How to spot rats

The most common rat found in the UK is the brown rat, although rats can vary in colour from grey to brown to almost black. They are good climbers and can squeeze through small holes.

Signs of rats include:

  • black or brown droppings (normally 12mm long and 6mm wide)
  • dirty marks and footprints on walls or objects where their dirty bodies have been
  • scratching noises
  • gnawing on furniture and electrical cables
  • nests of shredded materials such as loft insulation and cardboard.

Where to check for rats

You should check for rats both inside and outside of your property.

They can usually be found in:

  • lofts and attics
  • kitchens and laundry rooms, normally behind appliances like cookers and under kitchen units
  • cavity walls
  • sheds and garages
  • compost bins.

Rats can be dangerous

Rats can carry a wide range of diseases that can be passed on to humans, including the sometimes fatal Weil’s disease (Leptospirosis).

These diseases are normally passed on via their droppings and urine which contaminate food, food preparation surfaces and water sources such as swimming pools and water butts. Rats can also chew through cables and wiring, causing fires.

Treat rats yourself

It can be very difficult to get rid of rats yourself, so it’s wise to get professional help.

If you want to try for yourself, you can:

  • buy poison or traps from a hardware store or garden centre
  • put down the poison or traps
  • set up bait boxes.

You should always follow the instructions on the label and make sure they are in a safe place out of reach of children and pets.

Find more information on how to get rid of rats.

We cannot be held responsible for any damage, loss or injury caused by following this advice.

Book a treatment 

To book a treatment, please call us on 01634 283 215 to discuss the treatment we can offer.

Prevention tips

The best way to prevent rats is to deny them food, water and shelter. Unlike mice, rats need to drink water daily and they’ll eat just about anything.

There are some things you can do to reduce your chances of getting rats:

  • keep food in sealed containers
  • put rubbish bags in bins with fitted lids
  • keep the house and garden tidy – less clutter means fewer places to hide
  • put your pet’s food and water away at night – rats are most active at this time
  • seal any holes in the property such as gaps under external doors or around pipes.