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How to get rid of rats

Whilst some households may keep rats as a beloved pet, the majority of rats are an unwelcome nuisance that can cause major damage to your furnishings, home and garden. Not only this, but an unwelcome rat infestation can lead to some disease being transmitted to humans through contact with their faeces and urine.

Fact: Did you know? Rats can carry over 70 different diseases.

Whether you're facing a roof rat infestation, a garden rat infestation or a rat infestation in your garages, decking, sheds or even kitchen, safely removing these pests is a necessity for maintaining a happy and healthy environment.

In this article, we will address some of your most frequently asked questions about rat infestations and how to get rid of them, so you can keep your family happy and healthy, and your furnishings untarnished.

Signs of rat infestation

If you're reading this article, you have probably suspected that you have a rat infestation somewhere in your home, garden, or business premises. Correctly identifying these signs is the first step in removing rats from your home or business.

Here are the most common signs of a rat infestation to look out for:

  • Footprints: Have you seen small footprints and tail marks in dusty corners?

  • Rat nests: A sure sign you have rat activity is nests. Rats' nests consist of shredded material such insulation, cardboard and other soft items.

  • Rub marks: As well as diseases, rats carry grease and dirt. They will often leave evidence of their activity with smudges on surfaces.

  • Rat holes: In particular, Brown Rats leave tell-tell signs of activity with extensive digging and burrow systems. They use these rat holes for storing food, nesting and shelter.

  • Rat droppings: With the appearance of dark brown grains of rice, rat droppings will be left wherever there is frequent rat activity.

  • Gnaw marks: This can be one of the most distressing signs of a rat infestation in your home. They may gnaw through cables, wires, and other personal belongings.

Fact: Did you know that rats teeth never stop growing! They chew and grind their teeth to stop them growing into their brains.

Rat infestation health risks

Having a rat infestation on your premises comes with a host of health risks. The most common risk is the diseases they carry, which can ultimately spread to humans.

Rats carry diseases in their urine and faeces, which can pose an elevated risk if the infestation is near food preparation e.g. in your kitchen. If you suspect a rat infestation in your kitchen, act swiftly and call a local pest expert who can help get rids of rats in the house fast.

What diseases do rats carry?

Rats carry a multitude of infections, which include…

  • Leptospirosis

  • Salmonella

  • Listeria

  • Toxoplasma gondii

  • Hantavirus

In addition to diseases, rats can also be known to bite if they are cornered. For this reason, do not attempt to capture rats yourself. Instead seek a local professional pest controler. However if you have been bitten by a rat, wash the area thoroughly and immediately, and seek a medical professional.

How to get rid of rats

Getting rid of rats domestically, commercially or in an agricultural setting can rarely be achieved with a DIY approach. The safest and fastest way is to seek out a professional rodent pest controller who can carry out the service swiftly, effectively and discreetly. At White Horse Pest Control, we have extensive experience in each area with knowledge of rodents, treatments and legislation.

Can you get rid of rats yourself?

Using cheap rat poison could be tempting as a cost effective way of removing a rat infestation. Instead, cheap rat poison can actually make the situation worse, leading to rats dying in hard to reach areas, creating a smell and posing a health risk when attempting to clear up.

Professional treatments for rodent control

At White Horse Pest Control we offer two visits to carry out the full treatment for a rat or mice infestation, and we cover the Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire and Gloucestershire areas.


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