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Rats in the ranks: How to battle rodents in your drainage system

Rats – the uninvited guests that most homeowners dread. These sneaky rodents are notorious for wreaking havoc on properties, and your drainage system is no exception. Not only do rats carry diseases, but their presence in drain pipes can lead to blocked drains and create a multitude of problems.

But fear not!

In this blog post, we will explore this whiskered menace, uncovering ways to identify their presence, the dangers they pose to your pipes, and how to call in the drainage specialists for that much-needed drain unblocking.

Spotting the rat: what to do if you see rats in your drainage system

If you happen to catch a glimpse of a rat in your drainage system, it’s crucial to act promptly. While a single rodent might not seem like a cause for concern, it could be a sign of a more significant issue. Make a note of the date, time, and location of the sighting, and consider installing a drain camera to gather more information.

Discussing your findings with a drainage specialist is essential to determine the severity of the situation and inform future preventative measures.

Detection and deduction: how to identify if you have a rat infestation

Several signs can indicate you have rats making themselves at home in your drain pipes. Common indicators include:

  • Noises: Scratching, squeaking, or gnawing sounds originating from your drain pipes
  • Foul odours: A persistent, musty smell coming from drains
  • Droppings: The presence of rat droppings around drainage outlets
  • Burrows: Rat burrows near your drain pipe, often filled with shredded materials
  • Gnaw marks: Fresh gnaw marks on plastic or rubber pipes are key tells that a rat (or two) is present.
  • CCTV survey: A CCTV drain survey conducted by a professional drainage specialist can reveal the presence of rats and any damage they may have caused.

If you notice any of these signs, contact a drainage expert immediately for a thorough inspection and proper action to be taken.

Risky rodents: the dangers of having rats in your drain pipes

Apart from being a nuisance, rats in your drainage system pose numerous risks that must be addressed:

  1. Health hazards: Rats are carriers of multiple diseases, such as leptospirosis and salmonella, which can contaminate your water supply and pose health risks to your family. 
  2. Structural damage: Rats can chew through drain pipes and other fixtures, leading to blocked drains, leaks, and even flooding. 
  3. Electrical hazards: Rats have no qualms about chewing through electrical wiring, causing potential fires or electrical outages.

Relocating the rascals: how to get rid of rats in your home and drains

Luckily, there are various ways to oust unwanted rodents from your drainage system:

  • Traps: Set up snap traps or glue traps strategically in areas where rats are likely to congregate.
  • Bait: Using poisoned bait may be effective, but consult a professional to ensure the safety of pets and non-target wildlife.
  • Ultrasonic devices: Utilising high-frequency noise to deter rats is an option, though the effectiveness is still debated.
  • Professional help: When in doubt, calling in the experts is necessary for effective drain unblocking and rat removal.

Fortune favours the prepared: prevention tips to keep rats away from your drains

To avoid another rat invasion, take these preventative steps:

  1. Seal up entrances: Patch any gaps or cracks in your drain pipes to eliminate entry points.
  2. Remove food sources: Keep all food tightly sealed, clean up any spills or crumbs immediately, and ensure rubbish bins are secure.
  3. Trim branches: Overhanging trees near your home can act as a bridge for rats to access your property. Keep them trimmed back.
  4. Regular maintenance: Conducting routine checks on your drainage system and fixing any potential issues will prevent future infestations.


Commonly asked questions about rats in drain pipes

Q: Can rats swim up drains?

A: Yes, rats are excellent swimmers and can enter your home through damaged or open drainage systems.

Q: Will bleach keep rats away from my drains?

A: No, while bleach may temporarily mask the scent of food residue, it will not deter determined rodents.

Q: Why do rats like to live in drains?

A: Drains provide shelter, safety, and a steady supply of food and water for rats.

Q: Is it safe to handle rat droppings?

A: No, rat droppings can carry diseases and should be handled with protective gloves and disposed of properly.

Q: Will a CCTV survey detect rats?

A: Yes, a CCTV survey can detect the presence of rats in your drain pipes and any damage they may have caused.


In conclusion, rats in your drainage system can cause significant health hazards and structural damage to your property. It’s essential to be vigilant about signs of rat infestation, such as noises, foul odours, droppings, burrows, and gnaw marks. If you suspect a rat invasion, it’s crucial to enlist professional help immediately.

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Effective solutions to evict these rodents include traps, poisoned bait, high-frequency deterrents, and professional drain unblocking services. Prevention, however, is always better than cure. Regular maintenance, sealing up pipe entrances, removing food sources, and trimming overhanging branches can help prevent rat infestations.

Remember, your home is yours, not theirs. With these measures, you can keep it that way.  So, don’t hesitate to contact a drainage specialist if you suspect rats in your drains and take the necessary steps to protect your home and family.  Stay vigilant, stay safe!

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