How does flooding affect pests?
Many areas across the UK have seen localised flooding from the heavy rain during January, how does this affect pests?
The winter weather will force rats and mice to seek dry and warm, indoor spaces close to a food source, but flooding can bring even more rats out of their burrow and underground areas forcing them to find refuge, this can often drive them towards your home.
Rats are fantastic swimmers and are capable of non-stop swimming for up to 72 hours enabling them to escape heavy flooding when searching for a new home. They will travel along flooded drains, surviving severe weather conditions, this is a concern from a public health perspective, most UK homes and commercial buildings are connected to the sewer network the same network that the rats use as their homes and escape routes.
Rats use pipes and drainage runs to access other areas, these can include the toilet outlet of your property, rats are surprisingly agile for their size even larger adult males can get through gaps and cracks as small as 2″ wide, once inside a property the rats will look for a warm space to build their nest, this is likely to be in the walls or loft of a building.
Rats will also use above-ground entry points such as damaged air bricks and vents, gaps at the edge of roofs and the eaves to gain access.
How to stop rats getting into your home
Area Pest Control recommends householders fill any gaps, holes, or large cracks in exterior walls in a bid to prevent rats from gaining access in the first place.
Ensure drain covers are fitting properly, any unused pipework should be sealed off as uncapped disused pipework offers an open route from the sewer into your home.
Rats are in my loft what should I do?
While even having just one rat in your home is an immediate problem, rats have a rapid breeding cycle, which can rapidly escalate into an infestation.
Rats should be dealt with by a professional pest controller that has good knowledge or rats and the experience to react and treat any issue.
As a British Pest Control Association BPCA company member, Area Pest Control can treat rat infestations with a range of techniques ensuring a quick and safe treatment while reducing risk to the environment and wildlife.
BPCA members we are trained, qualified and audited to the British Standard in Pest Management BS EN 16636