Rats tend to be nocturnal creatures so it’s not always easy to see them in the flesh but the tell-tale signs that you have a rat problem are not that difficult to spot. If you notice any of the below in your home, garden or shed the chances are that you have a rat infestation and you will need to take below action:
– Ammonia-like odour
– Scratching noises under floors, in-wall or under decking
– Nests of paper, fabrics and plastics
– Rat Droppings which are sausage-shaped and dark in colour
– Teeth marks on food packaging
Even if the rats seem to be confined to the garden, you should not be complacent that they won’t get into the home. Rats are resourceful creatures and they only need a gap of about 1cm and they can push their way through. Rats are well known for entering sheds and getting into integral garages. They have also been known to enter houses through cat flaps which can be very distressing for homeowners.
Rats carry all sorts of nasty diseases such as salmonella, e.coli, Weil’s disease and tuberculosis so if you are faced with a rat infestation problem don’t ignore it and take the appropriate steps to eradicate.
Dealing with rat problems
If you think that you might have a rat problem there are certain rat control practical things that you can do that will make a big difference. These include:
– Removing food sources
– Making sure bins are secure and closed
– Only use squirrel-proof bird feeders
– Don’t leave pet bowls outside with water in them
– Keep anything they can access in tight sealable containers
– Make sure that any broken air bricks are fixed
– Seal up small gaps around doors
Rats are looking for somewhere comfortable to live where there is plenty of sustenance to keep them happy so if rats have nothing to gain by being in or near your property then they will soon move on.
Are rats a common problem under decking?
Rats and mice are opportunist shelter seekers so decking can certainly tick the boxes in what they are looking for.
It’s outdoors, they are unlikely to be disturbed and if it’s underneath an outdoor table, they might even discover a free source of food.
That doesn’t mean that you should start to plan a new look for your garden though – decking is very popular and looks great. Instead take some precautions to keep domestic pests, such as rats and mice out and be alert to the potential problems.
Rats under decking
The first time you become aware that you have a problem, could be when you hear tell-tale scraping and rustling under the boards of your decking as you enjoy relaxing in the garden.
Preferring to keep a low profile, rats are not often seen in the daylight, although you may well be alerted to the problem with the shock of spotting a rat in your garden.
If you have heard suspicious sounds coming from underneath your decking – or have spotted a rodent wandering through your garden – it is worth looking for other signs of a rodent problem.
Check around the decking for any signs that a rat may have got underneath, such as gaps, holes or where it looks as though the soil has been burrowed into.
Also scour the area looking for rat droppings to help indicate that there is a rat or mouse under the decking.
How to get rid of rats under decking
Once you know, or believe, that you have rats or mice under your decking call in professional pest help as soon as possible.
Rats and mice multiply quickly and are known to carry and spread disease.
A pest control team, such as Pest Busters, will be able to help you identify whether you have a problem and to put the appropriate measures in place to deal with the rats or mice that have made their home under your decking.
Can I stop rats getting under my decking?
Keeping rats and mice out is notoriously tricky as they can slip through the smallest gaps. There are however preventative measures that you can take to minimise the risk.
Instead of leaving your decking open underneath and around the edges, make sure that the bottom is sealed, either as part of the construction or by adding wire or mesh.
It could also be worth running mesh underneath the decking boards themselves if there are reasonable gaps between the boards.
Practising good food hygiene is essential to keeping rats and mice at bay, as it is food scraps that will attract them in the first place – and keep them coming back.
If you are having a barbeque, catch any scraps and clear up afterwards, likewise always ensure the area is clean and free of food after dining al fresco. Try to avoid food dropping between the decking.
Enjoying your home and garden is important so take action to get rid of rats under your decking at the first sign of a problem.
Pest Busters offer pest control services and advice in and around the West Midlands.
If you suspect you may have a rat under your decking contact Pest Busters for help as soon as possible.
60 Windsor Ave, London SW19 2RR