Rat by fence post

Professional rat control in Reading 

My dad used to say to me when I was a kid, that if a jobs worth doing, its worth doing well, and looking back I think that this was definitely a mindset of people from the post war years. 
After all, they had gone through a great deal of adversity, mass shortages, and the personal human misery as a result of years of conflict, but one thing they did was to respect craftmanship and hard graft as opposed to the relentless churn of modern mass production that we have now. 
Maybe they were right all along and there is something to this mindset? 
So, what has this got to do with pest control you ask? If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having had rats or mice in your home, then it has a lot to do with pest control. If you have or have had a pest problem in the past, what do you think is the number one question to ask? 
Rat eating
lots of rats
rats in rubbish
Simply enough, “What is it”? That’s an important question and a good place to start because knowing which rodent pest you’ve got will go some way to answering the final question that you’ll probably ask and there are many questions that come up when you discover rats living in the loft. 
Another good question that often comes up is “How many of them are up there”? Asking how many or how bad is the problem is can give an indication to the length of time that there’s been an infestation in the property. 
Often the final question asked is “How are they getting in”? This is THE question; the most important question you could ask a pest controller and one, which if they are intent on providing a professional service, will, in time be able to answer, and how should they go about doing that? 
Well, it’s about doing a job properly and doing it well, this blog basically explains the difference between someone going all out to get you 100% pest free and that other guy, the one who’s just throwing some rodenticide down, taking your money and really, just wasting your time. 

Trapping vs Rodenticide 

As a professional pest controller, the emphasis of my rodent treatments is to explore the infestation and determine, with confidence how the animals are getting inside your property, once I know that then I can begin the work on stopping them from getting back in sometime in the future. 
The best way that I know to do that is to carry out a detailed survey of the structure; note that I didn’t say your property but I said the structure. If you live in a terraced or a semidetached house, or even a flat, ask yourself what’s the chances of the pests getting in from someplace else? If you’re a semidetached house then the answers easy, its odds on that the problem lies next door, the larger the structure so those odds increase that the root of the problem lies someplace else. Trapping the animals rather than getting straight down to rodenticide will help you determine the pathway to infestation. 
There are some pest controllers who take the attitude that they’re only going to work on the property that’s paying for the treatment, in conversations that I’ve had, you’ll often get their viewpoint that “they’re not working for nothing”. 
Rat in a trap
rat in a metal trap
rat in a plastic trap
Which, paradoxically is exactly what they are doing, these guys often offer two or maybe three visits for a set price, typically something like two visits for £160, does that sound familiar? They will come out and put some rodenticide down, come back and put some more down and then, because they don’t want to get you phoning up in a few weeks’ time, they’ll say something like “I’ve put enough down to last you for years”. You have taken on a professional because that’s generally what you do when somethings outside of your experience or expertise.  
However, this is not a professional response to an internal pest issue, for one, rodenticide is lethal, and the active ingredient can be absorbed through skin contact and they never tell you that. The strong rodenticide we use carries a warning symbol on the packet because of the dangers represented both through absorption and ingestion. I often see trays of it left under kitchen units and lying around in lofts, and the customer has no idea it’s there or the risks posed by it. 

So what is a professional response to your rat problem? 

Firstly, you have to look at the history of the problem, a good example, is that of a recent customer of mine, I am not his first pest controller over the two years. He had no rat problems until two years ago where the next door neighbour built an extension and in doing so, altered the waste drainage from the property and that’s a rather large clue there to what’s going on, if you choose a pest controller and he has no means with which to inspect the drains, then how do you think it’s ever going to be resolved? 
The key to preventing rats, mice or squirrels from getting inside is to conduct a thorough and exhaustive survey of the property, not just the customers part but the entire structure. This includes the waste systems both foul and surface water if there is on built on the site, in this instance there’s a fault under the building with the newly installed waste drainage. 
Completing a full external survey will show up all defects across the structure, which then allows a simple process of elimination to begin, with the result that by the end of the treatment you will know how the animals are getting inside and what you need to do in order to prevent them from accessing the interior in the future. 
Rat sat on grass
rat by fence post
rats in water
This where the use of traps and things like tracking dust are so important to the professional pest controller; I don’t need to kill off your intruders, I just need to know how to stop them getting inside and I do that by systematically trapping entrance points. Those faults found that have no activity get sealed up leaving us with just the one place to look – the search is over. 
Once I know how the infestation has happened, I can then produce a report (in the case of a drainage fault) to hand over to drain repair companies; the report will contain the details so that they should be able to give you a reasonably accurate quote for the fix. Some drain faults can be repaired with a liner that sticks to the sides of the current pipework, sealing off any holes. Other times it may be necessary to dig down through the floor of the property to access the area, so you can imagine the charges can escalate dramatically. 
The second response from a professional pest controller should be one of proofing, it’s our job to uncover the route to infestation and to make any minor repairs that we can to prevent a reoccurrence. Many of my rat and mouse jobs are down to a small fault which some chicken wire and quick set cement are capable of making good and ending the problem, yet I am surprised how many pest control companies don’t carry out these works. 

Get yourself 100% rat free for good 

Rodenticide has its place in professional pest control but if it’s the first and only means of dealing with your pests then the question should be asked, “Will this stop them from coming back”? if the answer is no then this has not been a professional response to your problem.  
Your chosen pest controller should inspect the entire structure, they should be able to inspect the drains and they should be willing and able to carry out the minor remedial works that will leave you 100% pest free for good. 
Rat in the kitchen
Tagged as: Rats and mice
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