Rats: how to control them

Rats are often found in sewers and drains. They will infest anywhere they can find regular sources of food, water and safe shelter.

Rats spread disease, contaminate possessions and damage property.

Reduce rat activity

In public places

You can report rats in a public area

  • Don’t feed the pigeons in our town centres and public areas. The rats love the food you throw down for them more than the bait we use

In your home or business

Request removal of rats in your home

Request removal of rats in a business

  • Don't let rubbish build up outside
  • Keep food in rat proof containers and always clear up spilled food straight away
  • Make sure that buildings which store food are secure against rats. Block holes in walls, floors and doors and fill in gaps around possible entry points
  • Keep vegetation short and tidy
  • Don’t put oil, fat or food down your drains
  • Use a strainer over your sink to stop food bits going down the plughole

If you feed birds in your back yard or garden:

  • Feed them little and often
  • Change where you leave the food – rats don’t like new things and will be cautious about food in a new place
  • Use feeders with a catcher tray underneath, to stop food falling to the floor
  • Don’t let the food go off – the birds won’t eat it, but rats will
  • Use ‘anti-squirrel’ feeders – they are also ‘anti-rat’
  • Feed birds earlier in the day. Birds eat during the daytime. Rats usually come out at night

If you have a compost bin, it provides both food and shelter for rats:

  • Bury food scraps within the compost
  • Don't put meat and dairy scraps in
  • Keep the compost moist (not wet). This reduces the chance of rats making it their home
  • If rats are a problem, avoid putting food out altogether
  • Plant mint nearby – rats hate it!
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