Rat prevention

The Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 is clear that the responsibility for dealing with rats falls to the land owner, so it is essential owners take responsibility and understand that any enforcement action will be taken against them if they fail to manage their land appropriately.

What Reading Borough Council can do:

  • Provide information and advice on rats to residents.

  • In some cases, take enforcement action where we have evidence of rats on private land that owners are failing to deal with.

  • Continue with street cleaning to reduce environmental food sources on the highway.

  • Advise residents on waste management and recycling and monitor the area to ensure compliance with waste legislation.

  • Work with Thames Water to ensure that any issues relating to their network are resolved.

  • Resolve issues on Council land.

What Reading Borough Council can't do:

  • Access all properties in the area and carry out proofing works or treatments.
  • Carry out an open public area baiting programme due to issues of access and risks of secondary poisoning to non-target species.
  • Survey private drains without the owner requesting this as a paid for service.
  • Rectify land use issues outside the Council's control.

What you can do:

  • Dispose of food in your grey bin and make sure the lid is closed.
  • Only put garden and uncooked vegetable waste on compost heaps.
  • Remove clutter and rubbish from the garden to prevent nests.
  • Keep your garden neat and tidy. Cut tree branches so they don't overhang your property and trim wall climbing plants. 
  • Fill inactive burrows so rats can't get back in. 
  • Avoid putting bird and pet food on the floor. Use suspended wire feeders, only use enough food for the day and clear away spilled food immediately.
  • Ensure any building work such as extensions or conservatories does not provide access for rats.
  • Repair any external structural faults to prevent rats entering your home. Seal holes around pipes, replace or cover damaged air vents, block gaps under external doors and check your drainage is in good repair.
  • Report any local refuse issues or flytipping
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