Rat Infestation Signs

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Rat infestation

Rats are well known for spreading disease, damaging property and contaminating food and animal feed. If they are able to gain entry into your business, they can introduce other unwelcome parasites like fleas, lice and ticks.

Acting at the first sign of a suspected problem can help to drastically reduce the health risks posed by this rodent and the length of time needed to effectively control an infestation. Rats are able to breed quickly and a small problem has the potential to develop into a serious issue if left unmanaged.

Using digital pest control technology, Rentokil’s PestConnect product range is able to keep track of rat activity in and around your property, sending you real-time alerts and giving you the data needed to protect your building from an infestation

If you think you have rats, call Rentokil today at 1-800-837-5520.

Learn more about PestConnect

Signs of rats

As nocturnal creatures, rats are most active between dusk and dawn and usually hide from humans during the day. It is often easier to spot signs of a rat problem than the actual pest.

  • Rat droppings - Resembling a large grain of rice, rat droppings are usually found in large concentrations, as rats produce up to 40 droppings per night. Color, shape and size can vary by species. Roof rat droppings are generally more curved and are usually slightly smaller than Norway rat droppings.
  • Scratching or grinding noises - Roof rats are agile climbers and can easily gain access into loft spaces and upper floors of buildings. Hearing scratching noises at night from above may suggest their presence. Norway rats are less adept climbers, but you may hear them scurrying under decking, sheds and floorboards. They are more likely to be identified by a grinding noise they make with their teeth.
  • Footprints (running tracks) - Rats leave foot and tail marks in dusty, less-used areas of buildings. Shining a strong flashlight at a low angle should reveal tracks clearly. To determine if an infestation is active, sprinkle fine flour or talc along a small stretch of floor near the footprints and check for fresh tracks the next day.
  • Rub marks - Because they have poor eyesight, rats use established routes along baseboards and walls. Grease and dirt on their bodies leave smudges and dark marks on surfaces against which they repeatedly brush. These marks may indicate rodent activity, but smears may remain for a long period of time. Therefore, they do not necessarily signify an active infestation.
  • Damage - Rats’ teeth grow continuously, and in order to keep them from getting too long, rats will gnaw on just about anything. You may also notice ripped food packaging, as rats tear open food, leaving visible teeth marks about 4 mm wide. They also have a particular affinity for electrical cables, creating a potential fire hazard.
  • Nests - Rats build nests in warm, hidden places using shredded materials like newspaper and fabrics. Nests will often contain young rats and are usually located close to a food and water source. Common nest locations are underneath kitchen appliances, on overhead beams, and inside walls or ceilings. Outdoors, rats build nests in woodpiles, overgrown vegetation and within the top levels of storage boxes.
  • Burrows - Norway rats are well known for digging and excavating extensive burrow systems for shelter, food storage and nesting. Look for burrows in compost heaps, under decking or garden sheds, or in garages.

How to deter rats

Discovering rats in your business can cause great distress. Luckily there are ways you can deter rats and prevent an infestation. Rats will make the most of any opportunity to enter your building in the search for shelter and food. But by proofing your business, you can make it less attractive to rodents.

See our tips below for practical ways to help to prevent a problem:

  • Entrances - Fit weather-stripping around exterior doors. Rats can squeeze through gaps as small as a quarter. They will also enlarge gaps by gnawing at them.
  • Gaps in exterior walls - Fill holes or small openings (around utility cables or pipework) with stainless steel wire wool, caulking or concrete. Steel or aluminum plating can also be used.
  • Roofs - Repair roof damage and use wire mesh to seal gaps. Rats often enter through gaps in broken roof tiles or under eaves.
  • Vegetation - Trim vegetation away from your building’s exterior. Rats climb along electrical cables or use overhanging branches to get into loft spaces and attics.
  • Drains and sewer pipes - Ensure all sewer pipe damage is repaired in a timely manner. Rats have been known to swim up damaged sewer pipes and into toilets. Additionally, use tightly fitting metal grates or screens to cover drains and check that all drain pipes are in good working order.

Need professional rat control?

Regular, professional pest control services are the most reliable way to guarantee a long-term solution to a pest problem.

Your local qualified Rentokil specialist can provide the most suitable treatments to get rid of rats in your business. Rat bait stations professionally managed by Rentokil are a trusted rat deterrent and are safe to use even in locations where children or pets are present.

Call Rentokil today at 1-800-837-5520 or contact us online to see how we can help you with your rat problem.


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