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Rats, rodents and pest control

Rodents around your home can be very unpleasant. If rodents are present in sewers affecting your property we'll work with local authorities, private pest control companies and the Environment Agency to resolve the issue.

What can cause rodents?

Sewers are ideal habitats for rats to either nest or use as a network to get around.

Excess food waste can attract rodents. If there are defects in the sewer this can lead to rodents moving between above and below ground. The more urban an area, the more likely it is that rodents will nest in sewers.

Rodents can be a recurring issue as:

  • Population recovery of rats is high. Depending on the success of baiting, it's possible for populations to recover within 6 months.
  • Rats can burrow and gnaw through most materials; damaging sewer lines causing and worsening defects.
  • Rats will move readily between surface and sewer. Working closely with local authorities and/or pest control is therefore essential.
  • Rats move easily through the network and between manholes; new rat colonies can quickly move in. 

How to stop rats getting into your home

Here are some simple steps you can take to prevent rats getting into your home. 

  • Ensure there are no gaps in your internal drainage pipework.
  • Keep your garden clean and tidy - this helps to stop them nesting. 
  • Seal disused pipes.
  • Don't put bird seed out on the ground. If you're feeding birds, use a bird table or feeder basket instead. 
  • Keep bin lids shut and in a good condition.
  • Keep garden or food waste compost units and areas well sealed. 

You can download the British Pest Control Associations (BPCA) advice leaflet (opens in a new window) for more advice about how to stop rats getting in your home.   

What to do

If you have rats at your property, contact your local council who will help remove the animals and work out where they entered your property.  

Some local authorities will offer a pest control service, but most will simply offer advice. We’d advise that you contact them to find out what the next steps are. You can arrange for a private pest control service to find where the rodents are coming from. If the rodents are coming from above ground, you'll need to organise appropriate baiting and control.

Dealing with the rats yourself

If you choose to deal with the rats yourself, however, make sure you follow the government guidance on how to carry out pest control at your property. 

What to do if your council can't help

If you’ve contacted your local council and they don’t offer pest control, you should contact a specialist pest control company who can undertake a survey. You can find an approved pest controller in your area (opens in a new window) on the British Pest Control Associations (BPCA) website. 

If the rats only affect your property and aren’t coming in through a defect in our sewerage system, it will be your responsibility to resolve the situation and for you to speak to a pest control specialist to deal with the problem. 

If the council or pest control company identify or suspect a defect with one of our sewers, we can undertake an investigation and if needed repair our sewer. 

What we can do for you

If it’s confirmed that rats are coming from our sewers, we’ll lay bait underground. If the sewer has a problem that we're responsible for, we’ll lay bait until repairs are finished.

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