Neighbors yard infested with RATS due to garbage : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Our neighbors (farm) have not removed or burned their garbage since last MAY! This has resulted in a huge pile (about the size of 3 cars) and this pile is infested with rats. The RM has ordered it removed, but now the rats will need to find a new food source. We live in a mobile home about 1 mile away, and have a small child here. I have found a muskrat in my pantry, and a weasel in my living room, so I know that there is an entry somewhere large enough for rats to enter. We have searched for this entry, but have been unable to locate it. How do I keep the rats out? CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP US?

-- Judy (, February 07, 2002


People say there are more rats in the country than in the city !! I would talk with a county agent and see what they suggest. Not they you want to cause trouble for you careless and thoughtless neighbor but to get some good advice. Look for any openings you may have and perhaps put the poison bait far, far away from where children and pets can find it. It does work well but I have often found that "my" rats die in my walls and we live with the awful smell for some time afterwards. Do you have any cats ?? They could help also. I wish you good luck in this sad when people don't care about themselves or others. Also, find out when they are cleaning up the mess. We have a family that literally lives in the middle of a junk yard filled with everything you can imagine and the township has told them over and over for many years to clean up but they haven't. Don't let this go on much longer. Good Luck !!

-- Helena (, February 07, 2002.

Oh Judy, What an awful situtation for you. Maybe get a rat dog. A terrier? If you get cats, get big ones. Go to the humane society or animal shelter. They are sure to have what you need and you'll be giving an animal a home and a job. Dogs love to have work to do. You should do that even if the trash isn't cleaned up. Rats wander around. Hope it all goes well.

-- Susan in Northern Michigan (, February 07, 2002.

Check your mobile home for rat and other varmit entry sites everywhere there is a pipe coming in thru the walls or floor. Like under every single sink, where the heater is, etc. I had a non stop parade of rodents for months after moving into a mobile home and even with cats, it was enough to drive me crazy. Got up one night and went into the kitchen for some water and found three rats on my counter top. YEACH!

Finally found where they were getting in. One place was under the bathroom sink. The other place was where the pipes came thru the floor under the central heating. Stuffed them tight with steel wool and it worked for a while. Then they got inside again. This time around the drain pipe for the kitchen sink. More steel wool. Then had to do the same thing with the other bathroom sink.

Good luck!

-- Carol - in Virginia (, February 07, 2002.

When I was a teenager a guy in town raised snakes. For feed, he would buy live rats I trapped out in the woods for $.50 each – not bad pocket money back in 1960 or so. Two rats were a movie with popcorn.

I made live trap cages out of wood, but I would do it now using 5- gallon metal buckets (plastic would also be OK).

At the bottom edge of a bucket drill or cut a hole about 1 ˝” in diameter. Also drill some 1/4" holes every so often around the rest of the bottom as scent holes. Now take some ˝” grid hardware cloth and make an entry tunnel in the shape of an inverted U with feet (will look something like this - _! !_ with the top on it). It should be a bit wider and taller than your entry hole. Within this tunnel cut another piece of hardware wire about 2” long by the width of your tunnel. Use some of the wires at what will be the top to put it about 3/4rds of the way in the tunnel to act as a one-way trap door. A rat, entering the tunnel, will lift up the trap door and pass under it (make sure it clears on the side). Once past it, it closes and prevents their leaving. Attach it securely on the bottom of the bucket.

The best bait I found was raw bacon. You can put it in something with holes such that the smell of it comes out, or just let the rats have a last meal.

I very, very seldom found less than one rat in a trap, so suspect one already in the cage attracted others.

The rats should not be able to climb out, due to the slick sides, but a screen wire top wouldn’t hurt. Of course, you need to place them somehow so pets don't get the bait or knock them over. I'd recommend both inside (e.g., pantry area) and outside (several places).

Dispose of the ones you catch however you desire.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, February 07, 2002.

Don't forget the place behind your stove. I found an opening where the 220 plug had been connected that was big enough to let mice in. My dog kept catching mice and couldn't figure out where they come from. Don't have them anymore since pluggin up that opening. Also might want to consider "Just One Bite" and do like those of us who keep poultry do, put it in a length of PVC pipe so pets or kids can't reach it. I would put it UNDER your mobile home and get them before they come in. I feel bad for you and hope this goes OK. Rats! YUK! LQ

-- Little Quacker (, February 07, 2002.

I would think that the expandable foam spray would be a more permanent solution to the holes than steel wool. You have to throw away the can after you use it, though, even if you only use a little (it seals itself permanently as well) so make sure you have all the holes located, and maybe a handful of other "filling" projects to use up the foam while it's good.

-- Soni (, February 07, 2002.

I noticed a section on my tqaxes where the breakdown of money the places was rodent control. Check to see if the county you live in charges your taxes for that, then have them do what they get paid for. You shouldn't have to pay out of your own pocket if that part of you property taxes, and someone elses property they are coming from.

-- Wendy A (, February 07, 2002.

Soni, they'll happily chew their way through just about anything - in fact they have to chew continually to wear their teeth down. Foam won't stop them, but steel wool does - they really don't like chewing on that. Of course, you could put foam over it.

Someone here posted on another thread about there being a hole in the floor of their mobile home where there was a clothes dryer vent, too. Don't JUST look for things going in - think about things going out as well.

-- Don Armstrong (, February 07, 2002.

A good, purebred rat terrier WILL take out rats, no problem, and sometimes a mix leaning heavily towards the instincts. one woman had a mix, and hers took care of all their rats.

have you gone UNDER your trailer to look for openings into your house? Also, do you have a woodpile next to it? if so, move it.

If they are finally ordering the removal of the garbage pile, maybe you could call up whoever RM is and ask that he bait with rat poison all around THEIR property....or maybe you could sneak over and do it....

-- marcee (, February 07, 2002.

I agree with the dog idea, The trailer we used to live in, the people before us put thier trash under the house. It wasnt long after we moved in that I heard noises. The rats chewed their way into the house under bathtubs, and around the pipes under the sink. I borrowed my moms jack russle terrier, and went to work cleaning all that trash up one day. Needless to say, she had a blast killing all those nasty things,(22 in all she got) and after that I just put poisen under the house and where no other animals could get to it. with no food and poisen around, the remaining ones decided they better be going. Make sure you dont have any food source where they might get to it, and plug up all those holes extra good. Watch your vehicles too, my aunt had a rat climb into her motor and chewed some wires causeing over $900 in damage. Good luck to you!

-- Angela (, February 08, 2002.

Also check where your main electrical supply line comes up into your mobile home. There is usually a open space at floor level where it has been pulled through.There many places where rats and other creatures can come into mobile homes. Steel wool has work the best for us, I poke it into any hole that they may attempt to come into. They may chew through it and make it inside but they will die from the pieces of wire in their bodies. We have even had snakes come in the house before I plugged every hole and caulked every seam. Hopefully you'll be able to gain control over them soon. Good Luck!!

-- KatieBelle (, February 08, 2002.


-- cody (, February 09, 2002.

some barn cats would definitely help. Now, I'm not suggesting that you commit any crimes but if I had the problem you described, I think I'd go for a discrete walk at night and accidently drop a few gallons of gas and a match on their trash pile... ; )

-- Dave (, February 09, 2002.

I had mice travel up a drain pipe and get into my basement by chewing the holes in the plastic floor drain cover large enough to allow them in. The answer for me around my pipes from the basement up into the house was to pack with steel wool and then soak the steel wool with the insulating more half seen gray shadows out of the corner of my eye! My current rodent problem is the mice in the basement(poor fitting garage door) they have so fouled the pink batting insulation that I have to have it all pulled down this year and replaced..had a couple of black rat snakes that lived in the basement for years and took care of the mice and they must have moved on....

-- Bee White (, February 09, 2002.

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