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4 Things You Didn’t Know About Pests in Sewers

Since as long as we can remember, rats have been synonymous with the sewer. From Splinter in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to the 2006 film, Flushed Away, rats have been residing in sewerage systems on the big screen for an age. 

But how true is that? Well, as it turns out, it’s quite common. And there are some things you might not know about rodents and their relationship with sewers!

Pests in sewers
Image by Jans Canon

1. Unused Water Pipes Are a Great Method of Entry

Known in the industry as a ‘dry leg’, when homes have an extension built, or a revamp to the sewer system, there is often a waste pipe that is relocated. 

This leaves a “dry leg”, or an unused pipe, that leads from your house to the sewer system beneath. With these pipes no longer in use, rodents can use them as an easy method of entry into your home. And they don’t even get disturbed by wastewater. 

The best way to prevent that is to ensure that all wastewater pipes that are no longer used are bunged up and capped off properly. 

2. Sewers Are Not The Responsibility of The Water Company

Despite what you may think, pipes or sewer systems, that service your house only, are not the responsibility of the water company. 

Only communal sewage systems are the responsibility of the water company. Meaning that if you have pests accessing your pipes, or rodents are making use of a broken pipe, there’s nothing a water company can do. 

Unfortunately for you, if it’s on your property, it’s your job to maintain it and ensure that it’s pest free! 

If you’re a tenant, be it private or council, it’ll be your landlord’s responsibility to sort the issue out. It’s important to note that all homes must be fit to live in, and if pests are causing concerns, your landlord is liable. However, if pests are attracted to your rented house due to rubbish or waste that you are responsible for, you may be liable instead. 

3. Councils and Water Companies Don’t Bait Sewers Regularly!

You’d like to think that water companies and local authorities ensure that pests stay out of the main sewerage systems in order to prevent rodents in domestic pipes. 

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. In 2018, many local authorities stopped offering pest control services to their residents. This saw a dramatic fall in the regularity of sewer systems being baited for rodents as councils were withdrawing their internal pest control teams. 

The baiting of sewers is left up to third parties (like us at Confirm A Kill) employed by the council. However, with many councils’ budgets being stretched thin already, this baiting doesn’t happen nearly as regularly as you’d like to think! 

4. Rats Can Swim Up Your Toilet 

Whilst you might think rodents swimming up to your toilet is a thing of urban legend, scarily this isn’t the case. 

Thankfully, this isn’t a common occurrence, but it’s completely possible for a rat to climb up through your toilet. 

A lot of the time, after the u-bend in the toilet pipes, there are gaps where there is no water all, making it a relatively simple mission for rats to enter from the sewer and traverse the pipes into your toilet. 

The likelihood of this happening is incredibly slim, however, if you have a toilet in your home that gets used less regularly, rodents may see a perfect opportunity to enter. Albeit, this is far more difficult for them than climbing up a ‘dry leg’ is, so don’t worry too much. 

What Can You Do About Pests in Your Sewers

If you suspect rodents are entering your property through the sewerage system, it’s important that you get help immediately. 

Once one rodent has found a food source, it’s very plausible that more will come back. 

It may be tempting to try DIY pest control, especially in times where budgets are tight. However, you could end up causing costly damage to your sewers if you try to rectify this yourself. 

Always give a pest control company like us a call. We know how to deal with pests in sewers and we want to help you. We’re trained professionals who understand how sewers work, and how to spot signs of rodents. We also provide a guarantee of pest removal to all of our customers, so you can rest assured that we’ll solve your issue. 

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