Pest Control – Rats in Cheshire
Pest Control – Rats in Cheshire

Why are there rats in my Cheshire home?

Pest control – rats in Cheshire. Rats like to live close to people. All species of rats quickly adjust to the built environment like that found in the Cheshire hinterland. Rats thrive on small amounts of food, so, when they enter the built environment and gain access to meat, fish, vegetables and grains, both fresh and as waste, they will stay. Cheshire has seen a massive increase in the number of housing developments, consequently, there has been a corresponding increase in rat infestations.

Rats especially like to feed in and around homes, restaurants and businesses. However, they will settle for scraps from bins, gardens, council tips and recycling centres. Rats get the shelter they need from tall weeds and grass, fences and walls, rubbish piles and dumped waste and appliances.

What type of rats may I find in my Cheshire home

1) Brown/Norway Rats

The Brown/Norway rat (Rattus Norvegicus) is believed to be of Asian origin. Today, Norway rats are found throughout the world. Although they have poor vision, they are capable of running, climbing, jumping and swimming. Brown rats cause damage to properties and structures through their ability to gnaw through a range of materials.

2) Black/Ship Rats

The Black/Ship Rat (Rattus rattus) is believed to have originated in Southeast Asia. Black rat remains had been discovered in Roman deposits in London and York. They may have arrived as early as 2000 years ago via developing trade routes.

The Black Rat population may increase exponentially if conditions are right. They can also adapt to a wide range of habitats. Rats are found in residential buildings, warehouses and other settlements. This type of rat may also be found in agricultural areas.

Black rats are excellent climbers. As a result, they are commonly found in wall cavities and roof spaces. Black Rat nests are constructed from shredded material.

How to identify a rat infestation in my Cheshire home

What follows are the most common signs that rats have taken up residence in your Cheshire home. All this evidence shows that you need the high level pest control services of


When pests are present in your home, traces of dirt and grime can often be found on the walls. You may find greasy smudges which come from rodents rubbing their bodies against surfaces. In addition, there may even be traces of fur or hair left behind or evidence of food in sheltered corners or on the floor.


Pest infestations in a home will often be the cause of strange odours. These smells in your Cheshire home could be from droppings or stale/rotting food left behind by rats. Rats can even end up dying in your home, thus causing an unpleasant smell.


Droppings are among the first and most common infestation warning signs that rats have taken up residence in your Cheshire home. Look for urine trails and faecal droppings.

Rat droppings are spindly or conical shaped. Rat droppings are often found on the floor, behind appliances, and between walls.

Damage to fabric

Damaged fabrics found nearly anywhere in your Cheshire home can be a sign of a rat infestation. Fabric damage can include scratches, stains, and holes in clothing, curtains and furniture. A homeowner who comes across this type of damage should realise that there is a high chance of rat or other rodent infestation.


Many pests, especially rodents, are nocturnal. Rats can often be heard as they scamper about. They can also be heard squeaking and scratching, especially within walls and roof spaces.

Nesting material

Finding nesting materials around your Cheshire home is also a sign of a rat infestation. They can use practically any material they can find for nesting. This includes paper, grass clippings, leaves, fabric, and much more. Nests can be found practically anywhere in a home, especially inside walls, and behind appliances.

Discarded body parts

Besides leaving droppings, rats can also leave body parts such as discarded skin and fur.

Damaged plants

Be careful to watch for any damage that occurs to your plants. Signs of gnawing, or patches on leaves are signs of rat infestation.   

Missing objects 

Rats are thieves. They pick up small items, especially shiny objects, and taking them back to their nests.  Take action as soon as you detect something amiss. Waiting and watching can only lead to things getting worse. In fact, hiring is one of the most perceptive things that you can do to prevent further problems. It’s the one pest control company whose services stand out from the others. Hiring the pest control services of, at the first sign of trouble, could be one of the most discerning things that you could do. 

How to monitor rat activity in my Cheshire home

CCTV. Pest Control – Rats in Cheshire

Rat infestations are becoming more prevalent and the demand for investigative equipment such as CCTV drainage cameras is on the rise. The ability to establish the source of the pest problem without the need to dig a trench means our animal infestation services are not only reliable but also far less invasive than alternative methods.

Thermal imaging. Pest Control – Rats in Cheshire

Thermal cameras identify heat sources. A thermal imaging camera will detect body heat given off by mammals such as mice and rats. As well as finding the pest you can also use the thermal camera to look for clues.

Thermal imaging is brilliant for locating missing insulation in the cavity of a property’s wall. Rats love to use wall insulation for nests and often carve out tunnels in wall cavities. The thermal imaging camera can be used to locate the area where a rat has removed wall insulation. The gaps create pockets of air that change the temperature of a walls surface, thus creating a contrast in the colour pallet of the thermal image.

Night Vision. Pest Control – Rats in Cheshire

For tracking down pests in the dark a night vision camera is a must. When darkness falls pests can be much harder to see with the naked eye. However, by using a night vision camera you can easily scan the area and spot a subject up to 100m away.

Pest control – Rats in Cheshire – Rat behaviour and biology

The Brown Rat (Rattus Norvegicus) 

Pest Control – Rats in Cheshire. The Brown Rat, Norway or Sewer Rat, is a clever, aggressive and extremely adaptable mammal.

This type of rat arrived in this country in the 1700’s via trade ships from the Orient. They now thrive throughout the built environment. The Norway Rat exists successfully alongside the human population throughout the UK and especially in rural-urban fringe areas like those found in Cheshire .

Rats construct nests in burrow systems. They can utilise man made underground tunnel systems and sewers.

When food sources are abundant the range of the Brown rat has a small radius. The rat is omnivorous and will feed on human foods and waste, as well as their natural food sources which include insects, snails and plants.

The mature adult rats demonstrate neophobic behaviour (an extreme dislike of the unfamiliar). The rats will avoid traps, bait stations and bait containers. Moreover, they even avoid new foods that suddenly appear in their environment.

Pest control in Cheshire. Identification of the Brown Rat

A relatively large rat, the Brown Rat has course brown fur on its upper body with light to dark grey fur covering its under belly. The Brown Rat weighs between 300-400g. The average adult measures 41cm from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail.

The Brown Rat has a long almost hairless tail which is shorter than its body. In contrast, the tail of the Black Rat is longer than its body. Thus allowing the technicians to quickly identify the species.

Life cycle of the Brown Rat

The reproductive peaks of the Brown Rat occur throughout the Spring and during the Autumn. However, our homes and businesses provide the perfect environment and ideal conditions for breeding to occur all year round. Conversely, colonies that are established outdoors will see a significant decrease in breeding during cold winters and hot summers.

After mating and a gestation period of about 22 days, the female rat produces on average litter sizes of between 8-10 pups. On occasion, larger litters of up to twelve pups can be produced. The young are hairless and blind at birth. As a result, the female rat tends to her young for a period of about nine to fourteen days before their eyes open. Once weaned, after ten to fifteen days, the young rats begin to take short exploratory trips out of the nest. They learn from their mother through imitation. As they discover their surroundings the young rats memorise pathways to food sources, hiding places and burrow entrances. The young rats reach sexual maturity in eight to twelve weeks.

Female rats can come into heat every four to five days and mate within days of a litter being born. Although litter sizes depend highly on the availability of food sources and other key factors, the female can ultimately wean more than twenty offspring if she survives for a year or more. However, wild rats living in our towns and cities normally only live between five and twelve months. Conversely, rats in captivity have an average lifespan of between three and four years.

The Black Rat/Roof Rat (Rattus Rattus)

Pest Control – Rats in Cheshire. The Black Rat was once the dominant rat species in the UK especially in coastal cities and ports. Upon the arrival of the Brown/Norway Rat, Black Rat populations plummeted whilst Brown Rat populations grew rapidly.

Although the population of Black Rats is lower today, they can still be found in and around UK coastal settlements. consider the Black Rat to be a serious pest. As the name suggests, the ‘Roof Rat’ prefers to dwell in and around the upper reaches of industrial and residential buildings. The Black Rat is primarily nocturnal. This animal is sleek, agile and an extremely efficient climber. The Black Rat can navigate overhead wires and ledges can often go unnoticed for long periods due to its and elusive nature. The Black Rat is also known to frequent loft spaces in coastal urban areas.

Black rats travel in order to establish nests among bushes, trees and other thick vegetation. They live equally successful in the built environment and in nature, feeding on slugs, insects, wild fruits and plant materials. However, the the constant food source offered by humans is the more attractive option for rats.

The Black Rat is a highly intelligent creature with neophobic tendencies. It is considered to be more intelligent than the Brown Rat, and it has been observed avoiding baits, bait stations and traps.

Pest Control in Cheshire. Identification of the Black Rat

The Black Rat has typically black to tawny brown fur covering its upper body and lighter fur covering its underbelly and weighs in between 150-250g. The average adult measures about 41cm in total length from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail. This is approximately the same length as the Brown Rat. However, the Black Rat’s tail, measuring about 11cm, is longer than its body, whereas compared with the Brown Rat whose tail is shorter than its body. The Brown Rat also has shorter ears and a blunt snout.

Life cycle of the Black Rat

As with the Brown Rat, the Black Rats’ success and reproductive potential is highly dependent on available food sources and shelter.

Slightly less prolific than the Brown Rat, the female Black Rat can produce 3- 4 litters with an average of four to eight pups per litter. After a period of about 4-5 weeks, the young Black Rats will forage outside of the nest, and they are sexually mature in approximately 12 weeks. Breeding peaks are much the same as the Brown Rat, occurring in the Spring and Autumn, and again, as with the Brown Rat, under good conditions Black Rats will breed all year round. Adults live between five months to one and a half years.

Pest control in Cheshire – Rat Infestation

Pest Control – Rats in Cheshire. It is much easier to keep rats out, than to get rid of them once they have moved in. But, taking the following steps will help control rats once they have entered your Cheshire home. It’s a three-step approach.

Rat Control in your Cheshire home: Three Step Plan

Firstly, don’t feed rats. Limit their food source by placing rubbish in covered metal or heavy duty plastic containers. The heavy duty plastic bins on wheels are resistant to rats’ chewing, as are metal cans. Fix plumbing leaks to cut off their water source. Keep the house and garden neat and clean. Remove uneaten pet foods. Don’t fill up your bird feeder. Clean up food spills. Store food in rat-resistant containers and avoid storing food in basements.

Secondly, remove the rats’ shelter. Indoors, replace wooden basement floors with poured concrete. Place storage racks at a height of 18 inches above the floor. Move appliances, sinks and cabinets so they are flush against the wall or out far enough that you can clean behind them. Outdoors, restrict their shelter by rat-proofing all buildings in the area and removing outside shelters like appliances, rubbish piles, old fences and walls. Keep the property, including alleys and gardens, clean and rubbish-free. Pile wood and other stored items at least 18 inches above the ground and away from the walls. Clean out the area behind wooden steps, especially those leading into the house.

Thirdly, keep the rats out. Put in self-closing doors that open outward, and use latches or spring locks to keep doors closed. Check to see that doors and windows close tightly. Use metal screens on all open windows. Protect basement windows with a 1/2 inch wire mesh. Use sheet metal to cover the edges of doors, windows and screens. Make a collar around pipe and wire openings into the house with pieces of sheet metal. Rats cannot easily gnaw through metal. Fasten floor drains tightly to keep sewer rats from coming in.

Controlling rats in Cheshire – Time to call the experts

Your local Cheshire Pest Control team will provide you with a full site survey. Our technicians will identify the level of pest activity around your property. All our pest control treatments are safe for you and your family. Waiting and watching can only lead to things getting worse. In fact, hiring is one of the smartest things you can do to prevent further problems. It’s the one pest control company whose services stand out from the others. Hiring pest control services from, at the first sign of trouble, could be one of the perceptive things that you could do. Successfully tackle rat control by contacting the experts at