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Not AIBU but rat infestation advice please!

(5 Posts)
PageStillNotFound404 Fri 13-Nov-15 14:27:57

I live in a city centre and an old building behind our house is being converted from commercial premises to flats. During the process, the builders appear to have disturbed some rats (according to our neighbour, they were doing something with the drains of the property recently) and we and our neighbours now have a rat infestation problem in our gardens, for the first time in the two years we’ve lived here. Our rubbish is put straight into a lidded wheelie bin and other than having a couple of bird feeders hung on branches (which we’ve had since we moved in, and which obviously can be easily removed) there’s nothing we’re doing lifestyle-wise to encourage them into the garden.

The problem is possibly complicated by the fact we’re in private rental. I know the general guideline is that if a pest infestation is caused by the tenant’s lifestyle it’s up to them to resolve, and if it’s a fabric-of-the-building failing it’s the landlord, but this is the fault of neither of us! Nevertheless, as our council doesn’t offer any form of pest control, not even advice, it’s going to cost to eradicate the problem.

Does anyone know where we stand? Do we just have to suck it up and pay ourselves? The building work is being carried out by a succession of sub-contractors and based on a couple of other issues that one or two of our neighbours have already experienced during the course of the renovation work, the response if we raised it with the project manager is likely to be along the lines of “prove it was us” / “not my problem”.

If we do have to resolve it ourselves, are we best paying for a pest controller or is there action we can take ourselves with proprietary products? I’ve never had a visible rat problem before! I don’t like the idea of killing them, plus our neighbour has a roaming cat so we wouldn’t want to accidentally hurt her, but equally I don’t want to turn them into someone else’s problem by catching and dumping – as I say, I live in a compact city so we’re all pretty much cheek by jowl.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 13-Nov-15 14:36:38

So the rats are just in your gardens? TBH assuming your gardens are pretty clean (not overgrown, no old sheds full off stuff etc) I don't think there is a lot you can do really.

There is some info on this page (scroll down)

Sevendayweek Fri 13-Nov-15 14:57:48

Ugh, poor you. Remove the bird food and urge your neighbours to do the same, and trynotto have any 'cover' as they prefer to scuttle under/ between things. Moving stuff about and makking a noise also unsettes thm supposedly. (presumably why they moved in the first place. They just might go somewhe quieter. Possibly.

You can put poison down in special pet- proof tunnels but the cost does add up.
Chances are you are going to have to use poison unfortunately, and it can be hard to find one they are not immune to sad

The l/l won't want rats there i would imagine, so maybe notify them anyway? They might want to act. The sooner you do do the more obvious its not anything you are doing, i would hope.

It would probably be best to get experts in as they are good at spotting where the rats are 'based', what their usual runs are etc. All likely to be a lot more effective if a group of neighbours jointly bring them in. The rats certainly won't be respecting the garden fences.

Not nice for you - but sadly very common.

OurBlanche Fri 13-Nov-15 16:09:05

Find out who the developer is and ask them what they intend to do about it. Some do have pest control factored into their costs, your council may help. The subbies won't do anything, they don't hold that sort of insurance or indemnities, main contractors should!

TwoSmellyDogs Fri 13-Nov-15 16:14:10

We have a rat. I'm not altogether bothered about it tbh - they do say you're only ever a few feet away from rats in the UK. It's not hurting anyone - it doesn't want to come inside. I certainly wouldn't poison it - quite apart from anything else the poisoned body would be eaten by birds and other wildlife which would then in turn die - and for what? So you don't have to see a rat? They won't come for you in the night you know - just leave them be. If there's no ready food source for them they'll probably move on anyway.

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