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Rats under the kitchen

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Rat "under" the kitchen!

A client in West Reading came to us with an on-going rat problem. Rats had been gaining access to the fabric of the building for some time, they had been heard in the cavity walls, in pipe boxing and under the floor of the kitchen.

Rats are nocturnal and so any activity is normally only heard at night when the house is quiet. Everything sounds louder, bigger and closer at night when your sense of hearing is heightened as you can't see as well.

Therefore it can be very disconcerting to hear scratching and gnawing in the walls. Many people understandably believe that a rat is in the room with them. Then there is the worry of damage being caused to the building, rats do gnaw cables, plastic pipes and wood. Sometimes the first a householder knows of a rodent issue is a continually blowing fuse due to a gnawed cable or a water leak from a half-eaten dishwasher outlet!

At Pest Control Berkshire we know how unpleasant this can be and will always try our hardest to solve a problem as quickly as possible. That said, rats are very intelligent, neophobic (avoid change in their environment) and incredibly good at getting around in the dark!

The issue we had in this Reading property was finding an ingress point. Externally there were no signs of burrowing near the house, nothing that gave any reason to believe rats were climbing the property to gain access and a drain survey had been carried out proving that there were no breaks in the drains giving access from the sewers.

This was proving to be a tricky one.

The property has a conservatory which has a very thick concrete base so it seemed unlikely that the rats were getting under this and here again there were no signs of activity around it.

Having almost exhausted all possibilities a camera was placed under the floor and what we saw was surprising but really held the key.

Remember this is pitch black and yet the rat gets around as well as we would in broad daylight.

Remember this is filmed at night, under a floor with no lighting whatsoever - it's pitch black!

As there is no light rats get around by learned muscle memory, and often follow the same route. Note the dark smear mark at the base of the waste pipe, this is from their greasy fur continually going past it, staying close to it.

The main key for us from this video was how the rats were getting in - the hole they come through is an old airbrick. When the house was new it led straight outside,  however now there is a conservatory with a concrete base outside this wall which suggests there is a void of somesort under the conservatory - possibly to a disused drain. Once we knew how they were getting in we could deal with the current infestation and prevent new ones.


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