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Rats and other pests

Rat infestation

If you have a rat infestation you will most likely be able to find several signs, including the presence of rat droppings which are wide and dark brown in colour resembling a large grain of rice.

You may also find gnaw marks, hear scratching sounds or find evidence of trails where the rats have been travelling known as runs.

Rats inhabit anywhere 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 grassy banks or under sheds, and are often found living in sewer systems.

If you see a rat outside your property on just one occasion, there is generally no need to contact us. Rats will appear for a number of reasons, but primarily when on the lookout for food.

Rats at a neighbouring property

If you see rats coming from a neighbour's property, discuss this with them as they may already be aware and treating the problem. Overgrown gardens do not necessarily attract rats so do not assume that this is an issue.

Encourage your neighbours to take action to treat the problem. If they are unwilling to do this you can report the issue to us and an officer will investigate to establish if any action is required to help prevent rats.

Feeding birds, leaving food waste outside and soft furnishings, such as mattresses can all attract rats and officers can require clearance by serving a notice on the owner of the property if required.

Other pests

We will consider an investigation if other pests are reported at a neighbouring property, such as mice or cockroaches. Squirrels and foxes are not classed as pests and we have no duty to investigate these reports.

Making a complaint

If the problem is at a neighbouring property, and no action is being taken to deal with the issue, you can email and we will carry out an investigation and consider action under relevant powers to ensure remedial works are carried out.

In order to investigate your complaint you must provide your name, address and contact telephone number together with the address of the property where you think the problem is. If possible please include a description of any waste or activities you think may be attracting rats to the property and a photograph.

If you have seen a rat on just one occasion at your neighbours property, we will not investigate your complaint.

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