Cleankill Pest Control has seen an increase in calls for help to deal with rats this year following a ‘perfect storm’ of different factors such as flooding and reduced waste collections.


Overspilling bins and bags left in the street offer food for rats. Well-fed rodents are likely to breed more prolifically and survive longer. Meanwhile they are also benefitting from an increased urban fox population who have learned to flip open dustbin lids and spill the contents – creating easy pickings for rats.

Cleankill Pest Control Managing Director Paul Bates explains, “Places where waste collections have been reduced are experiencing real problems. The more rats can feed and breed, the more likely people will see them in their homes where they will cause damage and health problems.”

Poor drainage, broken pipes and poor sewer maintenance are also adding to the increase in rodents. Rats are excellent swimmers and if there is easy access to drains they will use them to move from site to site. Cleankill advises the fitting of drain interceptors or non-return valves that stop rats getting in or out of drains.

The use of plastic flexi hose in modern properties is exacerbating problems. Paul explains, “Rats can chew through plastic hose in seconds. The concertina-like construction of flexi-hose allows them to grip while they gnaw. The result is sewage leaking into the property – horrendous for the property owner. Solid plastic waste pipes should always be used as they are smooth on the inside and longer lasting.”

Less severe winters have also led to an increase in the population along with the increased used of bird feeders in gardens. Rats are excellent climbers and, like squirrels, can easily scale bird feeders or will eat any crumbs created by birds when they are feeding. Garden compost heaps are an additional source of food and warmth.

Unfortunately, Council cutbacks have resulted in fewer local authority pest controllers and limited free services, and rats are benefiting from this. Increased ‘wilding’ of grass verges and roundabouts along with gardening cut backs are often to blame as well as they provide hiding places.

“Rats pose a big health hazard and they breed rapidly, so they need to be dealt with by a professional as soon as they are suspected. Rat populations can increase rapidly if you consider they can have a litter of around six pups, with a gestation period of 21 days. Incredibly, they can become pregnant again within 48 hours of giving birth,” Paul added.

Another factor that is not helping with the increase in rats is DIY pest control. Rats quickly build up resistance to rodenticides if the correct dosage or products are not used. It is far better to call in a trained pest controller who can find and block entry points and use a range of techniques to eradicate problems which, in the case of Cleankill, will be as sustainable as possible.

Cleankill is a long-standing member of The British Pest Control Association and has a range of accreditations including: SafeContractor; Achilles Health and Safety, ConstructionLine; ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and Altius Elite Vendor status and Gold Investors in People.

As a registered waste carrier, Cleankill can remove pigeon debris and other waste.

Award-winning Cleankill Pest Control offers a range of preventive solutions for keeping your premises pest free.

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