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  • Writer's pictureDrainsmart


With Spring on our doorstep we turn our attentions slightly away from drainage issues; (but still connected to drainage) and focus on a problem that isn’t always obvious until it’s too late – the dreaded rat infestation.

Gross or not, Spring is generally the most active season for rats and breeding, and it’s this time of the year that you should consider checking your home and sewer system to ensure there are no potential entry points for the little critters.

We have compiled a list of rat facts and figures below to help you ensure your business, home, garden or other areas around your property are safe from rats.

Living and Breeding

• Rats will eat anything for survival but they do prefer fresh food such as meat and grains such as rice, lentils, rolled oats, etc.

• Rats will burrow under buildings, along fences, live by railway lines and burrow through vegetation and debris.

• A female rat can have up to six litters of 12 young per year – that’s an astonishing 72 rats per female … gross!

• Rats begin breeding 3 months after birth.

• The lifespan of a rat is approximately 18 months.

Rat Movement

• Rats can enter a building through a gap as small as ½ inch diameter.

• It is a known fact amongst some that rats are good swimmers and will enter buildings through broken drains and sewers.

• Rats will climb in order to access food, water or shelter.

• Rats are creatures of habit and routine – this means that they will follow standard routines and pathways – if for example an object is placed directly into one of the rats main pathways they will painstakingly avoid it – rat pathways are prime locations to set down rat traps.

• Rats tend to stay within a 300 feet radius of their nest – again, another prime location to lay rat traps.

• Rats can climb vertically up walls and drain pipes.

Rat Facts & Top Tips

• If you suspect you might have a rat infestation, look out for droppings around pet food, bins and other areas where rubbish collects, evidence of gnawing on wood, wires or structural timbers, tracks, runways and burrows – remember that rats like grains, so a tell-tale sign is to check for any boxes that contain grains for gnawing.

• Other obvious signs of a rat infestation include scratching or gnawing (at night) either in basements or attics – remember that rats can climb.

• Nests or piled nesting materials in hidden areas / corners.

• Smudge marks along walls or hairs caught on brickwork at low level (most obvious around rat runways), in nests or near food.

• Rats are creatures of the night therefore have very poor eyesight; to make up for this they have an excellent sense of smell, taste and hearing.

• Rats can be easily distinguished from mice by physical characteristics; primarily their larger size, course fur and proportionately larger tail, feet and head.

• Because rats are nocturnal, an infestation can develop before a rodent is ever seen, so at the earliest point of suspicion, we recommend that you check at night for any rat activity.

If you suspect that your home or drainage system might be infected with Rats, please call us and we will be happy to come out and solve your issue. Drainsmart offer a Vermin Infestation removal service for both the home and your drainage system.

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