To poison or not to poison, that is the question
All too often in our industry we hear about pest controllers putting poison down to treat a rat infestation. To most people this may sound like a good idea, the facts are you have rodents and poison will kill them so “hey presto” instant fix! or is it. In our experience over the past 15 years, we’ve learnt that the best method of controlling rodents starts with a comprehensive investigation to tell us:
1. How the rats are getting into your property
2. Why they’re getting in
3. How to deal with the current issue
4. The best means of prevention for now and the future
How do rats enter a property
Around 90% of the rat infestations we deal with are due to broken or damaged sewers. This can be due to root ingress from near by bushes and trees, extensions being built over the top of the sewer drains, manhole covers that are broken or don’t fit properly and just ware and tear of old systems. Once the pipes under or near your property are damaged enough for rats to escape the sewers, they can and will enter your building.
The other 10% of infestations we deal with are due to poor upkeep of external walls, airbricks being broken by internet companies or electricians to pass their cabling through, roof tiles missing and other holes around your property that you may or may not be aware of.
Why do rats want to come inside
Rats are always on the search for ways out of the sewer system, looking out for food and safe places to raise their young. Although the sewers provide rats with food and all they need to survive, baby rats are also on the menu, and will be predated upon by other rats. Female rats will always be on the lookout for a safe place to give birth and where better than inside our nice warm homes. After getting into the footings of you premises, they will work their way around and up the cavity walls where possible and often, end up in the loft with nice warm insulation to safely have their young.
How to deal with the current issue
This is where we began talking about pest controllers laying poison to kill rats. In our experience trapping is far more sensible than poisoning. When you poison a rat, you have no idea where it will end up when it dies. If it should die under the floorboards or in a cavity wall, the smell of decomposition can emanate throughout the property and will be extremely unpleasant to be around. Therefore, where and when we can, we will always trap rats and dispose of them properly, preventing unnecessary odours from entering.
Once we have dealt with the current issue, we will look at proofing against future infestations. Some of the methods we use include wire meshing over airbricks and cementing of holes and other entry points. We also use non return valve which go directly into the sewer inspection chambers preventing access through holes in sewer pipes and the chambers. Repair work to sewers should also be carried out where needed and even removing close by trees and bushes to prevent root ingress, which will also damage the sewer system enough for rats to break out.