Unpleasant as it might be to think about, rats are closely connected to humans. The technical word for this is ‘commensal’. This is where an organism uses the food supplied in the environment of another type of organism, without developing a close relation between the two species. In the case of rats, rat populations survive by eating food that is mainly created by humans.
Having rats in a property is not good. Although they are not inherently dangerous – in normal circumstances, they bite only when attacked as a form of self-defence – they do pose a risk. The most serious risk is that they spread diseases. This is particularly dangerous if they have contaminated foods that you will later eat. Another danger is that they can chew through electrical cables or water pipes, creating fires or floods.
Rat prevention is better than rat removal. So, what can you do to prevent rats getting into your property? Here are some suggestions of how to keep rats away:
- Remove food sources. When it comes down to it, rats are generally just looking for food, so if it is there, they will move in. This means clearing food waste in your home correctly. For example, having an easily accessible green food waste bin by your back door could be asking for trouble. Similarly, having sealed, good quality plastic boxes for grains and dried foods can make them less of an attraction. Don’t forget your pet’s food as well – avoid leaving out excess food by clearing away what is left in the bowl at night.
- Close up cracks and holes. You would be amazed at how small a gap a rat can get into. Even a gap of 20mm is plenty space for them to squeeze in, as they can compress their bodies and push through. Check for gaps under doors, spaces where pipes and wires enter the building, and other similar spaces that could let your unwanted guests in.
- Remove habitats. Rats love thick vegetation, piles of wood and rubble, lengths of piping, old cars and kitchen appliances. Clear these out of your garden. Keep thick vegetation away from your house walls, and trim back branches on trees and bushes so that they do not reach to your walls.
- Get professional help. The most effective option is to get professional assistance. As well as identifying if you have a rat problem, professionals in pest control will be able to identify the problem areas and suggest what to change to prevent rats getting in.
- Speak to your neighbours. There is a natural tendency to keep a rat problem to yourself, but if you have them in your garden then chances are other people do as well. Work together to prevent them spreading – you might even save money traps and bait if you all work together.
But what about if the rats are already in? How to get rid of rats? In that case, it is time to get in professional help, and quickly. For rat control, contact our team at M.R. Pest Control. We can help you to get any rat problem under control.