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Rats

Brown rat outdoors

Photo credit: P1130357 by ianpreston is licensed under CC BY 2.0

How do you identify rats?

Rats are:

  • brown to grey-black in colour
  • their tails are shorter than their bodies
  • usually have bodies that are 5 – 6 inches (13 – 15 cm) long and have 4 – 5 inch (10 – 13 cm) tails
  • they make gnawing, scratching and squeaking noises
  • they have smallish ears
  • they are active at night

If you have seen something smaller with a tail that is longer than its body, it could be a mouse.

What do rat droppings look like?

They leave droppings that are:

  • black in colour

  • the same size as baked beans

  • shaped like rugby balls

If the droppings are smaller and shaped differently, it could be mice.

What damage do rats do?

They chew on cables and woodwork like skirting boards and doors.

What do they eat?

Rats will eat anything that's out in the open or in cupboards.

How do you stop rats coming into your home?

  • Close off the places they can get in. These are holes in walls, skirting boards, cupboards or floors

  • Keep food in secure containers

  • Throw away your food waste 

How do you get rid of rats in Tower Hamlets?

This a free service for all Tower Hamlets residents.

Please note

if we find that the pest is a mouse rather than a rat, you get free treatment for it. You will need to pay, get rid of them for you.

Please make sure what you have seen is not signs of mice.

Rat in a dwelling

On our visit, we will try to kill the rat. We may also leave a trap and / or poison bait.

If needed, we will make follow-up visits to be sure your home is clear of rats.

Rat in a garden or public area

The treatment will depend the number of rats and what we see when we visit you. The pest control officer will explain this to you.

If needed, we will make follow-up visits to make sure the garden is clear of rats.