We have been informed of an increase in incidents with Rat and Mice incursions into houses and lofts in Rothersthorpe. We have also had reports of increases in Gayton as well. This may be linked to current weather conditions. In the past, harsh winters were a natural method of culling rat numbers. Milder winters in recent years are thought to have helped rat populations thrive.
Rats communicate and mark their territory by urinating everywhere they go, representing a significant public health risk. The problems associated with rats are not just limited to public health. They also have a knack for causing structural damage to homes. 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.
Speaking with the South Northampton Pest Control service in the last month, some of the challenges faced in pest management are:
- residents not reporting signs of rats near homes
- the feeding of birds with seeds that are actually feeding and encouraging rat populations
- feeding hedgehogs who are hibernating, so rats help themselves to the offerings
Pest control – South Northants Council is available to help if you think you have a challenge with Rats and Mice. They are happy to deal with most pests for you, and at least offer advice.
If you have a pest – even if you don’t know what it is – contact us:
Web Link: https://www.southnorthants.gov.uk/info/7/environment/222/pest-control
Telephone: 01327 322326
Standard treatments are offered at the fixed price, and there is a call-out fee for all other visits. Charges are around £50 for a call and two weeks of initial support for baiting Rats if required. There is a fee for all other services, including visits for pest identification, advice and treatments.
What else to do if you are concerned
You can take some simple steps to help control rats and mice at your property. The first step to controlling mice and rats is to find out where they are living and feeding, and their routes between these areas. Look for:
Holes and burrows
Damage and gnawing
A musky smell
Try blocking any holes you find with newspaper and come back 24 hours later to see which holes have been re-opened. You can then permanently seal all access holes and routes.
Proofing and prevention measures
As a general rule if you can pass a pencil through a gap a young mouse can pass through too. Mice and rats infestations can be avoided by blocking access to your home:
Check air bricks are in place and intact (don’t block them)
Look for access points around gas, electricity and water pipes
Fit cone guards and balloon guards to drainpipes to stop rats climbing up
Make sure drain covers, air vents and grilles are in place and not damaged.
As rats live in sewers it is important that immediate action is taken to mend damaged drains/drain covers. Anglian Water has responsibility for carrying out repairs to drains/sewers at the point that your drain meets the main drain/sewer.
This will discourage mice and rats by restricting their food. Store food carefully so mice and rats don’t have access. Sweep up spills as soon as they happen. Remove rubbish. Keep the garden free of food debris. Don’t compost meat, fish, bones or bread, as these attract vermin
Avoid over feeding wild birds or allowing a build-up of food residues
Rodents require nesting material, so it is important that rubbish is cleared from gardens.
It is possible to treat rodents using preloaded bait boxes which are available from DIY shops. Please ensure that you follow the directions for use provided on the packaging.