Rat Catching in Bracknell
With an estimated 120 million rats now in the UK its not surprising that our call rate for rats in Bracknell shoots through the roof in December; for many people this may be their first foray this year into the loft to bring down Christmas decorations and this is when to their horror, that they discover that the noises in the loft weren't actually birds on the roof but rats inside the loft.
A smell of urine and black elongated droppings are often the most telltale signs of a rat problem and we look for footprints in the dust - pad marks, rats deposit around 40 fecal offerings a day and they can be either dispersed over a wide area or grouped together more or less in a latrine. Finding these can be difficult with the layers of insulation and areas that are inaccessible to us.
We always ask if you're hearing noises at night as rats are predominantly active during the hours of darkness, particularly urban rats where they are scavenging for food from kitchens and bins. Given a plentiful supply of food like an overstocked bird feeder you'll see rats all day and all night long, rats live in a hierarchical society and the dominant rats will feed under the cover of darkness; if you're seeing rats during the day there is a chance that the numbers are higher than you think.
When you think about rats put them into a class of unique animals that are born opportunists, they will exploit any carelessness and lack of attention to their advantage. If a rat has access to a warm, dry property along with a supply of water and food it will breed all year long, this means that there is intense pressure on the rat population to find somewhere new and previously rat free to take over as a territory and start a breeding cycle.
Rats are unlike other mammals in that when lactating most females do not come into oestrus and are not sexually active; rats have whats called an oestrus break and so within hours of giving birth she will mate and become pregnant with another litter of pups - its a case of boom and bust in the rat lifecycle. Given the conditions and food supply she may have between 6 and 12 pups per litter and her offspring will be ready to start reproducing after 4 to 5 weeks. It would be possible for one female rat to produce a family that's over 1000 strong in a year if things like disease, predation and pest controllers weren't a factor.
Rats enter buildings from underneath, through the walls and in through the roof - wherever there is an opening the size of the end of your thumb there is a potential route in for a rat. Given their breeding success and their resourcefulness our approach to rat control in Bracknell may differ from some other pest control companies.
If you have rats inside your property be it a domestic one or a business address, the most important piece of information is WHERE are they getting in, sure, we can put down poison and kill them off but that's not going to prevent a future occurrence. We investigate all the routes in - a CCTV survey will be carried out of the drainage system to make sure that there are no faults hidden out of sight and we will survey the walls and roof to make sure that there are no entrances like a forgotten pipe hole leading into the kitchen wall.
Its called Integrated Pest Management and by far the most effective way of delivering quality rat control in Bracknell, we track, seal and eradicate the rats through the use of breakback traps meaning that poison is only used as a last resort and the chance of anything dying within the walls is greatly reduced. Our aim is to get you pest free and then for you to stay that way for good.
What are the signs of a rat infestation?
Look for the droppings - black or dark brown when fresh and the appearance changes from glossy to wrinkled like a raisin as they as they age; the droppings can be found individually or lots in a small area. There will also be a smell associated with a rat problem: stale urine marks the area that they are living in and if you detect a musky unpleasant smell which is a bit like body odour that is the smell of an actual rat. Rats will also gnaw on things like wooden joists and around openings like those found at the back of kitchen cupboards that allow pipes to pass through. Look fro unexplained damage and listen for noises that can't be explained; when rats are in the loft they will run across the top of insulation but where this is pulled away they may travel over the back of the plasterboard ceiling and this increases the sound of movement.
Also be on the look out for unexplained disappearance of food - rodents and especially rats like to eat their food somewhere safe, they sit back on their haunches and use their front paws to hold and turn the food, so they will move food into corners and beneath kitchen units.
We have never had a rat problem before so why now?
The simple answer to that is that is always going to be a matter of time; as the rat population grows so does pressure for breeding sites and therefore the rats are always moving from an infested area into a previously untouched area. Occasionally things like infrastructure change and the demolition of a derelict building means that rats are forced out of an area and to survive they will find somewhere new - and that may be your property. Rats are equipped with teeth that are harder than iron and we have seen it where they have gnawed on the corner of a house brick, rounding off the angles and working on it until they could squeeze through the gap. If rats have this persistence then we all run the risk of having a rat infestation pop up - this is why we carryout pest control along the lines of Integrated Pest Management - its proven to repair the damage done and prevent any future infestation.
How does rodenticide work?
Rodenticide is merely a anti-coagulant; we use a similar process with the use of aspirin and warfarin as medicine - its prevents the blood from thickening through changing a process in the liver. An enzyme that utilises Vitamin K is prevented from working and so the blood starts to become thinner, as the heart pumps the liquid through the circulatory system when it enters the capillaries it can pass through the walls of vessels into the tissue; this mechanism is used to stop damage in an ordinary situation. The tissues, gut and lungs start to fill with blood which cannot return to the circulatory system meaning the animal dies of blood-loss and dehydration. Some pest controllers state that the animals become thirsty and will die outside of the house near a water supply, this statement is rubbish as we tend to find dead rats just about anywhere.
We don't use poison as a first or only means of rat control but we often get called into a property on the heels of another pest controller who has used poison, left the property with dead rats and still with an active infestation.