I have discussed our problem with rats here before. Recently, there was a lot of activity under the floorboards (scratching, gnawing, etc) on top of the stench that often became intolerable. Luckily all our surfaces are well sealed as we did a renovation a few years ago; so the rats could not come up in the living areas. Through an access hatch to the fuse board, I can access under the floorboards. I kept setting traps and I couldn’t catch them fast enough. I caught 13 during summer; once two in one go!
I did some good reading on the internet and believe me; there are some real horror stories!
There are plenty of ”pest experts” who normally come over and put poison and traps; which I evidently can do even better! I came across a company called Pestology whose approach seemed completely different. Reading on their website, they seemed to focus on the source of the issue. I always thought that the rats came from the holes that they would have dug in the adjoining walls.
I rang Pestology and spoke to them. They believed that it was very unlikely that they would come from the neighbouring properties as the walls are solid with deep enough foundation to stop them. Instead, they were most certain that they were coming through the sewage pipes. I booked a survey with them. On the survey day, upon entering the property the surveyor confirmed the smell of live rats and not dead ones unlike what I thought! He then put a camera through the main manhole in the back garden which showed the connections from gullies and the new toilet that we had built under the staircase. He then put his camera down the soil pipe of the said toilet and there it was right in front of the camera a rat in the pipe. The rat then left the pipe through a hole that it had gnawed on the top of the pipe. The hole in the pipe leads to the space under the floorboards (crawlspace). The surveyor recorded all of this plus he took lots of photos of everything including where they could possibly emerge to the surface.
They sent me a report showing the problem together with their proposed solution which was to expose the connection between the downstairs toilet and the main sewage pipe; install a 30cm inspection chamber and reconnect through it and put a double flap serrated one-way valve. This valve lets the rats to leave but not to return. They put another bigger valve in the main manhole to stop them taking an alternative route. They also installed anti-climb pins in all surface water downpipes to stop them possibly crawling up to the top floors. They reinstated all patio paving nicely and professionally. They then checked under all kitchen units, fireplaces, around all pipes, etc and wherever there was a gap, they shoved in very tough steel mesh and silicone to stop them possibly coming to the surface.
Since the work has been completed we have not heard any activities and the stench has gone too.
Hopefully rat problem is a thing of past now!
My neighbour has the same problem. Do you remember what Pestology charged?
They charge £125 for the survey and then rest depends on what work is required.
I should say that's money well spent! Amazingly thorough work from Pestology!
The clever rats will find their way back in. They love a challenge. Proper survivors.
'I have discussed our problems with rats here before.'
I had no idea that HOL has an intelligent rat membership.
I am so glad for you that you have resolved it. My parents' had this problem too and that turned out to be old cracked pipes. This was replaced and they had this valved installed on the sewage pipe and since then they have had no problem. This is several years ago so fingers x for you.
Thanks Charlotte :)
Thanks for posting this. My mum has had them between ceiling and upstairs floor, and no one has been able to find how they get in. Maybe it’s the upstairs en suite. Will suggest this valve.
Wow that's amazing
A friend suggested I look on here and I'm very grateful for this post. We have the exact same problem and I'm at the end of my tether with it. I have an appt with Pestology next week and I can't wait!