Rodents have also had to abandon their homes as rivers overflow their banks, sewers flood and allotments, parks and other grounds become waterlogged.
Rats, once displaced by these adverse conditions are forced to vacate flooded and damaged burrows in search of new, drier harbourages. These can include homes, outbuildings, compost heaps or factory buildings.
Once settled in their new accommodation rats will start to search for new sources of food. To deter rats from finding your property an attractive option, here are a few simple steps you can take:
- Proof your property – use steel wool or caulk to seal any holes or gaps. Wood, plastic or expanding foam won’t help as rodents will eventually gnaw through them.
- Ensure pipework is in good order – rats can navigate their way up from sewers through broken pipes.
- Don’t offer easy food – where possible store food in strong, airtight containers and clean under cookers, fridges and cupboards to remove tasty crumbs. If you feed birds in your garden, make sure you use squirrel proof bird feeders – they make life more difficult for rodents too.
- Pet food – rats will happily eat your pet’s food, so clean up after feeding and store pet food in sealed metal containers, above ground level if possible.
- Household rubbish – ensure refuse is bagged and stored in strong bins with securely fitted lids as rats can easily gnaw through plastic bin bags. Also do not put meat scraps or food cooked in oils into compost heaps, as these will attract rats.