Preventing rat infestations

Landowners (including householders) have a legal responsibility to ensure their land is kept free from vermin and there are several things you can do to try to minimise the risk of attracting rodents to your property. Rats are always looking for food and shelter, so you can assist in preventing an infestation by taking a number of simple precautions. 

Please note our pest control officers don't remove dead rats from properties. They can be disposed of by double-bagging (carrier or bin bags) and putting in your household rubbish bin.  It is advisable to wear gloves and/or use a spade to lift a dead rat into the bag.

  • Keep your home in good repair. Rats only need a gap of 15mm to get into a property
  • Remove potential nesting sites by keeping gardens clean and tidy and by cutting back overgrown areas
  • Ensure drain covers are in place and in good repair
  • Cover ponds with meshing
  • Seal gaps around heating and water pipes
  • Ventilation bricks and slots should already have a fine wire mesh protection.  If this is worn replace it externally with 3.15mm insect mesh
  • Don't leave household waste where rats can get to it.  Ensure your waste bins are shut properly, especially those that have food waste in them
  • If you have a compost heap/bin, position it on a hard surface such as an open jointed bricks, paving slabs or a fine steel mesh which will allow the liquids to drain away
  • Secure any gaps beneath external buildings such as sheds or garages with wire mesh
  • Feeding birds in gardens is valuable in conserving bird numbers, particularly in the winter months.  However, the numbers of rats and mice in built up areas is on the increase - and unsuitable bird feeding methods are a significant reason for this. If you do feed the birds follow this guide:

    • Don't scatter food on the ground
    • Don't put food on a bird table
    • Don't throw unwanted food waste into your garden
    • Use bird feeders with a catch tray to stop debris falling on the ground
    • Ensure feeders are sited with care and suspended from a metal wire
    • Place small quantities in feeders daily and ensure they are emptied at the end of each day.
    • If you see rats or mice in or near your property stop feeding the birds.

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