Sign of Rats


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Rats can be very persistent even gnawing through metal to get in, and if they do gain access into your home or business premises they can spread diseases, cause damage and contaminate food. Rats can cause other problems, so it’s vital to eliminate a rat infestation quickly as rats can:

  • Damage property with constant gnawing, rats can damage insulation, chew through floor joists, pipes, doors, floorboards.  Rats will also shred nearly anything for their nests, from paper to linen and plastic. 
  • Contaminate foodstuffs as pathogens are in a rat’s urine and droppings, these can transmit diseases such as Weil’s disease (Leptospirosis), Rat bite fever and Salmonellosis.

Check for common signs of rats which will help you identify a problem early, ensuring effective treatment can start as soon as possible.

Business Consequences of Rats

  • Alarm — immediate loss of trust from customers and employees, especially in food processing, industrial & manufacturing and food & beverage sectors.
  • Damage — of goods and equipment such as computers, electrical appliances, wires and pipes in offices and business premises.
  • Losses — infestations may cause product recalls and loss of contracts which can lead to financial loss and the loss of company reputation.
  • Legal — failure to comply with legislation could lead to business closure or fines.

Even rats in the garden and outside your premises can also present tremendous risk, particularly for industries that require zero tolerance to pests

Rat Proofing to prevent a rat infestation

Discovering rats in your home or business can be very distressing. Luckily there are ways you can deter rats and prevent an infestation.

 Proofing your home to deny pests entry and removing easy access to food and water can really make a difference. Rats need easy and consistent access to a water source, even though they only drink between 15 - 60ml per day. They will eat almost anything available, but they do prefer to eat small amounts of a variety of different foods.

See our tips below on practical ways you can help to prevent a problem:

  • Keep foodstuffs in metal or glass containers with tight fitting lids.
  • Tidy inside the house and around the garden - less clutter means less places to hide.
  • Place outdoor rubbish bags in metal bins with securely fitted lids to stop them feeding from contents.
  • Clean up pet food and bird seed debris, and store pet food in robust containers with fitted lids - preferably above ground level.
  • Keep gardens free from debris. If you have a compost heap don’t include organic food waste, as this will attract them.

Rats are nimble, versatile and make the most of any opportunity to enter your home. Black rats are good climbers. Whilst brown rats can climb, they prefer to build burrows, particularly near or beneath solid structures like sheds, garages and walls. 

They are very adept at swimming in sewers and drain systems, making the most of any damaged pipework. Both species will gnaw at gaps to enlarge them enough for easy entry.

Rentokil’s Rat Control Solutions

Our British Pest Control Association (BPCA) certified Technicians provide safe, effective solutions to get rid of rats using industry-leading treatments. One of the quickest and most effective ways to control rats is with rodenticides. We have a large selection of rodenticides suitable for use indoors and out, in a wide variety of formulations too.

Rodenticides are used as part of a planned programme of anti–pest activity and regular monitoring. We'll put a schedule of visits in place designed to effectively take care of your rat problem with the minimum of disruption.

  • We offer a comprehensive site inspection to access the source of the attraction, breeding site, level of infestation, and to identify the rat species 
  • Our technicians can offer an effective, targeted rat control tailored to your requirements.
  • Treatments will include the control of any potential breeding sites and will advise proactive actions to take according to the pest problems

Regular pest control is often the most reliable form of prevention. Rat bait stations such as AutoGate, professionally managed by Rentokil is a trusted rat deterrent and Internal Dual AutoGate Connect is safe to use even in locations where children or pets are present.

Your local qualified Rentokil technicians can provide the most suitable treatments to a rat problem identified in your home or business. Professional services are often the most reliable way to guarantee long-term solution to a pest problem.

1. Contact

Call us and we will arrange for your local team to contact you

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2. Survey

We will discuss your pest problem, arrange a survey if necessary, and provide a quote and recommendations

  • Appointment at a time convenient to you
  • Solutions tailored to your pest problem
  • BPCA certified

3. Treatment

Our BPCA certified technicians will come out to provide your treatment

  • Appointment at a time convenient to you
  • Tailored treatment & effective solutions offered
  • Child & pet friendly treatments

4. Aftercare

We'll continue to monitor for pests to ensure any new activity is resolved quickly

  • Pest identification & prevention advice
  • Effective & discreet solutions
  • Peace of mind
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Do It Yourself Rat Control

While Do-It-Yourself (DIY) products are a cost effective way of control rat problems in low risk areas, professional pest control is required for high risk areas more established rat colonies or where there is a repeated infestation. Products have been developed and manufactured under strict guidelines to adhere to UK & EU standards.  To purchase any of our Rentokil branded DIY products, these are available at all good outlets and supermarkets.

If you have a larger infestation and are unable to get this under control, you will require the assistance of more specialised treatment which is not available over the counter.  Our Rentokil Technicians are trained to administer and distribute a range of humane and baited traps to eliminate your rat problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What causes rats to come into your house?

    There are a few reasons why rats come into the home causing an infestation. The main reason is to seek shelter for nesting anything that is soft and warm can be used, including old clothing, mattresses, insulation and other soft materials. However infestations occur when your home has structural damage from cracks and crevices (including plumbing problems) as rats are nimble climbers which allows access to your home. Food being left out or not disposed of properly. Cleaning around your property and removing waste discourages rats around your premises.

  • Do rats smell?

    Yes, whilst a single rat may not produce a strong odour themselves, rat infestation will definitely provide you with a heavy scent that is distinguishable off ammonia.

  • Can you just have one rat in your house?

    No, it is very unlikely there will be only one rat in your home or property. Rats are very social creatures, they breed very quickly and will remain where they can access food and shelter therefore it is unlikely there will be only one rat in your home.

  • Do rats return to the same nest?

    If rats have access to warmth, access to a food source and materials for building a nest such as newspapers, old sheets/clothing, towels, mattresses or any soft materials they will remain at the same nest. Removing these sources of food and nesting materials from rats will help in them moving onto a new nesting site.

  • Where do rats hide during the day?

    Rats are nocturnal by nature and more active during the night. Rats have the ability to compress their bodies allowing them to squeeze through impossibly small creative holes. They are good at hiding during the day under floor boards, within cavity walls, lofts, void cavities or in tight spaces.

  • How do you get rid of rats without poison or traps?

    Other than traditional traps, there are bait stations with the bait, or rodenticide, which are safe to use even in areas where there are children and pets.

  • What are the types of rat killers?

    Our qualified, licensed and highly trained technicians use a range of different methods and rodenticides when controlling rats. Professional rodenticides are not available over the counter, only certified pest controllers are allowed to administer these under strict guidelines and regulations.

  • Should I get a professional rat removal?

    Professional rat removal is the quickest and most effective way to get rid of rats. Expert services offer a safe and reliable way to get rid of rats.

Rat Species & Guides

There are two Rat species that cause concern in the UK. The Brown Rat (or Common Rat) and the Black Rat (also known as the Ship Rat). Neither species are native to our shores, they arrived as stowaways from Asia centuries ago most likely on Roman trading ships.

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