Pest Control

You don’t have to share your home with rats

A very successful day the other day. I had two customers with long term recurring rat problems and I left both customers with a long term fix to their long term problem.

‘We’ve always had rats’, is something I have heard so many times and it still amazes me every time I hear it. How come this problem has never been fixed? How come my customer has given up and accepted dealing with rats as an inevitability? So many times, pest controllers seem to come, place poison or traps (mostly poison) and run the job until there is no more activity.

But what happens once the job is closed? Unless the rat has got in through an open door, the problem will, WILL, reoccur. Think of repeated problems with rats in the home as a symptom of a larger issue. The larger issue is a problem with the building and I would strongly bet that a recurrent rat issue is linked to a problem with the drains (there are some other zingers but I wouldn’t want to give away too many trade secrets in one post).

Beware of building extensions that run over pre-existing drains!

The above picture is from my second long term rat problem of the day. The house had an extension built over the original drain (built before the current owners bought the property) and the current owner, my customer, had a rat problem since buying the property. I carried out a drain camera inspection from the driveway inspection chamber but couldn’t see any breaks or problems with the barrels, benching or channels.

There was luckily an inspection chamber in the extension floor. I say luckily, as I have seen many properties where work has been done that has covered the original inspection chambers; leading to huge problems with access. I lifted the cover and found what I had been looking for…

Rats are leaving the drains through the hole highlighted in the red circle.

Having found the issue the fix was simple. A stainless steel non-return ‘flap’ was installed to the main barrel below the chamber that had the proofing issue. I could have repointed the gap if I was sure that rats were not active in the property; but since it was a new job it was safer to install the flap. Be aware that not all non-return flaps are created equal; and in a damp environment such as a sewer a good quality steel is required to last the course. Cheap steel will foul up and not give you a long term fix, or you’ll have to buy twice or even three times. You get what you pay for after all.

I love giving customers long term fixes to long term problems! It gives customers value for money and it allows Greenway to fix problems with less chemicals!

If you have a long term rat issue, give Greenway a call!


Keeping yourself rat free this winter

Well summer had to end eventually and I had to scrape the frost off my van windscreen this morning so what better time to talk about winter rat problems.

Its been a bumper year for insect pests with the hot dry days providing ideal conditions for them to thrive. But its not just insects that have loved the summer. Rats have had a good year too with good conditions allowing more rat offspring to survive, raising the base population level.

However, all good things must come to an end and as food availability declines and days get colder all those rats are going to need shelter, and your house could be as good a place as any. So what can you do to ensure you stay rat free this winter?

There has been a  bumper fruit crop this year and sometimes the fruit is left to go to waste. Below is a prime example of an apple tree heavy laden with fruit that has been allowed to fall to the ground and left to rot. This is a food source for rats and could prompt rats to set up shop in the garden. You should remove any unused fruit to remove the potential food source.

Apples left on the ground to rot

Its not just rats that run short of food in the winter. Birds suffer too and people love to give them a hand by feeding them. Good on you. We should help our birds survive the winter but not at the cost of allowing rats to set up shop in our gardens.

Its not just birds that can use this feeder

Bird feeders should be sited away from trees and bushes and a baffle of some sort or other should be fitted to the upright pole. This will stop rats climbing up to the bird feeders. They especially love fat balls due to the high energy content. Birds are also messy feeders and any spill of seed from the feeders should be caught or cleared up, otherwise you will find rats feeding around the base of the bird feeder.

If you can remove food sources from outside your home, rats are much less likely to frequent your garden. If they aren’t in your garden they wont find their way into your homes…. Unless they’re coming from the drains, but that’s for another time.