Washington, DC

Photo by PoPville flickr user nevermindtheend

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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