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Dealing with Infestation

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 25 Jan 2024 | 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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Hi We have a problem with a mouse infestation in the roof space. My neighbours tree is overhanging (and resting on the tiles) of our converted garage, the pest control people say that trees near to eaves and guttering are a well known way for mice to enter buildings. I will arrange for a tree surgeon to remove the overhanging canopy, but I'm wondering if I also have a right to remove any vegetation that is with in 6-8inches of the gutter - this is the distance the pest control people have specified as a 'firewall'. I've written to the neighbour and said that I will have the overhanging tree professionally removed, an asked for their agreement to cut back a bit extra. No response yet. Is there any legislation, say relating to public health issues, that would compel my neighbour to allow me to remove the 6-8inches of vegetation that could serve as ingress for further infestations in my property. I have approached the neighbour in a friendly way, and hope they respond favourably, but I'd like to know what my rights are in this matter. Thanks
Tom - 25-Jan-24 @ 9:40 AM
My family and some of our neighbours are currently having issues with rats AND mice because of this one neighbour who doesn't do anything to clean or take care of their front or back garden. It is over grown, they leave cat food out for all the cats, and with the amount of cats they have in their gardens you'd think we wouldn't be having this issue... And yet we are. We have called our housing association, they sent someone out to look, they put stuff in our garden, but never went into our loft, where we said we are hearing scratching and squeaking, but they did go into our neighbours (not the one with the messy gardens might I add.) And then they left. Said they would be back the next week to see how things were, it has been 4 or 5 weeks, and we have had no one back out at all. No one to check our loft, and things are just getting worse. The mice are no longer contained to the living room it is now the bathroom, my daughter's bedroom, the kitchen. As for the rats they are no longer contained to just my loft, they are now getting into my daughter's bedroom. We have called our housing association loads of times and all we get is "we'll call the exterminator and get them to come out again." And once again, we get nothing. We have called the council where we live, and they have contacted the environmental health because our neighbour with the messy gardens are private owners/renters and still nothing has been done about it. My daughter isn't getting any sleep, and it is making her anxiety even worse than it normally is. It doesn't feel as if anyone is taking us seriously or wants to know. it's frustrating and tiring.
Asteria - 11-Nov-23 @ 1:58 AM
Last winter I had a rat infestation coming from my neighbour's scruffy house through the dividing cavity wall. It cost me £800 in all, two visits from pest control companies, work carried out on my loft to seal gaps in the rafters then having itcleaned. My neighbour refuses to allow anybody in their house, the rats were coming into their extension through decking in their garden and the Council have been worse than useless. Now the weather has cooled there are noises in my loft again at night, I am doing this at 6 a.m. after yet another sleepless night. I would welcome any advice on how to deal with this it is affecting my health. My neighbour is a really horrible woman, she was abusive when I contacted the Council about the problem. Our houses are privately owned and I am desperate
Macca - 7-Oct-23 @ 6:05 AM
My neighbours had rats. They moved out recently and the property owner is clearing up the mess they left. Rats are now making holes burrowing through into my house. I've contacted them,contacted my local authority but nobody wants to know. Apparently I have to deal with it and pay for pest control myself. This is wrong. Why do I have to deal with it? I've filled holes etc but they keep coming
Fedup - 2-Oct-23 @ 11:55 PM
Hey guys, I know that feeling. My neighbors are from hell. I have had nothing but problems. Recently, I have had an infestestation of sand flies. I have always had a clean house. However, only in the last week I have had this issue. My daughter and me have been bitten badly. I know my neighbours have found a crack and have planted them to go through my house. It's so distressing and my heart goes out to you all. I have three kittens beautiful and do not have fleas or anything. So definitely be suspicious. Note everything down. The time and dates and record it . Pets do not leave dead animals in the hallway mice or rats. By the time cats catch the rodents they spit it out and leave it then run home. If they do catch it it's usually alive then dies. It's definitely spite. So I have brought an amazing hoover. Cross wave. If your house and outside your house is clean how can you possibly be responsible. No way are you. My neighbours places are unclean and my place is cleaned. I've recorded and reported it. If you got pets show the vet bills. Proves your pets are cleaned. Especially, with cats. Good pets are trained well are clean. So get all the products , keep the receipts show the council . If your home and outside your house is clean how can you possibly, be deliberately bringing in pests . Don't worry guys. Get the good products, eliminate the issue record it then show the Council. Hopefully, my new hoover should do the trick. I spent two days cleaning and cleaning. Finally, got rid of them. Then as I am about to leave they come back. Doesn't make sense. So do what you can plan your action and get the sods back. Good luck to you all.Stay strong From Jazz ???????? ????
Jazzy - 1-Oct-22 @ 12:28 AM
Good morning hope you all are safe and well. I will truly appreciate if someone could advise/help me to rectify problem that I am facing. Most recently I have noticed rat infestation in my Garden. As my neighbor garden is overgrown and needs lots of maintenance.I have notified to my neighbor very politely, unfortunately it gone to deaf ears. I have approached my local authority Croydon council, unfortunately I have been informed that it's civil matter. Please could someone advice that who is responsible for legal cost?what I should do in this situation. Many thanks. Kind regards. Ash
Ash - 13-Aug-22 @ 5:14 AM
Buckets of dog mess by the side of my shed cardboard and paper all over the garden , dogs cats and rabbits mess all over the garden , rabbits mess chucked between their fence and mine . Rats all about the place and we have small children and park behind us .DISGUSTING
Idolbill - 23-Jul-22 @ 3:58 PM
Buckets of dog mess by the side of my shed cardboard and paper all over the garden , dogs cats and rabbits mess all over the garden , rabbits mess chucked between there fence and mine
Idolbill - 23-Jul-22 @ 3:55 PM
Hi, my neighbour garden is very over grown, almost like a jungle. For last 4 years she hasbeen telling that "I'll clean my garden in this summer". This year when I reminded her politely that when are thinking of clearing your garden? She said, "ill do when I'll do". She has a pond in her garden and it's water is dark green. I raised my concern over that. She said my fishes died couple of years ago because I used some chemicals in my garden cleaning,wher as I never washed my garden with anything,just plain water. Last summer fox had babies in her back side of garden( her garden is 130ft long) so we didn't inform council. We have laid new turf and due to her over grown weeds our gras got coverd and died.Now If I think of neighbourhood relations and don't complain then I have to suffer, don't know till how long? Not sure if I complain will they take any action or not? Pls advice.
Neetu - 9-Jul-22 @ 1:26 PM
neighbour throwing waste food outside over his garden and birds picking up and depositing in my garden so i have to pick up and return to his garden, totally disgusting, also he put cement into my brown bin when it was half full of waste garden and food waste. also disgustiong as i had to cleran up that as well.
pat - 30-Jun-22 @ 8:15 PM
Hi I need some advice about a situation I'm in . My letting agent has just rung me saying that one of my neighbours has called the local council complaining that my cat has been leaving dead rodents in the alleyway/ginnel behind our back gardens. This could jeopardize my tenancy and I think it's really unfair as there's 0 proof that it's my cat and there's loads of cats in the area, both of my neighbours have multiple cats themselves and I feel like it's one particular neighbour who I complained to recently about his 2 cats who had been sneaking in my kitchen when the door was left open during the summer and spraying in my kitchen. So I'm pretty sure it's a tit for tat situation. How do I go about fighting these accusations and keeping my House? Thanks
Cindy - 16-Sep-21 @ 3:20 PM
COVID -19 - 14-Sep-21 @ 4:41 AM
Approximately 25 – 30 years ago we had a problem with rats entering the cavity at the rear of our property and making their way into our roof space / loft. I contacted the environmental health department at theCouncil Offices. An environmental officer was sent to see us and she found the problem was due to holes in the cavity of an outside toilet our neighbours property which is a Kebab takeaway premisses.Our properties are semi-detached. The environmental health officer baited our roof space / loft and had the entry holes filled. Even though I have seen rats in the back lane we had no more rats in the loft. 2020 Over the subsequent years the Kebab takeawayhas had several people running the business. In 2020 a new manager took over running the business and knocked down the outside toilet. The cavities where left open for a while which worried me knowing the rat problem that we had previously. I approached the manager and told him of my concerns but he didn't appear to take much notice. The area was boxed in with a plastic construction and a chipboard housing and a precarious corrugated plastic roof. 2021 In early 2021 my wife and I noticed a bad smell in our hallway and we could not work out where it was coming from. In early March 2021 the smell had got really bad so I stripped out the cupboard under the stairs to find that a rat, or rats had been using the cupboard as a toilet. They had gained access through the a redundant gas pipe hole in the floorboard. I contactedCouncil Environmental Health Department. An officer came around on the following Friday morning. He had a look around our property and could not find any problems or entry points for the rats. He said he had better have a look in the Kebab Takeaway next door. After a short while he came back and said that he had to report his findings immediately. He said, “It's rats restaurant in there. There's fat everywhere with whisker marks.” He couldn't wait to get out quick enough as being a Friday he wanted to report it while there was somebody still in the office. It took approximately aweek before an officer came out from the Council Offices to have a look at the problem. The officer said that she could not see a problem in the takeaway and it was all up together in there. In mid March I found that our loft area was infested with rats. I contacted the Council Environmental Health Department again. The Environmental Officer asked me where the rats were coming in. I said they were coming using the same entry as the rats several years ago. They were coming from the takeaway premisses next door. I had put a CCTV camera in the loft so I could see them coming in and going out. The cooking extractor from the takeaway runs across a low, sloping roof at the rear of there property and drips fat down the roof and into their garden. I mentioned this to the Environmental Officer, wondering why she hadn't noticed it. I also mentioned several holes in the brickwork at
CM - 31-Jul-21 @ 9:31 PM
I’ve got rats in my garden because my neighbours garden is a state overgrown weeds old shed I’ve never had rats in my garden I’ve reported this to my housing and environmental health about this and they say they are going to get her to clean up her garden but so far no action from my housing it’s like play time in my garden and we can’t even open the back door or even keep the door open l don’t know what to do next even with rat poison down and bait boxes there still coming
Sandie - 30-Jul-21 @ 5:41 PM
I live on top of hairdresser and a bakery . I’ve been having the summer from Hell . The bakery attract big rats , because they don’t handle their bins correct. We se rats every where , even on top of the roof . That are big heavy and scary . This bakery got no hygiene whatsoever many times I witnessed they leaving fresh trays of bread to cool down on top lead of the Rubish bin . And is sick to watch people buying their bread . Because of lack to keep their bins closed clean . Is getting more and more Ratseven on my balcony and my neighbour the rats just run from a balcony to other. There’s any chance to contact someone who would something about it ?
Anonymous - 26-Jul-21 @ 1:37 AM
Please give me contact details of whom to talk to about my neighbor's overgrown garden that is causing an infestation of vermin
Andy Hill - 22-Jul-21 @ 8:39 PM
Mom my been staying in her house about 6 years house infested with big rats very unsafe all threw the night in day eating food
Manny - 19-Jul-21 @ 5:57 PM
My neighbor has weeds that have turned into a wooded back yard filled with rats and mosquitoes and mice. This was reported many times. They made them cut it all down two summers ago. The tree mulch was piled up like a hill that houses rats and mice. Trash gets thrown out to the side of their house not I. The cans put on the ground feeding the rodants. Nobody is doing anything. Rats are running rampur in my yard.
Nicks13 - 1-Jul-21 @ 12:42 PM
My next door neighbor bk garden is around 6foot tall grass and weeds and I'm having rats coming in to my garden I can't leave my door open jest in case they come into my house
It'sme - 25-Jun-21 @ 6:19 PM
Next door is infested with rats on the front because of the bins and back because of all the rubbish mardale road huyton no 30
Billy - 24-Jun-21 @ 7:32 PM
My neighbours are constantly attracting rats to my property on purpose please can you help
Amber - 26-May-21 @ 7:08 AM
Mice in my bedroom floorboards in skirting an under my gas fire for some time nearly 2 years or even over I've killed 22 if the rodents sick of them they won't come into room just can smell the dirty rodents an squeaking can you help please room is fully secured with wires all round room but there under chimney
Jav - 9-Feb-21 @ 7:44 AM
my neighbours rats broke into my shed urinated on my tools gave me weils disease nearly died ,the stoners just run away when i try to talk to them and yet the rats remain,should i murder or sue the ignorant gits
DEEK - 7-Jan-21 @ 10:43 AM
I don’t have a mouse infestation but my neighbours are blaming me for theirs ? I did have some rubbish in garden that I removed , then I paid 160 to get rid of there infestation, they’ve been building there house and I feel like I’ve been used as a scapegoat
Mel - 18-Dec-20 @ 3:24 AM
Please please may you stops your poisonings of rats. They are the creatures of the lord of hosts, and humane traps as I humbly suggested, are sufficient to come to a rat-human understanding. You in the west kill kill kill with no thought to these little souls who may be trained to perform circus acts with the right handlers. Thank you for the nuts, but I do not believes that they stop the poisonings. Maybe you yourself have wants to place your own nuts in humane rats traps and take note that rats alkso enjoys lemomaids.
ChaChaBorogrove - 30-Nov-20 @ 10:43 AM
My next door neighbour has been told by rat catchers not to feed birdsand squirrels due to rats present in the area. Nuts have vitamin K which neutralises rat poison. She puts out large quantities of nuts and seeds despite having been told this. Last week there was a rat under her bird table feasting on the monkey nuts she puts out. She has been told but is still putting food out in large quantities, e.g. today she put out a huge boxfull of nuts and seeds not only onto the bird table but scattered them across her garden in the same way as one would sow seeds in a field. The public footpath behind our gardens is full of monkey nut husks due to the quantities she is putting out. Is there any point in reporting it to the council when last time the council was told she increased the amount of nuts she was putting out and started putting it out in the early morning, before light?
Ratty - 29-Nov-20 @ 5:01 PM
Greetings Miss Liza, May I humbly suggest a humane trap for the rats. You can then sell them to the local children as pets and smake some money too. Maybe you can smake a lemomaids stall too.
ChaChaBorogrove - 22-Nov-20 @ 10:55 PM
My next door neighbours garden is over flowing with bags on bags of house hold waste the smell is unreal and there are rats every were I havery reported this to the local council and they have not done a thing about it as it is just getting worse I can't open my door because of all the rats.what can I do if the council don't care
Liza - 19-Nov-20 @ 10:29 PM
My neighbour ignoring my many and many requests and complains about her bad behaving male cat nuisance on my property any time of a day or night. Cat marked my house, spraying with stinky cat urine on foundation, entrance steps, plants, everywhere, where it just possible. Almost every night he chases community cats and fight under my house, waking me up with terrible and very loud noise. I politely contacted her many times, but all i got just ignorance and let her cat continue to stink my home and it seems she enjoying my hopelesless.
Luba - 14-Oct-20 @ 3:02 PM
My neighbour feeds the birds and squirrels. But the rats are all over my garden even running back and forth across my garageroof digging holes under the fence to get to her garden. We have fallen out over this. She believesall animals have right to live. Our homes are private can I get anyone to stop her feedingthem.
Angie - 28-Aug-20 @ 1:01 AM
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