Are Rats Common In Houses UK
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Brown Rats Have Infested People's Homes
Brown rats are wreaking havoc this summer, according to pest control experts, since the roving rodents have developed a fear of leaving people's homes. A rat's typical seasonal calendar has them seeking shelter indoors in the autumn and winter months, but when the weather warms up, and food is plentiful, they tend to gravitate outdoors in the spring and summer months.
Rats pose two major problems for humans. The first is that, despite being frequent groomers, they are associated with disease, particularly when they have been near drains.
If they feed on bacteria in the drain, all of that bacteria will pass through their gut, meaning their droppings will be contaminated with bacteria. Salmonella is a common bacteria found in rat droppings, and when rats enter the kitchen and begin foraging for food, they will drop that bacteria onto surfaces.
Another issue is that rats' teeth are constantly growing, so they require something to wear them down. They'll gnaw on almost any hard surface, including wood and breeze blocks. Heavy infestations can weaken the structure of the building, but more importantly, if they are in your attic, where there is a lot of electrical cabling, they could cause a fire in worst-case scenarios.
According to the insurance industry, rodent damage to wiring is responsible for 25% of all electrical fires in buildings. Property owners are required by the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 to keep their premises rat and mouse-free.
If you are knowingly harbouring a rat or mouse infestation on your property and do nothing about it, you could face criminal charges.
Do You Have A Rat Problem?
Gnawed cables, droppings, and grease marks left on skirting boards and walls can all be signs that you have rats in your home.
Look for scratching or scurrying sounds. Rats are noisy and disruptive, and their noise will frequently disturb your sleep. Examine your loft for signs of a rat nest made of shredded cardboard or paper, and look behind your kitchen appliances for signs of a rat nest, as rats like to congregate in warm, hidden places like this.
You should also check your garden for signs of rat infestation. Examine your decking and garage doors for bite marks, and look for any holes in the lawn that might be rat tunnels. Rats dwell in big numbers, so sightings are regular, and if you've spotted one in your house or yard, chances are there are more.
You can hire us to survey your property and determine whether or not it is infected.
What Kind of Rats and Mice Go into Houses?
In houses throughout the United Kingdom, house mice, wood mice, yellow-necked mice, and brown rats are all common. House mice are appropriately called since they are one of the most frequent rodents seen in people's houses.
If you've ever seen a mouse in a pet store, you know what a house mouse looks like; its familiarity and comfort around humans make it a perfect companion - and a potential home invader.
House mice aren't especially hazardous; they are not aggressive and are not thought to be a potential vector for disease transmission. House mice are a nuisance in houses because they are filthy and can bite and destroy property, but they do not pose a serious threat to your health.
The majority of mouse infestations we see in people's homes are caused by wood mice rather than house mice. The wood mouse is somewhat larger than a house mouse and is also known as the long-tailed field mouse. It is very common and may be seen nesting in roof spaces, beneath eaves, and even under kitchen cabinets.Mice leave traces of pee and faeces wherever they go.
These pee trails have been demonstrated to be a significant contributor to asthma and other allergy complaints, in addition to containing a variety of pheromones that attract other mice. Furthermore, mice are known to have a variety of illnesses that are transferrable to people, as if that weren't awful enough.
Elderly and very young people are most in danger of this disease, as with most of their kind, but having mice in your home puts more than just your health in jeopardy.
Wood mice are nocturnal, so while you're trying to get to sleep at night, you're more likely to hear disturbances on the roof. Over your heads and even within your home's wall cavities, they will be scurrying around, looking for food, mating, and protecting their territory.
Additionally, wood mice have a propensity to hide food caches all around their region. They will consume bugs and insects, but they prefer grains, nuts, and seeds.If you have a wood mouse infestation, it's important to learn that a female wood mouse gives birth to a litter of 3 to 7 young every 26 days.
It's easy to understand how a problem with these small rodents may quickly escalate. The majority of house mice, brown rats, wood mice, and yellow-necked mice are found in rural regions around the Welsh border, the South-east, and dwellings that are adjacent to urban centres. After basements and cupboards, roof areas are where rats and mice are most frequently found. They may also reside in voids in walls.
What Draws Mice and Rats into your Home?
The two main things that might tempt mice and rats into your house are food and shelter. If you don't properly clean up food waste that is left on the floor or other surfaces, rodents will enjoy it. Rats and mice also need shelter throughout the winter to avoid the worst of the cold.
The same is true of their search for a cosy, warm location to raise their kids. A warm house with lots of hiding spots is ideal, and an untidy house is even better. Any little hole to the outside can act as a rodent gateway directly into your home since mice and rats can fit through gaps as small as 2cm in diameter.
Rodents often only create minor issues in homes; of those with yellow-necked mice, 42% experience damage to internal structures and furnishings, 31% experience food damage, and 9% experience damage to insulation and wiring. Only 18% experience no harm. A chewed wire is a specific issue since it can cause fires and is costly to fix.
Rat and Mouse Signs in Your Home
Rats are larger than mice and have coarse fur that, depending on the species, can be red, brown, grey, or black. Additionally, they have a lengthy, scaly, hairless tail. The eyes and ears of mice are black. An adult rat may weigh between half a pound and one pound and range in length from 11 to 19 inches (including the tail).
There are several indicators that your house has a rat or mouse infestation. Faeces are black and wet when they are fresh. When rat and mouse droppings age, they become dry, brownish, and easily disintegrated. The regions where droppings are most likely to be discovered are next to food packaging, in cabinets or drawers, beneath sinks, in secret places, and along walls.
Examine the area near the newly discovered droppings to ascertain whether there is still an active (or new) infestation because you will find the most droppings where the rats are breeding or feasting. New rodent gnaws marks are lighter in colour than the droppings and get darker with time. You could see the chewed holes on the walls or in food packages. A quick comparison between a gnaw mark you just discovered and one on a piece of material you know is older can help you establish how old something is.
If the freshly discovered markings are paler in colour, this can be a sign of a persistent infestation. The gnaw marks can also tell you whether you have mice or rats; the greater gnaw marks were likely caused by rats' larger teeth. You may now have rats if you previously had a mouse infestation, but now you are noticing greater gnaw marks.
In regions where rodents are present, cats, dogs, or even a pet rat or mouse could become animated and enthusiastic. When rats have just entered a structure, this is most likely to happen because of the smell of the rodents' urine. A flashlight should be used to search the area for rats or mice if you notice your pet pawing at something it had previously shown little interest in.
If the infestation is severe enough, a strange musty, ammonia-like odour may be present, signalling the presence of an active infestation. Unlike a dead mouse, which may leave a strong, pervasive, yet unpleasant odour after being buried or imprisoned in a wall.Rodent runways and tracks are likely to be noticeable, fading over time if rats are currently present in or around your house.
The best technique to find tracks or runways is to hold a flashlight or blacklight at an angle toward the potential hiding place. Smudges, footprints, urine stains, or excrement may be seen. Place a very thin coating of flour or baby powder if you think rats frequent the area. If rats are present and moving about, you may notice their tracks in the snow.
Rats will build their nests out of dried plant waste, shredded paper, and fabric. If these locations are found, and any other signs of recent activity (new droppings, chewing, odour, or tracks) are present, there is likely an infestation in your home.
If you wake up in the middle of the night hearing noises, your house might still be inhabited by mice or rats. They may be heard running about behind cabinets, creeping beneath floors, and squeezing between joists and walls. Even a slight squeaking could be heard.
Whether you have a cat or other pet, observe them and determine if they look intrigued about what could be happening beyond a wall. Place your ear on the next wall to check if you can hear anything.
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