A look at the options for getting rid of that most unwelcome house guest, the rat.
Farmers and agricultural feed merchants have long had to struggle with rat infestation and are all too aware of the damage these rodents can cause and use rat poison on a regular basis. The spread of modern day housing into more rural areas means that rats now have a vast choice when it comes to where to live. The general consensus is that if you live in Britain you are never more than twenty feet away from a rat. If you are living in a built up area such as London then that distance shrinks to an alarming seven feet.
Where are they?
Remember that the favourite habitat of the common rat is the sewer. So that seven feet may be simply straight down to the nearest sewer pipe. A disturbing thought. As modern rats become bolder they are rising to the surface more often in search of food and can now been seen scurrying around in daylight not only at night as was the case years ago.
Signs of unwanted guests
You may just be aware of strange noises in the night. Scuttling sounds, scratching or the odd squeak.or you may notice droppings in the back of your food cupboards or near your bins. You may even see a rat scurrying away when you open a door. Having a rat doesn’t mean you have a dirty house. Rats are quite simply everywhere and as they are the kings of scavenging will go anywhere to find a meal unless they are controlled by means of rat poison. Rats are also migratory so if they have passed that way once they will do so again.
How to get rid of them
The simplest method is by the use of a commercial poison. This can be purchased at most DIY stores, online and also from agricultural stores. The poison comes in several forms. The traditional form comes in small pellets and is placed either in small food bags mixed with a little food or in dishes. This is then placed in areas where the rat evidence has been seen. There are also “blocks” of poison that can be tucked away in the same areas. The biggest downfall of using traditional poison is that it can be picked up by family pets and wildlife. If you are using poison keep a close eye on your animals and children until you know the bait has been taken and always use rubber gloves when handling the product itself.
Alternatives to rat poison are rat glue traps and simple rat traps. But these obviously involve catching that actual rat which most people do not want to do. Poison may result in a carcass but they will more than often simply disappear. Only certain products are allowed for use by amateurs so if you have a serious problem then call in your local pest control and leave it to the experts.
This look at pest control was written by Jaye Wilson freelance writer and amateur racehorse trainer who has been managing rodents at her stables for many years. Click here to know more about pest control for the home.