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What are the signs of infestation?rats-150x150

Sightings of live rats or droppings

Rats are particularly active at night, but may be seen during the day searching for food,
water or shelter.

Common rat droppings are capsule-shaped, (tapered at both ends), black and up to 12 mm long. A rat will leave about 40 droppings a day. Fresh droppings will be soft and moist.


Rats follow the same routes when moving around and often leave trails through glass and low vegetation.

Footprints, smears and tail swipes

These can be seen on muddy or dusty surfaces. Smears are dark grey marks left on surfaces by repeated contact with the oils in rat fur.


Rats can build complex tunnel systems, which often extend deep into the ground. Entrance holes 70-120 mm in diameter will be seen in grassy banks, under tree roots and at the edge of paving or drain cover surrounds.


Sometimes nests can be found indoors, in lofts or under floorboards.


Rats gnaw continually to wear down their front teeth, even on non-food materials such as electrical cables, pipework and wooden fixtures.

Why must rats be controlled?

Rats can transmit many diseases to humans, including Salmonellosis (food poisoning) and Weils disease, usually from the urine of infected rats.

Rats may also cause considerable damage to buildings, foundations and other structures due to gnawing and burrowing.

What do rats look like?

The common rat typically has brownish fur on its back and is grey underneath, but colour can vary from white through to black. The adult body length is 200-270 mm, plus a tail length of 150-200 mm. The ship rat (smaller, black and with hairless ears) is nowadays rarely encountered in Britain. Rats have excellent senses and of smell and taste. They have an acute sense of hearing, frequently using ultrasound to communicate, and are particularly sensitive to any sudden noise.

Where do they live?

Common rats live in any situation that provides food, water and shelter. In homes, they will live in roof spaces, wall cavities or under floorboards. In gardens, they will burrow into compost heaps and grassy banks or under sheds. Rats are often found living in sewer systems; they are agile climbers and excellent swimmers.Brown rat

What do they eat?

Preferred foods are cereal products, although rats are omnivorous and will eat almost anything that humans eat. Most damage caused by rats is through gnawing and ripping open packets of food. They also spoil and contaminate food with urine, droppings and hairs. Up to 5% of food produced worldwide is lots as a result of rodent activity. Unlike mice, rats require water every day.

Treatment of Rats

Rats are adaptable, highly mobile and breed rapidly to produce large rat infestations. This combination can make rat control a difficult task for the untrained individual.

Intensive monitoring programmes tailored to the individual clients needs to ascertain pest activity and direct treatments

  • Non toxic, environmentally efficient rodent control solutions that are 100% environmentally efficient
  • Full reporting structure including Method Statements, Risk Assessments, Environmental Policy Statements and COSHH data for all controlled pesticides used. Sabre  offer a Premium and Premium Plus Service to cater for a broad spectrum of clients.

Please call 01923 634564  for further assistance e-mail info@sabrepestcontrol.co.uk