There is a common misconception in the pest control industry that rats go to a water source when poisoned and therefore will always die outside of your roof void.
This is an old wives’ tales that we’re happy to debunk.
Rats can certainly die in your roof, and you’ll smell it when it happens too! Luckily it’s not common that they do die in the roof void but it has nothing to do with seeking a water source when sick.
Rat poisons are an anticoagulant which inhibits the coagulation (also known as clotting) of the blood.
Blood clots are vital in repairing damaged vessels as it stops the vessel from losing blood when damaged, this is true in humans as well as rats. Damaged vessels occur from regular movements where rats are squeezing themselves through tight spaces (particularly in your roof void) and experience internal bruising, which they are normally able to recover from quite easily due to the natural coagulation process.
Without the ability to produce blood clots, a rodent will die due to an internal haemorrhage.
This method of poisoning does not dehydrate the rodent, causing it to seek a water source. In fact, the rodent doesn’t have any indication that it is unwell.
So Why Do Rodents Normally Die Outside the Roof?
Whilst there are cases of rodents building a nest within roof voids it is more common for the nest to be external from your home. Rodents will typically come into the roof void for warmth during the Winter months and not to relocate or set up camp.
Because rodent will regularly return to their external and well-hidden nests, they will typically die outside of your home after the 3 to 4 day delay from initially consuming the minimum lethal dosage from either a single or multiple feeds from the bait.
What Happens If There Is a Dead Rodent in My Roof?
It’s going to smell and badly too.
If you think you have a dead rodent in your roof void, call a local pest controller out to remove it cleanly and safely.
Without being too graphic, by the time a rodent is obviously dead and rotting away to the average homeowner it will not be a simple brush and pan style clean up job – and rodents carry disease too, so knowing how to handle the clean-up is essential to not getting sick.
How Do I Prevent These Situations?
The best way to stop poisoned rodents dying inside your roof void is to prevent them from entering in the first place which means finding any cracks, openings and holes around your home and sealing them up so it is physically impossible for rodents to squeeze through.
However, finding all of these entry points to your home let alone sealing them up can be a timely and costly process that may not be financially viable if you only play host to rodents once every year or so.
Pest control companies such as Maxwell Robinson and Phelps will offer a heavily discounted rodent removal service when booked two weeks after placing baiting stations in the event that the poisoned rodents in your roof do end up dying there.