How to Get Rid of Rats in Drain and Sewer Pipes

A rat in a drain pipe, peeking through a break in the pipe

People often think it is a myth that rats live in sewer pipes, but it is estimated that there could be around 1.6 million sewer rats living in the drain pipes of domestic and commercial properties. In this post, we will tell you how to get rid of rats in sewer pipes, and how to stop rats from getting into your drain pipes in the future. After all, prevention is better than cure!

How do you know you have rats in the drains on your property?

Rats getting into properties via drains is on the increase. One of our customers became concerned when he discovered some unusual deposits in his outside drains. He takes good care of his home and garden and was disturbed to see some discoloured white debris when he lifted the manhole cover in his garden.

On closer inspection, he found brown pellets mixed in with the white debris. These were clearly rodent droppings, indicating that rats were probably entering his property through the underground network of drain and sewer pipes.

A close-up of lumpy white and brown debris from rats.
Closeup of rat droppings in debris

Rats need to constantly gnaw and chew on things to keep their teeth sharp and build nests. The white debris looked like chewed-up polystyrene, which we later discovered was cavity wall insulation!

Not everyone looks in their drains, but other signs that you might have rats on your property could be hearing scuttling sounds in your ceiling, attic, walls, or pipework.

Who should you call to remove rats from your sewer pipes?

Mr Martin wondered whether he should call the water board or a pest control company to remove the rats from his sewer pipes. His first enquiry was to his local water board, who came out to investigate.

They were able to use cameras to discover whether the rats were living in the main sewer system, or accessing the property via the domestic drain pipes on the property.

A coil of piping going into a drain in a patio, attached to a laptop which shows images of evidence that rats have been living in in the drains.
Remote camera equipment for drain

It turned out to be a very common problem when Mr Martin had an extension built many years ago.  The builders hadn’t capped off the old toilet, water supply or unused drain and sewer pipes.  This is something we see all the time in houses that have had alterations and extensions. The unused pipes allow rats to enter properties from the main sewer network to gain the three things that they need to breed and thrive – food, water, and shelter.

How to get rid of rats in sewer pipes

Although the waterboard was able to confirm the infestation, they were not able to get rid of rats in the drain and sewer pipes. They only deal with broken pipework outside of the property, which of course, was not the issue here.

Hiring the services of a pest control company is the only way to get rid of rats.  Many DIY and online stores sell rat poison, but none are strong enough to effectively get rid of the rats from drain pipes on your property.

Eradipest were able to visit Mr. Martin’s garden and get rid of his rat problem with a fast and effective treatment. Not only that,  we were able to suggest methods of preventing rats from troubling them again.

Rats in toilets!

We are never surprised about some of the places where customers have found rats.

This was a callout to a local property where a rat had found its way from the main drain into a toilet on the third floor. We will be taking measures to prevent a recurrence at this property.

A toilet bowl with a rat in the pan, which had got in through the drains.

How to stop rats going up drain pipes

Preventing further infestation is as important as getting rid of rats in the first place. We can suggest and install various options that might include using a rodent mesh, plugging up disused pipes, and installing one-way valves.  These are flaps which allow water and waste to flow out to the sewers, but will not allow rats to go back up the drain pipes into your property.

If you have signs of rats in drains or sewer pipes in your home or garden, get in touch with Eradipest now.  We are here 24/7 and you can call us on 0333 600 6005, or visit our callback page to arrange for one of our expert team to ring you at a convenient time.

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