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How to prevent a reinfestation of rats

(10 Posts)
ratsintheattic Sun 11-Jan-15 12:09:27

We have had rats in the loft recently which were dealt with by a pest control company. They could not see how the rats got in so how can I prevent the rats coming back? There is open woodland behind the house which has had a bit of flytipping on it so that probably attracts rats and they can live there relatively undisturbed. The house is a mid terrace and one of the neighbours has also had a problem but one says not but the only hole the pest control person could see was in the house with no problem. The houses were built in the 1990s so I would have thought there would be brick/block divisions between the lofts to prevent fire spread as much as anything else.

Anyway, as the way in could not be identified, how can I stop it happening again?

AlpacaLypse Sun 11-Jan-15 12:10:28

We haven't had any trouble with rats (or mice or pigeons) since AlpacaCat came to live with us.

ratsintheattic Sun 11-Jan-15 12:14:47

Thanks - I would love a cat but my son is allergic so not an option sadly.

seaoflove Sun 11-Jan-15 12:16:55

We ended up selling the house.

Sorry, that's not helpful. We found an infestation of rats in the loft shortly after moving in. No idea how they got in either, but the most likely explanation was via drains and cavity walls all along the terrace. They kept coming back and back and back, we spent ££££ and nothing worked. We got builders to make an attempt at blocking access to our loft via the soffits. We got a drain expert in to check the drains. Not to mention numerous pest control companies to lay poison and snap traps. Our next door neighbour, we suspect, was unbothered about getting pest control in, and so whenever he got infested, the rats were coming across to us. After 3.5 years we cut our losses and put the house on the market. To this day I feel awful for the people who bought the house from us, but I couldn't take it anymore.

ratsintheattic Sun 11-Jan-15 13:05:22

That's really depressing seaoflove. I really hope that doesn't become our story as we really love it here.

PigletJohn Sun 11-Jan-15 16:20:31

I'm sure they can get from loft to loft. Even though there is almost certainly a party wall. the bricks will have been snapped to make a slope somewhat close to the roof timbers, but not a rat-proof seal.

They need constant water, so verify there are no tanks without close-fitting lids, and no leaks, in your own loft at least.

Put down lots and lots of little dishes of bait, in the loft, behind the cooker, under and inside all the kitchen units, check them, and refill them every time they are empty. I use bright red plastic flowerpot saucers. When they stay full your problem is gone.

Wash all packets of food, and put them in metal biscuit tins if you can, but plastic boxes will do.

Clear away pet food between meals and sweep up spillages.

If you or your neighbours have a pond or other water feature, get rid or surround with weatherproof bait-boxes.

If you or your neighbours have a rat-table bird table which is frequently replenished with delicious rat-food bird food, it will attract them.

If you or your neighbours have decking or a shed, it provides a safe and comfortable place underneath to bring up an extended family of rats.

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Sun 11-Jan-15 16:39:45

We haven't had rats but mice but, as a PP said above, if the other occupiers of the terrace aren't bothered, you're stuffed. Having said that, you might be able to get your Council's Environmental Health Department involved, as tehy do have some powers in the area of public hralth especially if someone's negligence contributes to problems for everyone and especially regarding rats. We, and other residents, got a shirty letter from the Council about not doing anything to stop mice when another odd neighbour got them, which was risible as both untrue and sent without actually talking to any of us, but, hey ho.

NovemberRainbow Sun 11-Jan-15 16:44:01

Sadly we were in the exact same position as Seaoflove. We also sold up in the end.

Our neighbours were renting and their landlord had sealer the loft hatch shut. He refused to address the situation, even when we offered to cover the costs of pest control.

NovemberRainbow Sun 11-Jan-15 16:51:56

One thing that did slow them down was meshing the tops of the cavity walls in the loft. So they couldn't come up the walls from the drains, but we just couldn't stop them coming from next door.

We also had a river close buy which didn't help. We couldn't convince either neighbour to get rid of their bird feeders or decking.

ratsintheattic Sun 11-Jan-15 19:34:03

Thanks for all your comments. We do have a shed and have baited around that as well. It seems that they have gone this time
so it's more a question of trying to prevent it happening again.

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