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Dublin: 12 °C Sunday 19 May, 2019
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Rise in construction causing rats to come up from sewers and drains

Heard any scratching noises recently? Just saying.

Image: rat via Shutterstock

RATS ARE BEING disrupted from sewers and drains as construction picks up.

That’s according to Rentokil – who describe its increase in callouts as “back to Celtic Tiger levels as houses and offices begin to be built again.”

Rats carry common diseases like Salmonella, Weil’s disease, E.coli and TB. They also carry fleas, mites and ticks and can cause acute allergic reactions.

Dr Colm Moore, Area Technical Manager at Rentokil says, “Rodents like warmth, quiet, and a source of food”.

Tips to keep the rats out 

Moore has this advice for anyone concerned about rats:

  • Seal any holes and fit bristle strip around doors – (young rats can get through holes of less than 1cm.)
  • Make sure to use steel, wool or caulk. (Wood, plastic or expanding foam is useless as they will gnaw through it.)
  • Don’t attract mice and rats with food – where possible store food in glass or metal containers and regularly clean under cookers, fridges and cupboards.
  • Keep household refuse in closed bins and do not put meat or food cooked in oils into compost bins or heaps.
  • Ensure that all pipe-work is in good order – rats can come up from sewers through broken pipes.
  • Keep clutter to a minimum to reduce the options for nesting sites and remember that dirty, messy areas can attract pests.

How do I know if they’ve sneaked in?

If you think you already have a rodent problem, look out for the following signs:

  • Scratching noises in walls, attics or under the floor as mice and rats scurry around.
  • Droppings – rats leave dark, tapered droppings about 10-14mm long. Mice leave small, dark droppings particularly along walls, in cupboards or under sinks.
  • Distinctive smell – both mice and rats leave an ammonia-like smell that will be particularly strong in enclosed areas such as under cupboards.
  • Damage – mice and rats have teeth that grow continuously and they gnaw on a variety of household objects to keep them trim. (Rodents can even cause fires by chewing through cables.)
  • Ripped food packaging – rodents will tear open food which may leave teeth marks.
  • Nests – rats and mice build nests in warm, hidden places using shredded material such as newspaper and fabrics.

If this sounds familiar you can put some plain flour along the edge of the floor by the walls or on surfaces close to where you think the nest might be.

You’ll notice tracks in the powder within a few days if the nest is close – lovely.

Read: Rats On A Plane: Rodent infestation grounds Indian aircraft>

Read: Dubliners: ‘Never mind the seagulls, come sort out our rat problem’>

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