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Rats usually have brown fur on their backs and a grey tummy, however the colours can vary. They are usually about 20 - 27cms long with a tail of 15 - 20cms.

Rats are a common problem in rural and urban areas. We carried out more than 1200 rat treatments during the year 2019.

Rat are very agile and can climb and swim well, any sudden noises will make them run for cover. 

Unlike mice, rats need a regular source of water to survive. 

They have excellent hearing and smell, but poor eyesight.

  • Rats may be seen during the day but are usually more active at night
  • Rats have poor eyesight and will follow the same routes usually close to walls or against fences, these routes are often clearly visible as trails
  • Rats have oily fur which will result in smear marks when they are regularly running along a route
  • It is sometimes possible to see rat tail swipes or footprints on surfaces
  • Often noises can be heard in loft spaces or within the cavities of buildings
  • Externally rats may burrow, and rat holes may be visible in grass banks, close to buildings or structures such as sheds, in and around compost bins and around inspection chambers
  • An officer will visit your home or business and carry out a full assessment to identify the extent of the infestation. This involves finding out where the rats are feeding, identifying the best possible treatment and setting up a treatment programme. An adult must be present during this visit
  • Treatment for rats is usually carried out using professional rodenticides which are stored within bait boxes around the affected area. This may be within your property, externally or a combination of both. You will also be advised on anything you may need to do to make sure the treatment is effective. This may include stopping bird feeding or adjusting storage of food
  • The initial visit will be approximately an hour, and the officer will leave you with a data sheet confirming the treatment used and a contact number in the event of any concerns. Another appointment will be made at this time, which is usually 1 - 3 weeks later. This allows for any poison shyness to be overcome and for the rats to start taking the bait
  • During the second visit the bait boxes will be checked and any observations you have will be noted by the officer to make sure the treatment is working effectively. The bait boxes will be toped up and the officer will note which areas the bait has been taken from
  • The officer may need to visit up to3 times depending on the severity of the problem
  • In the event that the rats are entering the property due to an external problem, drainage defects for example, advice will be given and if necessary a further treatment plan may be needed
  • The pest control officers can work in partnership with Environmental Health Officers to resolve problems from neighbouring properties or land
  • We are now able to offer some proofing products as part of your treatment to prevent rats entering the property
  • Rats can transmit diseases to humans which can potentially be very harmful. Diseases such as Salmonella and Weils disease are carried by rats
  • Rats’ teeth grow continuously, so rats need to gnaw constantly to wear them down. This can cause considerable damage to property because they will gnaw anything from common food sources to wood, electrical cables, soap and other materials
  • Rats often live underground and will form extensive burrows which can in some cases affect the foundations and stability of buildings
  • If you suspect you have a rat problem it is important that you seek advice from an expert as soon as possible
As part of Wiltshire Council's treatment process we will advise you specifically on how to prevent future pest infestations, however the following advice should always be followed:
  • Keep your premises in good repair to prevent rats gaining entrance
  • Rats can get through a hole as small as 1.5cm and in colder weather rats will look for somewhere warmer to live
  • Do not allow outside areas to be become overgrown, keep gardens free from rubbish and tidy
  • Make sure that drains are repaired and covers are firmly fitted, any drainage works should be carried out by a competent person
  • Make sure all bins are kept shut and in good order
  • Compost bins should be placed on wire mesh and the lid kept secure
  • Do not overfeed wild birds, all food should be hung in suitable containers and food should not be left on the floor
  • Any pipes leading from the outside to the inside of the building should be sealed to prevent access
  • Ventilation or air bricks should be fitted with wire mesh cover

What does it cost?

Concessionary Cost

Full treatment

(max 3 visits per treatment)


Additional visits as part of a full treatment

(where more than 3 visits are required)


Drain smoke test

(Available as part of a treatment)


Drain CCTV survey

(Only available as part of a rodent treatment)

Advisory visit
(no treatment needed)
Appointment cancelled
(on day of appointment or after midday the last working day before)
Missed appointment£40£40

Concessionary cost

The qualifying benefit that is accepted is for those receiving Council Tax Reduction (CTR) please note that this discount does not include Single Persons Council Tax discount.

We reserve the right to check those claiming a discount to ensure they are currently in receipt of CTR.

Rodent treatment including materials and VAT per hour
Internal commercial rodent treatment up to 3 visits

Additional internal per visit as part of treatment.


Call out fee if no treatment needed


Appointment cancelled

(on day of appointment or after midday the last working day before)

Missed appointment

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Last updated: 3 April 2020 | Last reviewed: 3 April 2020