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Smoke test: an effective way to identify openings that favor the invasion of rats

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Rats are pests which, in addition to causing significant material damage, are carriers of more or less serious diseases. It is therefore essential to take all the necessary measures to prevent an invasion as well as to avoid recurrences after an extermination. To do this, you must, for example, adopt good habits such as cleaning up after eating or storing leftover food in airtight containers.

But above all, it is necessary to ensure that the piping network is in good condition. The smoke test is one of the most effective and eco-responsible methods for identifying any openings through which these rodents can enter.

What should you know about rats?


Rats are rodents that vary in size from about 5 to 30 cm depending on age and species. They can be distinguished from mice by their rather shiny coat as well as their hairless and scaly tail. They generally live in groups in unsanitary places such as sewers, landfills or even basements.

Furthermore, they are omnivorous animals, so they feed on anything they can find: meats, vegetables, fruits, seeds, garbage, food scraps and food scraps. Their life expectancy is between 1 and 7 years, depending on the conditions in which they find themselves.

Finally, these rodents occur very quickly and all year round. The gestation period is about a week and females can have up to 5 or 7 litters in a year. Note that a single litter can count up to more than ten pups. We therefore conclude that these animals multiply very quickly.

The damage caused by these rodents

As mentioned above, rats are carriers of serious diseases such as hantaviruses, leptospirosis, salmonellosis or worms. They are transmitted mainly through their excrement and urine, which can be found in food and water. Their bites are also dangerous and can cause an infection such as pasteurellosis.

In addition, rats cause significant material damage by gnawing on furniture, clothing, the wires of electrical appliances or even pipes in some cases. Finally, their droppings and urine cause strong unpleasant odors that can cause respiratory problems in people with allergies or asthma.

The signs that indicate their presence

Here are some signs that may indicate the presence of these pests inside a home:

  • Small black excrement on the ground
  • Bit marks on food, furniture or wires
  • The appearance of an unusual and foul odor. These are usually feces and urine.
  • Gnawing noises, especially at night. Rodent teeth grow rapidly and continuously. So they have to gnaw constantly to keep them at the right length.

It is also possible to encounter rats in the house. However, this is rare, except in the event of a serious invasion, because these pests often hide during the day to protect themselves.

What are the plumbing problems that favor the invasion of rats?

One thing to know about rats: they have a very keen sense of smell. They are therefore able to sense the food waste that passes through the sewer pipes from the kitchen and are attracted there. They then look for openings through which they can enter to feed and in some cases they can even create them by gnawing the pipes.

This is how problems such as cracks or holes in the latter favor the invasion of rats. The animals then continue their way inside to reach the house. It should also be noted that the pressure caused by the plugs can cause the equipment to burst or break at the level of it.

How to spot plumbing problems that favor the invasion of rats?

It is easy to spot cracks or holes in the visible parts of the pipes. On the other hand, the task is a little complicated for the embedded or underground parts. Some experts then use probes or cameras to detect any problems with them.

However, the process is sometimes time-consuming. This is why most professionals currently tend to use smoke testing to detect all openings that let rats in.

The operating principle of the smoke test

The smoke test consists of sending pressurized smoke inside the pipes to locate cracks and holes at the level of the pipes. pipes and clogs.

Indeed, the path of the smoke indicates precisely the possible problems to be repaired. In addition, it should be noted that the smoke is odorless and without any danger to humans, the environment and the piping. Also, it leaves no residue or stains in its path.

The advantages of the smoke test

The smoke test has many advantages over other methods:

  • Eco-friendly
  • Non-toxic
  • Easy to make and does not require extensive work;
  • Accuracy and reliability;
  • Possible detection of the slightest crack in the pipes.


Rats often pass through the holes and cracks in the pipe network to enter and invade the house. It is therefore essential to identify these problems and to quickly carry out the necessary repairs when they appear to prevent an infestation or avoid recurrences following an extermination.

At Solution Cimex, we now carry out smoke tests to detect these dangerous openings thanks to our collaboration with a company specializing in the field. Do not hesitate to contact us for more detailed information on this new service.