Broken drain
Here at Henley Pest Control our goal when it comes to a rat infestation is to find the animals access point so we can seal it up and get you pest free. Rats are elusive creatures and ideally suited to a life below ground, with large sensitive whiskers and a similar set of guard hairs in their flanks, rats can run around in the darkest of places safe from predators and able to explore their surroundings. 
Rats are incredibly intelligent and equipped with some super skills, they are great swimmers using their tail as well as their feet to propel themselves through the water, they are able to tread water for around three days so drowning is usually not going to be an issue for a rat as they will search for a way to climb out. 
Rats have evolved some other super skills like the ability to fit through small gaps, we look for openings which you can fit your thumb through as rats have adapted to fit through any opening that small. The rats body is elongated and with flexible shoulders and hips the rats can collapse their limbs into a size that is the same area as their head, they will use their sensitive whiskers to determine whether or not the gap is big enough then use their rear legs to push the body through. Once the front legs are clear they will then use these to lever the rest of the body through the gap and into your home. 
A gap of just 25mm in diameter is enough for a full sized adult rat to squeeze through, younger rats can exploit even smaller spaces down to around 20 mm in diameter and occasionally smaller; weight and age being the factor so there will be some rats much more able to get through even smaller spaces. 
This was the source of a rat infestation which we resolved through the use of our CCTV drain cameras; this was the old feed from the a kitchen sink. The house had been extended and the kitchen moved into the new extension and the builder never capped off the old sink outlet. 
This led beneath the poured concrete screed but there was a small gap around the edge where it hadn't been poured correctly: one small fault leads to another and allows the rats to use their super skills to get into the property. 
We poured a drain tracing dye down the gap to double check and case closed. 
Drain with a hole
When it comes to rat infestations within a property our approach is not to go straight to the use of poison as we don't know the point of entry and no amount of poison is going to stop rats when the door is left wide open. We survey, track and trap and prove the route taken by the rats and once we are at this point we can shut the door, lock it and keep you rat free for good. 
Tagged as: Rats and mice
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