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Dealing with rats at your property

Rats can enter your property and garden in several ways. Local councils across our region work to control pests such as rats. If the rodents are identified as coming from above ground, the home owner or council will need to take action to control them. 

We strive to ensure our sewers are in good condition, but sometimes if a sewer or manhole chamber has a defect, rats can enter gardens through the sewer network. The only way rats can enter your home is if they have a point of entry, like an air vent without a screen, gaps in external walls or defects in private drains and redundant private drainage connections.

How to stop rats getting into your home

Here are some simple steps you can take to prevent rats getting into your home.
  1. Ensure there are no gaps in your internal drainage pipework. 
  2. Keep your garden clean and tidy - this helps to stop them nesting.
  3. Seal disused pipes.
  4. Don't put bird seed out on the ground. If you're feeding birds, use a bird table or feeder basket instead.
  5. Keep bin lids shut and in a good condition.
  6. Keep garden or food waste compost units and areas well sealed.

You can download the British Pest Control Associations (BPCA) advice leaflet for more advice about how to stop rats getting in your home. 

Who to contact

If you have rats at your property, contact your local council or find a pest control company in your area who will be able to help remove the animals and work out where they entered your property.

Dealing with the rats yourself

If you choose to deal with the rats yourself, however make sure you follow the government guidance on how to carry out pest control at your property.

What to do if your council can’t help

If you’ve contacted your local council and they don’t offer pest control, you should contact a specialist pest control company who can undertake a survey. You can find an approved pest controller in your area on the BPCA website.

If the rats only affect your property, and aren’t coming in through a defect in our sewerage system, it will be your responsibility to resolve the situation and for you to speak to a pest control specialist to deal with the problem.

If the council or pest control company identify or suspect a defect with one of our sewers we can undertake an investigation and if needed repair our sewer.  

Rats around businesses

Property owners have a legal obligation under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 to keep premises rodent free, or, if rodents pose a threat to health or property, to report infestations to the local authority.