Rats are active year round as they do not hibernate in the winter months. With this said rats do tend to be more active during the winter months as they will have to stockpile food and will be on the hunt for a warm dry place to nest for the winter. Rats are incredibly adaptable and have learnt that living alongside humans can be very beneficial to them, particularly in the winter when they seek shelter in our buildings and use our waste foods as a never-ending food supply.
Our homes provide rats with warmth, nesting supplies and a food source so its no wonder that during the colder months rat infestations in homes and businesses spike!
Rats will seek shelter almost anywhere, homes, commercial premises and barns, food establishments, office buildings, and stables. Not only do rats carry diseases that they can spread to humans and contaminate our food they can also cause a lot of damage through gnawing. Rats need to keep their incisors in check and to do this they constantly gnaw at things such as, pipes, wires, wood and all things that can cause problems if damaged in our homes or businesses!
There are a few things that you can do in and around your property to help prevent rats from being able to gain entry and make a nest in your home, some of which are as follows:
Bird Feeders – it is important that birdfeeders are kept well above ground level and any debris from them are cleaned up regular as this can be a valuable food source for rats and will defiantly attract them to your property.
Keep Gardens Clean – By keeping your garden clean and tidy you will remove any potential nesting sites for the rats, so they are less likely to make a nest in or around your home.
Store Food Correctly – Any food leftovers should be stored in airtight containers, this includes dog food, dog food should also be stored above ground level.
Seal Cracks and Holes – Check around your property for any cracks and holes particularly around pipes and vents. It may be worth calling out a pest control professional to help with this as they are experienced in rat proofing, particularly if you live in flats or terraced housing.
Bins – Bins should always be tightly sealed and stored well away from your property.
Compost – If you have a compost heap you should try and avoid putting food in it and if possible, store it above ground level.
Signs of Rats – if you notice evidence of rat activity in your home you should act fast and call out a professional pest controller to come and eliminate the rat infestation. Signs of rats should never be ignored as they carry diseases that can be passed on to humans and a small infestation can quickly grow and grow until you have a huge problem on your hands.
Signs of a rat infestation
- Signs of gnawing
- Signs of nesting
- Urine smell and stains
- Scratching noises, particularly at night as rats are nocturnal, often these noises will be heard coming from lofts and wall cavities.
If you notice signs of a rat infestation, then you should waste no time in calling out a pest control expert. They will have to tools, equipment and expertise to make short work of a rat infestation.