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Rats: Can they really enter your property through your drains?

Yes rats really can climb your drains

When it comes to unwanted pests invading our properties, rats are often at the top of the list. With their natural desire to gnaw and the ease at which they carry disease, they can bring with them untold destruction and a huge health risk. And while drains play an essential role in managing the flow of water and waste, they unfortunately also provide rats with the perfect environment to live, breed and discreetly enter your property.

Drains often accumulate a treasure trove of food debris, grease, and organic matter, an enticing food source for rats. Whether it's a build up of crumbs, leftover scraps, or decaying matter, rats find a consistent and readily available supply of nourishment within your drain system. Drains also provide a sheltered haven from the elements and potential predators, which makes them the perfect environment for rats to nest, breed and raise their young.

But at the top of a drain, rats find something far more enticing… your property. An environment that as well as providing even more opportunity for food, also provides the benefit of warmth, things to gnaw, and less threat of water suddenly pouring over them. And by accessing your property through your drains, it is far easier for them to go unnoticed.

You may think that your drainpipes are too narrow for rats to climb up, and the openings are too small - how could a rat possibly get into my property this way? Well…

  • Rats are incredibly adaptable creatures, capable of squeezing through surprisingly small openings. Drainpipes, which are relatively narrow, present little challenge for these flexible invaders.

  • Rats are skilled at finding and navigating through openings in the pipes, such as cracks, gaps, or holes. This is often the case when a drain hasn't been used or maintained for an extended period of time and starts to deteriorate. Partial blockages in sewer pipes can also create pressure fluctuations within the drainage system. These fluctuations can cause gaps or openings in the pipes, which rats may exploit to gain access.

  • Properties often have sewer maintenance openings or cleanout pipes that provide access to the sewer system for maintenance purposes. If these openings are not adequately sealed or become damaged, rats can potentially enter the property through them.

  • In some cases, water traps or U-bends in plumbing can dry out, removing the barrier that would typically prevent rats from entering properties. This can happen in drains that are not regularly used, allowing rats to pass through.

What can we do about it?

The magnetic allure of drains for rats lies in their hidden, discreet, and food-rich nature. However, you don't have to accept a rat invasion as an inevitable consequence of living or working in an urban environment. By installing a RatGate, a device that blocks rats from advancing up your drains, whilst still allowing water and waste to pass freely through it, you will be taking control and stopping these pesky rodents right in their tracks.


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