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  • Martin Kroupa

How to Control Rats (and Other Vermin)

Rat & vermin control in Glasgow, Ayrshire and across the west of mainland Scotland

There’s a multitude of pest solutions available in rat control nowadays. I’ve divided the most common rat control methods into two main categories that are physical control (trapping for dispatch or relocation) and chemical control (rodenticide, gas compound and acute rat poisons).

Some of the most frequently used rat control methods are:

Rat trapping with spring lethal rat traps (larger size rodent snap-backers, Fenn Trap or Magnum Body Grip) that are laid baited onto and near established rat runs. For bait you can use peanut butter, chocolate, cheese, bacon, biscuits and an array of other foodstuffs as rats are omnivorous and not usually fussy about food. Several rat traps (4+) are best positioned against walls as rats like to move in contact with the walls. These traps should be checked daily and dead rats as well as wounded ones dispatched. In small numbers only, dead rats may be disposed of along with communal waste, alternatively dead rat bodies can be buried or incinerated.

I do not recommend the use of non-lethal traps for capturing live rats as it could be rather awkward for their despatch and disposal :-(

Physical rat trapping is a favoured DIY rat control method, although not efficient enough to be widely commercialised in UK rodent control. Some disadvantages for professional pest controllers would be higher costs caused mainly by the requirement for a greater number of follow up visits.

Caution! Setting up lethal traps that are loaded with powerful springs requires experience and could lead to an injury of the operator if not handled with due care. A legal restriction applies in the UK for use of lethal traps outdoors; i.e. these have to be placed within protective artificial tunnels or inside rodent bait stations. These usually are boxes made of plastic or metal, with restricted access for children and non-target animal species.

Utilising birds of prey and ratting dogs are possibly the most green rat control methods ever. I can recommend you Jack Russell Terrier as a good rat catcher, better even a pack of them, although they cannot be used everywhere.

Rat poisoning using acute poisons is now banned in UK pest control, however it used to be arsenic and strychnine that had been used. Most rodenticides used by pest control professionals as well as over-the-counter products nowadays are anticoagulants. These subdivide into first generation rodenticides and second generation ones. Some rodenticides are for internal and external use while others for internal use (within buildings) only. Always read the label on a product. Rodenticidal baits should be placed on or near established rat runs, administered in safe tamper-resistant bait stations to protect children, members of public, pets and non-target species. Only cavities, rat burrows and other areas that are accessible to no-one can be baited with rodenticide laid loose or put on open trays. Anticoagulant rodenticides generally require time to work between 3 days up to a fortnight. It should be taken into account rats may be neophobic, being reluctant to enter bait stations to feed at first.

Contact dusts safely applied in artificial rodent tunnels can be introduced where rats display reluctance in taking edible baits.

Aluminium phosphate can be used for underground rodent control; although used rarely in UK rat control. Be aware licence will be needed in UK to purchase aluminium phosphate (gas compound) from 2015.

Whichever method is utilised rubbish, clutter and overgrown vegetation as well as alternative food sources such as accumulated food waste, food stock, animal feed, pet food etc. should be removed or adequately secured prior to or simultaneously with rat control treatment for its efficiency and support.

Rodent proofing should immediately follow rat control where applicable to prevent reinfestation.

Czechmate Pest Control standard rat treatment is an efficient pest control service rendered by qualified and experienced pest controller who will attend at your premises to survey and to treat your rat infestation on the first visit, followed up with an inspection 4 weeks later. Applied rodent baits are mainly difenacoum, bromadiolone, or brodifacoum based products for professional use only. Exposed baits and those in external areas are administered in lockable tamper-resistant rat bait stations. CZECHMATE rat control service is currently offered and provided at fixed rate £79 for residential customers. Prices for business customers and larger residential premises or farms may vary according to their size, access and by any special requirements.

CZECHMATE’s ratting dog Jack Russell Terrier is subject to availability and his deployment incurs no extra charge to client.

CZECHMATE's ratting dog, Jack Russell Terrier (Brok has caught another vermin in this picture - large Grey Squirrel)

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