Defender Pest Control Services

Our Pest Services

Rat Control Wirral

Rats are widely considered one of the most feared pests in the world, having them in your home or business can be incredibly distressing. Perhaps you have made it to this page because you have heard some unusual scuttling, scratching, or gnawing in your property? Or maybe you, like so many others, want to know how to prevent ever coming into contact with a rat. Either way below is all you need to know about rats and any infestation you may be experiencing. And how we, at Defender Pest Control, can provide you with a prompt, guaranteed solution to all your rat problems!

We cover the Wirral and the North West.

Having rats in your home or business can have devastating effects and there are many reasons why a rat infestation needs to be controlled as soon as possible. Rats are known carriers of pathogens and diseases such as salmonella, listeria, and hantavirus these are all transmitted by their urine and rats urinate everywhere they go! Rats are also known to cause extensive damage to property whether that’s structural or electrical rats have a knack of causing all sorts of damage to a wide range of properties. Furthermore, if rats are in your business this can result in a whole host of problems such as loss of earnings, a damaged reputation and heavy costs from spoilages and damage.

And if these reasons aren’t enough

one of the most common specific phobias is musophobia which is a fear of rats. So, getting rats under control in your home or business can keep these fears at bay for all!

Rat Biology

There are two species of rat in the UK, the Brown/ Common rat (Rattus Norvegicus) and the Black/Ship rat (Rattus Rattus). It is difficult to accurately say how many rats are actually living in the UK, but it estimated to be between 10.5 million and 120 million- which is probably why the saying ‘you’re never more than 6ft away from a rat’ certainly sounds plausible!

Types of Rat

The Brown / Common Rat

The Brown/Common Rat is around 23cm in length (not including their tail), their tail is less than the length of their head and body combined, and they weigh on average 0.5kg. They have a blunt muzzle/nose, small eyes and ears and a thicker body than the Black Rat. The Brown Rat looks for a home that can provide food, water and shelter and may be found in roof spaces, wall cavities, and under floorboards. They are also found living in sewers across the UK and may burrow into grassy banks/ under sheds in garden areas. Brown Rats are impressive swimmers they can nonstop paddle for up to 72 hours and can hold their breath underwater for up to 3 minutes! They are omnivorous and are not fussy with what they eat however their preferred food is cereals they will eat around 30g of food per day.

The Black / Ship Rat

The Black Rat is around 15cm in length (not including their tail), their tail is usually longer than their head and body combined, and they weigh on average 0.25kg. They have a pointed nose, large eyes and ears and a slender body when compared to the Brown Rat. They are rarely found in the UK now but can occasionally be found in shipping ports (hence the name). They are incredibly agile and are very good climbers and may be found in roof spaces and attics, it is very rare for them to be found outdoors and they are not known to burrow. Their preferred food is moist fruits, and they will eat around 15g of food per day.

Call now for a free no obligation quote

We're looking forward to hearing from you


As with any pest prevention is most definitely better than a cure. Rats are one of the most feared pests so it is understandable that you may be wondering how best to protect your home or business from an infestation. Due to their impressive life cycle and breeding habits, it is very important to act fast when you notice any of the initial signs of an infestation. Below are some of our top preventative measures you can take today to protect your property for years to come:

Get Your Free Quote

Please provide us with as much information as possible to allow us to quote accurately 

More Rat Facts

  • Rats are incredibly well adapted creatures. They do not have the best eyesight but what they lack in sight they make up for with their excellent use of touch, taste, and smell. They use their whiskers to feel around their environment, and they use ultrasound to communicate and detect any sudden sounds.
  • Their sense of sound is so strong they can detect noises up to 90,000Hz which is 4 times better than that of humans and double that of dogs.
  • Their tails also offer several important functions such as providing them with great stability and balance and due to its blood supply being close to the surface they are able to effectively regulate their body temperature through this clever tail.
  • Rats are very agile animals and are able to jump up to 3ft in the air. They can even fall up to 50ft without being injured.
  • Rats are nocturnal creatures which is why they are often only heard during the night when we are trying to sleep, and human activity is at its lowest. They feed only at night and eat on average 50g of food a day.
  • Some rats are able to reach 1kg in weight, this is rare but usually occurs when conditions are most preferable (food and water in good supply) and there is little competition for food.
  • Rats have to keep their teeth in shape which is why they gnaw on things- anything and everything! They have been known to chew on cinderblock, bone, metal, pipes, and wires. Which is why in some situations a rat infestation is only detected when a flood or electrical fire breaks out!
  • Rats tend to be more active in colder months as they become bolder in their search for shelter and food in human structures.
  • Rats need daily water to survive unlike mice, rats also prefer to have a varied diet daily.

Rats Life Cycle

Rats have a very impressive mating and life cycle. When conditions are preferable they can reproduce up to every six weeks with litters containing between 6-8 offspring. From initial gestation to adult maturity each stage of a rats life cycle takes on average 21 days. Rats are mammals meaning they give birth to live young (these young are known as pups) it takes around 21 days from birth for these pups to be fully weaned and enter adulthood. Alike to mice female rats go through a process known as postpartum estrus which means they can become pregnant again almost immediately after giving birth usually between 10-24 hours. When rats reach 5 weeks old they become sexually mature themselves meaning a rat infestation can rapidly grow out of control- a pair of brown rats could produce up to 200 babies and 2000 descendants in just 1 year!

Brown Rats will have on average 7-8 young per litter and can have anywhere from 3-6 litters a year. Black Rats will have on average 5-10 young per litter and will also have anywhere from 3-6 litters a year.

Wild rats will only live on average 1 year, however domesticated rats kept as pets can live up to 3 years when cared for properly. 

Spotting a Rat

Often rats can be confused for other rodents such as mice, shrews, and voles. It is important to understand the difference between each rodent so the best action can be taken. Water Voles and Shrews are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 so if you are confused as to what has invaded your home or business best practice is to call in one of our experts from Defender Pest Control before attempting any DIY techniques. We can accurately identify a rat and provide you with the best treatment and preventative measures.


  • 5kg
  • 15-28cm long
  • Blunt snout
  • Small eyes and ears
  • Tail shorter than their body
  • Long body with big feet


  • Less than 25g
  • 6-9cm (not including tail)
  • Pointed snout
  • Big eyes and large ears
  • Tail the same length as their body
  • Round body with small feet


  • 5-12g
  • 5-8.2cm (not including their tail)
  • Pointed snout
  • Small eyes and ears
  • Tails less than ¾ of their overall body length
  • Round body with large feet


  • 20-51g
  • 9-13.5cm (not including their tail)
  • Blunt round snout
  • Small eyes and ears
  • A short tail between 2-4cm
  • Shaggy hairs on their body

Why Have Rats Chosen Your Property?

If you have rats in your property you may be left thinking why have they chosen your property to invade. Unfortunately, a rat infestation can happen in almost any property in any location. Like most pests rats enter our human structures on the hunt for food, shelter, and water and if your property can offer even one of these things you may be next!

Rats mainly enter properties on the hunt for a perfect nesting spot. They like to use products that are soft and warm, and this can anything from insulation to old clothes/mattresses. If your house is not effectively pest proofed (crack and hole free) then rats can easily gain access, they have an impressive ability to compress their bodies down to fit in gaps as small as a 10p coin! Once rats are inside your property they will then begin the hunt for the soft materials you have that can be used for their nest.

As we have already discussed rats are also incredibly nimble and agile meaning they can easily scale up pipes, brickwork, and vines in an attempt to find an entry point to your building. There are of course preventive measures that can be taken to reduce the chance of an infestation but honestly it really can happen to anyone!

Rats in Your Business

Having rats invade your business can have detrimental effects if fast action and preventative measures are not taken quick enough. Rats can be a problem for any business at any time, so it is important no matter what business you are in you take some time to effectively proof your premises from a rat infestation and get some preventative measures in place before any rat problems arise- this is even more so important if you are in the hospitality sector.

If a customer or client spots a rat on your business premises or any slight indicator that they may be a rat problem, this could quite easily be game over for you. A highly publicised rat problem is something you definitely do not want whether that’s from a customer spotting a rat run across your restaurant floor or rat droppings in your hotel swimming pool it can very quickly lead to your brand being damaged, severe loss of earnings or you even having to close for good. Having rats in your business can also be costly due to the electrical and structural damage they can cause with their persistent gnawing.

Under the Food Safety Act 1990 owners of food businesses must keep their premises pest free, failure to do so can result in heavy fines and ultimately your business being closed down. Furthermore, under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 property and landowners must keep their premises rodent free- it is incredibly important therefore, that anyone in business must have rodent preventative measures in place. 

Here, at Defender Pest Control we can provide your business with a discrete, one stop, guaranteed solution to any pest problem you may currently be experiencing. We can also provide your business with a tail made service plan to prevent any future infestations for years to come- just call one our friendly advisors today for a free site survey and quote!

Signs of a Rat Infestation

Due to their nocturnal nature, it can be difficult to know whether your property has fell victim to a rat infestation. With other pests the first indicator that you have a problem is spotting an increase in activity, with rats however, it is often easier to spot the signs of an infestation as you may never actually see a live rat. Below are some of our top tell-tale signs that rats are active in your property:

  • Rat droppings- rats can leave up to 40 droppings in one night. Their droppings are dark, and pellet shaped and can look like big grains of rice.
  • Smear marks- rats can leave behind a greasy residue as they bodies rub against surfaces.
  • Gnaw marks- as we have already established rats love to gnaw. You may notice gnaw marks on wires, cables, woodwork, and foodstuff.
  • Nests- it may be possible for you to find a rats nest in your attic space, under floorboards or even your shed. They use soft materials such as clothing and insulation so you may see fibres that have been dragged to their nesting site.
  • Footprints- in dusty areas where rats nest such as attics, it can be possible to find their foot and tail marks and follow these to locate an entry point/nest.
  • You may also be able to hear scratching and gnawing around your property. This will be more prominent at night.

A rat infestation can also be linked to a strong ammonia smell around your property.

Request A Call Back From Us