About Rats

Do you have a rat problem?

Common signs that indicate a rat problem:

  • footprints or tail swipes in muddy areas or dusty surfaces
  • runs – rats follow the same routes when travelling and therefore leave trails
  • gnaw marks on any food or non-food material
  • sightings of live or dead rats
  • presence of burrows or nests, or rat droppings
  • unusual stale odours indoors.

Masons Pest Control has been dealing with rat infestations for over 35 years, and our experienced BPCA-accredited technicians will not only get rid of your rats, but advise you on preventing them coming back. So if you think you have a rat problem, call Masons right away on 0208 9776894 and let us deal with your unwanted visitors quickly and safely.

If you think you need an on-going rodent treatment service, for example if you are calling on behalf of a school, residents’ association, building management company, or you have a restaurant or catering business, then please call us to discuss our contract service. We can visit your property to make an assessment of your pest control needs, before making regular, discreet visits to ensure your rodent problem is kept under control.

More about rats

The rat has plagued humans for thousands of years – the rat flea was responsible for the Black Death. There are two species of rat in Britain, Rattus norvegicus which is commonly known as the Brown Rat and Rattus rattus which has the common names Black Rat or Ship Rat.

The Brown Rat is the larger, often weighing over half a kilo and measuring about 23cm, without counting the tail. It has a blunt muzzle, small hair-covered ears and a tail that is shorter than its body length. The Black Rat weighs only half as much and is slightly shorter. It has a pointed muzzle, large, almost hairless ears, a more slender body and a long thin tail that is longer than its body.

Where do rats live?

Rats are highly adaptable and can be found in a variety of rural and urban habitats, although usually near human habituation. In homes, they will reside in loft spaces, wall cavities, cellars or under floorboards. Outside, they will burrow into grassy banks or compost heaps, or even underneath sheds. Rats live in colonies, consisting of either a mated pair or one male and several females. They will breed throughout the year, producing on average eight young per litter.

Why are rats considered a pest?

Rats, like mice, need to gnaw to keep their constantly growing incisor teeth worn down. They damage woodwork, plastic and lead pipes and will sometimes strip insulation from electrical cables by their gnawing. Rats will hoard food for future consumption and numerous cases of ‘theft’ have been found to be the work of rats. They feed mostly at night and an average rat will eat 50g of food a day.

Creatures of habit, rats leave regular ‘runs’ to and from feeding areas. They are also capable of spreading many diseases from their filthy surroundings in sewers or refuse tips and can transmit food poisoning, Weil’s disease (from which about ten people and a number of dogs die each year in the UK), murine typhus, rat bite fever, trichinosis and other diseases. They are probable carriers of foot and mouth disease on farms. They contaminate more food than they consume and their urine can pollute stagnant water.

 What can you do about your rat problem?

As far as possible, try and get rid of ‘rat friendly’ environments such as gaps under sheds, loose piles of wood or neglected weed patches. Do not encourage rats by leaving scraps of food out of doors. If you feed garden birds, use a bird table or feeder basket.

For serious or persistent rat infestation, you will need to call a pest control company such as Masons Pest Control.

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