Preventing Rats in Drains
Recent estimates suggest that there could be up to ten million rats in the UK. This means that at any time, there’s a good chance you’re not more than six feet away from a rat! Rats can enter your home in a variety of ways, but the most common entrance route is via your drains.
Signs of Rat Infestation in Your Drains
Here are some common signs that you have a family of rat lodgers in your home:
- Holes gnawed in your walls, bins or doors
- A scratching sound under floor boards or in your roof
- Actually seeing a dead or living rat (obviously!). Rats like to hide, so if you see one rat, it’s pretty safe to assume you already have a full blown infestation underway.
If you find any of these signs, it is best to consult a pest control professional. Various traps are available to buy, but they’ll only catch individual rats, and are pretty ineffective in the event of an infestation. Also, rats tend to be wary of unknown objects in their established paths, which means they’ll stay well away from traps.
Can Rats Run Up Drain Pipes?
Drain pipes are the most common route of entry into your home for rats. As they have extremely flexible vertebrae and rib cages, rats can squeeze into the smallest spaces, and can even fit around the U-bend of your loo! Drains provide the perfect environment for rats, and given the massive numbers of them in the UK, there’s no way to eradicate them completely from the drainage system. However, you can stop rats from coming into your home via the drains.
Broken drains are a perfect place for rats to enter your home. A broken drain will not only allow pests an easy access, but can also lead to other issues such as waste seepage (making the ground it seeps into smell pretty bad) and blockages of your pipes, leading to blocked toilets, showers, sinks etc. This can push waste back through the drains and into your home, which nobody wants!
It is very important to identify a broken drain and this can be done easily enough with a CCTV drain survey, then we can repair the drain and prevent that method being an access for rats as well as preventing the broken drain from causing more drainage issues.
How to Stop Rats From Entering Your Home
There are several steps you can take to deter rats from coming near to your property in the first place. These are:
- Don’t leave food out of containers.
- Don’t leave pet food out for long periods of time. If your pet doesn’t eat it, clear it away.
- Remove clutter in your garden so rats have less places to hide and burrow.
- Ensure your rubbish bins have a lid that closes properly. Rats can enter swing bins easily.
- Take a look around the perimeter of your home; if you see any entry points, seal them up.
- Check for gaps underneath doors.
- Get into the habit of closing your toilet lid. Beware you might get a nasty surprise when you open it though!
- Install a drain blocker to stop rats coming up the sewer pipes. The best place to put this is where the soil pipe leads to the inspection chamber. The best drain blockers have one way valves, which allow rats to leave your property, but not come back in.