How to tell how many rats are in your house

How to Tell How Many Rats are in Your House

Nobody wants rats in their home. Even a single rat is enough to make most people shudder, but the truth is that if you have rats, you are unlikely to only have one.

Rats are clever creatures that can squeeze into the tiniest of gaps, and once they have made themselves at home, they will breed. 

Before you call out professional pest control, it can be helpful to know how many rats are in your house.

In this guide, we will help you to identify how many rats are in your house and explain the signs that you have a rat infestation.

Signs of a Rat Infestation in your House

Several things indicate the presence of rats in your home. 

  • Droppings
  • Smell of urine
  • Gnawed or damaged food packaging
  • Nests made with shredded material
  • Chewed wires, pipes, insulation or cardboard
  • Sounds of scurrying, especially late at night
  • Seeing a rat
  • Pets behaving oddly and pawing in corners

Now, you may have strong suspicions that you have rats, but you will need to look more closely to calculate the possible number and size of the infestation.

How to Tell How Many Rats are in Your House


Examine the Droppings

Droppings are an excellent way of finding out about your unwelcome visitors.

Real Homes explained the differences between mice and rat droppings. Tiny droppings are more likely to be left by mice. 

Rat droppings are typically between 1 and 2 cm in size and resemble brown jellybeans or a grain of rice. Adult rats leave larger droppings.

If you see a mixture of big and small droppings, this could indicate a larger rat population of different ages.

A large number of smaller droppings could indicate that the rats have been breeding and you have many babies.

The more droppings you find, the more rats you will have in your home.

How often have you seen rats?

You may be lucky to have only a minor infestation if you haven’t seen any rats. Small rat populations will more likely evade humans when they move about at night.

It is possible to eradicate a minimal infestation with traps and bait if you act quickly but be warned that the population will continue to grow until all the rats have been removed.

On the other hand, if you have seen rats on more than one occasion at night or during the day, you could have a much larger infestation.

Rats that have been unable to keep out of your way are a sign of severe infestation. In this instance, it is vital to seek help quickly from a professional pest controller, as the population will continue to grow unless action is taken. 

Look for a Rat Nest

Rats like to make their home away from humans in nooks and crannies where they feel protected.

Your best chance of finding their nest is to explore the areas in your home that are most left undisturbed.

Often you will find rats in your loft or inside cavity walls. Evidence of a nest will include shredded paper, leaves and soft materials such as insulation.

As well as a nest, rats create runs that they use to seek food and water. They make these runs through your walls, electrics, and pipes.

Rats can access minimal gaps; you may find evidence of their runs with gnaw marks on your walls, under doors and on the carpet.

As well as bite marks, you may see scratches and oily smears from their fur.

Following runs or discovering a nest will give you a good idea of the population’s size. 

Should you be worried about being attacked if you find a rat’s nest? Although the BBC reported a story about a girl in France being attacked by rats, they usually steer clear of human contact and will only attack if under threat.

Do not disturb a rat nest without professional help. Rats carry diseases which can be passed on through urine, faeces and bites, so it is best to leave them alone and get a pest controller to tackle the infestation.

How do I tackle a rat infestation in my house?

Once you have gathered information about how many rats are in your house, you can make a plan.

You can try laying down some traps and bait if you believe you have a tiny rat population. It is crucial to observe what happens to look for evidence that you have been successful.

If after a few weeks you still have rats, it is advisable to contact a professional pest controller who will be able to use the latest rodenticides to ensure that the rats are eliminated.

Pest control professionals are the only ones who can tackle a large infestation successfully. It requires technicians who have the knowledge and experience to carry out a thorough assessment and put in place a pest control plan that will be fast and effective.

If you think you have rats in your house, do not hesitate to contact us at EWS Group. Our fully trained technicians are specialists in pest control who offer a discrete service to remove and control pests using the latest IPM (Integrated Pest Management) methods.

How to Keep Pigeons off Your Roof 

How to Keep Pigeons off Your Roof

Many people love to see pigeons and consider them welcome wildlife, but pigeons are a pest to others.

You may suffer from excess bird droppings on your vehicles or outdoor space. You may even have a problem where pigeons put off customers and ruin your business

As well as causing potential harm to public health, pigeons can also cause damage to roof tiles, solar panels and brickwork.

If pigeons have become a nuisance, you will want to know how to keep them off your roof. This post will share some ideas from our pest control technicians about pigeon-proofing your roof and property.

Methods of Keeping Pigeons off Your Roof

Here are some ideas that might make your roof unappealing to pigeons and keep them away. 

If you are suffering a significant infestation or have no luck keeping pigeons off your roof, it might be best to call one of our trained technicians to help you solve the problem.

Pigeon Scarers

Don’t worry: these are not harmful to pigeons. They are lightweight bird of prey silhouettes that you can place in spots where pigeons like to roost.

The RSPB advises that they should initially scare away pigeons from the places you install them but be aware that after a while, pigeons will get used to them and then may return.

Reflective Materials

When sunlight hits a reflective material, it creates a bright prism-like shine that negatively affects pigeons’ eyesight.

You can purchase reflective tape, discs or windmills at a low cost that will discourage pigeons from settling. You place the products on areas attractive to pigeons, such as guttering, ledges and eaves.

You can even keep pigeons away by using old CDs. They are a perfect, no-cost solution that you can use by suspending them close to your target areas.

Sloped Metal Sheathing

Pigeons are attracted to flat surfaces and will choose ledges for roosting. You can cover these attractive flat surfaces with a sloping sheet of metal.

If pigeons can’t roost, they will hopefully find somewhere else to land.

Natural Repellants

You must understand that birds, like much wildlife, are protected under UK Law and cannot be poisoned or have their nests disturbed. 

Fortunately, some natural ingredients can be used to discourage pigeons from your roof.

You can place a ball or container with fragrant spices such as chilli powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper or cinnamon on your roof. The scent may help to keep pigeons away from the area.

Bird Netting and Mesh

You can buy netting that can be installed to seal off openings in your roof that could make an ideal roosting spot for pigeons.Getting the correct tension is crucial to avoid harming any birds. You may want assistance from a registered pest controller to ensure the work is carried out effectively and safely.

Pigeon Spikes

Pigeon spikes are metal spikes that can be installed across your roof or on top of fence panels to discourage pigeons from roosting.

They do not cause harm but should be uncomfortable for pigeon landings and help keep them away.

What else can you do to discourage pigeons from your roof?

  • Inspect your property for places that attract pigeons. Pigeons are drawn to chimneys, ledges, vents, gutters, gaps and solar panels.
  • Once you have identified potential pigeon roosting spots, you can use a deterrent to discourage them from staying.
  • Pigeons, like most pests, are attracted by food. Ensure that your rubbish is in a lidded bin and that bags are secured tightly.
  • Keep your outside space tidy and clean.
  • Feeding the birds is a lovely thing to do, but bird food will attract pigeons. Choose feeders that prevent larger birds from accessing the food. Squirrel-proof feeders may work.
  • Bird tables will attract pigeons, so avoid them where possible.
  • Many people also leave out food for hedgehogs and other wildlife. Remember that any food left outside may also attract pigeons (and rats!).

Do I need a pest controller to keep pigeons off my roof?

A small pigeon problem can quickly become a more significant issue if not addressed effectively.

It is worth trying out some ideas yourself to see if you can eliminate the problem of pigeons roosting on your roof, but if this fails, it may be best to contact professionals.

At EWS Group, we specialise in fauna management, as we have the experience and knowledge required to solve problems with wildlife effectively and protect them within the law.

You should not underestimate the damage that can be caused to your property or premises if pigeons are allowed to roost on your roof. The cost of repairs or loss of business can far outweigh any cost of pest control.

If you are worried about pigeons on your roof, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at EWS Group to see how our trained pest control technicians can help you.