Rats are endemic within the sewerage system. The sewer network provides a perfect habitat for rats to live, and nest as well as an easy route of travel.
Rat infestations from sewer rats
A high percentage of household rat infestations are due to rats gaining entry to your house through the drainage system. It’s not uncommon for rats to pass from the sewer network to the household drainage system. Once within the household drainage system, rats can then gain access to your house through any small holes or cracks within your household drains.
Signs of rat infestation
- Rat droppings – are the most obvious sign of a rat infestation. Typically rat droppings will be concentrated in specific areas such as near the skirting boards, behind appliances, or in the corner of a room. They are significantly larger than mouse droppings and a darkish brown colour.
- Gnaw marks – you may notice signs of gnawing on wood, electrical cables, pipework, food containers etc.
- Noises at night – rats are nocturnal so are normally only heard at night. Typically, you may hear scratching noises or scrabbling noises as the rats move around at night. In some cases you may hear grinding noises.
- Footprints – in some cases you may observe footprints, especially in dusty areas. If you suspect rats have infested your house; then sprinkling a small amount of talc powder can help to confirm this, as rats will leave a trail of footprints in the talc.
- Smudge marks – rats travel along the same pathways within a building. Overtime this action will lead to smudge marks forming along surfaces around these pathways. The smudge marks occur due to the rats bodies repeatedly brushing against these surfaces causing a build-up of grease and dirt from the rats bodies.
Problems caused by rat infestations:
Rat infestations are a serious problem for any household. The main problems caused by rat infestations, include:
- Spread of diseases and contamination of foodstuffs with bacteria such as Salmonella. and salmonella. Rats are also responsible for the spread of diseases including: 1) Leptospirosis: an infection that can be spread from the urine of rats – In a small number of cases (~10%) this can develop into the much more serious Weil’s disease; 2) Rat bite fever: an infection caused by bacteria in infected rats or other rodents.
- Parasites – rats are commonly infested with flees, mites and sometimes ticks.
- Damage to property – rats will often cause damage to wood, pipework, electrical cables, appliances etc
How a CCTV drain survey can help?
If you have a persistent problem with rat infestations without obvious entry points then a CCTV drain survey can be very helpful in establishing the route of infestation. By accessing the condition of the drainage system through a CCTV drain survey, you can quickly establish whether the infestation is due to problems with your drainage system. The CCTV drain survey can help to identify any entry points through which the rats may be gain access to your home, including: location of broken or cracked pipes, collapsed/partially collapsed drains, displaced joint connections, missing interceptor traps.
If the CCTV drain survey identifies a problem
If the CCTV drain survey identifies the drainage system as the cause of the rat infestation then there are a number of possible solutions, including:
- If there is a problem with the drain system, such as cracked or damaged pipes, this can be repaired or replaced
- Interceptor traps can help by preventing rats from passing into your drain system from the sewer network.
- Non-return Rat valves can be fitted to prevent rats from entering your drain network. These allow waste to pass along the drainage system but prevent rats moving against the flow of waste and entering your drainage system.
- Replace missing or damaged rodding eye cap if necessary.