NBC Environment were contacted by a letting agent for advise on a city centre property which had a current rat infestation and had a pungent smell which made it unsuitable to bring to the market. This property has been vacant for more than a couple of years and clearly had issues with drains and ingress as there was easy rat access around the property. The property was part of a long terraces of shops and old tenement flats which are notorious for rats and ease of movement across properties.
NBC were asked to survey the property to understand why there was an issue and to advise and support operationally with the solution to eradicate the current infestation and to help clear the smell and to protect the property going forward.
NBC Environment surveyed the site to understand how the property was been accessed by the vermin.
It was noted that the property was generally in good decorative condition inside but that it had lots of evidence of rat activity including rotten rat carcasses caught in snap traps dotted around different areas, which shows it did have an attempt at previous pest control for a period.
There was also an issue with a drainpipe in a basement cupboard not property capped off and a poorly fitted Sani-flow system which was allowing easy access for the rats up from underneath the floor and into the basement.
It was also evident that there was easy access through the cavity walls into the main property as there were numerous holes in the plaster wall and there was a large unfinished section of stud wall in a cupboard which was not properly finished off.
There were also numerous holes throughout, with gaps in the wall where there were fitted pipes traveling between rooms and up through the floor. There was then evidence of chewing through skirting and plaster in order to move from room to room once access was gained.
The first job was to raise a quick quote to remove the carcasses, clean and disinfect the area, as well as to introduce some odour control to remove the smell.
Then an intensive period of monitoring with baiting and trapping the areas in the cavity wall and beside the Sani flow drains and across the basement done weekly for 4 weeks.
We then agreed once the proofing work was completed to visit as a minimum monthly (for 3 months) then if all clear to drop to 8 weekly monitoring for the next three visits, then it could be moved to quarterly if still not occupied. Permanent internal rodenticide would be used only. Rodents when they have consumed rodenticide normally return unwell to their nest where they eventually die, avoiding smells on a property.
Knowing the Sani flow system had been poorly fitted and seeing the rats could tunnel up though the floor and up into the basement floor proofing could be designed to mesh and concrete the surrounding pipe work blocking their ingress from underneath the floor.
The open pipe in the basement cupboard was investigated as redundant and a cap was placed over to stop any potential future access should it be damaged out of site.
The other holes in the wall were easily sealed and if there were any concerns rats are still able to access the cavity wall then small hatches can be created to investigate and we can continue to bait inside the cavity to maintain control.
Left untreated rodents can cause a wide range of problems.