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How to outsmart a rat - 5 top tips

According to recent press reports, the UK rat population has increased by 30 million since the initial lockdown last year. Here at iPest, we have seen an increase in the number of domestic call outs in recent weeks. It’s believed that the ever-growing rodent population is due to the tranquillity in urban areas whilst the human population stays at home, combined with increased residential food waste and a decrease in commercial food waste while the hospitality sector is closed. But don’t fear, here’s our top 5 tips to keep rodents at bay!

1 – Portion control bird feed!

It’s important to care for our feathered friends at this time of year but keep a close eye on portion control to avoid unwanted guests at the bird table. A well stocked bird feeder is the perfect food source for rodents so keep quantities to a minimum, try to reduce the amount of seed that falls to the ground and if this doesn’t solve the issue, consider taking short breaks from feeding the birds. The rats will soon clear off to seek out another food source, if their usual one becomes depleted.

2 – Secure your waste

The obvious attraction for rodents is food waste. Make sure your food waste is in a secure food waste bin, preferably a metal bin with a sealed lid to prevent rats feeding from the contents. The same goes for garden composters, keep them as secure as possible.

3 – Barricade your house and garden

Rats navigate their way through the smallest of spaces, so check around your house for gaps in your bricks and mortar and seal them up. Barricade spaces in your garden, like under the shed and around the decking. Rats seek out shelter, particularly this time of year so keep their options to a minimum.

4 – Declutter inside and out

Look at your home and garden with a fresh pair of eyes – where would you hide if you were playing hide and seek with a rodent? The more clutter, the more places to hide so shift those boxes, pallets, garden debris and minimise a rodent’s potential hiding places. They’re canny creatures and those flattened boxes stacked next to your wheelie bins make the perfect nesting place. Rats aren’t just on the lookout for food, they need materials to nest in.

5 – Use a licensed pest control expert.

The treatments that accredited and licensed pest controllers can purchase are more potent than off the shelf, domestic treatments, many of which rodents have become resistant to. But make sure whoever you use is ethical, humane and always conducts the necessary number of return visits to ensure appropriate levels of treatments are applied and cleared up.

If you would like pest control advice or would welcome a no obligation visit to assess what treatment we can offer, contact iPest today.

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