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Dealing with Infestation

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 8 Jan 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Mice Rats Garden Neighbours Bees Wasps

It isn’t necessarily the case that only filthy homes encourage the likes of mice and rats to cause infestation to a home. In fact, any area of a property or the surrounding land or garden is susceptible if it provides food, warmth and shelter.

Dealing with Rats

Rats need to be controlled as they can transmit disease to humans including Weil’s disease and Salmonella poisoning. In a house, they will take up residence under floorboards, in lofts, in wall cavities and in cellars. Although we mostly associate them with living in sewers, they can also survive in your garden, living in and beneath sheds and by burrowing into compost heaps.

Preventative Measures

Basic housekeeping and cleanliness is your best defence against rat infestation. Ensure that your backyard or garden is well maintained with any overgrown areas cut back to restrict rats’ potential nesting sites. Also, remember that if you enjoy putting food out to attract the likes of birds, hedgehogs or squirrels, you’re also encouraging the likes of rats and mice, too.

So, while not suggesting you stop providing food for other wildlife, make sure you don’t put food out to excess. Also, make sure that your household rubbish is disposed of properly and in a secure manner. It’s important that your house is kept in good repair to reduce the opportunity for rats to get inside from an external vantage point. Also, avoiding an Overgrown Garden will help to restrict areas where rodents can find shelter.

Getting Rid of Rats

If your home or gardens become infested with rats, contact your local authority’s environmental health department. They will send out a pest control officer to survey the scene, put down poison in appropriate locations, and make follow-up visits to ensure that the problem has been rectified.

Dealing with Mice

Mice are also fond of similar locations to rats when it comes to looking for food, warmth and shelter. Not all local authorities will offer a free service to get rid of mice infestation, so it may be down to you as the householder to deal with the problem yourself. You should do this quickly as mice can severely damage cables and insulation.

Mouse poison and mouse traps offer the best solution and your local garden centre or hardware store will be able to offer you advice. So too will your environmental health department, even if they do not offer a service to remove them. However, if you have young children and/or pets, it’s important you seek proper advice before using any rodent poison or pesticides.

Dealing with Bees and Wasps

While most of us will have some fear of bees and wasps, the important thing to remember is that, for the most part, both of these play an important role in the ecological balance of gardens. Therefore, if you come across a wasps or bees nest in your garden, providing it is not too close to where humans would come into contact with it, you should leave it alone.

However, in certain situations where a nest is in close proximity to where people come and go, or if it has actually been built somewhere on the property itself, it may be necessary to have it removed. You can do this yourself providing you know what you’re doing and take adequate precautions and wear protective clothing. But it might be preferable to seek out the services of a pest control company. Alternatively, your local authority may offer you this service, although it’s more likely they’d charge you for it.

Problems with Neighbours

If you suspect that your neighbours might be responsible for attracting creatures that can cause infestation, you should try to have a polite word with them. For example, if their house is badly maintained, they don’t take enough care in how they dispose of their rubbish or their gardens are overgrown, all of these things might encourage the likes of rats and mice to the area in which you live, even if your house isn’t the direct cause of the problem. If your neighbours fail to take remedial action and the problem persists, then you have every right to report this to your local authority.

Other Problems

There are many other problems that can result in infestation. Pigeons, foxes, fleas, ants, cockroaches, squirrels and even bed bugs are just some of the issues that you could be faced with. If you have any problems that you’re not sure how to tackle, your local environmental health department alongside the likes of garden centres and hardware stores should be sufficient to provide you with all the advice you need.

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My sister has recently had an infestation of rats in her garden. She lives in adetached property, 3 miles out of town, near no one. There has been no damage and she suspects that they were brought there as overnight 12 turned into 200 and so on. A vegan an refusing to use poisons as her garden is organic and home to masses of wildlife, she responded to a complain from the council, assuring them that given time, and food withdrawal from bird tables, numbers would decrease, which they have now to only 15. However, she is still being pressured by the council and getting a follow-up call out in January.As owner and strongly against cruelty to ALL species, I think she has a right to continue with he methods until all rats have gone Does he have a case?I must add she has NO rats in her house ad there has ben no damage.
Veggie - 8-Jan-17 @ 5:34 PM
I live in a condo. My neighbor has been feeding the birds for over 8 years and the HOA has done nothing.There is a manifestation of rats in my walls.It has cost me money , time , and sleepless nights.I'm so concern for my health and the health of the neighbors.I have called the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector company.All sorts of board meetings , a petition . Do you have any suggestions!Thank you!
Liz - 17-Dec-16 @ 10:43 PM
rouge - Your Question:
I have a rat infestation! Do I have to pay or Do environment al health n council have to do it? I have a 1 year old

Our Response:
The council will do it but most councils charge a fee.
ProblemNeighbours - 7-Nov-16 @ 1:45 PM
I have a rat infestation! Do I have to pay or Do environment al health n council have to do it? I have a 1 year old
rouge - 5-Nov-16 @ 1:52 PM
i know how you feel. but its a lot worse for my sisters. my sisters are autistic and we always get things thrown into the garden and over us. because my sisters different. and people don't like it. last time i reported the problem i had my finger cut. so i don't know what to do anymore.
mimi - 27-Oct-16 @ 3:32 PM
We have a neighbour who hascomplained to the environmental health that we caused an infestation of rats in the beginning of the year as we were feeding the birds we stopped feeding them straight away now 8months later she has complained again. All summer we have not seen or had a rat in the garden, a week ago there was a rat in our private car park in a trap dead in a trap that the neighbour had in her garden also we have had soil dug up between our garden and her conservatory we haven't moved it as she won't have it that it's come from hers what can we do
Mags - 4-Oct-16 @ 11:04 PM
cherrie - Your Question:
I need help my flat is infested with bedbugs and was woundering how much you charge as I dont have much money

Our Response:
We don't offer this service. Your local council's environnmental health services may have a list of pest control services/prices.
ProblemNeighbours - 8-Sep-16 @ 10:41 AM
Billybob4 - Your Question:
Hi I bought a second hand sofa a couple of months ago!! I started noticing a funny smell in the living room!! The smell was getting stronger and smells like weed!! I pulled all the sofa apar ( it's a corner sofa) and found green mold underneath all over the carpet ?? I was horrified I cleaned it bleached it you name it!! But it keeps coming back does anyone know what on earth this could be???

Our Response:
Have you tried completely drying it out (a fan heater, hair dryer or dehumidifier might work)? Is the room damp at all? That could be making it worse.
ProblemNeighbours - 7-Sep-16 @ 11:42 AM
I need help my flat is infested with bedbugs and was woundering how much you charge as I dont have much money
cherrie - 7-Sep-16 @ 10:38 AM
Hi I bought a second hand sofa a couple of months ago!! I started noticing a funny smell in the living room!! The smell was getting stronger and smells like weed!! I pulled all the sofa apar ( it's a corner sofa) and found green mold underneath all over the carpet ?? I was horrified I cleaned it bleached it you name it!! But it keeps coming back does anyone know what on earth this could be???
Billybob4 - 6-Sep-16 @ 2:12 PM
Myself and my family lives downstairs in a block of flat in Northolt owned by Freshwater group of companies. We have a communal garden which is adjacent to another road. However, our communal garden has been recently taken over by group of foxes; numbering about 10. They used to come out around 11pm before but now visible in the communal garden around6pm. This is very disturbing considering the fact that we have children playing around the block, and even more concerning as we can not open our back window for the fear that they might jump into our flat. I am confused, can anybody advise me on what to do?
Jaadel - 5-Sep-16 @ 8:57 PM
I'm not sure whether to call environmental health to help.I live in a block of flats owned by merlin housing. On Sunday we noticed maggots in the communal hallway area over the drain from the concrete cracks by the front and back door. The bins outside are infested with maggots all along the garden. It's also a communal garden. All 3 downstairs residents keep our homes tidy and clean and the last thing we expect when exiting our home is to be swamped by maggots. When ringing merlin on Sunday we got told that it wasn't an emergency. To just put down salt as salt kills them. We did but that only killed the maggots visible and hasn't stopped the problem. So we now have problem number 2 salt coming in to the property bring dragged in by our feet and slipping on salt when walking on the communal area. Merlin came round today Tuesday To say the maggots aren't coming from the drains and someone must of brought a bag that leaked through. They didn't clean or deal with the problem so what can we do? As it's not pleasant having maggots just upside your door trying to get into your home! So we can't even open our windows just in case.
Raquel - 31-Aug-16 @ 1:52 AM
I'm not sure whether to call environmental health to help.I live in a block of flats owned by merlin housing. On Sunday we noticed maggots in the communal hallway area over the drain from the concrete cracks by the front and back door. The bins outside are infested with maggots all along the garden. It's also a communal garden. Olivia All 3 downstairs residents keep our homes tidy and clean and the last thing we expect when exiting our home is to be swamped by maggots. When ringing merlin on Sunday we got told that it wasn't an emergency. To just put down salt as salt kills them. We did but that only killed the maggots visible and hasn't stopped the problem. So we now have problem number 2 salt coming in to the property bring dragged in by our feet and slipping on salt when walking on the communal area. Merlin came round today Tuesday To say the maggots aren't coming from the drains and someone must of brought a bag that leaked through. They didn't clean or deal with the problem so what can we do? As it's not pleasant having maggots just upside your door trying to get into your home! So we can't even open our windows just in case.
Raquel - 31-Aug-16 @ 1:50 AM
My neighbour leaves her left over food out for birds. This is left to go moldy and maggot infested. On occasion this blows over into my garden which is a problem in itself. However, this disgusting rotten food also attracts all the local/stray cats and I believe we also have rats visiting at night! I've informed them of the issue but they were rude and have continued leaving food out allowing it to blow over into my garden. Are environmental health able to help at all?
Annon - 14-Aug-16 @ 7:14 AM
I have neighbours who can only be described using the Australian slang as Bogans please look up the definition. My family and I have had our family life blighted by a family of self centred self indulgent uncivilised cretins that have only one objective in life. This is to get drunk collect has many car spare parts in their garden as they can and to persitentlely rev the diesel engines of the four land rovers they ownfor know other reason than to listen to them rev very loud. The head of this family has no understanding of parental responsibility and over the years we have lived on this street we have subjected to all levels of abuse. However now these little darling are now adults the level of abuse has stepped up a gear. I have tried to reason with this family but this only turned into a heated argument. We have had enough and feel that we have no other way to go but to sell up and move. We have lost The authoritiesare not interested because they don't live in rented accomadation. What else can we do, we have beer bottles and cans thrown in our garden and we have to suffer the noise of grinders. drills, sanders compressors and hammeringnearly every evening without any let up. our quality of life has been destroyed and there is nothing in this country unless you the money to fight back.
butty - 17-Jul-16 @ 10:29 PM
TracyD - Your Question:
My sons ex partner has moved into temporary accommodation provided by Ealing Council with my 3 young grandchildren (9yrs, 6yrs & 18 mths)She is also almost 8 mths pregnant,Ealing Council have told her she will be in the property 4 a year,As all the houses are due 2 be knocked down & flats are being built.She has been in the property almost a month & has rung the council numerous times as ••1- there is builders materials & their waste piled up right down her garden inches feom her back door (large concrete slabs, pallets of bricks & roof tiles, as well as a big pile of old waste including old fittings, kitchen sinks, big bulky wood with metal brackets sticking out) there is a few skip fulls there.••2 - there is a bad rat infestation (we can actually hear them every night in the loft & upstair floor space) the loft is covered in rate droppings & under her kitchen units ••3 - There is a very active wasps nest In the wall of the next door neighbours property (about 2 meters from our back door)We have tried speaking 2 the neighbour but she doesn't speak English very well & just wasn't interested2day I rang Ealing Pest control myself as my granddaughter (18ths) just stood on the doorstep & was stung twice on her foot, we can't open any windows at the back of the house as they are getting in especially in the evening when they seem atracked by the lightsI think I was being totally fobbed of Ealing Council have been saying 4 almost 4 weeks that they will send out pest control 2 clear the rats but still no pest control have contacted us. When I asked when the builders materials etc will be cleared the response I got was it's not that simple as its a very heavy pick up & their only guy is snowed under with work.& As for the wasps I was told 2 day that they couldnt do anything as was on a neighbouring property (both properties are Ealing Council properties)So I asked how do I complain because this isn't right, they shouldn't have even move her in2 this property as its not fit 2 live in, he admitted they knew about the problems, the property had been empty & boarded up 4 several mths, He said he would text me l8r 2day with details of complaints procedure & the environmental health number 2 call etc But yet again I heard nothing back So have just tried googling environmental health Etc& It has lead me here Any advice I can offer would really be appreciated ????

Our Response:
Here is the number for Ealing Environmental Health (020) 8825 8111- this department deals with public health and pest control clearance services as well as consumer advice. If you want to complain to your councillor, you can find their contact details here
ProblemNeighbours - 7-Jul-16 @ 1:01 PM
My sons ex partner has moved into temporary accommodation provided by Ealing Council with my 3 young grandchildren (9yrs, 6yrs & 18 mths) She is also almost 8 mths pregnant, Ealing Council have told her she will be in the property 4 a year, As all the houses are due 2 be knocked down & flats are being built. She has been in the property almost a month & has rung the council numerous times as ••1- there is builders materials & theirwaste piled up right down her garden inches feom her back door (large concrete slabs, pallets of bricks & roof tiles, as well as a big pile of old waste including old fittings, kitchen sinks, big bulky wood with metal brackets sticking out) there is a few skip fulls there. ••2 - there is a bad rat infestation (we can actually hear them every night in the loft & upstair floor space) the loft is covered in rate droppings & under her kitchen units ••3 - There is a very active wasps nest In the wall of the next door neighbours property (about 2 meters from our back door) We have tried speaking 2 the neighbour but she doesn't speak English very well & just wasn't interested 2day I rang Ealing Pest control myself as my granddaughter (18ths) just stood on the doorstep & was stung twice on her foot, we can't open any windows at the back of the house as they are getting in especially in the evening when they seem atracked by the lights I think I was being totally fobbed of Ealing Council have been saying 4 almost 4 weeks that they will send out pest control 2 clear the rats but still no pest control have contacted us. When I asked when the builders materials etc will be cleared the response I got was it's not that simple as its a very heavy pick up & their only guy is snowed under with work. & As for the wasps I was told 2 day that they couldnt do anything as was on a neighbouring property (both properties are Ealing Council properties) So I asked how do I complain because this isn't right, they shouldn't have even move her in2 this property as its not fit 2 live in, he admitted they knew about the problems, the property had been empty & boarded up 4 several mths, He said he would text me l8r 2day with details of complaints procedure & the environmental health number 2 call etc But yet again I heard nothing back So have just tried googling environmental health Etc & It has lead me here Any advice i can offer would really be appreciated ????
TracyD - 6-Jul-16 @ 4:34 AM
Samantha - Your Question:
My neighbour lives in the flat below us. He is disgusting. He has never taken his rubbish out and piles it behind his kitchen door in his flat. He vomits all over his floor and doesn't clean it up. What he dies in his own home is none of my business, but now he has started putting unbagged maggot infested food in my bin. There are flies all over the place. His flat stinks the communal area. I thought he was a sweet old nan who needed help. But he us just lazy and dirty. It won't be long before we have rodents too. But he won't give the council access to his home. It's this bad already and he's only been there a few months.

Our Response:
The environmental health department should be acting on this especially if maggots and flies are gathering in a communal area? Who owns the flats? Can his landlord not get him evicted?
ProblemNeighbours - 16-Jun-16 @ 12:54 PM
My neighbour lives in the flat below us. He is disgusting. He has never taken his rubbish out and piles it behind his kitchen door in his flat. He vomits all over his floor and doesn't clean it up. What he dies in his own home is none of my business, but now he has started putting unbagged maggot infested food in my bin. There are flies all over the place. His flat stinks the communal area. I thought he was a sweet old nan who needed help... But he us just lazy and dirty. It won't be long before we have rodents too. But he won't give the council access to his home. It's this bad already and he's only been there a few months.
Samantha - 15-Jun-16 @ 10:40 AM
dirty neighbourhood- Your Question:
I live in Waltham abbey and at the weekend while walking through a courtyard in morris court to the shops I was shocked to see that number 34 and 35 gardens that have been over grown and covered in rubbish for some years have now become infested with rats. I knocked at one door and was yelled at out of an open upstairs window to f off by what appeared to be a young man high on drugs. You know that stink any where.I have called the council who don't deal with rats any more and I have called the local police who don't want to know. What should I do as iam an elderly person and why should I have to walk through such filth at my age. Where have the good old values gone and where has all the council tax money increase gone when services are being cut all the timeCan anyone help please

Our Response:
Your council should help you with this. Did you speak to someone in Environmental Health Services? If not, then ask to speak to that department and name the specific addresses. If you're not satisfied with the response the ward councillor for the area.
ProblemNeighbours - 2-Jun-16 @ 11:30 AM
I live in Waltham abbey and at the weekend while walking through a courtyardin morris court to the shops I was shocked to see that number 34 and 35 gardens that have been over grown and covered in rubbish for some years have now become infested with rats. I knocked at one door and was yelled at out of an open upstairs window to f off by what appeared to be a young man high on drugs. You know that stink any where. I have called the council who don't deal with rats any more and I have called the local police who don't want to know. What should I do as iam an elderly person and why should I have to walk through such filth at my age. Where have the good old values gone and where has all the council tax money increase gone when services are being cut all the time Can anyone help please
dirty neighbourhood - 1-Jun-16 @ 1:44 PM
Steel Wool can be stuffed where rodents chew. Snap and kill are cheapest for a vacant place. Vector Control suggests bait them with peanut butter and drop of Tabasco (not mixed). Tabasco is an aromatic attraction, peanut butter bait can't be carried away. The most Humane because it's quick. If pets and kids or even yard birds and squirrels could reach the snap trap then just buy prebaited rat boxes
No shit here - 30-May-16 @ 4:07 AM
I have had a rat infestation problem for around a year caused initially by my neighbours and the state of their home and food scraps/bins/general rubbish/furniture left in the garden. They also have the entire garden decked giving the rats perfect nesting conditions. The rats use my garden to get un der the fence and the decking next door. They have also created another nest in my loft and began chewing in the wall cavaties in my childrens bedroom. I have video footage of this. I have had pest control out repeatedly and they rebait and set up traps but the problem continues. I have informed my neighbour of the problem and they did nothing. I complained to Housing association and the environmental health and letters were sent to my neighbour but all they did was remove bits of rubbish from the garden and have not done anything to remove the nest from under their garden decking. The rats have used the wall cavaties to get into my kitchen and chewed empty lunch boxes and chewed the lid on a bottle of squash. Unawarethey had been in the kitchen I panicked when I found my toddler had put the squashbottle top from the cupboard in his mouth. I have photo evidence and doctors evidence of this. They said luckily due to his age his latest injections covered him but it could have been very dangerous as weils disease can be deadly ! I have asked my housing to help move me as im worried for my childrens health and pest control have said until next door deal with the problem my problem will continue! I have been told until one of my children catch this deadly disease they cannot help me move either. I keep being passed from the council to the housing association to environmental health and back and forth. Please can somewhere tell me where I can go next to get help with this?
Bex - 16-Feb-16 @ 9:14 PM
Hi I'm new to this site. My partner has a big problem with cats. In his road lives a couple with 20+cats and they all litter in his front garden. It's so bad that our kids can't play out. He has a pond and the cats are peeing in it everyday and digging his lawn and plant bed to have a poo. We rang our local authorities but they said they can't do nothing. Her cats are getting more and more as they all inbreed. Can someone pls help as what we can do.
Jenny - 22-Jan-16 @ 1:09 PM
How can I contact the author of the article Jeff Durham?
ms deb - 10-Oct-15 @ 3:23 AM
O own my own propertymy neighbour moved put .but then became rented property .my land has a right of way to bottom of garden which goes to a built garage facing onto my land from bottom of their garden .l had issues with differenttenants mpving .Every Tennant has abused this area from pinching allowing others entering strangers this is my land yet ihave to monitor who enters through my property .we have lived here 10yrshow can I change thos its maintained by us yet never had contribution to keeping areaclean and maintenance Npw o have someone buyong the property and yet to explain your only allowed access no one else .and to keep garage door shutpeople don't like to be told bit this is the rules on my land hasgot thos bad situation goong on
Gas monkey - 30-Sep-15 @ 8:50 PM
Hello, My name is kelly and I need advice on an issue I am having with my back door neighbors. So my neighbors who live in the back house of ours have an avocado tree that is infested wit rats and mice. The branches of the tree have grown into our house the rats and rice are coming to our backyard and it has been happening often now. Luckily my dogs have killed the rats who have fallen into our backyard. This situation has gotten out of control who can I call to have my neighbors cut their tree down?
kells - 12-Sep-15 @ 4:53 AM
I am a house owner. I bought the house and did refurbished fully. At that time I never seen any symptoms of mice or rat. I put tenant through agency. After year tenant left the house with month rent due and left full of rubish bags inside the house also in back yards. And now I can see there is few big size whole in my property and I realised that rat come though those whole. While I was cleaning those rubish with the help of a cleaner I saw a rat jump out of a bin bag. Anyway after cleaning and some maintaining work I hand over the key to another agent to sale. Now my house is clean and empty. But I am worried whether rat will increase its living in empty house or the rat will leave my house as its empty? Any idea?
Ash - 29-Aug-15 @ 5:01 AM
dolly - Your Question:
I live in a council flat just one up and one down ,but there is wasps in the loft of the property upstairs and they are all over my garden I can not let my dog out at all ,is there anything I can do to get rid of them ,i know they are elderly and cannot afford to call in the enviromental health but as I am elderly neither can I so is there anything I can do please L.P.Atkins

Our Response:
Contact your local council (environmental health) and ask if they have any policy in relation to pensioners - they may help for a minimal charge or for free. Alternatively, could you and your neighbours share the cost between you?
ProblemNeighbours - 25-Aug-15 @ 11:21 AM
i live in a council flat just one up and one down ,but there is wasps in the loft of the property upstairs and they are all over my garden i can not let my dog out at all ,is there anything i can do to get rid of them ,i know they are elderly and cannot afford to call in the enviromental health but as i am elderly neither can i so is there anything i can do please L.P.Atkins
dolly - 22-Aug-15 @ 7:42 PM
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