Category Archives: Rat Control

Rat Control and Pest Controllers

Its widely acknowledged that the rat population is on the increase due to several factors including the climate, their increasing resistance to poisons and the fact that many water companies and local authorities have cut back on sewer baiting contracts.

The cases of rat activity within properties is also on the increase as our adventurous fury friends find long established defective or poorly installed drainage systems that give them direct access beneath or adjacent to house floors and foundations.

Clearly the first phone call any hapless home owner will make after seeing evidence of rat activity or on hearing scratching noises in the walls or ceiling will be to a pest control contractor, and rightly so but how many pest control contractors are delivering a satisfactory service.

Any pest control contractor worthy of the title will look around the property for any obvious signs of access prior to laying bait or rat traps, if there are no signs of external entry and the rat ingress continues over several weeks or months surely pest control contractors should be steering the property owner towards a drain camera inspection.

It is estimated that 90% of rat ingress to properties is due to defective drainage systems yet we are contacted at on a weekly basis by people who have suffered months if not years of rat problems but have never been advised  to have the drains inspected.

There are certainly many pest control contractors who work with drainage companies in order to resolve a rat ingress problem as quickly as possible for the home owner, sadly though there are just as many who are happy to return to a property month after month rather than take the investigations to the next level.

Rather worryingly there was a recent post on Twitter by probably the UKs biggest pest control company giving their top ten tips to prevent rat ingress to properties,  there was not one mention of a defective drainage system or a drain camera inspection in the entire article.

Read more here on rat ingress to properties and how to prevent or cure it


Rats, Traps, Bugs and Cutbacks

If ever there was an argument for councils cutting free pest control for the masses then surely the BBCs Panorama programme on Monday 6th August Rats, Traps, Bugs and Cutbacks was it.

Firstly we had a Southwark Council employed pest controller making numerous visits to put poison down in a rat infested bin store just yards from a defective drain, the rats were shown coming and going at their own leisure from the said drain at ground level, was I the only one shouting `fix the bloody drain` at the TV.

Then we had a lady who lets her rabbit run around the garden dragging straw, hay and no doubt rabbit food with it complaining about rats invading her garden at night and finally a guy keeping chickens or some kind of fowl in a pen at the bottom of the garden getting subsidised pest control visits due to rat problems.

Instead of throwing millions of pounds away on rat baiting how about some basic education on the kind of habits that are likely to attract rats into your home and garden, if people persist in throwing scraps of food on the ground, letting bins overflow or scattering bird seed around then they should be liable for any pest control required and not the tax payers in general.

How about we maintain and repair our drainage and sewer systems so that the majority of rats are contained within the networks and where the available food source will determine the size of the rat population, and where incidentally it would be easier to bait and control them.

Rats forced into homes as sewers fill up

RATS are being forced above ground into homes and restaurants as city sewers fill up with rainwater.

Pest controllers in Brighton and Hove have reported an increase in calls about the rodents over the last few months, which have been some of the wettest on record.

Experts say the lack of a harsh winter in recent years had helped the rodent population to soar.

And the heavy downpours that have led to flooding in recent months have sent rats scurrying for higher ground – and into people’s homes.

One local Pest Control contractor  said he was receiving around five calls a week about rats, almost twice as many as last year.

He said: “The rain hasn’t dampened the rodent’s spirits. They’re thriving.

“The fact that we have had no harsh winters recently is a contributing factor as there is no death rate in these rats and they can reproduce quickly and  recent heavy rainfall had filled sewers up, pushing the rats out of drains and into buildings in search of food.

He said: “Compared to last year I’ve seen an increase in the amount of Rodenticide I have had to buy. I have been through one 20kg sack in a month and that is a lot for me.

A Brighton and Hove council spokeswoman said: “We have not seen a significant rise in requests for treatment this year.

“We do not believe the recent humid weather has lead to an increase of rat sightings, however, extreme wet weather conditions can lead to overflow from storm drains, causing rats to be displaced, but this is quite unusual.“

Surprise visitor: squatting wombat blocks stormwater pipe

There are many things that could block a stormwater drain. But a wombat?

blocked rain water drain

Imagine the surprise on the faces of the people at the Launceston City Council when they stumbled across a furry critter while viewing video from a stormwater pipe survey recently.

The shy little squatter was discovered by engineering development officer Sonia Smith, The Examiner reports.

Ms Smith said that one of the tasks council asked developers to undertake when building a new subdivision was to ensure all their stormwater pipes were working.

“They do that by conducting a remote video camera survey, and they then send the videos into us,” Ms Smith said.

“The equipment they use is basically a remote controlled camera, driven by a joystick.

“Sometimes in these videos you see the odd rat or spider, but this is the first time I’ve seen a wombat.”

Ms Smith said the wombat found his or her way into the pipe because it was open at one end.

“It’s a 300mm pipe, which is the smallest we use, but it appears that it might be a perfect size for a wombat burrow,” she said.

Ms Smith said the wombat will be respectfully nudged on to a new burrow and access to the pipe will be blocked.

Rats infest Cheltenham homes after freak rain

HEAVY rain and warm weather have caused a surge of rats to infest homes across Cheltenham.

Thousands of the rodents are building nests close to properties in some of the classiest areas of the town, a pest control expert has warned.

And the problem is getting worse, with some residents now having as many as 600 rats within 20 foot of their homes.

Recent summer rain has been blamed for the sudden increase in the number, with many trying to escape rising water levels.

Phil John.has blamed the recent floods for flushing out the rats and forcing them to find new homes. And he warned that, as developers tried to find new spots to build homes, the situation was likely to get worse.

He claimed that rats were frequently as close as just 6ft away from a residential home, depending on the area.

Mr John, who has worked as a gamekeeper and Government wildlife officer before becoming a pest controller, said he had been called to properties across Cheltenham.

Recent cases have seen him travel to Prestbury, Charlton Kings and Bishop’s Cleeve.

He said: “Rats are never going to be that far away from anyone. I have been to homes where there have been between 400 and 600 rats.

“I have been to deal with cases all around Cheltenham – Bath Road, London Road, The Reddings.

“I have got more rat work now than a few years ago. The councils used to do more but now they have either cut back or have stopped altogether.

“The problem has got worse since the flooding, when we have seen the population of rats increase. Rats have come up from the lower ground and have not gone back.”

He warned that, when old buildings were converted or when farmland was used for development, the rats already living on the land would simply stay on – infesting any new homes constructed on the spot.

“When they start building on land like at Oakley or in Bishop’s Cleeve, there is nowhere for the animals to go,” said Mr John.

“Instead, people are simply creating the perfect habitat for them to breed and survive.”

With the high birth rate, one rat can multiply into 200 individuals within a year.

Barbara Exley, head of public protection for Cheltenham Borough Council, conceded the rodent population was on the rise.

“The general trend is that there are more rats across the country,” she said.

“However in Cheltenham the number of requests for our service is steady, although this does fluctuate depending on the time of year.”

Tewkesbury Borough Council now uses outside contractors to deal with any requests for pest control.

Residential services manager David Steels said: “We have only had one query about rats since the heavy rain, which is typical for this period.

“If someone has a problem, we advise to employ a pest control contractor.”

If you have a rats in your home visit for free information and advice

Woman ‘left in fear as rats invade her home’

A WOMAN was left distraught and in fear for her health after what her family said was a bungled plumbing job which led to a rat infestation in her housing association property. 

Stella Cook, 76, has been a tenant of York-based Yorkshire Housing – formerly the Ryedale Housing Association – for almost 20 years. 

She was shocked when her Flaxton cottage was overrun with the dangerous rodents after the organisation fitted a new toilet. 

A concerned relative of Mrs Cook contacted The Press to voice anger at Yorkshire Housing’s handling of the problem. 

They claimed that Mrs Cook discovered a plumber, sent by her landlords to fit the toilet, had accidentally left a drain uncovered. 

Since then, they said, she had seen several rats in almost every room in the house, including her bedroom. 

The asthma sufferer paid for pest control herself, amid claims the housing association refused to temporarily relocate her away from the one-bedroom property. 

According to the family member, who wishes to remain anonymous, the only help offered was for the agency to come and collect the dead animals once they had been poisoned – yet three rats remained at large in the bungalow. 

The relative said: “She’s frightened out of her wits. 

“They say there’s only so much they can do until the rats are dead – but they won’t consider moving her.” 

The rodents, which can spread fatal infections such as Weil’s disease, pose a health hazard. 

Mrs Cook’s family has now offered her accommodation in their own homes until the situation is resolved. 

Yorkshire Housing HomeWorks did not directly respond to the family’s claims that plumbers had left a drain cover open, and that it would not consider rehousing Mrs Cook. 

However, Phil Royales, Head of Yorkshire Housing HomeWorks said: “We regret that Mrs Cook has experienced rats in her home.

“We are aware that rats do live in the vicinity of Mrs Cook’s home and have liaised with Mrs Cook to manage the situation. 

“Yorkshire Housing Contractors have visited her home in response to calls to our Repairs Helpdesk, and advised Mrs Cook to contact Environmental Health or Pest Control to humanely catch the rats, as per our usual procedures. 

“We will continue to work with Mrs Cook to find a solution,” said Mr Royales.

If you have rats in your home visit the guys at, they investigate to find how rats enter you home and then STOP THEM !