Homeowners in Nottinghamshire are being urged to guard their homes against a potential invasion of rats this autumn.
Pest experts fear rodent numbers could soar in the next few months boosted by a combination of cooler temperatures and increasingly wet weather.
The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) is warning the furry menaces may abandon their summer habitats and seek food and shelter indoors.
Dee Ward-Thompson, BPCA technical manager, said: “Rain washes rats out of sewers and other nesting places and, inevitably, they go looking for shelter in higher ground. They’ll try to find some sort of dwelling and that could be lofts, garages or sheds.
“Our members report the number of calls to deal with infestations often rises in the autumn when the temperature drops often quite dramatically and we’re expecting a similar pattern this time.”
The following steps are advised to avoid infestation:
- Inspect properties thoroughly and seal up any external gaps, holes or crevices
- Remove potential nesting sites by keeping yards and gardens clean and tidy
- Ensure doors and windows can be closed properly and that drain inspection covers are well maintained.
- Keep bins well maintained with their lids closed
- Areas around bird feeders should be kept clean and pet food bowls should not be left out overnight
Mrs Ward-Thompson added: “Rats must be dealt with by an expert technician who knows the area in question and their likely habitat, and knows how to treat any particular strain.”