Is There A Rat Problem In London?
London is a city famous for its history, iconic landmarks and bustling culture, but it’s also known as the home of rather unappealing pests — rats. While it’s not something tourists will want to dwell on, it’s a problem that businesses and homeowners can’t ignore.
That’s why this month at Pest Defence, we’re going to explore the issue, including how big the problem is, what the signs are of rodent infestation, ways to prevent rats at your property and some details on the professional services we offer if all this has come too late.
Are rats common in London?
It’s believed that there are millions of rats in London. With a densely populated city, urban landscapes and an abundance of food sources, it’s the ideal habitat. London’s infrastructure, given its age, is also a great underground network for rats to travel through.
Whether you’re in Central London or out in the suburbs the problem is equally alarming. In 2021, a study revealed that Tower Hamlets had the most complaints about rats, but news stories appear all the time from across the capital, with rats seen scurrying through parks and streets — they’ve even been spotted crawling across the pastries in a local Sainsbury’s.
While lockdown measures might have exacerbated matters at the time, the old saying that you’re never more than six feet from a rat in London has some truth to it. Old sewers and drains, combined with the sheer number of rats within the city, means it’s probably not far from the truth in most areas.
Signs of a rodent infestation
Correctly identifying a rodent infestation at your property early is a good way to protect yourself from the risks they carry. Here are some signs to look out for in London:
- Droppings – Small, dark droppings in your cupboards or along the skirting board, around 1-2 cm in length, will indicate the activity of rats in or around your property.
- Gnaw marks – Using their powerful teeth, rats will chew wood, wire and even plastic to help grind them at a manageable size.
- Nesting material – Rats will often shred fabric, paper and insulation so that they can create their nests.
- Unusual noises – Since they’re often more active at night, you’re likely to hear strange noises of scurrying and scratching at this time.
- Grease marks – As rats tend to move along walls, you’ll find that they leave a greasy smudge behind, especially if it’s a much-used route for multiple rodents.
How to prevent rats in London
In order to prevent rats in London, you’re going to need to be extremely proactive and vigilant. Some of our top tips for deterring a rodent infestation of any kind include:
- Manage your waste – Making sure that all waste, but especially food, is disposed of and that bins are sealed can remove a tempting food or nesting source. Similarly, if you have a garden, don’t leave food scraps out.
- Seal off entry points – Gaps, cracks and holes in your walls, doors and windows give an easy access point for rats, so make sure you seal them off when they appear.
- Uphold hygiene levels – Regular cleaning and tidying can eliminate spaces for rats to hide in and materials for them to use as nests.
- Secure your food – Make sure that, wherever you keep food, it’s kept in airtight containers to stop rats from picking up the scent and heading for the cupboards.
- Keep the garden tidy – With regular trimming of your vegetation and the removal of debris, you make it harder for rats to find or create hiding places.
How much does it cost to get rid of rats in London?
The cost of rat removal in London depends on several factors, from the severity of the infestation and the size of the premises to the preferred method of elimination. While it might be tempting to try DIY options, they are often not effective enough to fully eradicate rodents, which is why professional pest control is always recommended to get results.
At Pest Defence, we provide quotes – with no hidden costs – after an inspection of your premises. That way, you know the price and the work we’ll be carrying out, including whether that involves follow-up visits for monitoring and prevention.
Rodent control from Pest Defence
As experts in rodent extermination and elimination, here at Pest Defence, we’ll recommend the best course of action if you’ve found rats around or inside your property in London. Covering all boroughs, you can rely on us as fully accredited and insured rodent controllers.
Don’t let the thought of rats keep you up at night. And don’t let the sight of rats scare away your customers if you’re running a business in London. Call our friendly team today for advice on preventative measures or to book an appointment with us — we can even offer a rapid response in an emergency for rat infestations.