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The Three R’s

You may have been fooled into thinking we were going to blog about reading, writing and arithmetic this week (two of which don’t begin with an R; some may question the accuracy of the statement and point to the decline in these basic skills as a result!).

No, we’re talking about the hot debate of the moment in pest control:


A recent study carried out by the University of Reading has identified new hotspots of rats that are resistant to anticoagulant rodenticides. A statement from the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU), who commissioned the study said:

"In East Anglia and West Yorkshire, it identifies for the first time the L120Q gene, responsible for the most severe form of resistance. This gene renders first generation anticoagulant rodenticides and two of the second-generation groups ineffective. It is widespread across the whole of central southern England and also found increasingly outside that area."

They continue:

"Another serious concern is that three different types of resistant rats are now found in West Yorkshire and on the Anglo-Welsh border. Also, a worry is the almost complete lack of data from central England."

The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) commented that:

"The study highlights the fact that resistance is growing in rat species across a swathe of the country.

"It also reports that rats without the genetic mutation are being killed off by poison, so the resistant species are taking their place, leaving a growing population of resistant pure-breds.

"With their numbers expanding there could be a significant risk to public health if their population is left unchecked, in both urban and rural environments."

Many pest controllers consider that the most likely cause of the spread of these resistant rats has been accelerated by the application of rodenticides, by amateurs such as home and business owners doing it themselves or employing unqualified individuals to try to resolve the problem.

It’s important that individuals and businesses do not attempt to solve problems by treating rodent infestations themselves.

A qualified, professional exterminator will be able to purchase and apply the appropriate products to tackle resistance issues. Professional pest controllers, like PGM & SON Pest Control Hereford, also have a greater understanding of the behavioural traits and gestation periods of rodents so can advise better on preventative measures instead of focussing solely on extermination which is rarely a long-term solution.

With Britain in for a lengthy cold snap and forecasters predicting more freezing conditions to come, the rat season is firmly upon us.

Pest controllers report a significant increase in call-outs for rats and mice during January, February and March as rats look for warm buildings to set up home – signalling we’ve entered the peak season for rodent infestations.

And, with icy blasts from Eastern Europe, Russia and the US coming in, the situation is expected to be even worse this winter.

As temperatures plummet, house-holders must be vigilant in spotting the signs of rodents’ arrival and to take steps to try and stop rats and mice setting up home in their property.

There are thought to be around 10 million rats in the UK, which is why people often say you’re never far away from one!

What to look out for:-

  • Greasy marks on skirting boards and walls

  • Droppings and urine (which carries a very strong, distinctive smell)

  • Gnaw marks, chewed surfaces

  • Possible entry points, for example, gaps in brick work, pipes and cables which extend to outside your property

  • Pieces of cardboard and soft materials which they may be using to build nests

  • Scratching noises

  • Rat holes and burrows

  • Rat nests

  • Footprints / tracks

Common places for rodents to nest are: lofts and attics, kitchens, laundries, behind kitchen appliances particularly where pipes and cables extend outside the property.

Health Risks

Rodents pose a serious health risk to humans and so it’s vital that people are aware of the risks. Rats carry nasty diseases which can spread to humans such as Leptospirosis or Weil's disease, Salmonella, Listeria, Toxoplasma gondii and Hantavirus. The HSS report around 40 cases of Weil’s disease every year. Two types of rat tapeworm spread to humans though eggs found in rat faeces.

If you think you have rats, or mice, don’t panic. Call PGM & SON Pest Control Herefordshire on 01981 241334 or 07964 370480 today for advice and solutions. We cover Herefordshire and Worcestershire so give us a call, visit our website at or drop us an email to:

Don’t let a rodent problem get worse – rats and mice breed rapidly so what may start as a small problem can quickly escalate – call in the professionals today to sort out a rodent infestation.

PGM & SON provide local pest control solutions to individuals and commercial businesses across Herefordshire and Worcestershire. PGM was founded by Phil Martin who has extensive experience in his field, having trained under James Ostler former Vice President of the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) and owner of Positive Environmental Hereford, Herefordshire. ​ Fast, friendly, reliable, our professional Pest Control Service is well renowned throughout Hereford and Worcester. Our team is up for every job, managing projects with the skill and experience our clients have come to expect. We always stand behind our work, with customer satisfaction being our #1 priority. If you need a Pest Control Company urgently call Phil on 07964 370480.


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