Keeping rat numbers to a minimum

We must all must take responsibility to help keep rat numbers to a minimum. In the domestic environment this means:

  • removing all food completely not just at night - food is the number one driver of infestations
  • all chicken feed should be kept to a minimum ideally using a self-opening treadle feeder
  • chicken coops should be raised off the ground
  • keep all your food waste safely inside your rubbish bin ensuring the lid is closed at all times
  • make sure your compost heaps are secure
  • tidy up the garden, less harbourage is fewer places to hide
  • encourage your neighbours to do the same

Pest proofing

For rats inside the property, proofing your home to deny entry and removing easy access will help. They will need a hole the size of a 50p.

For mice the gaps are only 5mm. Look for:

  • access holes in to the cavity often outside of the kitchen or bathroom where pipes have been removed
  • broken air bricks or redundant tumble dryer outlets
  • holes in the cavity where vegetation is growing up the side of the house
  • make sure the gaps under and to the side of garage doors are small
  • if you notice holes around inspection chambers/man hole covers, report this to your waste water provider
  • consider placing metal wire leaf guards in the tops of all the gutter down pipes.

Using traps

Using break back traps safely in your home such as the snap e-traps, these are simple and safe to use and are available for rats and mice but follow the instructions on the packaging.


Use peanut butter and place them along established runs. Be sure to tether them with garden wire or they may go missing. If using traps outside create a tunnel with stones, bricks or wood from around the garden to make sure you protect non target species from the traps. It’s worth not setting these until the peanut butter has been taken twice to gain the trust of the rodent, once this has happened then set the trap. Bodies can be disposed of in your normal waste.


Simply add a sticky substance like peanut butter. Place these where you are seeing activity and you should be able to control them quickly.

Rodenticide also can help but make sure you follow the instructions on the product you are using.

Limiting food and water sources

The removal of water sources is particularly important in the case of rats. Common sources include defective gutters, leaking taps and defective roofs.

The access of pests to food sources can be minimised by storing food correctly. This can be achieved by storing food off the floor, using appropriate storage containers and inspecting new stock on arrival.

Still having problems?

If you need a treatment for rats, mice or any other pest then please use the find a pest controller link form the British Pest Control Association the main governing body for the industry.

If you have tried all of the above and feel that the rat or mice activity comes from another property or area and is a public health risk then please contact the customer services team on 01730 266551.