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Rats and mice

Rats and mice are common pests around the house. Find out how to deal with them and what options are available.

Rats and mice

Mice and rats are normally active at night and you might not see them during the day.


Key signs of mice are:

  • partially nibbled food, packaging or other materials
  • small droppings
  • nests, which look like balls of material loosely woven together

The fur colour varies between light brown and grey. Body length varies between 60 to 90mm and the tail can add an additional 100mm. Often the droppings found are black, rod-shaped and 3 to 6mm long.


The most common sign of rats are:

  • droppings
  • gnawing
  • tracks
  • burrows
  • nests

The common Norway or brown rat typically has brownish fur on its back and grey underneath but its colour can vary from white through to black. Adult body length is 200 to 270mm plus a tail length of 150 to 200mm.

Health and safety risks from rats and mice

Diseases from rodents can be passed on to humans by contaminating food or surfaces with urine, droppings and hairs. Rats, in particular, can pass on Leptospirosis, a disease that can lead to Weil's disease and can be fatal to humans.

Rats can also cause structural damage to property. They can gnaw a range of materials, including electric cables and wiring.

Landlord responsibility

A landlord would only be considered responsible if defects to the property allow rodent access. You need to check your tenancy agreement or lease to see who is responsible for keeping common areas clean, as it may be the tenant's responsibility to remove the material which is attracting them and then arrange a visit from a pest control expert.

Rodents in my garden and they are coming from next door

If we find the source, we can take action under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act to make the occupier of the other property clear away the habitat which is attracting rodents.

Report it

Rats or mice in my property  

SDK Environmental Limited, trading as Dial A Pest, has been selected by the council to provide pest control service on its behalf to council tenants, council leaseholders and owner occupiers on means tested benefits.

Find out the costs and how to book treatments we can provide.

Non qualifying Residents

Residents who do not qualify for concessionary or free pest control services may still, if they wish, access services provided by Dial A Pest initially by phoning the council's contact centre on 01895 556000. Please note that Hillingdon residents are not obliged to use the services of Dial A Pest and alternative contractors are available from either the:

By reporting incidents you help us to take effective action that can stop the infestation. Together we can make a difference.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 16 Aug 2018 at 13:27