What To Do With A Rat Infestation
Updated: Jun 21
WHAT TO DO WITH A RAT INFESTATION
RATS IN SEWERS/DRAINS
If you've experienced an infestation that seems to go away, it seems that you've got rid of your rat problem, but then, after a few weeks or even months or even sometimes years it reappears in your home, it's very likely that this information will be very useful to you.
WHAT CAUSES RE-INFESTATION?
There are basically two ways this usually happens.
Sometimes it can be a mix of pure bad luck and or bad practice by your pest control operative or yourself.
If the rats were coming into your house from an outside area, for example, there could be a hole in your exterior wall, a damaged air brick, or maybe a climbing plant like Ivy growing up your house and into your loft space. These problems should have been identified and rectified by yourself or your pest controller.
The most common cause of re-infestation is due to something completely different though!
Usually it all stems back to an issue in your drainage or sewer system of your house, not their attraction to food waste.
Rats can fit through a hole as small as 12mm!!!! So any breaks in pipes, misfitting joints in pipes that are bigger than this can cause rat infestation. Basically, if you can fit your thumb in a hole, a fully grown rat can get in through it! They do this by being able to collapse their rib cage. Amazing creatures, which sadly makes them amazingly difficult pests to deal with!
Also, when they use a hole to escape the sewer system and get into your house, they leave a urine trail, this signals other rats to follow them by the smell. They also have a dark wax coating on their fur, that also builds up over time and carries pheromones and a smell and that signals other rats to follow them into your home, which means you can attract a whole rat population from nearby areas.
HOW DO YOU STOP RATS ENTERING YOUR HOME?
If your pest controller identifies any entrance points like Ivy or holes in the fabric of the building, he should quote to fix these problems or at least point out the ingress points that need fixing.
When rats are coming out of a broken sewer that the rats are living in, it gets a bit more complicated! But without fixing the problems in the drains, the problem will just return over and over again! No amount of rat trapping or rat poison will cure the problem long term.
WHAT WE CAN DO AGAINST SEWER RATS ENTERING YOUR HOME.
We are trained and fully conversant in the use of Sewer Cameras. We also are fully trained in cleaning, or jetting out the drainage pipes.
We will usually start the process by jetting out your sewer system first using high power water jets (this is not always needed, but as rats kick back soil and rubble into the pipes, it is impossible to get the Sewer Cam past the debris, so this is sometimes required.). This will also clean any other blockages in your system that might cause problems in the future and mean you can have effective rat control.
We then send our sewer cameras in the drainage system. This is a specialised job, as remember we are looking for holes or breaks of only 12mm! Most sewer surveyors are looking for big breaks or collapses, and can miss these small rat ingress points!
When we find the issue/issues, we will give you a solution to the problem.
Hopefully it's not a collapsed pipe, as this is going to mean digging out the old pipe and replacing with new. Don't panic though, we will quote for fixing collapsed pipes on site. This is quite rare to be honest, so please don't worry too much.
Usually we can cut them off or exclude them from breaks and ill fitting pipework. We do this by fitting a stainless steel Rat Flap. This is a purpose made solution for this precise problem and we have fitted hundreds of them over the years, in fact the our personal favourite was when we fitted one to an old age pensioners drainage and solved a FIFTEEN YEAR RAT PROBLEM right there and then.