What are the signs of Infestation?
Sitings of live rats or droppings
Rats are particularly active at night, but may
be seen during the daytime, searching for food, water or shelter.
Common rat droppings are capsule-shaped (tapered at both ends),
black and up to 12 mm long. A rat will leave about 40 droppings
a day. Fresh droppings will be soft and moist.
Rats follow the same routes when moving around and often leave
trails through grass and low vegetation.
Footprints, smears and tail swipes
These can be seen on muddy or dusty surfaces. Smears are dark
grey marks left on surfaces by repeated contact with the oils
in rat fur.
Rats can build complex tunnel systems, which often extend deep
into the ground. Entrance holes 70 to 120 mm in diameter will
be seen in grassy banks, under tree roots and at the edge of paving
or drain cover surrounds.
Sometimes nests can be found indoors, in lofts
or under floorboards.
Rats gnaw continually to wear down their front
teeth, even on non-food materials such as electrical cables, pipework
and wooden fixtures.
Why must rats be controlled?
Rats can transmit many diseases to humans, including
Salmonellosis (food poisoning) and Weils disease, usually from
the urine of infected rats.
Rats also may cause considerable damage to buildings,
foundations and other structures due to their gnawing and burrowing.