One thing you should think about doing once you’ve done whatever you want to your yard is getting your neighbors together and doing a full block rodent control effort. The Dept of Health will come out and do rodent control for the block. My block does this about once a year (we also live near a commercial strip with a lot of restaurants) and it has helped a lot with the rat problem. Basically, get everyone (or most everyone) on the block to sign the DOH permission slip to do rodent control on the properties on the block, then DOH will come out and do rat abatement on day on all the houses. I think it was a massive pain to coordinate the first time, but now that we all know what is going on, we just get separate permission slips for each house and drop it off at with one neighbor and that person coordinates with DOH. DOH’s phone is (877) 672-2174. Otherwise you may have blocked them from your yard, but they’ll still be around.