Plumbing specialists Dyno-Rod are urging people to check the condition of their drains after pest control experts reported a 40 per cent increase in calls to rat infested homes.
Driven out of sewers by summer floods Scotland’s rat population has been moving into homes and gardens across the country in ever increasing numbers.
It is estimated that there are now up to 80 million rats in Britain compared to around 45 million a decade ago as a result of a combination of warmer winters and an increase in discarded food waste,
Now, prompted by a surge of call outs to homes to make repairs after pest controllers have flushed the vermin out the drain specialists Dyno-Rod is urging people to check their underground pipe work before winter sets in and the homeless rats seek out new, warmer nesting sites.
“Rats can get in through the smallest of holes,” said Michael Dymock, of Dyno-Rod.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s a big house or a block of flats rats can get in to properties through broken drains and gaps in and around pipes. Once they are into the foundations they can then run through the entire property by scurrying through the pipe network.
“Although in Scotland we have a trap built into drains to stop rats getting into houses that only works if there are no other holes or damage to the underground pipes.
“Rats can gnaw their way through almost anything and cracked or broken drains can be an invitation for them to try.”
Rats breed on average five times a year, with seven or eight in each litter so population growth can be rapid.
“Once rats get into a property it can be very difficult to get them out. Some are immune to various poisons and even if they die the bodies have to be removed or home owners can be driven out by the smell of rotting rats under the floorboards.
“The only sure way to prevent a rat infestation is to not let them get into a property in the first place. We regularly carry out camera surveys of drains to check for holes so that they can be repaired to stop any vermin getting in.”