1 July 2022

How to get rid of rats – The complete guide

Rats are one of the most dreaded pests which can be found in our homes, businesses and gardens. A rat problem or rat infestation can send a shiver down anyone’s spine as a result of their unhygienic nature and unpleasant reputation.

Unfortunately, the rat population has exploded in recent years due to urban living, the way we dispose of waste and a reduction in the number of natural predators.

As a result, the demand for pest control services is on the up, with professional pest control companies in high demand across London and the rest of the UK.

This article was written by Shield Pest Control, a leading Pest Control London company.

Why are rat infestations increasing?

Rats In London

It is believed that the rat population in the UK has increased to 150m over the past couple of years – an increase of a staggering 400% and more than double the country’s human population! But why has this happened?

Lifestyle changes as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic have played a large role in the influx of rats in our towns, cities and residential areas.

Throughout lockdowns, millions of people were stuck at home, unable to venture out and gather in public places where we usually would be able to visit.

As a result, this led to increasing amounts of waste, trash bags and food scraps being left by homeowners in residential areas, creating irresistible food sources for rats and other pests.

Rodent activity previously was more common in urban, built up areas. Yet today we are frequently seeing rats in residential neighbourhoods, searching for their next food source in our garden buildings, bins, compost containers and even in our homes themselves.

Ultimately, more rats means that the population is likely to continue to expand as the rats continue to breed in areas such as residential streets, making the need for a professional pest management company a high priority.

What are the dangers of a rat infestation?

Rat Infestation

We all know the story of the bubonic plague that killed millions during the Middle Ages. Although we luckily we don’t have to deal with that particular disease these days, it is still true that rats carry diseases and can create a serious health risk to humans if not dealt with appropriately and efficiently.

Some of the serious diseases spread by rats include toxoplasmosis (particularly dangerous for pregnant women), round worm and leptospirosis. Therefore its important to eliminate rats and deter rats as soon as they are found.

Not only do rats spread diseases, they can also cause lots of damage to property and buildings. Rats can enter homes, offices and other buildings through entry points in search of food and a warm place to build a nest.

They can also ruin garden furniture as they try to find a dry space to call home. As part of this, the rats can often gnaw through wires, woodwork and even brickwork in order to gain access.

As a result, not only are you looking and a health risk, there is also the chance that a rat infestation could cost you hundreds if not thousands of pounds in damage if the control of rats is not taken seriously or dealt with quickly.

How do I know if I have a rat problem?

Rat Problems

There are a number of different things that will suggest that you have a rat infestation at your home or business premises, so its important to keep an eye out if you suspect that rats have made a home on your property.

The first visual clue is rat droppings and rats urine. These pellet shaped droppings are usually found in a group and tend to be the size of an olive.

As these droppings often contain hundreds of bacteria and germs, it is advisable to keep as far away as possible when cleaning them up and ensure that you keep the room well ventilated to keep the air circulating.

You should always wear rubber gloves when cleaning to minimise the risk of you touching the rat dropping directly and ensure you clean the surface thoroughly with a bleach spray. Don’t forget to wash your hands afterwards!

Other tell tale signs that you have a rat issue is finding your bin bags or compost bin tampered with. Food and waste found in our bins and waste attract rats throughout the year, and you may find food scraps scattered around the area as they try to steal some food.

You may also find rat burrows in your garden or outside space or a dead rat or rats which have been caught by a cat or a fox – indicative that a family of rats is living in close proximity to your home.

Gnawing marks on garden furniture and your garden hose could also suggest you have rats in your garden, as well as if your dog or cat is paying particular attention to a certain corner of the garden where rats may be living or using as a passageway.

What are rats attracted to?

What Do Rats Like

There is a huge range of things which rats are attracted to which can be found around the home and other properties in urban, residential and rural areas.

The number one item which rats love is of course food. Rats are constantly looking for food sources, and our homes and businesses provide the perfect opportunity to scavenge for scraps.

Second on the list is shelter and somewhere safe and warm to build a nest. As with most rodents, rats breed incredibly quickly and its likely that if you find the nest of a rat instantly you’ll find some babies.

Female rats can have up to 12 babies in one litter, therefore if the infestation isn’t dealt with you could have hundreds if not thousands of rats in a 12 month period!

To build their nests, they also need to have nesting materials. They will use almost anything to build a nest not just natural materials such as twigs and plant matter. They’ll also go through your rubbish to find appropriate materials such as paper and cardboard.

What can I do to repel rats?

Rat Repellant
Bank vole (Myodes glareolus; formerly Clethrionomys glareolus). Small vole with red-brown fur in backyard grass field

Take steps to prevent rats before they become an issue and you’re forced to call in pest control to get rid of rats for you. The last thing you want is a large infestation so make sure you take your time to research how to get rid of rats and avoid them entering your property.

The first thing is to think about whether you have an items around your property which could attract rats.

The obvious points are over spilling trash, rubbish and potentially a compost bin, but bird feeders, bird seed and bird food could also be attracting rats into your garden space, as well as fallen fruits if you have fruit trees.

Plus if you have pets at home, animal food and pet food could also be very attractive to a family of rats who will be on the look out for anything to eat.

The number one first step in these instances is to ensure that you tidy up the area around your property and ensure that anything that could attract rats is completely cleared and out of the way.

You could look at investing in secure outside bins for double the protection against rats.

You can also make your own natural rat repellents by using a selection of ingredients you’ll find at home or at your local shops.

For example, spreading peppermint oil around your home can act as a natural rat repellant, whilst you also get the same effect with cayenne pepper. Simply sprinkle crushed pepper in the corners of your room to help control rats and get rid of rats naturally.

Rats have naturally poor eyesight and rely on their sense of smell, therefore strong smelling remedies can go someway to preventing rats entering your property.

Finally, rat proof your home or business by using some easy and straight forward DIY methods, such as wire wool or adding metal kick plates on doors and entry points to your property.

How to get rid of rats – Rat Poison, Peppermint Oil and Other Rat Control

Get Rid of Rats

Sometimes you can’t avoid it and you find yourself with a rat infestation, no matter how hard you try to keep them away. You could try all the DIY methods under the sun including peppermint oil, snap traps and pepper spray but they continue to return.

As mentioned above, the control of rats and rat control services are in high demand these days. Specialists who catch rats and get rid of rats offer high quality services which help to manage and destroy rat infestation through a variety of different means, depending on how bad the infestation is.

Some pest control services will aim to keep the rats alive as they remove them, however the most effective way to get rid of rats is use methods which kill a rat instantly.

This is because if the rat is humanely trapped and then removed from the premises, it is likely that it will return unless you are able to completely rat proof the area by using things such as wire wool.

Ultimately, rat control can prove to be difficult if you do not call in a professional pest control company or pest control service.

Methods of rat control and killing rats range from snap traps and bait boxes to rat poison – however when using poison you have to be mindful of other wildlife which it could affect.

A professionally trained pest control expert will understand the kind of methods to use in particular areas to ensure that non target animals are not affected and that the live traps, rat poison, food bait or other means of pest control does not affect the local environment.

Usually a professional pest controller will place rat control methods in certain areas of the property, including entry points. They may use an attractive bait to entice the rats to the poison or snap trap to help speed up the process.

This can help get rid of rats fast and effectively, and pest controllers will have vast experience in dealing with this efficiently.

Why should you use a specialist pest control service to eliminate rats?

Pest Control

If you’re asking yourself how to get rid of rats, it may be time to call in the experts. As mentioned above, getting rid of rats isn’t always straight forward if you try and do it yourself. From inadvertently poisoning other wildlife to having the rats return if you move them alive, you could end up going round in circles if the rats aren’t dealt with effectively.

As a result, we always recommend seeking the services of pest and rat control experts, such as Shield Pest Control who can get rid of rats fast and stop rats returning in the future.

With vast experience in getting rid of rats, professional rat control services will have access to a wide range of methods to get rid of rats and will only use solutions which suit your property or premises.

How can I access rat control services?

Rat Infestation

Rats are intelligent creatures so shouldn’t be underestimated when you’re attempting to get rid of them. A large infestation can be much bigger than you think, and only a true professional with experience will be able to decipher how many rats you actually have and the best method of controlling them.

If you think you need to employ some professional services to get rid of rats at your property, do not hesitate to call a professional pest management company.

The longer you leave it the worst the rat infestation could become and before you know it, you could be looking at an extremely large infestation.

Always look for a reputable company in your area with a high rating a good reviews – this will help to ensure that the pest control experts you’re employing will do a thorough job and not just sprinkle a bit of rat poison and rat bait around.

Working with a trusted company is a key consideration to ensure the quality of the service you receive is high and you don’t run the risk of rats returning in the near future.

Why choose Shield Pest Control?

Pest Control Services

If you’re wondering how to get rid of rats, working with Shield Pest Control can provide you with an end-to-end service to deal with rats.

Shield Pest Control offers a full service solution, meaning that you benefit from a high quality rat prevention and rat control service.

Our friendly team are experts in dealing with rats and rat issues, and can help and advise you on the best solutions on how to get rid of rats. This could include methods ranging from rat poison, snap traps, bait boxes and other methods.

Get in touch today to find out how we can help you get rid of rats.

Our Updates

Latest News

View All

let us help

Contact us today

Contact us today on 0800 954 8098 for free advice, commercial surveys and competitive quotations

Contact Us Today for a Free Quote

how we can help