General Question

oxjox's avatar

How should I rid my neighbor's vacant yard of rats?

Asked by oxjox (38 points ) April 27th, 2011

The woman in the house next door died a couple weeks ago. Urban area, self-secluded older cat lady type who was a hoarder. Use your imagination. So I guess since the house is vacant and filled with trash, I’m left 12 feet from an infestation of rats. I should probably ask around and see if the house is in fact filed with trash and follow up with the city. In the mean time, I have a questions about dealing with these rats myself.

There’s a 7 foot brick wall separating my apartment / patio and her yard. I’ve already dealt with one rat today that got trapped inside my recycling bin. I can hear more rodents squeaking on the other side of the wall. How can I attempt to scatter or kill these rodents myself?

Is there something I can bomb back there to get them to scatter away or would that likely just run them into my place? Should I go out and buy a couple dozen of those compressed green rat-poison blocks and toss them back there? Any reason why I should stay clear of doing anything for legal reasons?

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15 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

Call the city animal control or health board. You will not be able to control them if the food source is not eliminated. I would not toss the poison blocks into the neighbors yard, you would leave yourself open to some serious game law violations if your poison killed a raptor.

jaytkay's avatar

@WestRiverrat is right, you need the pros. Rats don’t recognize property boundaries, and they can dig tunnels under walls.

bkcunningham's avatar

Vitamin K. Works like magic.

bkcunningham's avatar

Yes on the green rat poison things. Are they the poison that dries their blood up and they go looking for water? That is the bomb. It will work and get rid of the varmints in your area.

WestRiverrat's avatar

If you want to put the rat poison out, do it on your property. If you can’t control who has access to the neighbor’s property you can’t safely put poison there, especially if there are pets/children in the area that could get into the poison.

bkcunningham's avatar

Yeah, @WestRiverrat is right. If you live in an apartment or somewhere where cats or little creatures crawl on the ground and eat poison, be careful with above advise.

oxjox's avatar

Thanks. I probably don’t want to put the poison out in case a cat eats it or a cat eats a rat that has eaten it. I’ve contacted the city. Here in Philly we have a 311 system where I can go to a website and file a report. Hopefully they’ll respond sooner than later.

There’s no way to get in to the property as far as I know without entering the home – or climbing the wall dividing our properties. I /could/ very easily throw anything over this wall with pretty good precision.

Response moderated
Kayak8's avatar

Rat poison works in a unique way—mice and rats don’t vomit (like cats and dogs, who do). Rodents eat the stuff and it causes them to bleed out from the inside. The primary ingredient is something called warfarin. The human brand name version of warfarin is called coumadin and is used by heart patients as a blood thinner. The product was developed first as rat poison and THEN was adopted for use in humans. Dwight Eisenhower had heart disease and his doctor prescribed small doses of warfarin. President Eisenhower’s use of rat poison in this way made the news back in the day (1955).

The inability of rodents to vomit out the warfarin is part of what makes it effective. Cats and dogs shouldn’t eat rat poison, but if they do, they are able to vomit, If a pet does eat the rat poison they should get a shot of vitamin K (the antidote for a warfarin overdose).

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
weeveeship's avatar

Do you know who currently owns the house next door? You might want to contact them and try to work out something with them.

If you do not know who owns the place now, or the current owners are unwilling to clean up the mess, then I agree that you should call the City.

I don’t think you should take any intervention measures that would directly affect the land of your neighbor (e.g. setting traps) as that could invite a trespass suit.

However, you should keep track of any damage the rats have done to your house. If you know who the owners of the place is and they are unwilling to do anything, you can file a legal claim for private nuisance, asking the courts to grant an injunction or maybe even order your neighbors to compensate you (i.e. damages).

I like property law.

Winters's avatar

@darkpyre1 you know that any type of napalm could result in a very very bad day.

Call the city and/or put down rat poison. I’ve found burying bad meat with rat poison to be fairly effective. Used to have a bad rat problem in my house and in a week it was rat free.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Can you borrow a friend’s dog for a couple of days? I don’t know about rats, but you never see a mouse in a backyard that has a dog in it.

AllAboutWaiting's avatar

Traps are effective, but they must be maintained daily. Trap them, drown them, repeat. Peanut butter smell carries really well, and they like it. Poison is just too risky, and can remain or be moved.

Winters's avatar

@AllAboutWaiting don’t forget about using a heavy, thick, strong bag, with some durable gloves, you don’t want to run the risk of getting bit by one of those guys.

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