How do I get rid of rats?

This guide will help you to identify places rats are getting into your home and garden and how to get rid of rats.

Rat infestations are a problem, so it is important to know the fastest way of getting rid of them. There are various pest control methods you can adopt in order to get rid of the rats and to deter them from your home and garden in the first place.

rat in kitchen

Do I need to get rid of rats?

If you find rats in your home you really need to get rid of them as they can carry many dangerous diseases such as salmonella, tuberculosis and e.coli. All of these diseases can be passed onto family members including pets. Rats also are alive with fleas and many people are allergic to flea bites. So there are a few good reasons why you need to get rid of rats in your garden and home.

There are rats in my garden, do I need to get rid of them too?

Yes even rats in the garden can still cause diseases. Once the rats are in your garden it won’t be long before they find a way into your home. They only need a small space to get through so you need to deal with rats in garden quickly.

How can I tell if I have a rat infestation?

It is unlikely that you will see a rat in your house as they come out a night when we are asleep. You may hear them scurrying in the walls and see other evidence of rats in your homesuch as:

  • Droppings: dark droppings of amount 1cm in length
  • Noises: rats make noise, especially at night time when they are awake, it’s usually a scratchy sound and will come from under the floorboards or in cavity walls
  • Odour: strong ammonia smell
  • Teeth marks: rats need sustenance so check your kitchen for teeth marks in food or packets
  • Nests: often found in warm and dark places and made of debris such as newspaper and fabric
  • Holes: check for holes in decking, sheds and compost heaps
  • Biting: rats chew on wood and plastic so look out for signs

Why do I have rats in my home?

Rats are on the lookout for shelter especially in bad weather and this can drive them indoors for looking for a warm and dry place to stay. Always cover any open bins and compost heaps to remove a source of food. Check for any gaps between walls and floor or in doorways where a rat could get inside. If you have a flap in a door for a cat or dog, rats can use it too.

How do I get rid of rats?

  • The simplest way to get rid of rats is to use a poison specifically for a rat infestation. You can buy a good quality rat poison from most supermarkets for a reasonable price. has Rat poison blocks for £20.51 from Pest Control Direct. Price is for a 1.8 kg tub of blocks. Always follow the instructions as these are often poisonous to pets and children.

  • If you don’t want to use poison you can buy a rat trap cage for £26.40 from the same supplier.

  • An ultra-sonic repeller is another way to harmlessly make rats leave your home. This repeller sends out a sound that the rats want to get away from so they leave the source of the sound. These are not a proven success but do offer an alternative to try.

  • Rat stop guards can be installed in your sewer pipes to keep rats out of your home. This is a good option if you suffer from many rat infestations.

  • Call a pest control company to come and remove a rat problem

How do I clean up after I’ve got rid of the rats?

Getting rid of evidence of rats in your home is a mucky and dirty job that needs to be done. Some pest control companies offer a cleanup service that you can take advantage of:

  • Vacuum up droppings

  • Remove any dead or rotting rats

  • Remove any insulation that rats have dirtied in and replace

  • Clean all things they have touched with household bleach and water mixture

How much will it cost to get rid of rats under floorboards and rats in my garden?

The cost to get rid of rats depends on which method you choose:

  • Rat poison varies in price from £6 to £60 depending on the quantity you need

  • Rat cages start at around £26 from Pest Control Direct

  • Ultra-sonic repellers start from £40

  • Pest control company vary greatly in price from £50 per hour and higher

saw rats on my street what should i do?

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