Book a pest control treatment for rats
The council offers free treatment for rat infestations in occupied (not empty) homes in Sandwell. If you would prefer, you can approach an independent pest control company.
Although there are two types of rats in this country, the most common rat is the brown rat - also known as the common rat.
Adults can weigh up to 1lb and grow up to one foot (30cm) long. Typically, the common rat is brownish grey on the back and grey underneath, but the colour does vary.
They can be found anywhere that offers suitable conditions, which can also include drains and sewers. They will burrow into hedgerows, compost heaps and under garden sheds, where they will make nests. If they get into houses they can be found in the roof space, under floors and inside cavity walls. Rats are mainly active at night but can be seen during the day searching for food.
The first indications of a problem are likely to be damage to the property, droppings (oval in shape and half to three quarters of an inch in length) and holes appearing in the ground.
What you should do
If you think you have a rat problem you will need professional help to control them as they breed rapidly. The following simple rules can help to minimise the risk of an infestation:
- Do not leave excess food waste outside overnight, and place all household rubbish in the dustbin keeping the lid shut.
- Remove any potential food (i.e. bird food), water sources and rubbish from the garden.
- Make sure that any broken drains, sewer pipes or covers are replaced or repaired as soon as possible.
- Repair all holes in brickwork - air vents and gaps under doors should be reduced in size to 6mm or less.
- Ideally sheds should be placed on concrete blocks or be flush to the ground.