With temperatures plummeting this week, many of us might have been keen on staying inside and warm – but we’re not the only ones looking to escape the cold.
Rodents will likely be looking for shelter now that we’re in the middle of winter, with the number of rat-related calls to pest control peaking in late November and December, according to Rentokil. And after a particularly mild October, pest control experts forecast rat activity is likely to increase in the coming weeks after the rodents delayed moving to sheltered locations in the autumn.
Rentokil has advised people to be on the lookout for telltale signs they may have unwanted house guests – particularly when they’re retrieving Christmas decorations from attics, basements, garages or outbuildings. Here are some things to keep your eyes peeled for, according to experts, as reported by WalesOnline.
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One of the easiest signs to spot if you have rats in your home is droppings, which look like large brown spindles the size of a grain of rice — each rat produces up to 40 droppings a night, so they quickly multiply in the corners of rooms or boxes. Another thing to watch out for are chewed up items in storage, gnawing marks on wires and cables, or shredded attic insulation that rodents often use to build their nests.
Paul Blackhurst, Head of Technical Academy at Rentokil Pest Control, said: “Rodents are a major public health problem that can cause significant damage to residential and commercial buildings as well as the reputation of businesses. After a mild autumn, we expect to see an increase in requests once the temperature drops as rats look for a warm place to spend the winter.
“While most of us associate rats with sewers and holes in the ground, brown rats are very agile climbers and can be found in attics,” he added. When you’re up in the attic there are a few simple things to watch out for; Nests, droppings, gnawing marks and greasy abrasion marks on beams.
“If any of these are spotted, pest control experts should be called in to solve the problem in a sustainable and efficient manner. Hear from Santa and his reindeer on your roof this Christmas.”