The severe flooding situation is having a huge impact on farm animals and wildlife, forcing them to seek shelter on higher ground above the water line.
Pest controllers are warning people, particularly those who live near rivers, that they may experience an influx of rats who have been forced out of their underground burrows or flooded drains.
Chris Davis of Cleankill Pest Control explains: “The rats are simply trying to find dry places to live. Rats suggest like water and are good swimmers but they can’t tolerate being submerged for long periods and can drown. Their usual food sources may have been washed away, so they will be searching for things to eat too.”
Drain covers that have been pushed off by flood water can allow rats to escape from external drains easily says Chris.
“The story about a rat appearing in the toilet bowl is a bit of an urban myth as under normal circumstances the U-bend should stop them – there is one near the toilet bowl itself and one where your domestic sewer meets the main sewers and this is located beneath a rodding eye. If the rodding eye gets damaged or removed or the interceptor cap is missing, you could get problems with rats moving over the top of the U-bend into the domestic sewer.”
Cleankill Pest Control staff sometimes find pipework under houses that has been damaged during construction work to be one of the factors that allows rats to enter domestic properties. They can then get into the wall cavities and up into the loft where there is usually lots of nesting material.
Householders are advised not to tackle the rats themselves as they can become aggressive if they are cornered – especially in unfamiliar environments - and there is a risk of being bitten.
“Rats are generally nocturnal but the flooding will have disrupted their normal patterns. As a result, they will probably be sleep-deprived, exhausted, very nervous and hungry – they will be more scared of you than you are of them. Rats carry lots of diseases so it’s best to keep clear of them and dispose or disinfect anything they have come in contact with,” Chris added.
Rubbish collections being disrupted in flooded areas will not help the rat situation says Cleankill, but the company advises people to do their best to keep food in sealed containers and put their rubbish in collection bins if possible.
Many business in flood affected areas will be seeing rats in new areas of their properties and face having to have all the poison in their external ‘bait stations’ replaced.
“One of our clients has recently seen rats enter a store room for the first time but, fortunately, the problem has been caught early. It’s really a case of businesses being extra vigilant and making sure any damp bait is replaced otherwise it will be ineffective and pest problems could quickly exacerbate,” Chris said.
Any business or householders worried about rodent problems or needing advice can contact Cleankill Pest Control on 020 8668 5477.
Cleankill has been solving pest problems for commercial and domestic customers since 2005. Using the most up-to-date pest-control techniques and technology, the company keeps its customers pest free and makes sure it is at the forefront of the industry when it comes to the use of pesticides and non-toxic pest control methodology.
As an Investor in People, all Cleankill’s staff are highly trained and offer an exceptionally fast and efficient level of service. The company is a proud member of the British Pest Control Association, as well as being approved to ISO9001 and ISO14001. Cleankill is also fully accredited to the Altius Vendor Assessment, Safecontractor, Exor, Constructionline and Achilles Health and Safety accreditation schemes and aims to be recognised as a market leader for innovation and new pest control techniques. For further information go to www.cleankill.co.uk or call 0800 056 5477.
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