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Rats cause a lot of damage. As the teeth of rodents continue to grow over their lifetime, they need to gnaw on hard substances such as lead and plastic pipes, insulation material and electric wiring. This habit increases the risk of short circuits and fires. In addition to this, they transmit a number of dangerous diseases such as Salmonella, Leptospirosis (Weil's disease), Tuberculosis and even tape worms.

Rats cause a lot of contamination. One single rat equals more than 25000 droppings per year, which contain allergens that can cause acute allergic reactions.

Rats introduce secondary pests. Rats are also known to introduce other pests, such as fleas, mites and ticks into the premise, causing additional damage.

Business consequences

  • Alarm — immediate loss of trust from customers and employees especially in food processing, industrial & manufacturing and food & beverage sectors.
  • Damage — of goods and equipment such as computers, electrical appliances, wires and pipes in offices and business premises.
  • Losses — infestations may cause product recalls and loss of contracts which can lead to financial loss and bad company reputation.
  • Legal — failure to comply with legislation could lead to business closure or fines.

Rats in the home or garden

It is extremely serious if rats are getting into your home even if they are not entering a direct living area. Any rat problem inside the home must be treated urgently. Rats in the garden and other external areas can also be a high risk, particularly in areas used by children or pets. The larger rat species such as bandicoot rats can also damage plants with extensive burrowing activities. It is important to get rid of rats in the garden to reduce the risk of them trying to enter the home. Special care is needed for properties with integral garages or with dog or cat flaps as rats can use these to get into the home.

Signs of rat problem

Rats are nocturnal and usually hide from humans. The typical signs of a rat problem in the home are:

  • Scratching noises in walls or under the floor as rats scurry around.
  • Droppings – rats leave dark, tapered droppings about 10-14mm long.
  • Distinctive smell – rats leave an ammonia-like smell that will be particularly strong in enclosed areas such as under cupboards.
  • Bite marks – rats have teeth that grow continuously and gnaw on wood and plastic to keep them trim. Rats can even cause fires by chewing through cables.
  • Ripped food packaging – rats will tear open food which may leave teeth marks.
  • Nests – rats build nests in warm, hidden places using shredded material such as newspaper and fabrics. Nests will often contain young rats.
  • Burrows - in gardens, rats will dig burrows especially in compost heaps or under sheds. They will also build nests under garden decking.
  • Smears - build-up of dirt and grease from the rat's fur, commonly on walls and surfaces where rats commute.

How to keep rats away

Rats are common in Indian cities and metropolises and the first priority to prevent a rat infestation is to proof your home. Young rats can get through holes less than 1cm in diameter. So it is important to seal any holes or fit bristle strip around doors.

Ultrasonic repellers emit sound waves that are uncomfortable for rats but not audible to humans. These may help deter rats from entering a home in the first place, but we do not recommend them for existing infestations as rats can quickly acclimatise to the ultrasonic sound. It is important not to attract rats with food – store food in plastic or metal containers - and regularly clean under cookers and refrigerators. In outdoor areas, ensure household wastes are kept in closed bins. Do not put meat into compost heaps and use squirrel-proof bird feeders. Rats can come up from sewers through broken pipes. Hence, it is important to ensure that all pipe-work is in good order. If you have pets, make sure to remove any leftover pet foods immediately. Otherwise, you might end up attracting rats.

How to get rid of rats

If not treated, a rat infestation can quickly take hold of your premsie. A wide range of DIY products such as the well known break-neck rat traps and rat poison baits are available in stores for dealing with rats in low risk areas. However, we do recommend treatment by one of our pest control technicians for rat activity in living areas or if the problem persists.

DIY rat control

A wide range of rat control products for amateur use including rat traps and rat killer (rat poison) are available from stores, garden centers and grocery stores. It is essential to follow the instructions of rat poison carefully for safe and effective use and to ensure humane control of rats. Do not use rat poison baits inside your home, because if rats die in hidden places it will create problems with foul smell and attract other pests such as flies. Rat traps are very powerful and should only be used in areas that children, pets and wildlife cannot reach.

Professional rat control

While amateur DIY products are a cost effective way to control rat problems in low risk areas, professional rat control is required for high risk areas, more established rat colonies or where there is a repeated infestation. Rentokil PCI service technicians provide highly targeted treatment to deal with any rat problem and will advise on how to keep your home free of rats in the future. Rentokil PCI offers a call-out service to deal with rats and other pest problems in the home. Our service is fast, effective and offers the highest level of safety for your family and pets.

If you would like further advice or to arrange a visit from one of our service technicians please call us free on 1800-212-212-5 or contact us.

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