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Dealing with Rats in Your Neighbour’s Garden: What Should You Do?

Pest Control for rats in Stevenage

Table of Contents

Rat infestations have become increasingly common across Hertfordshire since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. These resilient creatures are not only resourceful but also possess a remarkable set of skills, from their keen sense of smell to their climbing, swimming, and burrowing abilities. They can even detect slight changes in heat with their whiskers. In search of food and warmth during the winter months, rats may find their way into our homes or workplaces, potentially causing significant damage to property and posing health risks.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the steps you should take if you suspect your neighbour has a rat problem. The approach you should follow depends on whether you own or rent your property. We’ll delve into the responsibilities of both property owners and tenants, highlight the importance of addressing rat infestations, and provide insights into why rats must be controlled. Additionally, we’ll discuss what attracts rats to your house and offer practical tips on how to keep rats away from your property.

Advice For Property Owners

If you own your home, it’s your responsibility to address the rat infestation promptly. However, before pointing fingers, initiate a polite conversation with your neighbor. They might not even be aware of the rat issue. Share what you’ve observed, such as rat runs or burrows, without placing blame. It’s advisable not to take pictures or videos of their property but focus on documenting evidence on your side.

While waiting for your neighbour to act, rat-proof potential entry points on your property and remove food and water sources in your garden. If the problem persists, consider hiring a local qualified pest control company. They can assess the situation, provide advice, and help build a case if your neighbour’s negligence continues. As a last resort, contact your local authority’s environmental health department.

Advice For Tenants

If you’re renting a property, the responsibility falls on your landlord to address the rat infestation, even if it’s caused by a neighbouring house. However, if the rat problem is a result of your untidy living conditions, it may become your responsibility to resolve it. If the issue arises due to property defects or landlord negligence, it’s the landlord’s duty to rectify it.

Why Must Rats Be Controlled?

Rat infestations must be taken seriously due to the numerous hazards they pose. Rats can transmit dangerous diseases such as Salmonella and Weil’s disease, contaminate food, cause property damage by gnawing on furniture and electrical cables, and disrupt utility services.

To give you more insight into why rats must be controlled, let’s delve deeper into the various types of damage rats can inflict on people and their property:

Disease Transmission: Rats are known carriers of dangerous diseases. They can transmit Salmonella (causing food poisoning) and Weil’s disease, which is a serious infection that can be fatal for humans.

Food Contamination: Rats feed on human food sources and can contaminate food, water, and cooking surfaces, posing health risks.

Property Damage: Rats are notorious for their gnawing habits. They can damage furniture, water pipes, and electrical cables, potentially leading to electrical fire hazards.

Disruption of Services: Rats’ gnawing habits have been known to disturb important utility services, like power supplies, or affect traffic light systems.

While this list doesn’t fully cover the possible consequences of a rat infestation, it underscores the importance of immediate action when you notice the first signs of rodents, even if the pesky rats are in your neighbour’s garden.

What Attracts Rats to Your House

It’s always better, if possible, to take preventative measures in advance to keep rats away, rather than trying to fight an infestation when it is already ongoing. That is why to prevent rats from coming near your garden and house, you need to know the key factors that invite rodents to a property.

Here is what attracts rats to your house:

Food Sources: Since rats are omnivores, they can become attracted by various kinds of food sources, left out in the open, or such that are simply easily accessible.

Water Sources: Any form of water supply, such as leaky pipes, hoses and taps, or the presence of birdbaths and pet bowls, will be a convenient way for a rodent to quench its thirst.

Shelter and Warmth: The warmth and comfort of houses can look pretty attractive to rats in their search for a warm and safe place to nest, breed, and hide from other animals.

Nesting Materials: Rat nests can consist of clutter, like shredded paper, dried plants, cardboard, and other soft materials.

Vegetation: Fruit trees in your garden, houseplants, seeds, and other vegetation can serve not only as rats’ food but also as nesting material or an easy path to your roof.

Waste: Rats really do eat everything, even food digested by other animals. So, if you have pets or open trash cans, your house has a higher chance of becoming a rat’s target.

Entry Points: If your fence or house has plenty of open access points, then you are not making it very difficult for vermin, like rats, to enter your property.

Now that you know what attracts rodents, you should take measures to proof your property appropriately against troublesome vermin. However, if you have already noticed signs of a rat infestation on your neighbour’s property, you will probably need to take more serious actions to handle the situation.

How to Keep Rats Away

Whether you’ve decided on contacting your local authorities or directly calling a pest control company, you can still try implementing some measures to make your home less attractive to rodents for the time being.

Once you know the best way to get rid of rats and what things attract the vermin to a house, you can easily take appropriate actions and ensure that there is nothing that entices the rodents into your garden. This will immediately reduce the risk of having your neighbor’s rats come to your house.

Here are some tips on how to make your home rat-proofed:

Eliminate Potential Food and Water Sources: Don’t store food on your kitchen counter. Stop feeding birds, or at least reduce the husk food, which leaves residue. Eliminate water sources, such as pet bowls and birdbaths. Don’t leave pet food outside or remove and wash the bowl once your pet has finished eating.

Keep Your Garden Clutter-Free: Cut your grass regularly and dispose of fallen leaves and fruit as soon as possible. Keep your firewood logs above ground level and as far away from the property as possible. Clear your gutters out regularly.

By following these preventative measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of rat infestations in your own property, even if your neighbour’s garden is currently attracting these pests.

Final Word on Dealing with Rats

Dealing with a rat infestation can be a challenging and potentially hazardous situation, especially when it involves your neighbour’s garden. Whether you’re a property owner or tenant, it’s crucial to understand your responsibilities and take prompt action to address the issue.

Rat infestations should not be taken lightly due to the serious health risks they pose. It’s essential to keep your property rat-proofed by eliminating attractants like food, water, shelter, and entry points. By doing so, you can protect your home, belongings, and health from the consequences of a rat infestation.

Remember, prevention is often the best approach when it comes to dealing with rats. By taking proactive measures, you can minimize the chances of these pesky rodents becoming a problem in your garden or home.

In summary, whether you’re a property owner or tenant, the key is to act swiftly, responsibly, and collaboratively with your neighbour to resolve any rat infestation issues. Your collective efforts can help create a rat-free environment for everyone in the neighbourhood.

How Can I Book a Pest Control Treatment for Rats?

FurBeGone Pest Control offer a free survey before, and treatment is undertaken. We cover StevenageLetchworthHitchin, and surrounding villages.

Contact us through our website here or for 24-hour callout please call us on 01438 387005.

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