent, tenacious and inquisitive so spend lots of time sizing up a situation and then capitalising on it. The classic hiding place and point of entry is under decking. The decking craze of recent years, whilst looking great in most cases when done well, offers a dry and safe place in which rats will happily breed, but more interestingly, allows them cover in which to explore other opportunities to gain entry to your house.
Over the last 2 months, we have done lots of investigations to establish entry points of rats, then provide the necessary remedial work to stop entry happening again. This generally involves lifting patios or decking, digging down to expose the problems area, blocking the hole with bricks or similar materials, concreting over the area to ensure no possible entry can be made, then re-laying the patio or decking.
The other problem you normally get is that once the problem is solved, the rat will die inside the building. This can create quite a nasty lingering smell. We do provide neutralising products, but sometimes even these do not mask or remove the smell, so the only option is to search for and remove the dead rat. Lifting floors and breaking into cavities is a pretty scary and labour intensive operation so we do this as a last resort.
Yesterday, we were at a house near Reading doing exactly this. We were called by the customer who heard noises in between floors, a common sign of an entry via a cavity wall, so we set off to investigate the problem. Our inspection soon led to the problem, a drain under the kennel had been mined out by rats thus gaining entry to the utility room, and the internal cavity wall.
First step is to place poison in the holes and seal it temporarily to ensure the rats are either excluded from the house and so solve the problem, or killed inside the house, again solving the problem. sure enough, our little visitor was trapped inside and subsequently feasted on the poison and died. The smell was relatively easy to locate as it smelt both in the kitchen and also in the bedroom above.
Having rolled back the carpet, it was easy to locate the direction of the beams, drill a small pilot hole in the floor boards and insert an endoscopic camera to examine what lay below. Whilst this gives us a good idea of where the dead rodent is, its not always this simple. But on this occasion, the rodent was seen, so work could begin to lift the board, remove the body, spray the area with insecticide to kill the maggots and flies, then disinfect and deodorise the area. Interestingly, on this occasion we lifted a larger section of chip board than normal simply due to the size of the original board, and good job we did because the rat had built a large nest, ready to give birth to its young so we removed this too and all the faeces left by her.
So I hope that answers a few questions, but as always if you have a rat problem, contact Rapid Pest Control now for a fast effective service of rat removal and rat control in Newbury, Swindon, Oxford, Basingstoke and Reading.
Here are a few pictures for rats in your home: