Pests in London | Rats


Brown Rat (Rattus Norvegicus) - Targetted Rat Control from Millennium Pest Control LondonBy far the most dominant species in the UK is the Brown or common Rat (Rattus Norvegicus). Very few Black or Ship Rats (Rattus Rattus) are left in the UK and would normally only be found around sea ports.

Rat Facts

Introduced into the UK in the early 1700s from central Asia, the brown rat is common throughout the UK and is a common sight in London streets, homes and gardens. Typically measuring up to 10 inches long with a similar lengthed tail, much larger rats have been found in London where there are ample food sources.

A true omnivore, rats consume virtually anything. Foraging behaviour is population-specific dependent on their environment and food sources but they prefer cereals.

Living up to 3 years, females begin breeding at 3-4 months and typically have five litters per year, although in the right conditions, with ample food and water supplies they can raise litters continuously.

Rats' incisor teeth grow constantly and they need to gnaw to keep them worn down which commonly causes extensive damage to woodwork, plastic, bricks, lead, gas and water pipes and electrical cables.

Rats carry and spread many human diseases (including Weil's disease and plague)

Brown Rat (Rattus Norvegicus) Image Gallery
  • Brown Rat (Rattus Norvegicus) London
  • Damage to electrical cables caused by rats gnawing

How to tell if you have rats

  • Rats commonly consume or spoil foodstuffs, chewing through packets or storage containers.
  • Rats are habitual and have common runs or pathways which become evident over time as the way is worn down.
  • Rats mark their territory with urine which has a strong smell.
  • Rats cause damage from chewing which can generate a loud grinding noise and by shredding any soft material to make their nests.
  • Rats make scratching noises within wall cavities, under floors or in loft spaces as they move around; mainly at night but noises can be heard at any time.
  • Droppings are small dark brown pellets resembling large grains of rice and are often clustered together in a corner or small area.
  • Rat holes can be seen created under structures such as sheds, outbuildings or compost heaps, or chewed into buildings around pipes or air bricks.
  • Discarded food - rats often carry food back to their nesting area to eat in safety

Preventing rats

The best prevention for rats is to deny access to food or water. Their incisors are incredibly sharp and can chew through all but the hardest of materials so use metal or glass food containers.

Tidy away food or rubbish - make sure all rubbish bags, particularly those containing food are stored in wheely bins which are emptied regularly and remove uneaten pet food and wild bird food on a daily basis.

Rats can squeeze through gaps of just 15mm so ensure all access points are sealed and damaged areas repaired.

How to get rid of rats

Removing ready access to their preferred foodstuffs will discourage rats and is essential if you are intending to introduce poisoned baits. Rats are habitual and will continue to eat known safe foods if they are available rather than try new things. Rats also need access to a daily water supply so making it difficult to get to water will pose the rats problems.

Stop feeding wild birds or animals until the rats have moved on.

Trapping can deal with small infestations, but rats are fast learners.

Poisoned baits are available in small quantities for home use but MUST be handled safely - call us for more information.

The best method. Call the experts - we can use traps and methods not available to the home owner, with a treatment plan guaranteed to solve your rat problem.