Rats

Bradford Council offers a rat control service for domestic customers at a cost of £91.20 (includes £15.20 VAT).

This covers four visits. The first treatment will be a combined survey and treatment visit. All baits/traps will be removed on completion.

Please note: If investigation of drainage or structural defects is required we will carry out four further visits to maintain control.

Further visits after that may incur additional charges.

Commercial customers, please ask for a free survey and quotation.

About rats

Brown rats are also known as sewer rats, Norway rats or common rats.

Controlling rats is very important. They carry a wide range of diseases and parasites which are harmful to humans and animals. Leptospirosis and Weil’s disease can be fatal in humans, and toxoplasmosis and salmonella affects humans and animals.

Rats can do a great deal of damage to buildings because they gnaw structural elements (such as walls, foundations etc), electoral wiring and pipework. This can cause electrical faults, fire and structural collapse.

Professional help is needed to treat rats, particularly if you have an infestation in your home or business.

Where are rats found?

Brown rats are the most common rat in Britain. They are mainly found near humans.

During the autumn and winter, rats seek shelter and food in warehouses, farms and roof spaces. Even in the summer, if there is a ready supply of food, rats will take up residence in buildings, rather than returning to the open countryside to feed on vegetation.

Rats are also often found in earth banks, compost or muckheaps, sewers and the structure of buildings. They may also be found in undisturbed storage areas, such as haystacks and heaps of tyres or pallets, and in piles of undisturbed rubbish if the sites are close to a ready supply of food.

Rats are creatures of habit. They are afraid of new things and new objects, and they like to move their food to their preferred feeding site. They also prefer group feeding. They will travel up to about 100 feet [from their nests?].

What do rats eat?

Brown rats eat almost anything which is edible but prefer grain. They also eat meat, including carrion and other animals, even other rats. On average, they will eat about 10% of their body weight every day, 25-30g, split into about 10 meals. Rats have to drink and need about 60ml of water each day.

How to tell if you have rats

You may have a rat infestation if you see:

  • Rats regularly in the house, garden, shed or garage
  • Droppings (usually grouped together) that look like black baked beans, jelly beans or raisins
  • Greasy smears, burrows and gnawed holes
  • Damage to buildings including wiring

You may also hear noises in the walls and on ceilings.

What do rats look like?

Brown rats are brown to black on the upper head and body with lighter undersides. They have a heavy, blunt and chunky head, with small eyes and ears which are small in relation to the overall size of the head. The tail is shorter than the body, and is thick and heavy. They weigh around 300g (11 ounces) and are 350 – 450 mm (14 – 18 inches) in length. Their spindle-shaped droppings are about 20mm (3/4 inch) long.

What to do if you have rats?

Deal with them promptly. The faster you deal with them the less chance they will have to establish themselves and start to breed.

Get help from a professional pest control service. The first step in dealing with any infestation is to identify the source and control the food, shelter and water which is sustaining rats in the first place. Removing any one of these will get rid of the infestation.

Maintain good standards of cleanliness and rubbish disposal:

  • Remove accumulations of rubbish including pet faeces
  • Keep food in rodent-proof containers and clean up spilled foods immediately
  • Keep the outsides of buildings clear of vegetation to expose any rat runs and burrows

Keep buildings in good repair and proof them against rodent entry by blocking up holes in walls, floors and doors.

Deal with any drainage defects promptly. Holes in pipes can give rats access to the roof space of your home.

Do not put bird food onto the ground. Use spill proof bird feeders and clear up any spillages as soon as possible.

Whilst it is possible to buy rat poison, remember if you don’t remove the causes of the infestation then re-infestation is highly likely to occur. Remember that rat poison is poisonous to humans, pets and other wildlife.

Always ensure you use products carefully and follow the instructions.

If you would like more information about brown rats please contact the Pest Control Service.

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Contact details

Environmental Health
Britannia House
Bradford
BD1 1HX

Phone : 01274 433926

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Council Switchboard : 01274 432111

Council Address : Britannia House, Hall Ings, Bradford BD1 1HX


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