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The 6 Types of Mice in the UK

The 6 Types of Mice in the UK

In the UK, there are currently six different mouse species, five of which are native and one (dormouse) being accidentally introduced in the early 20th century.

Whether you have spotted a mouse in your house or commercial property or you’re simply curious about the different mice types, we have created an all you need to know guide on the different types of mice found in the UK.

House mouse (Mus musculus)

Arguably the most common type of mouse found in both residential and commercial properties. This is because house mice enjoy living near us and around us. House mice are, for the most part, harmless but in large numbers, they can cause structural and hygiene problems, especially for businesses.

How to identify a house mouse

House mice are the most basic type of mouse and can be characterised by the following features:

  • Colour: light brown with a lighter belly
  • Lifespan: about one year in the wild
  • Size: between 8 – 12cm (their size does not differ whether its a female mouse or a male mouse)
  • Distinctive features: large circular ears and a strong smell (see our guide on mice smells for more information on this)

What do house mice eat?

House mice rely on a diet of nuts and sometimes small insects. They also enjoy cereal and anything with a high sugar count.

What are they like?

House mice are nocturnal creatures that prefer to source food and shelter in the night and rarely come into contact with humans during daytime. They like living with us mainly due to the food and shelter we provide. However, mice are notorious bacteria transmitters and while one house mouse may not cause huge problems, a nest can. If you discover a nest in your property, be sure to contact AMES Group or read our article on the best ways to get rid of mice.

Field mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus)

The field mouse, as its name suggests, takes up its residence in fields across the UK but can find their way into our homes and properties.

How to identify a field mouse

Colour: may be a slightly darker brown with a white belly

Lifespan: about a year in the wild

Size: slightly smaller than the average house mouse, about 8 – 10cm

Distinctive features: large back feet, does not smell as bad as house mice and very shy

What do field mice eat?

Similar to house mice, field mice base their diet on nuts and seeds foraged from the fields where they live.

What are they like?

Field mice are very timid and are rarely seen in the daylight. They are fast on their feed and can jump high thanks to their powerful back legs. Most of their nests are created underground in burrows, and it’s not uncommon for a field mouse to create a nest in your garden.

They are also responsible for helping plant seeds to help the growth of new trees. Their main predators are owls, falcons and other large birds.

Harvest mouse (Micromys minutus)

Harvest mice are the smallest mouse on our UK mouse list and dwell in fields and grassy areas.

How to identify a harvest mouse

Colour: light brown or even orange

Lifespan: 8-12 months in the wild

Size: by far the smallest mouse in the UK, with a size of approximately 6cm

Distinctive features: its small frame, blunt nose and a tail as long as its body

What do harvest mice eat?

Harvest mice will eat anything from vegetation and fruit to small insects found in grassy areas

What are they like?

Harvest are less common to appear in our homes and properties because they’re happy to nest in grassy areas and fields. They are nocturnal and prefer quieter surroundings. 

Yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis)

As their name suggests, yellow-necked mice have a distinct yellow band around its neck.

How to identify a yellow-necked mouse

Colour: yellow neck with a greyish-brown fur coat

Lifespan: about a year in the wild

Size: typically slightly larger than your average field/wood mouse

Distinctive features: its yellow neck is the only distinguishable factor when comparing it to a field mouse, other than that, they share many of the same features

What do yellow-necked mice eat?

Similar to the above, yellow-necked mice will eat nuts, seeds and small insects, but they also enjoy sugary foods such as cereal.

What are they like?

Yellow-necked mice are shy and timid by nature and will only source food at night. They predominantly inhabit outside grassy areas but can find their way into our homes and properties if food and shelter is easily accessible.


Differences between mice and other similar animals

Mice can be difficult to identify to anyone who is not a pest control expert, so we have compiled a few of the most commonly asked questions regarding identifying mice below:

  • What is the difference between a mouse and a vole?

Voles have shorter tails than mice and are usually wider and more stout. Voles also prefer to remain underground and are not commonly found in our homes, unless brought in by a predator like a cat.

  • What is the difference between a shrew and a mouse?

Again, shrews are usually smaller than mice with a pointed nose and prefer burrowing underground as opposed to living with humans. Shrews are also not considered rodents, instead, shrews are Eulipothphla, meaning they predominantly eat insects. Other Eulipotpgla include hedgehogs and moles.

  • What is the difference between a mole and a mouse?

Moles are stout creatures that are usually black or very dark brown in colour and have pink noses and claws. Both their ears and eyes are so small it’s difficult to spot them on first glance.


Struggling to identify a mouse?

If you have spotted a mouse or multiple mice in your property, it may be the sign of an early infestation. For this, you can try laying traps to catch the mice before the problem escalates. We have our own article on the best ways to trap and eliminate mice which you may find useful. 

Failing that, if traps aren’t working or you have a mouse problem in a commercial property, you may need professional assistance.

Call AMES Group today and we’ll have a mouse technician out to inspect your property in under 24 hours.

Rat bait: Snap traps, stations or boxes and the best baits to trap and control rats

What you need to know about rat baits in boxes or traps

Rats are dangerous. They spread disease to people and other animals and can also cause damage to property. The best way to trap or kill rats is by using the best kind of bait. Effective baiting methods can attract rats and control an infestation.

Rat bait and rat control methods go hand in hand. By pairing them together it is possible to clear an infestation. There is also an element of prevention to rat bait and control methods, which is the best way to stop problems with rodents before they become unmanageable.

rat in the house

The main types of rodent control methods that use bait include snap traps and rat bait stations, or boxes. The best bait depends on the method a person is using. Common types of bait include the following:

  • rodenticides, which use chemicals such as warfarin or bromadiolone
  • cheese
  • cooked or raw meats
  • nest materials, such as cotton or string

An irresistible rat bait is a strong first step. However, the most effective solution depends on conditions including weather or climate and the individual nature of the problem. The scale is an issue too. Our services are available to both commercial and domestic clients, some of which have very large problems.

A common type of rat bait is a cheese for a snap trap or a poison bait block, which will target species of rat and mouse entering a rat box. It is important to avoid any hesitation as the problem can worsen.

Many people find it intimidating to deal with rats, which is why we offer a professional service to take on the problem. People need to call 0330 404 1497 for a quote or a rapid response. The can also contact us directly by emailing info@amesgroup.uk.com.

Each type of rat trap will carry its own individual benefits. The best baiting methods will depend on each individual situation.

Rat bait boxes

A rat bait station, or box, is a popular and effective method of rodent control. They look like a small plastic box, similar to a shoebox in size, and open at the top. On the side of the box is a small hole for the rodents to enter.

Many types of rat and mouse control rely on bait stations because they are simple to use. There are industrial and homemade rat bait stations. It is possible to purchase prefilled stations, which removes the requirement of adding bait.

The chief benefits of a bait station or box include the following:

  • Feeding time: If a rodent feeds on the bait for a longer period it is more likely to be effective. The cosy box shape of a rat bait station makes rodents feel instinctively safer than bait out in the open, so they are more likely to feed longer.
  • Bait storage: When the bait is in a box it has a shield from the weather, This helps to make sure the rat bait attracts rats over a longer period. Outside the bait can degrade more easily and become less effective, which means replacing the bait more frequently.
  • Containment: The box only allows small rodents to enter it, so the bait is able to target species of rodent without affecting any other types of animal. The boxes are usually very strong too, so bigger animals will be unable to break into the station and access the bait.

Overall a bait station offers a very simple and effective way to control rats. They are usually very cost-effective as they have a long lifespan. People can easily check whether rats are eating the bait by opening the box.

Drawbacks of rat bait stations

If a rodent is already feeding itself, it may not necessarily seek out bait in a rat station in favour of a more reliable source of food. People can check if rats are entering the box by checking bait levels, but there is no guarantee.

Some bait boxes will not be effective for certain types of rat, as they may be picky about the bait. Some rat bait stations can also be fairly expensive. They may also be annoying to open in some cases, with certain designs requiring keys.

Snap traps

A snap trap is one of the most simple and robust methods of rodent control. The best bait for traps depends on circumstances such as weather conditions. When people find a site where rodents appear, placing a snap trap can help catch them in that area.

Snap traps are a popular form of rodent control as they work with a variety of bait. They are a very old form of rodent control, with the classic imagery of cheese on a spring-based trap dating back to the 1800s. Some traps kill the rats while others merely capture them.

The main benefits of snap traps include the following:

  • Affordability: Bait stations usually use expensive poison-based baits. A snap trap will provide an opportunity to use cheap baits such as cheese or meat. These baits are usable in a snap trap because trapping or killing the rodent in a specific location is the goal. It’s also simple to reset traps after using them.
  • Location-specific: Not only does the snap trap allow for trapping in a specific location, so a rat does not die in an area that is difficult to access, but they are also easily placeable in different locations. This is beneficial when someone has specific problem areas where rodents tend to congregate.
  • Safety: While a rat or mouse may be in danger, pets and children will have no risk. Conversely, poison baits may harm pets or other animals that unwittingly consume it, and children can be curious or stumble across poison bait by accident.

Using poison baits is effective, but they degrade over time. The snap trap kills or captures the rat instantly, whereas poisons take some time to become effective. They are cheap, effective and fast, so snap traps are a popular and reliable choice.

Drawbacks of snap traps

Snap traps require regular checking, so they are not as low-maintenance as other types of rodent control.

Lethal snap traps can also be unsightly to find once a rat activates it, with a potentially upsetting experience for people who are not familiar with such a sight. Some people consider such traps to be inhumane, although any lethality is usually instant.

While largely harmless, there is a small risk of a very strong snap trap potentially breaking a child’s finger or harming a pet. People can mitigate this risk by placing traps out of reach.

Rat bait solutions for domestic and commercial settings

Rats and other pests can be extremely challenging to deal with, and recurring infestations can be disheartening and frustrating. As a result, it’s important to get it right. If people would like to know more about different types of bait, they can see our blog post here

People need to call a reactive and responsive pest control provider to ensure they handle their problems right away.

The Definitive Guide to Types of Rat in the UK and Abroad

The Definitive Guide to Types of Rat in the UK and Abroad

Rats are one the most common rodents in the UK, with the rodents outnumbering us by about six to one. Most rats live on farms or in large open fields scattered across the UK, but rats have no trouble finding their ways into our home in search of shelter, warmth and food.

The UK is home to a number of different rat types of rat and we will be exploring rats from both the UK and across the globe. There are several types of rat species scattered across the continent and our team has provided a fully comprehensive guide on every type of rat currently known.

A Guide to All Types of Rat 

We have separated the different types of rat by continent to make it easier to identify which type of rat you may have encountered.

Types of the Rat in the UK

Brown Rat

  • Also known as – Norway rat, house rat, garden rat, sewer rat, domestic rat, Hanover rat, common rat, roof rat, rattus norvegicus
  • In the UK? – Yes
  • Lifespan – Two years
  • Size – 21 – 24 days
brown rat in loft

Widely known as the most common rat in the UK, the brown rat is home to all parts of the UK but is most commonly found in fields and farms. Brown rats have a gestation period of 21-24 days and live for approximately two years in the wild. Domestic rats, which are effectively brown rats that have become domesticated, will live longer as pets. They are also known as ‘fancy rats’.

Black rat

  • Also known as – Roof rats, port rats
  • In the UK? – Yes
  • Lifespan – About a year in the wild
  • Size – 30 to 45 cm and up to 240 grams
black rat

Black rats are common in the UK but only in certain areas. Black rats prefer to inhabit ports and seaside areas. Adept swimmers, black rats are able to swim up canals and infiltrate properties through drainways and sewage pipes. They are notorious spreaders of bacteria and disease, notably the bubonic plague.

Giant rat

  • Also known as – Large brown rats
  • In the UK? – Yes
  • Lifespan – About two years
  • Size – sizes recorded up to 1.3m

Giant rats are simply mutated brown or black rats that have overgrown. Giant rats are not a specific rat type but can become dangerous simply due to their size. If you find a giant rat, it is essential you call a pest control company to ensure it is safely removed from the premises. Standard traps will not work against giant rats.

Naked Mole Rat

  • Also known as – Naked rats, bald rats, hairless rats
  • In the UK? – Yes
  • Lifespan – Up to 30 years
  • Size – 3 – 10 inches

Naked mole rats are easy to spot and are characterised by their naked, hairless bodies that resemble a shaved rat. They are almost pink in colour and live far underground in colonies. Rarely do they ever surface except to gather food for the queen naked mole rat.

Water rat

  • Also known as – Water vole
  • In the UK? – Yes
  • Lifespan – 5 months in the wild, two years in captivity
  • Size – 20cm long

Water rats are chunky in physique, are usually dark brown in colour and have very small tails. They are smaller than the UK brown rat but maintain a similar diet of seeds, vegetation and insects. As their name suggests, they live near lakes, ravines and ponds along urban waterways.

White rat

  • Also known as – Lab rat, laboratory rat, white-haired rat
  • In the UK? – Yes
  • Lifespan – 2 to 3 years
  • Size – 20cm long
white rat

White rats are commonly used in research and they are typically bred for psychology and biomedical science. They are commonly used in water experiments, namely the Morris water navigation test which is used to determine memory. There are several white rats used for scientific experiments, a definitive list can be found on Wikipedia.

Australian Rats

Long-haired rat

  • Also known as – Long-haired rat
  • In the UK? – No
  • Lifespan – About a year in the wild
  • Size – 10 to 20cm and approximately 230g (fully grown)

Native to Australia, the long-haired rat is one of the only rats that does not carry disease and does not smell. It is not similar to rats in the UK as it is not a commensal rodent (meaning it does not like living between humans), instead, it keeps to itself, burrowing underground and living in large open fields and landscapes.

North America Rats

Kangaroo rat

  • Also known as – Merriam’s kangaroo rat
  • In the UK? – No
  • Lifespan – 2 – 5 years
  • Size – 8 – 14cm with a tail up to 16cm long

Kangaroo rats are native to North America and can survive without ever drinking water. perfectly suited to hotter climates, kangaroo rats are able to source all the water they need from their diet of seeds. They have exceptional hearing which makes them adept at avoiding prey such as snakes and larger rodents.

Extinct rats

Bulldog rat

This rat type was native to Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. Bulldog rats inhabited hilly areas and made their nests underground like most other nests. However, their nests were buried deeper into the ground as they had a severe problem with sunlight and in some cases, direct contact would blind them. They were large rats with about 2cm of fat on their back.

Their extinction is thought to have been brought on by sailors who contracted the bubonic plague. Although unintentional, the plagued sailors were the reason why bulldog rats died out in 1908.

For more information on rats

If you require more information on rats in the UK, such as the best traps to use, where to locate rats and the best bait types, we have a variety of articles dedicated to these themes in our blog. 

This article is constantly updated, so keep a look out for more rat profiles in the future.

If you are suffering from a rat or mouse infestation in a commercial property, we can provide fast, effective and humane pest control solutions at affordable rates across the Midlands.

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Seen any of these types of rat? or a different one? let us know in the comments below..

The 10 Best Baits for Mice Traps and Stations

The 10 Best Baits for Mice Traps and Stations

Mice are among the most common domestic and commercial pests in the UK, with the house mouse population thought to be over 5.4 million. While mice pose no threat to us and are far less likely to cause the same amount of problems as rats, they are still pests and can multiply quickly if they become comfortable in your home. 

At AMES Group, we’ve been humanely removing and deterring mice from domestic and commercial properties for very 35 years and have trialled a variety of traps, deterrents and baits to qualify their usefulness. 

In this article, we will be looking at some of the best baits on the market that lure mice out of their nests so you are able to catch and remove them from your property. All baits are humane as well as all trapping methods we suggest.

The 7 Best Mouse Trap Baits

  1. Peanut butter – ideal for both rats and mice, peanut butter is the perfect blend of high fat and sugar and mice are able to smell this from far away.

Seeds are the main part of a mouse’s natural diet, but this is not the best type of bait in homes. Instead, try using foods that are high in fat, sugar or both. This includes:

  1. Cooked or raw meats – cut up bits of hot dog work well as mouse bait. If you’re using snap traps, you can push the soft meat onto the trap to ensure the mouse has to apply pressure to the food in order for it to move; in turn, releasing the trap.
  1. Cheese – cheese has always worked well as mouse bait. If you are going to use cheese, try to choose one that smells, as it will have a further reach than other types.

  1. Marshmallows/gum drops – sweets will always work well as mice bait due to their high sugar count. Sweets are inexpensive and one or two should do the trick.

  1. Chocolate – in the same vein as sweets, mice also love chocolate. Small bits of chocolate attached to the trap or inside it (if it’s a live trap) will be enough to lure the mouse inside.

  1. Pet food – wet dog or cat food has been proven to work on mice. As it’s often left out in the evening after feeding your pets, mice commonly snack on it under the cover of darkness

  1. Nest materials – slightly more unorthodox but proven to be effective, instead of food, place nesting materials on/in the trap. Mice are always looking for materials to build their nest and the easier they are to source, the more likely the mice will approach. 

Examples are:

  • Dental floss
  • Cotton balls
  • String
  • Bits of carpet

Top tip: do not contaminate the bait with your hands! Mice have a good sense of smell and will be able to detect your scent on a trap or the bait on the trap. This will make them think twice about approaching the bait as they will link your scent to danger. To tackle this, wear glasses and ensure the trap is placed well away 

What to Do When Baits Don’t Work

There are scenarios where the bait you are using may be proving ineffective. There are a few reasons this may be happening, either the mouse simply doesn’t like that type of bait or they have grown used to that food source and are not interested in exploring it further.

Here are a few solutions to consider:

  1. Switch the bait – simple, if the mouse doesn’t take the bait, replace it with something new.
  2. Switch the trap – mice are intelligent creatures and some will be able to recognise a trap and therefore try to remove the bait without getting caught (this is more common in snap traps). If your trap has been out for a few days or a week with no results, try switching the trap. If you’re using snap traps, try using live traps, for example. 
  3. Change the location of the trap – trap placement is essential when baiting mice, so be sure that it’s placed in an area of high activity or at entry points. If it’s not working, try moving the trap to another area where you believe the mouse has visited. We have an article on the best ways to identify rat presence which is just as helpful for spotting mice, take a look here.
  4. The bait is gone but so is the mouse – this is not an uncommon problem, as stated previously, mice are fairly intelligent and can recognise traps and will try and dislodge the bait to avoid getting caught. If this has happened, try testing the trigger of the trap to ensure it works. If the bait does not fit securely on the lever, try switching the pait to something that the mouse will struggle to tear off, such as peanut butter, soft cheese or chocolate.
  5. Buy a trap with sensitive sensors – some mice (especially babies) are very light and their weight may not be enough to trigger standard snap traps. In this case, you will need to buy a trap with a sensitive trigger to counteract the weight of smaller mice. Electric mouse traps are more sensitive than classic snap traps

Still Having Mouse Problems?

Mouse traps and bait work very well when you have a small number of mice in your house. However, if you are struggling with mice in a larger domestic property, traps may be harder to place due to the size of the area. Additionally, if you have a mouse infestation, it is likely you will require professional intervention. 

In this case, you can contact AMES Group for professional, humane and swift removal of mice in commercial properties. 

Is your mouse bait not working? contact AMES today for a FREE no-obligation quote!

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Signs of Rats in The House: How to Spot and Remove Rats

Signs of Rats in The House: How to Spot and Remove Rats Fast

Noticing signs of rats in your domestic or commercial property is never good. It only takes a few rats to cause an infestation, as they are able to produce up to six litters a year with approximately eight rats per litter.

AMES Group provide a fully comprehensive mouse and rat removal service and work to help customers across the Midlands identify telltale signs of rats and what they can do to remove and deter further infestations. After you have spoken to our team, you can rest assured that your rat and mouse problem will be swiftly dealt with.

Let’s look at the most common signs of rats in houses before you make the call.

The 7 Telltale Signs of Rats 

Although rats are nocturnal creatures and can be difficult to spot in broad daylight, there are some simple signs to look out for.

Rat droppings – the most noticeable sign of a rat problem is by the droppings they leave and they can be found anywhere in the home. In most cases, rat droppings are located near the nest site. However both brown and black rats poop while moving, so rat droppings can also be found in trails. They are small, spindle-shaped droppings and closely resemble rice grains.

Grease and rub marks – rats are not hygienic animals and are often covered in dirt and grease and this can leave smudge and grease marks across walls, floorboards and sometimes ceilings. 

Chewed areas – rats need to wear down their teeth in order to stop them growing and they will gnaw on almost anything to help them achieve this. Most notably, you will find gnaw marks on wooden furniture, sills, wires and other items around the house.

Nests – it’s unlikely that you will discover a rat nest on a plain site as they are nocturnal animals and prefer the comfort of shadows to raise their young. However, rats use a variety of home-based materials to make their nests, these may include:

  • Bits of carpet
  • Wood chippings
  • Twigs and garden debris (brought in from outside)
  • Bits of insulation

Rat burrows – although this is not a problem for rats in the house, they can create burrows outside in your garden. If they do nest in your garden, it can be difficult to catch and eliminate them as some burrows can be difficult to detect.

Footprints – in some cases, you may be able to notice rat footprints in your house. If the area has been desolate for some time, maybe it’s a vacant property or a rarely visited attic, dust will collect and rat footprints will be clearly visible.

Where to Look for Rats

Rats are always on the move in search of food sources, nest location/relocation and they are naturally adventurous and are curious by nature. This means that they can be spotted almost anywhere in the home, but this is far more likely at nighttime as they are nocturnal.

The type of rat(s) you have depends on where they will reside or travel through and we will discuss rat types in the next section. In most cases, both black and brown rats can be found in the following areas:

  • Attics, lofts and high-up areas – some rats are adept climbers and find comfort creating nests in quiet, high-up areas. They are difficult to reach and the only way you may notice them is if you inspect the area or hear scuttling across rooflinings and loft floorboards at night.
  • Kitchens – rats will nest anywhere there are gaps or cubby holes in your kitchen. They are able to squeeze through spaces more than half their size, so if there is an open cable from your garden to your house, a rat will have no problem entering it. You might be surprised to know that rats also enjoy making nests behind ovens. The reason for this is because the warmth from the oven provides a perfect nesting space for the rat litter. 
  • Miscellaneous – rats will nest and burrow anywhere they can. As mentioned previously, rats are able to squeeze into very tight areas and will have no trouble finding their way into awkward spaces. 

What Type of Rats Live Where?

Knowing what type of rat you are dealing with will help you lay the appropriate traps in the right places. We only have two rat species that are native to the UK; the brown rat and the black rat. 

Brown rats are commonly found in both domestic and commercial properties, and are keen burrowers. They will have no problem creating nests outside of your property and burrowing their way into your house. This is why it’s important to seal and cracks and gaps in the exterior walls. They are also adept at squeezing through tiny spaces and enjoy making nests in the warmth of domestic and residential properties.

Black rats are far less common and are not often found in rural areas, if ever. Black rats are usually found in seaside towns or pots and are very strong swimmers. Rats are ‘commensal rodents’, which means they enjoy living within human proximity – this is why they are found in our gardens, fields and homes.

Where they Reside in Your House

Rats can also be identified by the locations where they reside. Most rats that inhabit our houses are brown rats, but it is not unheard of for black rats to infiltrate properties, especially if they are located near a port.

Roof rat – as their name suggests, roof rats prefer to inhabit and nest in high-up places, away from ground level. You can find roof rats making nests inside walls, ceilings, lofts and attics. When laying traps, be sure to look out for the telltale signs of rats, such as droppings in the attic, gnaw and scratch marks and noises from above in the night. Traps should be place in safe areas inside the attic or where droppings were discover.

Norway rat – Norway rats prefer to nest on the ground and rarely come out in the day. Telltale signs include droppings on the floor, gnaw and scratch marks on skirting boards and sometimes in cupboards, as well as ripped and chewed up carpet. Norway rats make their nests on the ground and can be found anywhere in the house. In most cases, their nests will be located inside walls, behind furniture and underneath floorboards. Traps should be placed at the nest site or where you found the droppings.

To learn how to get rid of rats from your home, please visit our article on how to get rid of rats.

Do You Have a Rat or Mouse Problem?

While a one or two rats may not seem like a major problem, leaving them to nest and gain confidence in your property will cause serious infestations in the future. Rats make 5-10 litters every year and those litters can create up to 12 babies, and that’s just one rat.

Buy traps, place them in safe locations away from children and pets and remove the rat when it has been caught. If you have a severe infestation in your domestic or commercial property, professional intervention will be required. 

Seen a rat in your house? contact us today for a FREE no-obligation quote!

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How to Remove Rats in Your Loft | Fast & Simple Rat Removal Tips

How to Remove Rats in Your Loft: Fast & Simple Rat Removal Tips

Rats are known as ‘commensal rodents’, which means they enjoy living around humans and watching our day-to-day activities. They are very comfortable living between us and the longer they are left to nest, the more problematic they become. Our lofts and attics make for great nesting and breeding places for rats as they are dark, quiet and often well-insulated. 

Most rats are adept climbers, so they will have no problem climbing up walls and through pipelines to enter your loft.

Why is this a problem?

Rats are able to produce up to eight litters a year and each litter can contain up to 10 babies. That means two rats can swiftly become 20 and that’s when you will require professional rat control intervention.

However, there are some fast and easy ways to get rid of rats in your loft before they become a serious problem. We’ve outlined a step by step guide to identifying and swiftly and humanely removing rats from your loft.

Step 1 – Identifying the Rats

Before you start laying traps, it’s important to identify the rat you’re dealing with in order to select the best trap and appropriate location. There are two rats native to the UK, they are:

The brown rat – far more likely to be found in lofts as opposed to black rats. Brown rats are larger than black rats, have shorter tails, a blunted snout and are commonly found in fields and gardens.

The black rat – less common than the brown rat, black rats are typically found in seaside towns and near ports. Both rats are adept swimmers but black rats are adept and will have no problem climbing and swimming through drainways to infiltrate properties. Black rats are smaller, have a pointed nose and long tails.

Step 2 – Sign of Rats in the Loft

As rats are nocturnal animals, it is often very difficult to spot them in broad daylight, let alone catch them. They do however, leave tracks to help us identify areas they have been. There are a few key clues to look out for.

rat dropping in loft
Rodents droppings in an attic after exterminator removed insulation, exposing infestation
  • Rat droppings – when you go to inspect your loft, look out for rat droppings in the corners of the room and other dark places where rats may like to nest. Droppings resemble brown rice grains and can be found anywhere. Rats poop on the move, so it’s not uncommon for you to discover droppings all across your loft or attic. 
  • Noises in the loft – rats are most active at night and you may hear them scuttling around the loft or in the ceilings late at night. 
  • Gnawing – rats like to grind their teeth on woods and plastics, so be sure to look out for gnaw marks on sills and skirting boards in your loft. Rats are also able to chew through wires, so watch out for this.
  • Smudge marks – rats are notoriously unhygienic creatures and pick up dirt as they travel through fields, sewers and pipelines. As they prefer to keep to the shadows and hug walls as they travel, it’s easy to spot smudge marks and smears along skirting boards. Look out for these marks both inside and outside of your attic or loft.
  • Rat nests – slightly more difficult to look out for as rats usually bury their nests outside as they are less likely to be detected underground. However, it’s unheard of to find a nest in a domestic or commercial property, especially if the area is high up and out of reach from humans. Look out for garden debris, wood chippings and torn up carpet, as these are common materials used for nest building. 
  • Rat footprints – easy to spot in lofts, attics and high-up areas where dust has gathered and footprints can be easily seen. 

Step 3 – Using Rat Traps in Lofts

Fortunately, there are a number of traps and deterrents you can use to eliminate the threat of rats and stop them from returning to your loft. The majority of all rat traps can be effective in trapping and killing rats, but what’s equally, if not more important is trap placement.

  • Snap traps – the most common rat trap, snap traps are used to catch rats and kill them instantly. They work by luring the rat onto a pressure lever (usually baited by peanut butter or something sweet) and upon contact with the lever, it clamps shut, killing the rat. 

Placement – be sure to place the snap trap at the suspected nest site or travel route of the rat. If your attic or loft is dark, place the trap somewhere safe so you don’t walk into it.

  • Live traps – live traps spark a rats natural curiosity into exploring a trap that appears like a nesting location. The rat enters one way and is then trapped, as it cannot exist where it entered. These traps are great for humanely catching rats and relocating them after capture.

Placement – with no risk of children or pets becoming harmed, live traps can be placed anywhere in the loft. It’s a good idea to place it near the suspected nest site of the rat, or around locations where droppings have been sighted.

The Solution

Any of the above should help you successfully identify, catch and safely remove rats from your loft. There are other traps, such as glue traps, but this trap in particular has been deemed somewhat ineffective due to the boards not being strong enough to detain the rat.

If you find that the function is growing larger or traps are failing to work, please contact our professional pest control team for further information.


FAQs

Are rats in the loft common?

Rats prefer attics and lofts because they suit their nesting requirements; dark, quiet and rarely disturbed. Infestations can happen swiftly if the area is not routinely used for inspection.

What do rats in attic sound like?

You should be able to hear scratching and scuttle across the floorboards of your loft. Sometimes, the rats may find their way into the walls and floorboards below the attic, as they are able to squeeze into very tight areas.

Are rats in the attic dangerous?

All rats are dangerous because they are natural harvesters of bacteria and disease. Rats can cause severe health problems to both pets and humans, especially if either are bitten or ingest rat faeces, urine or a droppings. 

Do rats make nests in lofts?

Yes, rats prefer to make nests in lofts because of the quieter surroundings and dark corners.

Hear rats in your loft? Contact us today for a FREE no-obligation quote!

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How to Kill Rats: Fast & Humane Rat Removal Solutions

How to Kill Rats: Fast & Humane Rat Removal Solutions

AMES Group specialise in the humane removal of rats and use a variety of different baiting, trapping and luring techniques. We understand the problems that come with rat infestations and provide clients with both pest control solutions and home rat removal advice.

Before you remove the rats, you will need to find out where they are nesting.

How to Find Rats

Before you begin killing and removing rats from your property, you will first need to identify where the rats are nesting or infiltrating. Setting baits and traps in random locations is not an effective process and could even put puts or small children in jeopardy. 

Rats are not commonly seen in the day, so it’s not likely that they won’t be caught in the traps in daylight. They are nocturnal creatures, so traps are most effective at night. 

However, there are some telltale signs to look out for, which include:

  • Rat droppings near the nest site
  • Chewed up carpet, furniture or electrical wires
  • Scratching noises at night (floorboards, ceilings etc)
  • Nests made from debris or bits of carpet

If rats are located outside: 

  • Burrows and mounds in the ground
  • Damaged bird feeders
  • Evidence of gnawing of wires or structural wood
  • Gnawed fruit and vegetables in the garden

Identifying the Type of Rat

While most treatments will succeed in eliminating the presence of rats, it’s important to know what type of rat you’re dealing with in order to get the most out of your treatment method.

For example, if you have a roof rat, you will have to place traps and treatments in your attic or within your roof linings.

In the majority of cases, there are only two main types of rats found in both domestic and commercial properties:

  • Black rats – black rats are less common than brown rats in the UK and while they can be found in domestic properties, they prefer wetter environments (such as ports). They are adept climbers and swimmers, meaning they are able to access hard-to-reach areas with ease. Black rats are around 16-24cm in length and their tail is longer than their body. They are slender in build and have large ears and a pointed nose. 

They usually live for about a year in the wild, but are able to produce 5-10 babies per litter, and they usually have around five litters a year.


  • Brown rats – bigger than the black rat and far more common in domestic and commercial properties. They are around 40cm long and have a much shorter tail than black rats. It weighs more than the black rat, between 350 – 500 grams. 

They enjoy eating sweeter foods and drink milk, both of which can be used for baiting traps. Brown rats typically produce up to 3-6 liters a year with each litter containing 7-8 young.

The Best Rat Killing Methods

Humane elimination and disposal of rats is encouraged for both the sanitary of the environment and to ensure the rats do not suffer. All rat killing methods should be fast and effective to ensure swift and safe removal. 

We have seperated treatments into three separate categories: baits, traps and placement of traps and baits. This ensures that you are using the right traps/baits in the right places to increase the success of rats being caught.

How to Kill Rats Using Rat traps

There are a number of rat traps on the market, some good and some very bad. It’s important to know which rat trap is suitable for your problem to ensure safe and effective elimination. 

  • Snap traps – the most common rat trap, made out of plastic, metal, wood, or a combination of all three. They are relatively inexpensive and multiple can be used to humanely kill rats. 

How they work – snap traps work by luring a rat onto a pressure point that when stepped on, triggers a metal bar to snap down onto the rat, killing it instantly. Bait is typically used to lure the rat onto the pressure point, bait does not have to be used as some rats will simply be curious about this new object and may want to inspect it. It’s important that these rat traps are regularly inspected to ensure if the rat has been caught, it’s responsibly removed from the premises. 

Note: cheap traps may not kill the rat, but instead badly injure it, which is inhumane and can cause severe distress to both the rat and yourself. Be sure to purchase the correct trap for black or brown rats.

  • Live traps – live traps work differently to snap traps, in that they arouse the rat’s natural curiosity and lead them to investigate the new object in their environment. 

They come in many shapes and sizes, some are designed to look like small houses, others are a series of interconnecting narrow pathways that once entered, cannot be exited. Most live traps are made from plastic and metal.

How they work – Live traps usually incorporate some sort of small entrance that rats enjoy wiggling into and exploring. They will be able to easily enter the rat trap but will not be able to escape. Again, these traps must be regularly inspected to ensure the rat has been caught and can therefore be humanely disposed of or released.

  • Glueboards – glueboards use a strong glue to trap and stick rats to a board. They are usually around 30 – 60 cm long but can come in many sizes. They are made from wood, metal or plastic and feature a glue-based foundation. Baits can be used to lure the rat onto the glue board which it will then become stuck on. 

How they work – as briefly mentioned, glueboards use glue to stick rats to the board. Rats become trapped and then they must be removed outdoors or humanely killed. Glueboards have certainly lost popularity over the years, mainly because of the advancements and affordability of better rat traps, such as the live and snap traps. 

Some rats will also be able to escape from the glue traps, especially if it’s a large brown rat. In this scenario, the rat may end up dragging the board around with it. On a positive note, at least you will be alerted by the noise of the rat dragging the board around the property.

Other Methods on How to Kill Rats

Below are the other methods used to kill rats.

  • Rodenticides – rodenticides are typically used in large scale infestations to humanely poison and kill rats. They are small ingestibles that are placed or scattered around the rat nest site or area of suspected activity.

How they work – rodenticides work by activating Vitamin K in the rats central nervous system, a critical component in the production of blood clotting factors in the liver. This shuts down the rat’s internal systems quickly and eventually kills it.

Proofing your property – prevention will always be better than a cure. The best ways to ensure that rats do not enter your property is by adhering to the following:

  • Maintain a hygienic home or workspaces
  • Cleaning up any leftover food
  • Sealing and cracks, gaps or fissures in the wall

Following these simple steps should ensure rats have no reason to enter your property. If you want to know how to get rid of rats in the house, please visit our article on how to effectively remove rats from your home.

Struggling With a Large Rat Infestation?

If you discover your rat problem is worse than first expected, a large scale infestation may be inevitable. That’s where we come in, AMES Group provides a fully comprehensive rat elimination service for commercial properties and large scale infestations. 

We are based in Birmingham and cover rat problems across the Midlands. We hold over 35 years’ experience in the pest control industry and are BCPA-certified, so you can rest assured that our team will handle your rat problems with care and professionalism

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Mouse Droppings: What do they look like?

Mouse Droppings: What do they look like?

Spotting mouse droppings in your home or commercial property is one of the first signs of infestation and must be treated swiftly in order to reduce the risk of an increased mouse population. Mice are able to populate extremely fast, which is why being able to identify droppings becomes an important part of the mouse removal process.

AMES Group have been removing mice from domestic and commercial properties across Birmingham and the Midlands for over 35 years and are on-hand to provide fast and effective pest control solutions for all customers.

Mouse droppings

Sign You May Have a Mouse Infestation

It’s likely that you will spot the droppings before you see the mouse, as while they enjoy living within our company, they are nocturnal and are unlikely to search for food in daylight.

You spot mouse droppings – mouse droppings are among the first signs you will notice. Mouse droppings are usually grouped together in high numbers, usually 40 – 100 droppings (and that’s just from one mouse). They can be identified by their small, pellet-shaped appearance and their size, roughly ¼ inch in length and resemble grains of rice. If they are light brown, the droppings are likely fresh, the darker and harder the pellets, the older they are. 

Noises, specifically scratching and scuttlings – another telltale sign of an infestation are noises emanating from the walls, floorboards and ceilings. Mice are most active at night and use the cover of darkness to source food and materials to build their nest. The sounds are characterised by scratchings, squeaks, scurrying and gnawing. Be sure to inspect the source of the noise and identify the problem pest.

Chewed sills, furniture and wiring – look out for gnaw marks on bits of furniture and floor sills. Mice can also chew through wires, so be sure to insect behind computers and televisions for mouse nests.

Footprints – noticeable in dusty parts of the property that see rare use (attics, lofts, storage areas etc).

Where to Look for Mouse Droppings

Mice prefer to nest in small, enclosed areas of your home, away from plain sight. However, they may be far closer than you think, be sure to check in the following areas for mouse droppings:

  • Kitchen cabinets, behind the oven and other large appliances
  • Airing cupboards and utility rooms
  • Bathroom cabinets 
  • Lofts, atticus and storage spaces 
  • Garden sheds and workshops
  • Cracks, fissures and holes in the wall

The Difference Between Mouse and Rat Droppings

It’s important to be able to differentiate mouse droppings from rat droppings in order to place effective treatment. Size is the key differentiator here, as stated previously, they are about ¼ of an inch in contrast to trap droppings, which are around half an inch long and are usually wider. 

Additionally, rats poop on the go whereas mice prefer to poop in one place, creating a pileup. 

Are Mouse Droppings Dangerous?

While not as dangerous as rat or pigeon droppings, mouse droppings do carry bacteria which can be dangerous to pets and humans when ingested. In some cases, mouse droppings may also trigger allergic reactions in some people. When inhaled, mouse droppings can also cause the following infectious diseases:

  • Hantavirus – a potentially fatal disease that is transmitted to humans then they ingest the urine, feces or saliva of infected rodents.
  • Bubonic plague – known for causing “The Black Death” in the early 14th century. It is highly contagious and is predominantly spread through bite of an infected rodent but can also be caught if urine, feces or saliva is ingested.

Do Mouse Droppings Smell?

Yes, mouse droppings are known to smell, especially when they are left in a property for too long. The longer they are left, the more difficult the smell is to eradicate.

What Should I do With Mouse Droppings?

Due to mouse droppings giving off a strong, unpleasant smell, air out the area for at least half an hour before cleaning begins. Next, sweep the droppings into a dustpan or hoover them up using a vacuum cleaner. 

Be sure to wear gloves and safely empty the vacuum cleaner/dustpan to dispose of the droppings. Place the droppings into a sealed bag and place this in your bin outside to ensure the smell does not remain in the property. 

Spray or clean the dropping area with antibacterial soap to ensure no remnants are left for pets or children to come into contact with.

Check up on the place you cleaned the droppings from to ensure the mouse is not still present. If it is, you may have an early infestation problem and trapping will be required to alleviate the problem. We’d recommend reading our The 10 Best Baits for Mice | Fast & Easy Removal Tips article.

Have You Spotted Mouse Droppings?

If you have spotted mouse droppings in your commercial property and you would rather let the professionals take care of it, AMES Group is on-hand to help. With over 35 years’ experience in the rat and mouse control industry and certified technicians equipped to handle any problem big or small, you’re in safe hands with our team.

We also provide emergency call-outs if your problem is urgent, for example, if a large infestation of mice is disrupting your commercial property and hindering your staff from working.

For commercial mouse dropping problems, please call our team today for fast, effective and affordable pest control solutions.

How to Get Rid of Rats

How to Get Rid of Rats

For over 30 years, AMES Group have been offering exceptional rat control services to customers based in Birmingham and all over the Midlands. When it comes to safe and humane rat disposal, we employ a range of prevention methods and deterrents to ensure rats no longer cause problems in and around your property.

We generally cater to commercial properties, but if that rat problem is especially large or problematic, we can easily take-on domestic cases. Our service is designed to be fast, efficient and minimally-invasive.

Why rats are a problem in your property

Rats cause a number of problems in both domestic and commercial properties and the longer they are left to nest and form homes, the more complex and expensive the removal method becomes. Additionally, the presence of rats will only further encourage more pests to infiltrate the property causing more problems. 

Most importantly, rats are notorious for carrying harmful bacteria and diseases that can become extremely harmful to humans. If rats are present in your property, it is essential that you contact AMES Group to ensure the health and safety of your staff is not put at risk. 

How to effectively get rid of rats

There are a number of effective ways to rid rats from your property. At AMES Group, we strongly believe that prevention is better than a cure and if measures are taken to ensure rats have no reason to visit your property, you will save yourself time, stress and money.

If you are currently suffering with rat infestation in your property, we have outlined some of the best deterrent methods to try before contacting our pest control team. 

Step 1 – Locating the rats

Before you start thinking about deterrent methods and traps, you must find out where the rats are located. Locating rats can be difficult in the day time as they are nocturnal creatures, so it’s unlikely you’ll find them scuttling around. 

However, there are telltale signs to lookout for to help you pinpoint their location, these include:

  • Dead rats
  • Rat droppings (usually found around litter and dark, secluded areas)
  • Scratch marks on walls or skirting boards
  • Gawn marks on electronics, elads, furniture etc
  • Burrows (when outside) 
  • Nests
  • Dug up carpet 
  • Smudge and smear marks of droppings 

Step 2 – Laying traps

Once you have located the rats, the next step is trapping them. All traps, regardless of what you choose, must be inspected regularly to ensure the caught rat is not struggling or dead. Traps should be positioned roughly where you think the rat is to ensure they are not accessible by pets or children.

Bait traps

The most common and preferred forms of trapping are known as ‘bait traps’ and they can come in many shapes and sizes. Their sole purpose is to lure the rat inside a cage-like contraption that shuts once the trigger is activated.

Snap Traps 

Snap traps used to be the most popular form of rat trap, but have fallen out of favour due to their inhumane trapping technique. Snap traps work by luring the rat into the trap via bait and then once the rat triggers the trap, the trap snaps down, clamping the rat in place. 

Be sure that when you’re buying a snap tap that you are purchasing traps for rats, not mince. The problem is that rats are often too big to be swiftly killed by mice snap traps. Instead, the trap ends up injuring the rat.

Glueboards 

Now seen as an archaic and somewhat ineffective rat control method. Glueboard, as their name suggests, uses adhesive glue to trap the rats in place. This method has a poor success rate, as rats are often too large for the glue to take effect.

​​Live Traps 

Live traps work in a similar way to bait traps, in that they lure the rat into cage contraption that closes upon actigin a switch mechanism. The only difference with live traps is that bait does not need to be used, as the rats’ natural intrigue will lead it to investigate the trap. The traps often resemble small cubby holes that rats enjoy wiggling into.

Be sure to regularly check up on the trap to ensure the rat is humanely disposed of when caught. 

Rodenticides

These are essentially poisonous pesticides that are used to humanely kill rats and mice. Rodenticides are typically used for big rat infestations in commercial properties, when a series of traps will not suffice. 

Using rodenticides is something that should be handled by a professional pest control company or contractor, poor knowledge of using rodenticides can be extremely dangerous to surrounding animals and people. 

Step 3 – Identifying the type of rat 

You don’t need to know exactly what type of rat it is, just where it’s residing. In most cases, rats can be categorised into two types: roof rats and Norway rats.

  • Roof rats – as their name suggests, roof rats prefer to nest up in the roof linings, in attics, on top of garages or upon beams shelves and ledges. Traps should be placed in these areas.
  • Norway rats – these rats usually keep their feet on the ground and commonly nest underground or in dark corners. Traps should be placed near where you think their nest is or any cracks or gaps they may find appealing to sneak into.

Areas Rats inhabit

Rats will inhabit anywhere they deem safe and secure to build their nests. From construction sites and commercial properties to gardens and homes, rats are able to infiltrate almost any area if they are not properly secured.

Below, we have outlined the most common places rats dominate and the

Getting rid of rats in the garden

Detect nests and keep your garden clean

Untidy gardens are the perfect breeding ground for rats’ nests as well as birds and wasps. Gardens that are not frequently used or have areas where shrubbery has become overgrown will lend themselves to rats and other problem pests. It’s also advised to remove any food sources, low-hanging bird feeders for example often attract rats.

Additionally, ensure to plug any holes, cracks or fissures in your garden to ensure rats cannot enter into your home. For example, rats may find their way into your home through broken bits of patio.

Getting rid of rats in your home

Close your bins and rid away loose litter

One of the most common reasons rats infiltrate properties is because they are in search of food. Both indoor and outdoor bins are a typical reason for rat infestations, especially when they’re left open. This is a free source of food for rats and the smell of an open bin can be detected by rats very easily.

Keep your bins closed and be sure to clean them once every few months to ensure no waste is left over inside or surrounding the bin

Other steps to prevention include:

  • Keeping your garden tidy
  • Sealing any entry points (holes, cracks in the walls etc)
  • Be sure to buy a tall bird feeder (or one that rats cannot scale)

Getting rid of rats in larger properties (commercial)

Contact a pest control professional

Most rat infestations in commercial properties need to be handled by professionals due to several reasons. For example, large infestations may require rodenticides which should only be used by experienced rat and pest technicians to ensure the safety of your staff. Additionally, rats can be much harder to track and locate in larger properties and locating vermin with no experience will likely take much longer and cost more.

At AMES Group, we are fully qualified to safely and humanely remove the presence of rats from any commercial property. We can also arrive at times that suit you and your business to ensure our service is as minimally invasive as possible.

Seek an Immediate Solution as Rats May Attract Other Pests

Leaving a rat problem to fester will not only raise severe health and safety concerns and damage your property further, but their presence will also attract more pests.

Why?

When rats are left for too long in your property, they become comfortable and begin building nests as they believe they are in no threat. Rats multiply very quickly and this will alert other problem pests, such as birds and insects. When this happens, the problem becomes more complex and may end up costing you more in the long run. 

Additionally, as more pests infiltrate your property, the more the health and safety of you and our staff is put at risk. 

As soon as you spot signs of rats in yoDo not wait to call the experts at AMES Group, it may save you a lot of stress and a small fortune. Call our team today before the problem escalates. 

When You Require Professional Intervention

In some cases, rat infestations cannot be alleviated through home remedies and standard traps. This is where we come in, to provide a fast, safe and humane rat removal solution. 

How Our Services Get Rid of Rats 

AMES Group provides a range of exceptional services to customers across Birmingham and far into the midlands. From clinical and humane rat removal, to installing prevention deterrents and advising customers on the best ways to keep rats away from their premises.

Our services include:

  • Identifying rats in and around your properties
  • Identifying areas where rats may infiltrate and providing advice and prevention methods to alleviate the threat of rats
  • Preventative rat control measures if sewer pipes have been breached
  • Hygiene advice to deter rats from entering your property
  • How to keep your business premises rat-free
  • Rat nest removal
  • Essential rat prevention measures
  • A guide to the most useful rat prevention products

We are traditionally a commercial pest and rat control company, but if you have a large scale domestic problem, we will take your needs into consideration.

How Our Service Works

We conduct a professional survey of the property and surrounding area – before we begin removing the rats from your property, we conduct a full it survey to assess the severity of the situation. This involves seeing one of our pest and crat control technicians to your property.

You choose a time that is convenient to you and the audit can take between 30 minutes to over an hour. 

Targeted rat control treatments specific to your needs – each rat control job is different as they pose a variety of problems for commercial properties. Once our technicians have assessed the situation, they will begin preparing treatment solutions. In some cases, they may be able to start work onsite immediately, but this depends on the scale of the problem.

Treatments may include:

  • Rodenticides – a humane rat poison that is typically used in large scale rat removal jobs.
  • Bait traps – these work by luring a small number of rats into a cage for humane transportation and relocation.
  • Rodent Odour Control – in some cases (when the rat infestation is severe), rat smells can permeate the air, resulting in a bad smell. This can be a huge problem, in commercial properties, especially if the hospitality industry where hygiene is paramount.
  • Proofing and prevention – as we always say, prevention is better than a cure! Once our team has identified the extent of the infestation and dealt with it, we then discuss future prevention methods. There are a number of ways you can prevent rats from returning to your property, all of which are easy and cost-effective. 

We Are BCPA-Certified

Your rat control job will be undertaken by one of our BCPA-certified pest control technicians. Our team guarantees to provide a specific solution to all rat control problems. We understand that all rat problems are different, which is why we employ different deterrent and prevention methods on each task.

Our surveyors will provide a bespoke solution to your rat problem and provide deterrent and prevention advice specific to your property’s needs. 

Our technicians are trained in all aspects of pest control and have serviced hundreds of commercial properties in and out of Birmingham. They have a wealth of experience and provide solutions to all rat-based problems, swiftly and humanely.

*We also ensure that all rat and pest removal treatments adhere to and comply with standard British health and safety regulations. This ensures the safety of your business and your staff.

Why AMES Group?

Making AMES Group your choice for all rat-related problems grants you a number of benefits that save you money, time and stress. Take a look below at a few of the reasons why we’re Birmingham’s trusted pest control company:

Over 35 years’ experience

Our team has over 35 years experience in the estr control industry. We have dealt with every problem pest, ranging from birds and insects to mice and of course, rats. All methods are in line with the NPTA and our team are BCPA-ceritief to ensure swift and safe rat control solutions. 

Post-removal hygiene cleanses

We offer exceptional post-removal cleaning services to ensure your commercial property is left looking immaculate. This service is available for all pest control services, from rats to birds and insects. We use a special combination of cleaning substances that safely and swiftly remove the telltale signs of rat infestations, without damaging your property. 

Emergency call-outs

If you are suffering with an urgent rat problem and require immediate assistance, we aim to get back to all customers within 24 hours with solutions. In some cases, we may be able to provide immediate deterrent and/or prevention solutions upon arrival. 

Don’t Let Rats Damage Your Property

Contact our professional rat control team at AMES Group to eliminate all rats in a safe and humane manner to allow your business to continue to operate. If your problem is an emergency, we can send one of our pest control technicians to your property ASAP to ensure that the problem is dealt with swiftly and in a professional manner. 

After your call with our team, you can rest assured that your rat problems will be dealt with as soon as possible. Additionally, please see below the areas we cover across the Midlands:

Rat Diseases | Solutions to Rat Problems & Diseases

Rats are notorious for spreading a number of diseases, some of which can become deadly to humans. AMES Group specialises in the safe, fast and humane removal of rats to stop the spread of disease and keep your property clean and healthy.

Rats and other rodents have adapted to our ways of living and when left to breed and nest, can become a severe problem in any property.

In this article, we will be talking specifically about the types of diseases rats carry and why they are harmful to our wellbeing. We will also provide expert removal solutions to ensure that the infestation is not only eliminated but measures are put in place to ensure they do not return.

If you have a severe infestation in or around your commercial property, or you are seeking pest control advice, please contact our rat technicians today. 

If not, please continue reading our article on the different types of rat diseases.

Rodent diseases

Rodents carry a wide range of disease-causing organisms, including many species of bacteria, viruses, protozoa and helminths (worms). They also act as vectors or reservoirs for many diseases via their ectoparasites such as fleas, ticks, lice and mites, as well as some diseases carried by mosquitoes.

In fact, rodents are thought to be responsible for more deaths than all the wars over the last 1,000 years.

Rodents can also carry several parasites and diseases at the same time. A study of rats on farms in the UK found 13 zoonotic (infect humans) parasites and 10 non-zoonotic parasites, with some rats having nine zoonotic parasites at the same time. Many of these had rarely or never previously been investigated in wild rats (e.g. Cryptosporidium, Pasteurella, Listeria, Yersinia, Coxiella and Hantavirus), showing that the threat to human health is greater than previously thought.

How Do You Catch a Rat-Based Disease?

Rat diseases can be caught through several ways, the most common is being direct inhalation or consumption of rat urine, faeces or saliva. For example, if a rat has urinated on packaged food or drink and it is confused, you are at a high risk of contracting a disease.

Other ways you can catch a rat borne disease include:

  • Touching contaminated objects that rats have encountered
  • Handling diseased rats or other rodents without gloves 
  • Being bitten or scratched by an infected rat
  • Host transmission – for example if your cat or dog has been in contact with an infected rat and they come into physical contact or eat it and therefore develop parasites

Below, we have outlined the major diseases that are associated with rats and vermin.

Rat Diseases 

Arenavirus

One of the most common viruses associated with rodents. Arenaviruses are part of the Arenavierada family and typically cause mild to severe illnesses that can be associated with typical virus symptoms, including:

  • Sore throat and coughing
  • Fever
  • Constant headaches
  • Abdominal pain and vomiting

A full recovery is expected in most arenvirus cases. However the diseases caused from Arenaviridae can be fatal if not treated. For a full list of viruses from the Arenaviridae family, visit ND Health.

Bartonellosis (Trench fever)

Also known as trench fever and the cat scratch disease, Bartonellosis is typically transmitted via flea and lice, which are common among rats. People who work with animals, such as vets and animal groomers are at the highest risk of contracting Bartonellosis.

Symptoms are similar to those of the common fever, including fatigue, headache and nausea. However, patients may also experience skin rashes and lesions as well as osteomyelitis (infection of the bone).

Capillariasis

This disease is caused by roundworm, which is a species of nematode. It is often found in rodents (predominantly rats) but can transfer itself to humans, and when left, the disease can become deadly, as the roundworm attacks the liver.

What happens?

When ingested by a human, the nematodes grow and begin to feed on the liver. Overtime, this causes loss of liver function and fibrous tissue production. 

The adult nematodes feed on the liver, slowly causing loss of liver function, inflammation (hepatitis) and abnormal fibrous tissue production as the liver responds to the death of the adults and the presence of eggs.

Symptoms 

Symptoms are often difficult to identify initially, but as the worms lay their eggs inside you, you may develop symptoms of gepeaitisis, anemia, fever and hypereosinophilia. Untreated, this can lead to death.

Echinococcosis

Another worm-based disease, Echinococcosis is caused by tapeworms of the genus Echinococcus. Humans become infected by ingesting the parasite’s eggs; this can be done via eating contaminated food, drink or direct contact with a rat carrying the parasite.

The parasites can also find their way onto/into household pets such as cats and dogs. Treatment is often complex, with humans requiring drug therapy or in some cases, surgery.

Symptoms

Cysts are the most common sign of Echinococcosis, and these cysts are typically found in the liver and lungs. They can transmit to the kidneys spleen and in rare cases, the central nervous system. The result of these cysts can bring on feelings of nausea, coughing and chest pains.

Hantavirus

Hantaviruses are a family of viruses typically spread by rats but can be spread by other rodents. It is spread to humans via aerosolized virus through urine, feces and saliva. While it can be transmitted through a bite, it is unlikely.

Symptoms

Symptoms include fever muscle aches (mainly in hips, thighs and the back) as well as nausea and dizziness. Fortunately, hantaviruses are not contagious from human to human. 

Leptospirosis

Also known as Weil’s disease, it is fairly uncommon in humans but it can be transmitted if broken skin (such as a wound) comes into contact with infected urine, soil or water. There are a number of species of the Leptospira genus, a few of which can evolve into Weil’s disease or even meningitis, which when left untreated can be fatal. Leptospirosis is not commonly found in the UK, it’s more of a tropical disease.

Symptoms

Symptoms usually appear around a week to two weeks after infection and consist of typical fever symptoms. These include coughing, sore throat, headaches, and vomiting. Some people may experience a rash, jaundice or irritated eyes.

Rat bite fever

Rat bite fever is passed from human to human when we come into contact with urine or mucus from a rat or similar vermin. Rat bite fever is quite rare and is not commonly found in the UK and is more common in Japan. People can also contract the disease by getting bitten by the animal, which can leave a nasty bite mark and infection if it is not cleaned quickly with antiseptic. 

Symptoms of rat bite fever include:

  • Ulceration at the bite site
  • A rash around the bite site (it may form reddish-brown plaques)
  • Fever
  • Chills and aches
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes

And in severe cases:

  • Infection of the heart
  • Pneumonia
  • Hepatitis
  • Meningitis

Rat bite fever can be treated with antibiotics and responds well to penicillin.

Rat tapeworm

Rat tapeworms are a type of Hymenolepis tapeworm that when left untreated can cause hymenolepiasis. This type of infection commonly affects children and those who live in poorly santiiured areas or properties. Humans become infected when they ingest dwarf tapeworm eggs, which can be done by consuming infected food or water as well as touching your mouth after touching contaminated areas.

Symptoms

Most people are asymptomatic, but can develop minor symptoms associated with the flu or a fever. It can be treated via a drug called praziquantel, which causes the tapeworm to dissolve within the intestine. 

Salmonellosis

Known popularly as Salmonella, this type of disease lives within the intestinal tracts of animals, predominantly chickens and rats. The disease lives within contaminated foods, such as chicken, proik, beef, milk or eggs. Sometimes vegetables can also carry the disease but this is less common. To ensure you do not contract salmonella, you must cook food thoroughly.

Symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea 

Maintaining a strong hygiene routine should be enough to avoid the risk of salmonella.

The Plague

Many people may be unaware that the plague is still present in modern society. However, thanks to the advances of science, it is now far less deadly and much easier to cure. It is caused by a bacteria called Y. pestis, which is transmitted through pests such as squirrels, rabbits, mice and of course, rats. 

Left untreated, the plague can cause septicemic plague and pneumonia and these are both fatal. In fact, the plague can kill up to 60% of people who contract it if it is left untreated.

Symptoms are akin to a fever but can also evolve into organ failure and open sores.

Toxoplasmosis

This is a common infection humans can contract via infected cats, meat or excrement. In most cases, toxoplasmosis is harmless but it can cause serious problems for some people. Be sure to wear gloves if you are gardening and maintain a high standard of hygiene afterwards (wash your hands and clean all gardening apparatus). 

Symptoms

  • high temperature (fever)
  • aching muscles
  • tiredness
  • feeling sick
  • sore throat
  • swollen glands

If you do have symptoms, most people will make a full recovery with no treatment in about six weeks.

Trichinellosis

Also known as trichinosis, this disease is caused when people eat raw or undercooked meat that has come from infected animals. More specifically, trichinellosis occurs when we eat animals infected with larvae of Trichinella (a species of worm).  The most common animals that carry this disease are rats, cougars, pigs and wild boar.

The first symptoms of trichinellosis are usually fever, nausea, dizziness and aches but they can evolve into breathing problems, severe dizziness and in extreme cases, death.

Tularemia

Also known as rabbit fever of deer fly fever, tularemia is one of the rarer diseases and can be very comfortable to deal with. It predominantly affects the skin, eyes, lymph nodes and in some cases the lungs. It is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis and occurs when you are bitten by an infected tick, which can be found on vermin. The disease can also be transmitted through handling infected rodents, eating and drinking contaminated foods or simply inhaling the bacteria.

Symptoms

Symptoms can manifest via:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Sometimes a skin ulcer that forms at the infection site through an animal bite

Have a Rat Infestation? We Can Help 

At AMES Group, we are the experts when it comes to safely and humanely eradicating rats from all properties. If you fear you have an infestation and require immediate treatment do not hesitate to get in touch with our team today. 

We have over 30 year’s experience in the pest control industry and regularly undertaken rat removal jobs across the Midlands. With a ranger of treatment options available, we are able to offer a completely bespoke and comprehensive rat removal service.

From rodenticides to bait traps, we can help you remove all rats from your commercial property.

We Are BCPA-Certified

All AMES Group pest control technicians are BCPA qualified, which means we have more than enough experience and expertise to handle your rat removal efficiently. All jobs are undertaken in a fast, safe and humane method.

*We also ensure that all rat and pest removal treatments adhere to and comply with standard British health and safety regulations. This ensures the safety of your business and your staff.

Contact the Experts at AMES Group

Rat diseases can be extremely harmful to people, which is why it’s essential that as soon as you notice a rat in your property, you call the professionals. When left rats can multiply very quickly and this can lead to costly repairs and more importantly, pose a risk to the welfare and safety of your staff  and business.

After you have called AMES Group, you will rest assured knowing that your rat problem is in safe, qualified hands.