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  • Writer's pictureTom Frost

Rat and Mice Epidemic in Oxford Explained! from Cowley to Botley and Beyond

Living in Oxford means being part of a fantastic city famous for its dreaming spires and world-class education facilities. That being said, pest control problems in Oxford are inherent, not only within our city but others too. The main pest problems that strike Oxford are of course rodent issues, especially in winter. Our local pest control knowledge is being shared here to help you understand why you may have a rat in your kitchen, a scratching noise coming from the loft, or seeing them run across your garden.

This blog is the second in our series focusing on specific towns and cities outlining the particular pest problems they have regarding rats and mice. We had previously spoken about Abingdon in detail. There are various reasons why Oxford can be seen as more prone than others, mostly because of the ageing sewer system, but more on that shortly. Before we get into it more, below is a BBC radio interview we did talking about rats chewing through cables in Oxfordshire. Why not take a listen?

To make things a little easier, this pest control blog will be broken into different sections covering different parts of the city. We will start with rat and mice problems in East Oxford (mostly Cowley), talking about rodent drainage problems in Jericho, and finally the Abingdon Road and Botley areas and old air bricks. It is important to understand that although some issues can be attributed to some areas, they may also play a factor in all.

East Oxford: Cowley

The world famous Cowley Road offers many restaurants, bars and entertainment for everyone. Sadly the negative impact of all these independent businesses is although the majority adhere to good house keeping practices regarding environmental health pest control, some do not have adequate waste bins, leaving a good food source for rodents. As pest control exterminators in Oxford, when we arrive to a rat situation, we always try to work out where the three things that rats need are - these being food, water and harbourage. Just to clarify, when undertaking mice pest control in your house, we don’t need a water source confirmed as they don’t need water due to their moisture requirements being taken from food.

If a property is close to the Cowley Road, this can identify where they are coming in from and their food source. Water is abundant everywhere thanks to our British weather. Once a rat is in a kitchen, he/she will be trying to find more food or warmth. The answer to the question of how a rat or mouse may being gaining entry can be because Cowley has a lot of terrace houses. A lot of these houses were built to support the railway line building that now heads to the Mini Plant. The government at the time sold plots, which generally saw three houses built, two being sold, and one being kept to live in by the builder. This means that a rat in your loft or kitchen may not be anything to do with you, but the adjoining houses, as underneath they are not separated. It is sometimes worth asking your neighbours if they have a rat or mouse pest control problem too. For more information about our rat and mice pest control visit our page here.

North Oxford

North Oxford is known for it’s large beautiful townhouses, but also for having rat and mice pest control problems. It is not uncommon to see rats and vermin running around in rear gardens (even in new estates). Predominantly there are two reasons for this. The first is the river that runs through the area provides an amazing water source for all animal life. The second, and one that is very prevalent in Jericho, is the age of the drainage and sewer system. The reality is that being in the city center the first sewer systems were put into place here making them very old. Unfortunately these won’t be updated and so are havens for rodent activity. If rodents are proven to be coming up your drain into your house, it is possible instead of trying to find the entry point (which can be difficult), to put in a non-return valve instead. This simple idea here is to have a one-way door so that all waste can drain from the property but stopping the rodents from entering. This is something we can install at Pure Pest Solutions.

Abingdon Road and The Botley Area

The Abingdon Road has similar issues to North Oxford due to the river that runs close by. Also of course the age of the drainage, like most of Oxford, means under the roadways rats are lurking and looking for ways to get above ground, perhaps into your house. Botley much like East Oxford and Cowley has a lot of pebble dashed style properties dating to the 1920s. Some of which due to age have air bricks that have now failed. It is very common for rats and mice to find their way into a kitchen through these. Once in, they can climb cavities to the loft and live the good life, making scratching sounds, usually at night.

Finally, to try and prevent rodents coming into your property, consider cutting back any ivy or trees that will give easy access for rodents. This is especially true in winter as food sources reduce and the cold means they need somewhere warm to live. If you would like some advice on pest control in Oxford, or anywhere else for that matter, feel free to get in touch as we at Pure Pest Solutions are happy to help. Have a great pest free week!


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