Pest control - Rats

1. What is the most common rat found in the UK?Brown Rat

The brown rat. (Rattus Norvegicus).

2. Do rats carry disease?

Yes. They can carry diseases such as leptospirosis (Weil's disease), salmonellosis and campylobacter.

3. Do rats cause damage?

They cause structural damage to buildings by gnawing and burrowing.

4. Where do rats live?

The brown rat is a burrowing animal, and will live indoors, outdoors and in sewers. When brown rats are found in buildings it is usually because there are holes in the fabric of the building and/or defective drainage.

Rats require the following to survive and breed successfully:

  • Water,
  • Food,
  • Harbourage

5. What signs do I look out for that show I have rats?

Signs of rat activity include:

  • Droppings,
  • Musky odour,
  • Smears along walls from greasy fur
  • Rat Holes' - burrows in the earth.
  • Footprints in dust.
  • Gnaw marks on food or building structures

6. When will I see rats?

Rats are timid creatures and normally forage at night. They are wary of new objects and tend to run alongside the base of walls, sometimes leaving a characteristic smear.

7. How can I stop rats entering my property?

Seal gaps under doors and holes in brickwork with a hard, gnaw-resistant material. Maintain drains especially at ground or sub-ground levels. Remove any obvious food supply around dustbins etc. 

8. Are rat poisons dangerous?

Yes. All poisons are dangerous and must be kept away from children and pets at all times. Please remove any excess once the infestation has gone.

9. How do you get rid of rats?

Treatment involves assessing the extent of the problem, laying baits or traps as necessary, checking the baits or traps regularly and removing the material at the end of the treatment. Sometimes more than one treatment will be required to ensure control.

10. Does Harlow Council provide a service to treat rat infestations on public land?

Yes. Please make any reports of rats on public land to Contact Harlow

Book a treatment for rats

You can book a treatment for rats online, through Contact Harlow, or using a professional pest control officer.