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Pest Control - Collapsed drains and sewer systems = Rats.

Updated: Feb 3

Most pest control companies or pest control technicians will often start any rat infestation survey by looking at your business or home sewer and drainage system. Its widely reported that around 80% of all residential rat infestations stem from a drain fault. It therefore makes sense to start with a drain survey.


Most of the sewer faults and collapses that we experience have been in older or Victorian style drainage systems. The old style ceramic sewer systems are prone to collapse due to ground movement or just degradation. Its not to say that newer houses or building won't have the same issue but in newer pipe work, its far more likely to be a break in a join or chew through.


Below we have shown a great example of a Victorian style sewer collapse that we found at a rodent survey. You will note that pipe halves have separated from the main drain and allowed big gaps for rats to burrow into. Unfortunately this had allowed rats to burrow and make their way under the floor of the property. Its worth noting that the area that the rats had burrowed into from the drain fault was some 4 to 5 metres away.




We have created the below image to demonstrate how a drain or sewer fault can be taken advantage of by a rat or multiple rats who escape the drain system. You have to remember that ultimately rats are all about self preservation. They rely on the simplest and most basic of requirements and thought processes. When rats find a fault in a drain and choose to leave the drainage system, they looking for two things.

  1. Food/ drink.

  2. Safe harbourage ( Warm - dry - safe )

It is possible that the rats have already identified your property as fulfilling the above and simply burrow to find a safe passage between the drain fault and your property. It is also possible that rats are attracted to the warmth of the building or the availability of a food source. Whatever the reason, we need to deal with the access issue at the same time as we deal with the eradication of the vermin.



Rats in collapsed drains
Understanding how collapsed drains lead to rat infestations.

So how can we deal with the problem? The first step will always be a full survey. This will include your drain covers being lifted to prove or disprove this theory. There is of course a chance that it may not be your drains! If the drains are potentially identified as the fault, the next step may be to have a smoke test undertaken on the drains. This could identity where the fault is in the system. Failing this a full CCTV survey of your drainage may be required. This should identify exactly where the fault is and it may be something as simple as a redundant waste/sewer outlet that has not been capped off (easy fix).


Other solutions Kent County Pest Control offer, which can be both preventative or also potentially solve the issue are the fitting of one way drain valves. One way drain valves or drain flaps or even rat flaps, offer protection from the main sewer run away. They can be fitted at the waste outlet and create a system whereby the the pipe will only allow for waste out. Check out the picture below showing two drain flaps that we fitted at a residential property where rats escaping drains was an issue. We will also cap off redundant outlets that could be causing the main issue if they are identified.



Rat Drain Flaps
Drain flaps fitted by Kent County Pest Control

As you can see, we fit the drain flaps neatly into the outlets, securing them to the wall of your drain. They are very strong and made of steel which stops the rats chewing through them, unlike the cheaper plastic ones that are available. We only use reliable, tested products as this will avoid unnecessary blockages that can sometimes happen with cheaper inferior products.


We hope you have enjoyed reading our sewer and drainage blog, and as always we are on hand to help you with your rat infestation. Call us now on 01622 532073 to discuss how we can support your business or home with any pest control issue you may have.


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