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How to Get Rid of a Rat in Your Kitchen or Anywhere else in Your Home

Rat Nesting

Table of Contents

Before beginning pest treatment for rats, a survey of the site should be carried out by pest control to identify the extent of the infestation. FurBeGone are pest control specialists and can identify possible entry points, which is key to reducing the chances of re-infestation once the treatment is complete.

Rats can carry fleas and spread diseases to humans and our pets. If left untreated rats can cause severe damage to your property because of gnawing. They have been known to chew through ceilings, kitchen cupboards and even floors!

Once inside your property, they can cause chaos and be very hard to remove especially in places like kitchens or loft spaces.

The History of Rats

Rats are known as: Brown Rat, Common Rat, Norway Rat, Sewer Rat (Rattus norvegicus).

The Rat originated from Asia and China . First recorded in Europe at the beginning of the 18th Century. They were referred to as Norway rats because they were thought to have travelled from the East on Norwegian timber ships.

Rats can be found living outside around 10% of homes in Hertfordshire.

What are the Signs of Rats?

There are many tell-tale signs of rats, but these will depend on whether they have built a nest or they are just entering to gain easy access to food. The main signs you might see are droppings. Rats leave a trail of small pellet like poo, slightly larger than mouse droppings.

Other signs of rats could be a scratching sound in your walls, usually heard at after dark. If rats get into your loft, then you will hear them as they scurry across the ceiling. This can be very loud and often people mistake the sound of rats for squirrels.

Other than in your wall cavities and loft rats will hide under kitchen units where they can be near to a source of food and water. They are mostly active during the night-time but if comfortable will also move around during the daytime.

How do you get rid of Rats?

There are a few different methods for getting rid of rats. The method used will depend on the severity and location of the infestation. Your pest controller will be able carry out an assessment and offer advice on the best treatment for rats.

Are Poison or Traps Best to Kill Rats?


Rat Poison can be used in areas which are hard to access such as lofts or wall cavities. Your pest controller will have different types of poison, usually either seeds or blocks of poison.

Seeds can be left in special trays for the rats to find and once eaten they cause the rat to die. Rats will often take all the food from the tray in one night, taking it to store in their nest. The problem with this that they do not necessarily eat the feed immediately.

Blocks work slightly differently. They are stored in a strong plastic container which the rat needs to access to eat. They must therefore eat the poison meaning they immediately ingest it, and the poison can quickly take effect. It is common that once the poison begins to work the rat will leave its nest and go off somewhere else to die, meaning that body recovery is not always necessary.

Rat poison blocks used for rat pest control

Rat Traps

Rat traps use bait to attract the rodents onto a small platform which triggers a metal arm to come down on the rat. These types of traps are called snap and they kill the rats instantly, so they do not suffer. 

Your pest controller will usually set several traps in locations where the rats are living. Within a few days they will return to remove the dead rats. They may reset the traps depending on whether they think all the rats have been caught. A tell-tale sign of there still being rats can be that the bait is gone from all the activated traps meaning that there are still live rats taking the food.

Rat trap used for pest control

What Attracts Rats to My House?

When rats enter your home, they are usually looking food, shelter, and a safe place to build their nest so they can breed.

Once rats reach around 8 weeks, they are capable or reproduction and although they tend to breed mainly in the summer they do breed throughout the year if they can find the right conditions for their nest.

Rats are always searching for food, it’s their survival instinct to collect and store food to keep them fed through the cold winter months. They have a good sense of smell and very sensitive whiskers which they use to detect crumbs of food as they move around.

Rats eat on average one tenth of their body weight each day and must drink water daily in order to survive. They are considered omnivorous but if available, cereals seem preferred.

How to Avoid Attracting Rats?

Empty your Bin

Rats will be attracted to your food waste. They are clever and will squeeze through small gaps in your lid or may even try to knock the lid off. They have also been known to chew through plastic bins.

Clear up Food Waste

Rats will be attracted to a food source in your garden such as crumbs or bird food so make sure you clear up properly if you’ve eaten outside.

Empty Water Sources

Rats will look for a water source as they need to drink regularly. Avoid leaving bowls of water or puddles of water near your house as these attract rats. Empty paddling pools at night or cover them properly to avoid rats using them.

Block any Holes in Your Decking or Under Your Shed

Rats are always on the lockout for somewhere to hide and can squeeze themselves through holes or gaps as small as 2cm. Decking is one of their favourite places to hide and they can often burrow underneath it. Block any holes or use wire mesh to block larger gaps.

How Do Rats Get In my Home?

You would be amazed at the way rats can enter your home. Although they look big, they can squeeze through the smallest of holes or gaps. A rat can squeeze its body through a 2cm hole or gap.

Rats are also great climbers with the ability to climb external walls and guttering. Although common entry points are often low down.

Our pest control experts will look for possible entry points during his visit to avoid future rat infestations.

How Much is Pest Control for Rats?

The cost of treatment for a rat infestation can vary and will depend on the severity of the infestation, how many visits are required. It will also depend on the method of treatment required. Your pest controller will talk you through the options for treatment.

Can Exterminators Get Rid of Rats Permanently?

Yes. Your pest controller should be able to permanently get rid of rats and their nest.

We cannot guarantee that other rats will not enter your property at a later date, but part of our treatment process will include looking for and blocking possible entry points.

It is important that once your rat infestation is treated, you clean the area thoroughly using anti-bacterial cleaner or a mixture of bleach and water.

Rats leave a trail of urine wherever they go, and this smell can be an attraction to other pests as it shows them the way to a food source.

For a thorough guide on cleaning up after a rat infestation, please speak to your pest controller or visit the CDC website.

How Can I Book a Pest Control Treatment for Rats?

FurBeGone Pest Control offer a free survey before, and treatment is undertaken. We cover Stevenage, Letchworth, Hitchin, and surrounding villages.

Contact us through our website here or for 24-hour callout please call us on 01438 387005.

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PLEASE CALL US ON 0203 600 1045