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Dealing with Infestation

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 26 Aug 2018 | 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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Aubid - Your Question:
My next door gardens left and right gardens are full high grass and there are big rats in all gardens I don't know what to do I did ask next door they don't do any thing at all

Our Response:
See our guide here for more information
ProblemNeighbours - 29-Aug-18 @ 12:41 PM
My next door gardens left and right gardens are full high grass and there are big rats in all gardens I don't know what to do I did ask next door they don't do any thing at all
Aubid - 26-Aug-18 @ 11:16 PM
We are private home owners whose property borders a council estate. Our back garden has direct contact with four council properties. We bought the house two years ago and due to the large amount of trees and bushes bordering our property, we could not see our boundary wall. This spring/summer we have decided to clear the trees and bushes, claim back the garden up to the boundary wall, which has gained us at least 2 meters of garden. Between our boundary wall and the council properties is a kind of no-mans land before the fences start for the council properties. When we cleared the trees enough to see over the wall, which is only about a meter high, we could see that the no-mans land was full of junk. Easily identifiable items such as old decking, kitchen units, children's out door toys such as bikes, were piled up on top of bricks, soil - all sorts. This is all piled up against our wall up to the top of it! So I am sure you can imagine how much rubbish is there. We took photographs and emailed them to our local (Green Party!) council who said there was nothing they could do about it as we are private home owners and they cannot clear it on our behalf, unless we knew who was responsible. We think that it is pretty clear who is responsible for the mess and though we may be private home owners, we do pay our Council Tax - surely that must count for something when council tenants have been dumping their waste over their garden fence. Since then, we have found out who it is. We asked the owners of the houses if they knew anything about it and one put their hands up straight away and admitted it was them and that they had simply been to lazy to take it to the local tip! Talking with them, they don't seem to think that it is a problem as it isn't 'rubbish-rubbish', whatever that means and they have said that they'll cover it all with soil to bury it so it can't be seen and they don't have to deal with it! It is used as a toilet by most of the local cats (we'll return to those later) and we're sure foxes as it stinks, especially in this heat we've been having. While we haven't seen any rats, we have seen mice. Now that we have uncovered the wall at our boundary, it isn't particularly well built and a bit unsightly, so we would like to take it down and put new fences up. As mentioned, the dump is up against this wall, so if we remove it put the fence up, we will have to deal with it - how is that fair? A question the local (Green Party!) council have not answered. We phoned the council help line to do with fly tipping and they gave us the email address for Estate Services and that is who we emailed the photos to. As they said they couldn't do anything about it, we asked them to provide us with details of someone who could and we have had no response on that. Earlier I mentioned the cats use the dump as a toilet? Well, they also use our garden. Every week we pick up bag fulls of cat crap - w
Beetee - 17-Jul-18 @ 8:50 PM
I work in my local Asda and have done for several years, for the past 6-8 months at least there have been rats galore all over the warehouse chewing there way through stock that has been delivered that day. Us as employees are still expected to carry on work as normal pulling in pallets of stock from the infested area on to the shop floor to be put out for customers. Nearly every pallet pulled in has clear evidence of rats having chewed their way through packs of biscuits, cereals, sweets, basically anything that smells good. As we all know rats carry disease and not to mention the fact they urinate as they go and there is evidence of this on the stock we have to work. There are traps and pest control are apparently 'on It's but the situation is getting worse and it's a matter of time before they find there way onto the shop floor! I am concerned that I may catch something as I'm touching and moving boxes of stock that have clearly been rat damaged and management do not seem to be bothered. Myself and colleagues have had enough something needs to be done.
Len - 17-Feb-18 @ 8:39 PM
CP - Your Question:
I have been living next to a neighbour who hates cleaning and a result there is always a strong odour coming from her unit. It is sooo bad that we can't even sit on our balcony as the smell comes from her balcony. The smell lingers from outside our front door and then lingers from her balcony onto ours. Yesterday I opened my front door and the carpet outside the offending unit was covered in 100s of maggots, and some found outside our door. I have brought this to the attention of our body corporate, but the person responsible is the chairperson and has friends on the committee. I have put up with the smell for 13 years, spending countless amountsof money on air freshers, glen20 and fly spray. I really need some help as to what action can be taken.I am an owner of the unit and the offending neighbour also owns her unit.

Our Response:
You should report this to your environmental health department.
ProblemNeighbours - 8-Jan-18 @ 10:31 AM
I have been living next to a neighbour who hates cleaning and a result there is always a strong odour coming from her unit. It is sooo bad that we can't even sit on our balcony as the smell comes from her balcony. The smell lingers from outside our front door and then lingers from her balcony onto ours. Yesterday i opened my front door and the carpet outside the offending unit was covered in 100s of maggots, and some found outside our door.I have brought this to the attention of our body corporate, but the person responsible is the chairperson and has friends on the committee. I have put up with the smell for 13 years, spending countless amountsof money on air freshers, glen20 and fly spray. I really need some help as to what action can be taken. I am an owner of the unit and the offending neighbour also owns her unit.
CP - 5-Jan-18 @ 6:47 AM
Wendy - Your Question:
I own a semi detacted house in kirkby ashfield and the house next door to me is empty and it had a lot of rubbish at the back of the house and the rubbish is breeding rats and the rats are coming into my house please can you tell me what the law on who is responsible to get it cleaned up and to get rid of the rats thank you

Our Response:
Phone your local environmental health department. They should be able to make attempts to trace the owner and serve a notice to force them to clean up.
ProblemNeighbours - 3-Aug-17 @ 10:14 AM
I own asemi detacted house in kirkby ashfield and the house next door to me is empty and it had a lot of rubbish at the back of the house and the rubbish is breeding rats and the rats are coming into my house please can you tell me what the law on who is responsibleto get it cleaned up and to get rid of the rats thank you
Wendy - 31-Jul-17 @ 6:33 PM
i live in a housing association house, i have a private house next door and another housing association house on the other side of that, the housing association have allowed the tenant on the other side of the private house to keep chickens, and two years ago i made them aware of a rat infestation, the private house next door to me has also now got chickens, i pointed out to her that this would bring more rats and was told well we already have them so it wont make any difference, however it has, i have a cat that usualy brings home one or two rats a week that he has caught and killed, however he is now bringing home one or two aday,i have called my housing association to inform them of the growing problem and was told that they dont deal with rats, i pointed out to them that as they have allowed tenants to keep chickens then i consider them responsible for the growing problem, i have seen rats running around during daylight hours at the front of the property's on several occasions and am aware that this can mean a serious infestation, i have advised the lady next door that she needs to do something to control the problem however this has fallen on deaf ears, i have also informed the local housing authority who have offered to lay traps in my garden for a fee, i pointed out to them that i have a cat that loves to hunt and have not had any sightings in my garden and i feel that as this problem is due to chickens being kept by other home owners and tenants it should be down to them and the housing association to foot the bill for any traps/bait that needs to be applied is there anything else i can do to ensure that this infestation is dealt with?
annoyed - 7-Jun-17 @ 7:22 PM
my neighbours have a rat infestation in there shed no matter what you say to them they blame it on us. as we live in council house we have contacted the council as the rats keep coming in our garden. I have got videos of the rat running in and out of her shed big rats to little baby ones. The neighbours gardens over grown and weeds growing over our fence so we have to cut them as they grow over, this is coursing the fence to brake. They will not do anything to help we offered to go cut the weeds on her side she said they plants and we can't (fair enough it's on her side) we stand by there wish but as they are coursing our fence to brake what more can we do? she refusing to replace it. rats all over her garden council been out more then once about rats boxes down but can't enter her garden. she also had cockroaches in her house as council helped get Rid and she had to pay but why will they not help with the rat?? what else can we do its a living nightmare. we keep our garden at a high standard don't have nothing they can feed on but they still come. please abit of advice would be so grateful
ali - 13-May-17 @ 9:55 PM
My neighbour has all kinds of rubbish pile up along 2 fence panels in their garden, garden rubbis, old kitchen bags of cement, carpets etc. Will this ba a place where rats would be nesting? We have recently seen a rat in our garden and think it may have come under the fence. What can we do? Our neighbours don't speak to us, and never have in the 18months we have lived here, we did try when we first came and were ignored.
Frini - 22-Apr-17 @ 2:12 PM
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
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