rat vs mouse removal in uk

What is the Difference Between a Rat and a Mouse?

Rat vs Mouse Removal

Rats and mice, both belonging to the order Rodentia, share similarities but have distinct differences. Rats, typically larger in size, range from 0.5 to 2 pounds, while mice are notably smaller, weighing between 0.5 to 1 ounce. Their body proportions differ too; rats possess larger heads and bodies in relation to their size, contrasting with mice that have smaller heads and bodies. Ears and tails serve as distinguishing features—rats possess larger ears in proportion to their heads, while mice showcase relatively larger tails in comparison to their body size.

Behaviorally, rats lean towards cautiousness and deliberate exploration, moving at a slower pace, while mice display curiosity and swift exploration of their surroundings. Their social structures vary—rats often live in colonies or family groups, whereas mice tend towards solitary or smaller group formations.
In terms of lifespan, rats typically live longer, around 2-3 years, compared to mice, which generally live for 1-2 years. Reproduction patterns also differ; rats have fewer offspring per litter but may have multiple litters annually, whereas mice produce more offspring per litter but may have fewer litters in a year.

While both fall under the family Muridae, rats usually encompass species within the genus Rattus, like the Norway rat and roof rat, while mice refer to various species within the genus Mus, such as the house mouse.

Wasp nest removal

Wasp Nest Removal

The warmer days and longer nights are beginning to show their face, which means one thing, Summer is on its way! However, there is one pest that loves to ruin our sunny afternoons, wasps!

wasps in a cafe

The presence of a wasps’ nest often leads to property owners taking matters into their own hands and trying to remove a wasp nest themselves.

However, it is highly advised that you do not attempt to remove a wasp nest without professional help.

How NOT to remove a wasp nest

There are many sources online advising on the best DIY methods to remove a wasp nest. Wasps are aggressive creatures and require little to no aggravation to attack, so trying to remove a wasp nest yourself can cost you both financially and physically.

DIY wasp nest removal is Not advised!

1. Burning a wasp nest

Using fire to remove a wasp nest is a very dangerous task and is not a successful way to eradicate the wasps.

Wasp nests are made from a thin papery substance produced by chewing wood into a pulp, making it extremely flammable. Because of this, burning a wasp nest can often lead to not only your property catching fire, but also you suffering painful burns.

Another problem with burning a wasp nest is that it is not an effective way to control a wasp problem. This is because it doesn’t kill all the wasps. It can lead to the remaining wasps in the nest becoming violent, as well as the wasps out foraging for food, resulting in them attacking you and any bystanders.

2. Water

Using water is often regarded as another way to get rid of a wasp nest. The truth is that flooding a wasps nest isn’t an effective method at all. This is because:

  1. Depending on the location of the nest, using water to remove a wasp nest can result in further damages to your property. For example, if the wasp nest is your attic, trying to remove a wasp nest by flooding it could cause water damage to your attic beams and ceiling plaster boards.
  2. Trying to flood a nest won’t get rid of all the wasps inhabiting the hive either. Similar to the effects of trying to burn a wasp nest, the wasps will become vicious and begin to attack, leaving you with a handful of painful stings.

3. Destroying a wasp nest with a baseball bat

Destroying a wasp nest with a bat, racket or any other item is another talked about removal option. To be honest, this is the least intelligent idea for removing a wasp nest yourself.

Trying to remove a wasp nest by destroying it with a baseball bat will put you at direct risk of getting stung, not only once but multiple times. This can be particularly dangerous if you are allergic to wasp stings as you could go into anaphylactic shock.

This method of DIY wasp nest removal puts you in close proximity to the hive, which is often enough aggravate them to trigger an attack. Trying to remove a wasp nest using a baseball bat can often result in being stung before the task has started.

Best way to get rid of a wasp nest

Wasp NestFind out the best way to get rid of a wasp nest

The best way to remove a wasp nest is contacting a pest control professional. It may seem like an easy job, but a pest control technician is professionally trained to handle and remove wasp nests in a safe and efficient manner, and here’s why:

  • Safety equipment: An exterminator has access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and respiratory protective equipment (RPE). This fully protects them from wasp stings, ensuring their safety when removing a wasp nest.
  • Working in small spaces: Pest technicians are trained, and qualified to work in small spaces such as your attic. This allows them to successfully remove a wasp nest safely from a property.
  • Expert knowledge: A pest control professional has expert knowledge on wasps; they know all about their behavior and instincts as well as how to identify the signs of an allergic reaction to wasp stings.
  • Professional products: Wasp exterminators have access to, and are professionally trained to use a variety of pest control products not available to the public. These products are more powerful than any DIY products on the market and have a proven track record of successfully removing wasp nests.

DIY wasp nest removal

If you are still adamant that you can and want to remove a wasp nest yourself, it is highly advised that you:

  • Have a well thought out plan and an exit strategy;
  • Remove the nest at night time. Wasps are more docile during this time so are less likely to sting;
  • Wear protective clothing covering arms, legs, hands, feet, and face;
  • Avoid using torches and lanterns as this will alert the wasps to what you are doing;
  • Keep children and pets away at a safe distance i.e. if the wasp nest is in your garden keep them inside.

How to remove a wasp nest

Wasp nest with wasps
How to remove a wasp nest
  1. Approach the nest slowly and quietly at night time;
  2. Take a bin liner and slowly cover the wasp nest;
  3. Detach the wasp nest from the tree or wall it is attached to and seal the bag;
  4. Place the bin liner in an outside bin which has a tightly fitted lid, preferable away from the house.

If possible it’s a good idea to have a full can of insecticide handy to spray on the nest before removing it.

It is important to note, that if the wasp nest is in a hard to reach place such as underneath your gutters, or up high in a tree, you should NOT try and remove the nest yourself as this could lead to severe injuries.

You should NOT attempt DIY wasp nest removal, if you are, or think you might be, allergic to wasp stings!

How to prevent wasp nests

Following the steps below can help prevent wasps from building their nest in your home and/or garden:

  • Carry out regular maintenance to ensure all cracks and potential entry points are sealed;
  • Install fly screens on windows and doors to prevent wasps from entering your home;
  • Place wasp traps around your garden. These can be purchased from your local DIY store or online. Alternatively you can make one yourself using an empty bottle, water and sugar.

Rattic Pest Control
WE COVER ALL LOCATION In Windsor, Slough, Gerrards Cross, Maidenhead, Hayes, Uxbridge, West Drayton, Hounslow, heston, Feltham, southall, Ruislip, harrow, burnham, fulmer, Twickenham, Brentford, Northolt

Found a wasp’s nest in your home or garden and need help removing it? Get in contact with Rattic Pest Control today.

Pest Control Bed Bug mattress

Bed Bug Signs in a Mattress

Bed bugs are amongst the worst pests that could be infesting your home as they feed on your blood while you sleep, hence the name “bed bugs.” This preference for human blood causes sleepless nights and much anxiety for many homeowners.

Cimex lectularius (bed bugs) are often hard to identify. They’re crafty bugs and operate during the night, and due to this, the first bed bug signs people spot is usually that they have been bitten on their body. Our guide will help you identify bed bugs and the common signs that they may have infested your home.

Can you see bedbugs?

Bed bugs can be challenging to see for multiple reasons, mainly because they’re active during the night, as well as their size. Adult bed bugs are around 5-7mm in length, making them difficult to spot with the naked eye. However, if your infestation is relatively bad, you may spot signs of bed bugs as they congregate together.

When looking for bed bug signs, you should check the following areas:

  • The heading of your beds
  • The frame of your beds
  • The creases of your mattress
  • Carpets
  • Cupboards
  • Electrical sockets
  • Draws
  • Cracks and crevices
  • Wooden areas such as skirting boards

The first area to start your search would be your bedroom as they feed on human blood during the night. Due to this, we recommend inspecting bed frames and headings, as well as the creases of your mattress, before checking other areas.

I’ve spotted bed bug signs, now what?

You need a thorough inspection by Rattic to confirm the problem and arrange for one of our technicians to carry out a treatment. Our experience is exceptional, and we’ve performed loads of bed bug treatments in London and its surrounding areas.

Learn more on how to get rid of bed bugs

What to do

If you think you’ve found a bug that is a bed bug, trap it and take a photo of it. Now you can send it to a professional or compare it online with images to see if the bug is a Cimex lectularius. It’s best to ask a professional, as bed bugs often get confused for other insects such as:

  • Ticks
  • Fleas
  • Cockroach nymphs (young)
  • Carpet beetle
  • Other nymphs

Next, you should gather all your clothes, bedding and materials and wash them at a high temperature of above 60°C. If cleaning your clothes at this heat is not a suitable option, you can freeze them for a couple of days.

Ultimately, you should contact a professional pest control company to undertake the treatment. Trying to remove bed bugs after you’ve noticed signs on your own rarely works as professional have access to high-grade equipment, insecticides and, more importantly, knowledge.

Bed bug shells

Over the years, we’ve found that one of the quickest ways to spot bed bug signs is to look for empty shells on a mattress. Bed bugs grow as they feed on human blood and, over time, need to grow larger, resulting in them shredding their bodies. Bed bugs have around five stages until they reach adulthood, resulting in five-time that they shred their skin, and when bed bugs have heavily infested an area, you’ll find hundreds and maybe thousands of shells left behind.

Bed bug faecal spots

Looking for dark black spots on your furniture or mattress sounds unpleasant, but it’s a typical bed bug warning. These opaque black spots are likely to be bed bug excrement and can be tested by seeing if they smudge when rubbed with some water. Check pillows, sheets and other bedroom surfaces for faecal spots, and if you find some, it’s best to call an expert to inspect the property further.

Bed bug bites

Unfortunately, as mentioned throughout this article, bed bugs bite. Bites are horrible and can cause sleepless nights for anyone with a potential infestation; however, Rattic must point out that not everyone has bite symptoms. So if your partner has bite marks and you don’t, make sure to check all the other potential bed bug clues to identify if you have a problem.

Itchiness from bites

The primary identifier of bed bug bites is usually how itchy your skin becomes. These irritating red marks are nothing to be concerned about health-wise but can be very itchy. The most common areas in which bed bugs bite include:

  • Arms
  • Neck
  • Head
  • Hands

Itchiness is not the only discomfort you may spot as a sign; other symptoms include:

  • Burning sensation
  • Raised red bumps
  • Red bumps in a zigzag pattern or line

Bad quality sleep

If you’re reading this article, you probably already have an issue with some insect in your bedroom. After you notice any of the previous symptoms, it’s common for sleep to be dramatically impacted, and if you think you have bed bugs, you’ll never be able to nod off to sleep again. Although the first thought is to move out until the problem is fixed, we strongly recommend against this; bed bugs travel in clothing, and you risk infecting the new place while you sleep there. Instead, contact our emergency 24/7 line on 0740 043 4999 to arrange a bed bug treatment for your home. We’ll have you sleeping like a baby again in no time at all.

Blood spots on bedding

A further step to confirm if your home is infested with bed bugs would be to look for blood spots on bedding, pillowcases and your mattress. When bed bugs feed on your blood, they often disperse residue onto your bedding. Furthermore, you may roll over and squish a bed bug during your sleep, leaving minor, visible red stains.

Bed bug musty odour

If you have a more significant infestation, the number of bed bugs will result in a musty odour. Other professionals we work with have compared it to coriander, but we can’t quite put our finger on the smell. What we can say is that the scent is highly noticeable. The smell produced by bed bugs is not a distinguishable sign of an infestation and should be used in combination with the other symptoms mentioned throughout this article.

Preventing bed bug infestations

Now that you know the bed bug signs and symptoms to look out for, you’ll want to know how to prevent infestations in the future. Most bed bug infestations are a result of travelling, not because you are dirty. When staying at hotels, other homes and accommodation, you are potentially staying in an infested area. Bed bugs attach themselves to clothing, shoes and bags to make the journey back to your bedroom.

To prevent an infestation, you should inspect any new sleeping area and elevate clothing and bags to avoid bed bugs crawling inside – never leave clothing on the floor. According to a study undertaken in the New England Journal of Medicine, 5% of hotel rooms were infested with bed bugs, making these checks essential to prevent bringing them home with you.

Bed bug treatments

If you’ve noticed any of the bed bug signs mentioned throughout this article, we recommend contacting us today. We operate throughout LondonSurrey and all the southeast of England, helping remove these challenging pests from homes for good.

Our bed bug control service uses two different methods to remove them, heat and chemical. It’s important to trust a professional with this work, as all bed bug lifeforms need to be destroyed to prevent the infestation from returning, which is where most untrained individuals fail.

Pest Control London Rodents Rat vs Mouse

Rat Vs Mouse

When you notice a rodent in your home or around your property, most people want to know; is it a rat or a mouse?

They have many similarities, but once you understand the difference, you’ll be able to identify which of the two you’ve seen.

But first, what is a rodent?

“A gnawing mammal of an order that includes rats, mice, squirrels, hamsters and their relatives, distinguished by strong constantly growing incisors and no canine teeth.” – Definitions from Oxford Languages

What is the appearance of a rat vs mouse?

For this article, we are going to focus on the typical brown rat. Brown rats have a thicker body and are much larger than mice. Often, people confuse a mouse with a young rat; however, a mouse will only span 4-10cm in length. Other ways to identify if the rodent is a rat or a mouse is that a young rat will have larger feet and smaller ears.

Brown rat:

  • Spans around 15-27cm
  • Weight of around 200-300g
  • Tail is 10-24cm


  • Spans around 10-20cm
  • Weight of around 12-30g
  • Tail is 5-10cm

What is the difference between rat and mouse droppings?

Using droppings as a way to identify which rodent is causing pest issues can be efficient. Rat droppings tend to look extremely shiny and are around 1.27 to 1.9 cm in length, compared to mice droppings which are smaller, softer and have pointed edges.

When inspecting rodent droppings, we recommend using personal protective equipment due to the diseases these droppings carry. Gloves and face masks should be sufficient, and an extra pro tip is not to sweep up the droppings since the diseases can become airborne. Read more information on how to get rid of rats or how to get rid of mice.

How does a rats behaviour differ from a mouse?

If you have mice in your home, you will notice they prefer to feed on cereals, fruits, seeds and grains and on some occasions; they can eat meat. On the other hand, brown rats tend to prefer grains, fish, nuts and meat.

One of the main differences in these two rodents behaviour is their reaction to new objects. Rats are known to be highly neophobic, which means they have an intense fear of anything new in their area. When a new thing is placed in their area, they tend to avoid them and stay wary for days. Neophobia in rats can make them difficult to catch or poison, and our experience has seen rats avoid traps for weeks on end. On the other hand, mice tend to be more curious and tend to approach new traps and poison to investigate them, making them easier to catch than rats.

Other behaviour differences between rats and mice include their need for water. Mice do not need to drink water. However, if there is water available, they will consume as little as 3ml per day. On the contrary, rats drink 60ml of water per day, making them more reliant on finding a water source.

A rats need for water will often find them living closer to water in larger areas. One of the most common issues we encounter in homes is rats accessing through sewers, which can cause costly damage if the problem is left for some time. On the other hand, Mice will nest in almost any area as long as it is quiet. They’re fantastic climbers and are usually found in attics, walls and under floorboards.

Health problems caused by rats and mice?

Although a rat vs mouse has many differences, they share one similarity with the health problems they transfer to humans. These health concerns include:

  • Plague
  • Salmonellosis
  • Leptospirosis
  • Tularemia

None of these diseases is fun to catch, and you want to take all measures to prevent rodents from accessing your property. Rodents can pass on these diseases in the following ways:

  • Contaminating food and drink
  • Being bitten by a rat or mouse
  • Rodent urine
  • faeces
  • Breathing airborne diseases

Breeding differences between rats vs mice

The brown rat breeds throughout the entire year, making an initial sighting significant to act upon. In total, the female rat tends to have up to five litters per year, and they can be as large as 14 rats. All of these litters become sexually mature by five weeks and go onto produce their own, showing how a small rat infestation can grow into a large one in no time at all. A shocking statistic taken from is that one pair of breeding rats can produce 15,000 pups in one year alone.

Comparing rats to mice is not on the same level. Mice can produce 7-10 litters per year which contain 4-12 pups. Furthermore, they become sexually active after 4-6 weeks of age, which is a severe issue for those trying to control them. Living indoors allows for breeding to happen all year round.

The lifespan for both of these rodents tends to be around one year; this is less than their life expectancy of three years due to the number of preditors and environmental challenges they face.

Next steps

If you’ve had rodents in your home, you should now be able to know the differences between a rat and a mouse. The following step is to contact a professional pest control company to remove the problem; as mentioned in this article, rats and mice have different behaviours that make them hard to catch and an untrained individual will struggle to remove the problem.

Rattic is the pest control company of choice in London; we’ve performed mice control in London and rat control in London to help homeowners avoid the terrible diseases these rodents carry. Alternatively, you can contact us on 0740 043 4999 for some advice.

Pest Control London cockroach problem

How to get rid of cockroaches

The British climate is not suitable for cockroaches to survive outside. Therefore, they tend to live around warmer heated areas such as boiler rooms and kitchens. They also remain hidden during the day, gathering in groups around humid areas such as pipes.

We understand that finding cockroaches in your kitchen, house, or apartment can send shivers down your spine. To help alleviate your cockroach problem, we’ve created this guide, entirely for free.

However, you’re probably wondering who Integrum Services is? We’re a leading member of the British Pest Control Asociation (BPCA) and have tons of experience offering cockroach control in London and all the south-east of England. We always advise using a professional cockroach removal company, as the results will be more effective. However, our guide is here to help you attempt it on your own.

Identifying a cockroach

The first step on how to get rid of cockroaches is to identify if they are the problem pest. Cockroaches are often confused with beetles, but thankfully, identifying a cockroach is a relatively straightforward process. Roaches are very distinguishable by their long whip-like antennae, flat oval bodies and quick, jerky walk. There are two types of cockroaches in the UK to be on the lookout for, Oriental and German Cockroaches.

German Cockroaches

The German Cockroach has a light yellow, brown look to it and is approximately 10 to 15mm long. German Roches carry around 30 nymphs until they are ready to hatch. They grow in stages, from larvae to maturity in 6 to 12 weeks.

Oriental Cockroaches

The Oriental Cockroach has a dark brown, black look to it and is 20 to 24mm long. Oriental Roaches deposit egg capsules in a suitable dark location before the 16 to 18 nymphs hatch around 12 weeks later. Unlike German Cockroaches, Oriental Roches grow from larvae to maturity in 6 to 12 months.

Finding a cockroach infestation

Now that you know what a cockroach looks like, the next step is to identify where the cockroach infestation is.

Start by beginning your search at night; cockroaches are nocturnal and tend to hide away during the day. Grab your torch and something to prod around in cracks and crevices. The best place to start would be the kitchen, although, other places cockroaches usually hide include bathrooms, living rooms, pipes, pantries or anywhere with warmth and food. Not to mention moist and damp areas are where you’re most likely to find roaches gathering.

If you’re unable to perform a night inspection we recommend looking for the following cockroach signs:

  • Droppings: cockroaches, like all other pests, are identifiable by their faeces. You should look for two types, hard droppings and liquid smear marks.
  • Smell: cockroaches have a very unpleasant smell. The odour tends to worsen when you have a severe cockroach infestation so don’t rely only on this to identify them.
  • Damage to food: check your food or packaging for damage as cockroaches will need to feed. Hence, the most popular place to find cockroaches is in the kitchen.
  • Skin: as cockroaches grow from nymphs to adults, they shred their skin.

Why should you control cockroaches?

It’s essential when deciding how to get rid of cockroaches you understand the dangers of not acting straight away. Cockroaches carry a whole host of diseases and are a severe risk to your health. Proven issues and conditions include:

  • Dysentery: cockroaches spread dysentery, which causes severe diarrhoea with blood. The primary cause of dysentery is poor hygiene, which proves the need for cockroach control.
  • E. Coli: cockroaches carry another bacteria called E. Coli, which often causes food poisoning – another reason to get rid of cockroaches in your kitchen.
  • Typhoid fever: cockroaches spread bacteria such as salmonella which can lead to such problems as typhoid fever.

We strongly advise if your developing symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea, contact a pest control professional to solve your cockroach problem immediately. DIY solutions are not guaranteed, and a cockroach removal specialist will have the experience to solve your problem for good.

How to get rid of cockroaches

As recommended multiple times throughout this article, you should not attempt to control cockroaches on your own. Cockroaches are natural-born survivors, and an untrained individual will likely not kill all lifecycles (eggs, nymphs and adults) meaning the problem will return.

  1. Clean: cockroaches are often associated with poor hygiene. We strongly recommend cleaning your home to both help prevent cockroaches and make your home hygienic again.
  2. Remove food: cockroaches are usually located in your kitchen, feeding on food sources. If you seal all food tightly and make sure no crumbs are left, you can have confidence that the diseases mentioned above won’t impact your health. Also, emptying your bins is important, a large amount of waste food is deposited here making it a perfect feeding area for roaches.
  3. Seal all gaps: removing food sources won’t get rid of all your cockroaches. A useful measure for eliminating them would be to fill any identified entry points. It would help if you filled all gaps between walls, tiles and pipes.
  4. Bait stations: are probably the most effective method for getting rid of roaches. We must point out that these are extremely harmful to children and pets, and inexperience in placement can backfire.
  5. Sticky traps: are a perfect way to monitor if you have got rid of cockroaches. Don’t use sticky traps as a control method, only to see if you’ve solved the problem.
  6. Contact a pest control professional: we probably sound like we’re beating a dead horse but eliminating cockroaches is not easy. There may be DIY solutions and poisons that you can find online, but you won’t be able to gain access to professional grade poisons like a registered member of the BPCA can.

How do you prevent a cockroach problem?

The best method is to be proactive and stop cockroaches before they ever become a problem. You can prevent cockroaches by maintaining high hygiene levels and storing food in tight containers. Furthermore, water is a vital part of a cockroaches survival, so stop all possible water access. If you’ve just moved into a new home, you should check the fridges and freezers over to make sure they are thoroughly clean.

Rattic Pest Control are BPCA members and have a range of experience using cockroach control methods in homes, businesses or apartments. Our service locations include all of the south-east, such as London and Surrey. For more details on pricing or how we can get rid of roaches for you, call us on 0740 043 4999