Pair of rats
Rats are a constant menace in Reading, able to breed all year long these rodents keep us very busy. There are things that you can do to stop rats getting into your home - read the blog to find out our top tips. 
Rat control is probably our biggest task in Reading; having three rivers running through the town - the Thames, the Holybrook and the Kennet gives these rodents a constant source of water and potential food. Most people think of rats as scavengers and to a degree they are right but rats are capable of hunting for their food. 
Omnivores and opportunists they will eat shoots, grains, fruits and nuts - they will also hunt birds, frogs, mice and insects. As scavengers they will obviously eat the food we leave lying around but they will also feed on dog feces if there is a shortage of other foods. 
The most common time for rats to be entering homes in Reading is from October to March, as the weather cools they seek warmth and because of their inquisitive nature they will explore and look for opportunities such as the drain pictured right. 
Rats have very powerful jaws and incredibly hard enamel on their teeth which means plastic drain pipes are an easy way into a property - this was a drain beneath a kitchen floor in Allcroft Road; rats had gnawed through the side of a badly fitted section which led to a long term infestation. 
With the potential to find warmth and shelter rats will breed all year long; they have a 'boom or bust' approach where mother rat gives birth to her young and like all mammals these are born helpless and dependant on her milk. Once given birth she will then mate and immediately become pregnant again - once the first litter are able to fend for themselves she gives birth to the second litter and so the cycle starts. 
That's not all of the story though: that first litter soon reach sexual maturity and the females in that group will mate and begin their cycle - one rat with all her offspring will number around 2000 in one year - if all of them survive pest control that is! 
Mother rat gives birth to between 6 and 10 pups each time, although with a plentiful supply of food and good harbourage she could have around 12 pups per litter. 
Disease, starvation and pest control are the main factors in keeping rat numbers down. 
Gnawed out drain
Top tips for keeping rats out of your home. 
Remove external waste - rats love to hide away and they use cover to move around, an overgrown garden or a large amount of stored waste means that they have as much harbourage as they need. 
Take away items that hold water like empty buckets - rats are unlike mice and they need water to survive so any containers that hold water sat around outside give them an opportunity - this is important during the drier months. 
Don't over feed the birds - seed that drops onto the ground will only be taken by those birds that habitually feed from the ground and this is often a cause of external rat infestations in gardens. 
Maintain your property - that broken air brick that you've been meaning to repair often is the entry point for rats. 
Pick up dog feces - these can be a food supply for rats when times are tough and as they breed all year long you're keeping the population going until times are good again. 
Spot a broken drain cover? Get it repaired straight away, often shared services are the property of the water utility company meaning that its their drain and it won't cost to get replaced. 
Don't ignore ivy and climbers, as they grow up the sides of your home they can push up under roof tiles - rats can and will use this as a aerial bridge to get into the loft. 
Here at Reading Pest Control we use a technique known as Integrated Pest Management to keep rats at bay, we don't go straight to the use of poison but use the rats to indicate where they are getting in. We lay tracking dust and look for footprints and tail smears to tell us whether its the drains or that broken air brick, we also use CCTV drain cameras to eliminate or confirm the drains as the culprit for the infestation. 
Any faults we find we will seal up; whether or not the access point as this will keep you pest free in the future and with faults in the drains we can advise you on the best route forward - do you have costly repairs from an expert drainage contractor or can a one way valve fix the issue? 
We look further than other pest control companies and we go further to get you rat free - our customers are our priority and we mean it. 
Tagged as: Rats and mice
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