How do I know if there are rats living in my drains?
Drains make the perfect home for rats. Underground they will find plenty of water and food from the wastewater that we flush away. While it may not sound like a problem, rats and other rodents can cause serious trouble in drains, particularly if the drains are already worn out.
It is common knowledge that rats make the sewerage systems their main home, due to the amount of nutrition they can find there and their ability to survive and thrive in those conditions. Rats are excellent swimmers, and can survive in the water for up to three days, but this is where it begins to be a problem for you. It doesn’t take long for a rat to swim its way through the public sewers and find itself in your home drainage system. Once they’ve found their way into your drains, they can cause all sorts of chaos, so it’s important to know the warning signs in case you need to call a professional drain engineer to come and take care of the problem.
The number one sign for rats and other rodents is rat droppings. Dark pellets will usually be found in places where the floor meets the skirting board, and will be much bigger than you would expect from a mouse. You might also notice holes that have been gnawed. You can check the teeth marks on these holes to determine if they are big enough to be a rat’s. Rats are also nocturnal creatures, so you might hear the sound of scratching and scrabbling in your home at night – this could be in the floor, the walls or even the ceilings.
These signs will be the first thing you notice, so if you’re not looking for rats and you’ve come across them then it is likely you have a rodent somewhere in the house that may have entered through the drains. The next step is to check the outside of the house for signs of where they may have entered. You can look for holes in brickwork, especially where old pipes might have been removed leaving open holes for the rat to gain access.
If you’re hearing noises from the ceiling, go upstairs and check to see for signs of rats. To prevent encouraging more rats from finding their way into your property, ensure that there is not an excessive amount of daylight coming in. This is particularly important around the eaves, where it is easy for a rat to climb up the drainpipe and chew its way through the boards.
After taking all these precautionary steps, you should know whether the rats are entering the house through the drains or not. If the signs continue to show up then you may have a problem with a rat infestation in your drains. The most common cause of a rat infested drain is if your drains are particularly old and worn out. After years of use, if you have not been updating your drains regularly, drainage systems can become weak and start to show signs of decay. Very old drains may even show signs like cracks, which can cause a huge problem. Not only can they lead to burst pipes or collapsed drains, they are incredibly vulnerable to the gnawing teeth of a rat.
If you want to prevent rodents from making their way in, the best thing to do is to call out a professional drain engineer to conduct a CCTV drain survey on your property. Using the latest software and technology they can identify and locate any problem areas in your property’s drainage systems. If anything is found during the survey, it will be dealt with then and there, and the technician will provide you with a fully comprehensive and useful report of the findings, as well as some friendly advice and guidance on how to proceed.