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Rat Control from Rentokil

Protecting Your Home and Family from Rats

Rats pose a significant health risk to humans and our pets. Common diseases carried by rats include Salmonella, Weil’s disease, E.coli and TB.

Rats also carry fleas, mites and ticks and can cause acute allergic reactions.

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 high risk, particularly in areas used by children or pets.

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 a Rat Problem

Rats are nocturnal and usually hide from humans, so 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
  • Damage – 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.

How to keep rats away

The first defence against a rat infestation is to proof your home. Young rats can get through holes of less than 1cm, so it is important to seal any holes and fit bristle strip around doors.

Ultrasonic repellers emit sound that is uncomfortable for rats but cannot be heard by 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 ultrasound.

It is important not to attract rats with food – store food in plastic or metal containers and regularly clean under cookers and fridges.

Outdoors, ensure household refuse is 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 - it is important to ensure that all pipe-work is in good order.

How to get rid of rats

If not treated, a rat infestation can quickly take hold. A wide range of rodenticides and other products, such as traps and glue boards, are available in stores for dealing with rats in low risk areas, but we recommend treatment by one of our service technicians for rat activity in living areas or if the problem persists.

Controlling rats in your home and garden

A wide range of rat control products for amateur use including rat traps and rat killer (“rat poison”) are available from general stores, garden centres and grocery stores.

It is essential to follow the instructions carefully for safe and effective use and to ensure humane control of rats.

Rat traps are very powerful and should only be used in areas that children, pets and wildlife cannot reach.

Professional Rat Control

While amateur products are a cost effective way to control rat problems in low risk areas, professional pest control is required for high risk areas, more established rat colonies or where there is a repeated infestation.

Rentokil 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 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 range a visit from one of our service technicians, please call us on (592) 225-9427.