As a rule we’re good at discussing the better points of life with friends and neighbour’s; such as this years holiday plans or the new car in the drive, but there is one topic of conversation that you’ll probably never hear and that is – 
"We've got a rat problem!" 
Well its estimated that the UK resident population of rats runs to around 120 million or so, that’s four rats for every one of us if these figures are to be believed. Personally I doubt these figures as they are produced by the UK’s biggest pest control company who may have a reason for coming up with such high numbers like these but, I do know for sure that many people find that having rats in their home is embarrassing, so they don’t talk about it and it’s a fact that rats aren’t confined in the ghetto. 

Are rats common in Maidenhead? 

Rats are really common, the old adage about never being more than six feet from a rat is not quite true and an exaggeration as they live in small family groups and travel throughout a range looking for food, the better a steady supply of food; the smaller the range and the infestation is very localised. Many people will never see a rat in their entire life – because they don’t have them living in that area whilst others will see them on an almost daily basis, they can be the devil in disguise. 
Certainly the recent Covid-19 outbreak and the resulting closure of offices, food outlets and entertainment venues has seen a major change in rat behaviour with the rodents leaving the town centres (where there used to be plenty of food) and moving into the suburbs where there is a smaller food supply and therefore requiring a greater range for the rats to explore. 
Rat sightings have risen dramatically over the last five months and we have been extremely busy dealing with rats in houses across much of Berkshire, it’s not unusual for us to discover that the property has had rats on and off for many years. I believe that this is down to two things – the use of rodenticide to control vermin as a sole means of control and our reluctance to discuss the problem and so seek help. 

What kills a rat instantly? 

The only sure-fire way to kill a rat instantly is to use break back traps, when pest controllers use poison or rodenticide as we term it, these are designed to give a lethal dose on a single feed. The rat consumes just a small amount of the active ingredient: one or two grams and an irreversible process starts in the animal’s body. Death will incur in around three days as the blood becomes thinner and thinner, pushing through the internal membranes into the stomach and lungs. Rodenticide results in a painless death but the problem lies because no-one can guarantee where the animal will die. A dead rat will give off an incredibly noxious smell that attract blowflies which in turn produce maggots and then, more blowflies – hundreds of them. So, for many people just having had the bad experience of a dead rat rotting in the house is enough so that they’ll never speak of it again. 

How do we get rid of rats from our house in Maidenhead? 

Rats are associated with dirt and disease and its for good reason that the terms filthy and verminous are used by Local Authorities when closing businesses that have not given due diligence to their hygiene standards. However, the knock on from that is that we consider those terms when describing OUR HOUSE if we were to have a rat problem. This is certainly untrue for many of our internal rat cases. Rats will exploit any gap that we leave, whether in the drains, the walls or on the roof and they have adapted to live off mankind. It is our habit of gathering food and storing it in large quantities that gives rats the edge, rather than live in open grassland like their ancestors did, rats will follow us and live beneath, on top and alongside us as we provide them with all the food they need. 
Because of the negative connotations of living with rats many people are preventing from talking about the problem and so they do not understand how common and widespread the problem is, when it comes to rats we fear that people have suspicious minds. Around 70% of our entire pest control work is in dealing with rats, by far they are the most common pest that I know off in Berkshire. 
When we visit a property for the first time that has a rat infestation we will look at the exterior and determine how far we have to survey – with a detached house its simple, at a semi-detached house we will have to look at the adjoining property and for terraced houses, we will try to find out where the build line separates as many terraces are either two or three properties joined together in a long row. We don’t just look at the house that’s called us out but the entire BUILDING to gain control of the rat problem when it comes to rats, they are always on my mind. 
The reason for this, given our reluctance to discuss the problem, is that we often find out that the neighbours has been dealing with rats for years, quietly putting down rodenticide and living with the horrible stench and flies until the next time. We look for the access point, once we know that its all plain sailing as we will trap and seal leaving you rat free for good. 
Buildings share voids and drainage systems and any of these can be used by rats once they find a gap to get into that void, in many cases a simple fault or something overlooked by a builder has led to years of misery for the occupants and all because the problem was never discussed with others. 
Its good to talk, if you have a problem with rats mention this to your neighbours and friends and see what stories you get back from them – you may be surprised how common the problem is and I doubt that you’ll be met with suspicion! 
If you want to know more about rats and rat control in Maidenhead, pop on your blue suede shoes and hop on over to our rat page by clicking this link. 
When we are out working at someone’s house and we’ve got a whole lot of shakin’ going on, I always use a code word for rats – we call them Elvis. Why is that? Because they’ll be caught in a trap. 
Tagged as: Rats
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