Rats in sewers can be a frustrating and scary problem. Besides destroying your plumbing, they can quickly invade your home and spread disease.
If you’ve seen signs of an infestation but aren’t sure what to do next, you’re in the right place. This article will fill you in on everything you need to know.
Here’s How To Get Rid Of Rats In Sewer Pipes
Step 1: Study the situation
The first and most crucial step towards getting rats out of your sewer is to accurately determine where they’re coming from and how they’re getting into your plumbing.
Sometimes, this may be as easy as finding cracked, twisted, bent, or misshapen pipes; seeing holes in the brickwork next to drains and gutters, or listening for any scuttling and scrapping sounds within your walls.
You’ll also want to inspect any blocked gutters, noisy pipes, and drainage problems, as they could all be signs you have rats in the sewer.
If you can’t find any evidence of structural problems, you should consult a third-party contractor to perform a camera scan of your drains. It will likely identify the problem. If you are in need of a professional, contact Clover Services for more information.
Step 2: Seal off all known points of entry
Once you’ve identified the problems, you will need to fix them right away. Repair any broken drains, and patch all the holes in your piping – more on that below.
Fix your sewer lines
There are two ways to repair a leaking or broken sewer: either by digging a trench around the pipe and fixing it from the outside or using a trenchless repair technique. The latter is preferred because it is more convenient and cost-effective. However, you’ll need to hire technicians for the job, as it requires specialized tools.
Your plumber will use one of two techniques to perform a trenchless repair.
The technician will insert an inflatable, epoxy-covered tube into the pipe, then fill it with air. The inflated tube will press against the old sewer from the inside while the epoxy sets. The tube will then be deflated, leaving behind a repaired line.
If your sewer line has sustained significant damage, the technician may choose to perform a more invasive trenchless repair technique. He or she will insert a cone-shaped bit into the pipe to destroy it then replace it with another. The process is expensive and time-consuming but doesn’t require excavation.
Pro tip: You should avoid flushing things like food and used diapers down the toilet. Sewer lines are only designed to handle toilet paper and human excrement, so using them for anything outside this purpose will increase the chances of damage. Besides, it may also attract rats in sewers to your home since materials like diapers make good nests and don’t disintegrate when flushed down the toilet.
Install a non-return valve
While non-return valves are usually meant to keep water from backing up into your toilet or bathtub, they’ll also keep the rats at bay. Here’s how you can install one for your toilet.
- Locate your property’s inspection chamber (it is usually just outside your house, next to the bathroom or toilet)
- Open the lid and study the number of pipes entering your house (Don’t be surprised if you find several)
- Have someone flush each toilet in your house while you watch the pipes to determine which one the water flows down.
- Check the pipe size. If it’s a residential property, you’ll likely need a 110mm non-return valve. If it’s a commercial property, you may need a 150mm non-return valve.
- Wear your gloves (each valve will usually come with a pair of gloves), then push the valve into the toilet you wish to protect.
Step 3: Catch the rats
The next thing you’ll need to do is catch the rats that are already in your drains, sewers, and other areas of your house, and a good trap will be your best option.
You’ll want to set a tempting bait that the rodents won’t ignore. It would also help to pick something sticky as it keeps the rats from snatching it up and running away. The longer they stay, the higher the chances that they’ll get caught.
Pro tip 1: Resist the urge to set the rat traps immediately after you place them. That way, you’ll earn the rats’ trust, so they’ll be caught off-guard when the trap is set.
Pro tip 2: While rat poison can be a good alternative, it will be extremely toxic to other animals around your home. In fact, the EPA has outlawed many consumer brands of rat poison for this very reason.
Step 4: Remove or relocate
If you used a live trap, you’d need to move the rats out of your home. Here are a few tips;
(a) The relocation process starts with the type of trap used to capture the rodent. You should ensure the trap is sufficiently sized, as it will make it easier to move the rodents.
(b) The relocation site should not be too cold (less than 4 degrees). Although rats are warm-blooded animals, they can’t survive exposure to a cold environment for long. You’ll also want to make sure it’s not raining or snowing when you relocate them. Rats usually build their nests underground, and it may be too hard for them to dig through wet or frozen soil.
If you use lethal traps, you will need to remove and dispose of the carcasses.
(a) Always wear rubber gloves for this process. Mix half a cup of bleach and detergent with a gallon of water and spray onto dead rats, traps, droppings, and the general area where the trap was set. Do not sweep up or vacuum any droppings as you could spread pathogens into the air.
(b) Put the disinfected rodent carcasses and droppings in a sealed plastic bag, then throw them in the garbage.
We’ve discussed everything you’ll need to deal with rats in sewer pipes, so getting them out of your home shouldn’t be a problem. But, sometimes, it helps to have a professional opinion. If you’re worried that your efforts aren’t working and you cannot handle the situation on your own, please consult a reliable expert.
Follow Home Inside for more!