Anyone have any ideas for rat-proofing a yard?

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Topic: Anyone have any ideas for rat-proofing a yard?

Home and Garden April 24, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Anyone have any ideas for rat-proofing a yard?


I own a row-house in DC, just a few houses in from a commercial strip with a lot of restaurants, etc. The house has a postage stamp-sized yard in front as well as front porch. Over the past year, the front yard and the area underneath the porch has come to be absolutely riddled with rat burrows. I come home in the evenings and the rats are hanging out, chilling, welcoming me home. They’re not getting in the house, which seems well-enough sealed (knock wood), but they are consistently out in the yard, especially at night. I have tried an exterminator, which left me with no real change to the problem plus dead rats to clean up as well. I don’t think it’s feasible to kill or trap all the rats, and I know new ones would come back, so this is not my goal. What I want to do is make my yard unappealing to the rats, so they go and hang out elsewhere. Short of paving the yard, any ideas of what I can do (and/or suggestions for reputable and reasonable contractors who could help)? One thing I’ve considered is pouring concrete under the porch (so the least well-lit area is inaccessible)–could that work?

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We had the area under our back enclosed porch filled with gravel. Well, they called it gravel. I call it medium sized rocks. Prevents burrowing.

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.

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