Rodent Control Cardiff
There’s nothing worse for ones peace of mind than hearing rodents (rats, mice or possibly squirrels) running around in your ceiling or roof space especially whilst trying to sleep.
These days because of the quantity of insulation in a roof space people may not notice a rodent infestation until it has developed into being more than just one or two rodents.
We cover the whole of Cardiff, most of South Wales and even get asked to resolve long-term rat problems in areas such as Oxfordshire, Surrey, Kent, Cornwall. So you can be assured we know what we are doing and produce the results.
What are rodents?
In the UK and more specifically South Wales there are 3 main species of rodents that we as pest controllers have to be able to deal with. Namely rats, mice and squirrels. These three species all have one main characteristic in common – a single pair of continuously growing incisors in each of the upper and lower jaws. You would be write in thinking that rabbits also have this characteristic (along with many others), however for more technical reasons these are referred to as lagomorpha and not as rodents.
There is not a week that goes by that we don’t work on rat and mice infestations; however as a business we have only ever come across rattus norvegicus – the brown rat (street rat, Norwegian rat etc) but do look forward to the day that we need to deal with rattus rattus the black rat or ship rat.
In South Wales mice are generally one of two types, musculous domesticus – the house mouse, and apodemus sylvaticus – the wood or field mouse. These two types of mice need to be dealt with differently from each other because of the environmental risks associated with the wood/field mice being much greater than that of the house mouse. More on this can be found on our page house-mouse-control.
Squirrel control is far more seasonal as people tend to notice a squirrel problem when the squirrels are entering a property to make and use a drey (squirrel nest) for a new family.
I always remember a conversation I had with a neighbour in Scotland many years ago. For a couple of weeks he had been coming down to breakfast in the morning along with his wife. In the fruit bowl there was what looked like a fresh banana, but was in fact an empty banana skin that had been slit along its length and had had its contents removed, but otherwise looked like a normal banana. He had thought that it was his wife playing a joke, and apparently she too had thought he was the one messing about. Shortly after this had started they also started to hear some thumping noises in their roof at night.
After a little bit of investigation in the roof space they couldn’t see any signs of anything going on in the roof and certainly hadn’t associated the disappearance of the banana with the noises. Not knowing or understanding the differences between rats and mice and being fairly capable people they decided to put down some rat poison to kill of whatever was in their roof. I think they had just presumed it to be mice, but they probably had not even thought about rats. Unfortunately for them they had not considered where whatever it was, was going to die. The rat (or rather the rats) ended up dying beneath the floor in their bedroom, which lead to them having to move out furniture, pickup carpets and remove floor boards. They had to do this not once but twice as there was more than one and they had died in separate spots beneath the floor.
It was only after this that they connected the rats to the taking of the banana and realised that the rat had been coming down into their kitchen at night, slicing open the banana, emptying it, and leaving it in situ in the fruit bowl on the kitchen table.
Now being a professional experienced pest controller I can tell you that there are lots of things that could have been done differently had they had the same experience and knowledge then as we do now.
They would have known that just because they didn’t see any rat droppings does not mean there is no rat activity. They would probably have spotted areas of activity in the roof space. They would have automatically assumed the rat was getting into their kitchen, and looked to proof these entry points. They would probably not have considered the use of rat poison (rodenticide). They would probably have placed secured high quality traps in appropriate locations and runs. Finally and probably most importantly having dealt with the current infestation they would have proofed the property to reduce the likelihood of another rat infestation.
In this instance this rat infestation was very easy to deal with as the property was a detached and located out in the countryside. I don’t know but I would expect that the first rat probably climbed a bit of ivy up to the roof and found its way in under a slate somewhere. Not an unusual thing in that scenario.
But imagine how much harder it is to deal with a rat problem in a semi-detached or worse still terraced property in a busy town or city street. More often than not there will be a drainage problem that is the source of the rat infestation problem.
This is when our experience, knowledge and the tools available to us really comes into hand. We have a sister business that specialises in drain work, including CCTV drain surveys, no-dig drain repairs, general drain repair work be it holes in the manholes, old drain line capping, replacement gully’s, new manhole covers. Basically anything and everything to do with drains.
When working with rats our main objectives are to identify how the rats are getting into your property, how best to deal with the rats currently in the property, and how to prevent any more rats following in the footsteps of the original rats. We do our utmost to prevent rats dying within the property so causing one of earths most unpleasant smells, that not only stinks a property out for a couple of weeks (making it unbearable to live in) but lingers on thereafter for several months.
For further information on rat infestations please see our page rat-control
Problems with house mice infestations
As part of our rodent control service I have discussed rats above, but often we are called to sort out mouse infestations. Strangely for most of my past life I have always considered a mouse infestation to be quite minor in comparison to a rat infestation. This is not the case, these days I know better and now consider the two rodent infestations to be equally bad.
- Mice carry all the same diseases that rats carry
- Mice run all over counter tops, kitchen tables and other surfaces
- Mice leave behind a constant trail of urine wherever they go
- Mice need a far smaller hole to get access into a space than rat
- Mice breed faster than rats
- No where is safe from mice
- Mice cause just as much damage as rats
We often get called to properties that have been flooded because of rodents gnawing on pipework – this is invariably done by mice. Mice along with all other rodents need to gnaw on hard items (wood joists, electric cables, water pipes, stored items in the roof space) to both sharpen and control the length of their continuously growing teeth.
The biggest problem with mice is that they are so small and can travel thru small gaps making proofing in properties very difficult and normally quite impracticable unless its a detached property.
Because some people don’t realise the extent of risk that a mouse infestation carries and so do little about it, a mouse infestation at one end of a terrace will in time have an impact on you and your property.
For further information on house mouse infestations please see our page house-mouse-control
Squirrels in your roof
I know I should not say it but to be honest the only time I like to see squirrels (a grey squirrel that is) in this country is when they are dead. I agree they are great to watch, but I far prefer seeing the other wildlife that the squirrels kill off, such as all the songbirds whose nests they raid for the eggs and young chicks. Even better I dream of the day we get back our native red squirrels running freely across South Wales. By the way red squirrels don’t feed on bird eggs and young chicks unlike the invasive grey squirrel species.
So what can I say about grey squirrels in your roof space. Well grey squirrels are rodents too, and like all rodents they need to sharpen and wear down their teeth to keep them in check. Because of this need they can do extensive damage to wiring, pipework, joists and to anything else that you may have stored in the roof space.
Because we have a lot of thick insulation in our roofs these days, we often don’t realise that a mother squirrel has built a drey up there; not until the mother has produced a load of young squirrels and they have gotten to a certain age do they become much more noticeable.
Quite often it is a neighbour that first notices a squirrel popping in and out of a gap into the roof. The sooner that you can get to deal with a squirrel entering your roof the better as it is far easier to catch one mother or possibly a pair of adults than it is to catch a load of youngsters (often 6 or more). Its important to catch all squirrels before proofing a property. We often see people that have had squirrels the previous year, not done anything about them other than to proof the entrance way after they have left, to find that they have returned the following year, causing significant damage to do so. We cannot stress the importance of getting rid of all squirrels before proofing, doing anything else will just increase cost as they are very determined creatures.
For further information on squirrels in the roof please see our page squirrel control
For FAST, Friendly Service, Call 02920 552243
speak to a local professional pest controller NOT a National call centre
So whatefer your rodent control problem, rats, mice, and squirrels can pose serious health risks to everyone in a property, these rodents can also damage the property.
Fortunately, there are several proven ways to control rodents and similar pests.
As your pest specialist we will first look at risk factors that may be present in a home, shop or other building.
- We will make a thorough assessment of hygiene and sanitation; simple steps like using garbage containers with tight fitting lids can have a significant impact.
- We will locate possible entry points and close these.
- We will use both traps and chemical application; baits will be placed where they are not accessible to children, pets and other animals.
In 95% of cases we can give you a guaranteed price over the phone. If we can’t, we’ll come out to your property and quote free-of-charge.
When you contact us for your free rodent control quote, we’ll ask you a few questions to help us give you a quote over the phone, such as:
- How many bedrooms does your house have?
- How big is your land?
- What is your house made of?
- What access exists, if any, to your roof and subfloor?
- How many kitchens do you have?
- How many floors is your home?
If you can give us accurate answers to these questions, we can give you a good indication of price for the required rodent control over the phone.
Rats, mice and squirrel pests
The four main rodents we are called out to are the Norwegian rat Rattus norvegicus, the House mouse Mus domesticus, the Wood mouse (Long-tailed field mouse) Apodemeus sylvaticus and the Grey squirrel Sciurus Carolinensis.
Rats and “House mice” are referred to as commensal rodents; they “live off mans table”.
Other rodents, the squirrel and wood mouse become a pest problem once they have entered your home or property and make it their home too.
A significant cause for concern is the propensity of rodents to gnaw thru electric cables and other materials so creating significant dangers as a result of their presence.
Rats, mice and squirrels readily infest domestic and commercial premises by gaining entry through poorly pest proofed features of construction and design, and as a result general wear and tear on a building.
Having established themselves both rats and mice will readily breed, creating significant populations in relatively short periods of time. Large infestations are generally indicative of poor standards of hygiene and housekeeping combined with a lack of pest awareness and suitable proofing measures.
Rodents can transmit diseases such as Leptospirosis (Weil’s disease), Plague, Salmonellosis, Tapeworm and Rabies.
For information specific to Pest rat control and Pest mice control or Pest squirrel control
Vale Pest Control are located on the outskirts of Cardiff, ideally situated to cover Cardiff, Newport, The Vale, Bridgend and the Valleys.
Specialising in pest control and wildlife management VPC offer solutions to bird problems, rodent infestation, bedbug and flea infestation treatments.
For FAST, Friendly Service, Call 02920 552243
Speak to a local professional pest controller – NOT a national call centre!!!
Resolve your rodent problem quickly and cleanly