As Autumn is in Full Swing … do You Smell a Rat? Previous item Of Mice and Men-tal Health Next item Pest Control Newsflash ...

As Autumn is in Full Swing … do You Smell a Rat?

As the nights are drawing in, and temperatures are decreasing, there is nothing we like better at this time of year than curling up with a snack somewhere warm to keep out that Autumn chill.  Sadly, we are not the only species looking for these creature comforts…  so are rats.

Musophobia, or fear of mice and rats, is one of the most common phobias we humans suffer from. Rats are also probably one of the most disliked animals regardless of phobias, and for good reason. In fact, for several good reasons…

Why are Rats such a Problem?

Firstly, rats have disease-carrying potential. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, direct rat-borne contagions can include:

  • Leptospirosis (Weil’s disease): this is a bacterial disease spread by consuming food or water that is contaminated by rat faeces, or via contact with our skin or mucous membranes. This can occur when we are exposed or come in contact with water or soil which is contaminated with infected rat urine.
  • Rat-Bite fever: this bacterial disease is spread via a bite or scratch wound from an infected rat (or coming into contact with an infected dead rat), or by consuming food or water that is contaminated by rat faeces.
  • Salmonellosis: this is a bacterial disease spread by eating or drinking food or water contaminated by rat faeces.

Rats may also create other pest problems involving lice, fleas, and ticks.

Rats can also cause property damage by gnawing through piping and wires, which can cause flooding and electrical fires, respectively. According to a 2020 report, rats have even been known to chew through car wires and piping, rendering vehicles unusable.

Rat pest Control - The common British black rat or ship rat

The common British black rat or ship rat.

Types of Rats found in Britain

The two species of rats in Britain are the brown, or common brown rat (Rattus Norvegicus), which, as the name suggests it, is the most prevalent one in numbers.  The other type is the black rat, or ship rat (Rattus Rattus).

Where will Rats likely Be in My House?

Typically rats favour roof or loft spaces, wall cavities and under floorboards. They may also seek shelter in your garden, burrowing into grassy banks, or in and underneath sheds.

Signs of a Rat Infestation:

  • Droppings: dark, pellet-shaped and the size of large grains of rice, rat droppings tend to be left in clusters.
  • Gnaw marks: signs of gnawing on cabling, woodwork, brick, piping, plastics, and food packaging.
  • Footprints and trail marks: in dusty areas of your home, these tell-tale signs can be evidence of an infestation.
  • Smear marks: greasy residue from rat coats rubbing along skirting boards and walls.
  • Noises: scratching, gnawing and scuttling sounds may by indicative of unwanted house guests.
  • Seeing a rat: rats are social creatures; spotting one rat means his friends are likely close behind.
Rat pest Control - The most common British rat or the brown rat.

The most common British rat or the brown rat.


Here, at Avon Pest Control, we can appreciate how upsetting and worrying signs of a rat infestation can be. Even with health risks aside, the idea of scurrying rats scratching at floorboards when you are trying to sleep can be psychologically distressing.

Rats are adaptable, and breed rapidly. Avon Pest Control recommend contacting a professional pest control company as soon as you see any indication of a rat infestation.

If you have seen or heard any of the above evidence of rat’s taking up residence in or around your property, call Avon Pest Control today on 01926 632 929 or 01789 293 463 or click here to visit or website for more information on our rat pest control services.  Our qualified, responsible technicians will happily discuss your pest problem and provide friendly, expert advice.


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