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  • FIRST POST
    • Mikey26
    • By Mikey26 8th Nov 19, 12:51 AM
    • 7Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Mikey26
    Rats in attic of newly rented property
    • #1
    • 8th Nov 19, 12:51 AM
    Rats in attic of newly rented property 8th Nov 19 at 12:51 AM
    Well, here goes.

    My partner and I have recently moved into a new property together, after much research we have found what we have thought to be our perfect home; for our perfect new family (she's 37 weeks pregnant, our first child - exciting times!). We love our new home, its exactly what we are looking for and is close to both of our families homes also; which after years of living apart its nice to finally all be close together again .

    BUT.. theres always a "but" just as things seems to be going so well right? The first night that we moved in and slept here we heard some light scurrying in the attic, having had rats before in previous properties we thought nothing of it and just agreed to deal with out ourselves as best as possible with a swift b&q trip the next morning for bait boxes and traps. After all, we were informed that the house had not been occupied for two months before we moved in; these things unfortunately happen and given the circumstances there's not a lot that can be done other than deal with it as best as possible.

    Anyhow, lets cut to the chase... The following morning I had entered the attic for the first time. Its a small area, nothing at all stored up there, but absolutely bombarded with rat droppings. I laid the bait box with poison in where we thought we heard the most activity, along with three rat traps (Peanut butter, and chocolate in traps). I should also mention that the attic entrance is in our bedroom, pretty much directly above our head where the bed is. We also have an airing cupboard in the corner of our bedroom with the boiler in, which possibly due to the cosy heat it produces, hears a lot of activity directly above it.

    So a week passes, and after hearing no decrease in noise what so ever... All baits and poisons are untouched. At this point, my partner and I have resorted to sleeping downstairs and on the odd occasion she has also stayed at her mums house in fear these rats will come down and make contact ( unlikely I know, but to be fair to her this isn't just the odd scurry of feet anymore. There is constant noise such as scratching along with frequent loud squeaking noises. Of course with her also on the verge of giving birth, tempers are heightened. The thought of putting our new born son in a bedside crib beside us in the room with these potentially disease riddled rats is quite unsettling for her and myself.

    We have since contacted the landlord, and he has arranged a pest control service to come out and assess the issue. He has been into the attic himself and says he has covered up any entrance or exit points with wire wool and laid additional bait (you know, the fancy stuff that costs 50 quid a visit lol). This was two weeks ago and he has been twice in total, once for initial baiting and another visit a week later to check for any findings. Of course you know what's coming, still no dead rats and no decrease in noise! However the pest control guy did say a considerable amount of bait had been eaten in all bait bowls he had put down.

    Final points to mention which are probably important is that not all of the attic is physically checkable. We are in a terraced house and have the tradition triangle shape attic (stand up too close to the left you bump your head stand up too close to the right you also bump your head, not entirely sure how to really explain it but the centre being the highest point). There are old brick walls which must be at least ten years old covering each side of the attic, however both have clear gaps in which the only way I could see to really close off fully would be some sort of reconstruction which I cant help but feel like the landlord and neighbours wouldn't quite want to do. But in terms of being sealed, its not at all, and that's just from the inside, who knows what the outside looks like. At first we thought the attic only covered our bedroom and no other rooms, however there is a small gap about a fists size in height that does span over to the next two rooms which are the bathroom and another bedroom. As far as we can see that's as far as it goes but in terms of being able to physically check it, impossible; so god knows what's going on down that area. Also for what its worth, we found the property on Zoopla.com and have a private landlord.

    So I guess in amongst all this rambling, I'm just sort of wondering where I should turn to next as I feel like I'm kind of running out of options over here. Will me and my partner ever be able to fully settle with our new family here? Is this an issue which is likely to ever be resolved? Will a rat bite me in my sleep and I turn into the rat equivalent of spider man? To be continued...

    Also, if you managed to take the time out of your day to get through what feels like a life story, I appreciate your time.
Page 1
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 8th Nov 19, 3:01 AM
    • 6,407 Posts
    • 9,062 Thanks
    deannatrois
    • #2
    • 8th Nov 19, 3:01 AM
    • #2
    • 8th Nov 19, 3:01 AM
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/repairs-in-rented-housing/repairs-common-problems/repairs-infestations-of-pests-and-vermin/
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 8th Nov 19, 8:41 AM
    • 25,670 Posts
    • 25,265 Thanks
    AdrianC
    • #3
    • 8th Nov 19, 8:41 AM
    • #3
    • 8th Nov 19, 8:41 AM
    Short version:
    You think you can hear rats.
    You put bait and traps up, nothing touched.
    Your landlord took your concerns seriously, and got the pros in. Bait is being taken.

    Right?

    Attics are never hermetically sealed between rooms or even between adjoining properties.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 8th Nov 19, 9:07 AM
    • 39,567 Posts
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    silvercar
    • #4
    • 8th Nov 19, 9:07 AM
    • #4
    • 8th Nov 19, 9:07 AM
    I don't know what else you expect the landlord to do. The professionals will deal with it, but unfortunately it takes time.
    • Lokolo
    • By Lokolo 8th Nov 19, 9:22 AM
    • 20,236 Posts
    • 15,431 Thanks
    Lokolo
    • #5
    • 8th Nov 19, 9:22 AM
    • #5
    • 8th Nov 19, 9:22 AM
    How do you even know they're rats? All this concern but you haven't actually found any rats yet from what I can read in your essay.

    Could be some mice. Or it could even be glis glis! No idea where you live but in the home counties they do tend to hibernate about this time of year in people's roofs.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 8th Nov 19, 10:26 AM
    • 12,476 Posts
    • 17,090 Thanks
    hazyjo
    • #6
    • 8th Nov 19, 10:26 AM
    • #6
    • 8th Nov 19, 10:26 AM
    Or it could even be glis glis!
    Originally posted by Lokolo
    Learn something new every day. Hadn't even heard of them!


    Was going to say the same thing. Are you sure it's rats? Might be a squirrel. And they're crafty !!!!!!s which would explain the food going and not setting the traps off.
    2019 wins: Bottle of Prosecco; Popcorn Shed popcorn; Moisturising 'M&S Time Capsules'; Case of Boost Sport + £30 Just Eat voucher; Battle Proms tickets and hotel; under-eye serum...

    "Should know better." Apparently.
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 8th Nov 19, 11:00 AM
    • 10,319 Posts
    • 36,367 Thanks
    DigForVictory
    • #7
    • 8th Nov 19, 11:00 AM
    • #7
    • 8th Nov 19, 11:00 AM
    You & landlord & professional are now doing all you can.

    Focus on the future & by the time your arrival is with you, all being well, they should be safe from the things in the attic.

    Best of luck!
    • phill99
    • By phill99 8th Nov 19, 11:14 AM
    • 8,731 Posts
    • 7,986 Thanks
    phill99
    • #8
    • 8th Nov 19, 11:14 AM
    • #8
    • 8th Nov 19, 11:14 AM
    For info, rodents don't immediately die when they eat the poison. It makes them feel unwell and they, like us, take to their beds and die there. that's why there are no dead rats or mice in the loft.


    Your landlord has acted reasonably and got pros in. There isn't much more he can do. However, rats need to be addressed by the whole terrace. If you are doing your bit, but the people next door are doing nothing or worse actually adding to the problem by not cleaning and leaving food out etc, then the problem will never go away.
    Eat vegetables and fear no creditors, rather than eat duck and hide.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 8th Nov 19, 11:16 AM
    • 50,172 Posts
    • 62,578 Thanks
    G_M
    • #9
    • 8th Nov 19, 11:16 AM
    • #9
    • 8th Nov 19, 11:16 AM
    Short version:
    You think you can hear rats.
    You put bait and traps up, nothing touched.
    Your landlord took your concerns seriously, and got the pros in. Bait is being taken.

    Right?

    Attics are never hermetically sealed between rooms or even between adjoining properties.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    As Adrian says. If your landlord was ignoring your complaint I'd be the first to offer firm advice, but he's brought in professionals. Did they say how long it takes for the rats to (all) die? I'm no expert but I assume they all have to eat the poison, not just some o them, so it might take a while.
    • lurkylurky
    • By lurkylurky 8th Nov 19, 11:54 AM
    • 434 Posts
    • 298 Thanks
    lurkylurky
    A friend of mine had rats a couple of years ago and called in pest control. They said there was a large amount of rats and would probably need 5 visits. Turned out they needed 4 visits and found what they thought was the entry point and blocked it. She’s not had any more since.

    She tried to claim on her house insurance but wasn’t covered for rats. Had it been squirrels she would have been covered. I’ve just renewed my house insurance and there was a £20 add on to cover rat infestation.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 8th Nov 19, 12:02 PM
    • 7,651 Posts
    • 9,959 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    It does sound as though your landlord is doing everything they can. Have you seen any rats anywhere, or found any droppings or any other eveidence iof them inside the house?

    In a terrace, the attics are almost certianly connected so it would be worth either you, or the pest control people, speaking to the neighbours to let them know about the issue and to suggest that it is addressed by everyone.

    rats are intellieent so it can take time and different types of poins to get rif of them.

    You could also look into getting the 'silent' sonic repellers (although consider then getting rif od them before your baby comes homne as even if you can't hear the high pitchedsounds, she might be able to!
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
    • lookstraightahead
    • By lookstraightahead 8th Nov 19, 1:18 PM
    • 1,434 Posts
    • 1,340 Thanks
    lookstraightahead
    How awful for you. Have you asked if there was previously a rat problem? I would ask the landlord.
    • phill99
    • By phill99 8th Nov 19, 5:06 PM
    • 8,731 Posts
    • 7,986 Thanks
    phill99
    How awful for you. Have you asked if there was previously a rat problem? I would ask the landlord.
    Originally posted by lookstraightahead
    And what difference would that make?
    Eat vegetables and fear no creditors, rather than eat duck and hide.
    • walwyn1978
    • By walwyn1978 8th Nov 19, 5:33 PM
    • 665 Posts
    • 665 Thanks
    walwyn1978
    If it’s a lot of rats/mice across the terrace then the ones who have taken the bait will as stated above have crawled off to die and the noise/droppings are from the other ones who are now exploring up there. Over time with continued visits from the pros then hopefully it will all be resolved, but as already said further up the thread it’s not a quick overnight process.

    Rats are supppsed to leave behind an ammonia type smell. Is there a smell of that type in the loft?
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 8th Nov 19, 5:36 PM
    • 10,244 Posts
    • 13,020 Thanks
    Owain Moneysaver
    Ask neighbours if you/the landlord can get into their attics to have a look.

    Also if you want to peer into crevices you can get borescopes (with screens, about £40 from Aldi occasionally, or USB ones from about £10 on ebay etc)
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • lookstraightahead
    • By lookstraightahead 8th Nov 19, 5:49 PM
    • 1,434 Posts
    • 1,340 Thanks
    lookstraightahead
    And what difference would that make?
    Originally posted by phill99
    Because if the landlord did know about it he/she should have informed the tenants.
    • Mikey26
    • By Mikey26 8th Nov 19, 6:10 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Mikey26
    Short version:
    You think you can hear rats.
    You put bait and traps up, nothing touched.
    Your landlord took your concerns seriously, and got the pros in. Bait is being taken.

    Right?

    Attics are never hermetically sealed between rooms or even between adjoining properties.
    Originally posted by AdrianC

    Looking back, Id wish id compiled it nicely together like that.. But yes, that's right. Its just concerning with it being over two weeks since hearing the noises that they have not subsided yet. I completely understand that everything that can be done is being done, I just really don't want rats so close to my new born child. Hopefully the issue resolves with the professionals.
    • Mikey26
    • By Mikey26 8th Nov 19, 6:26 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Mikey26
    How do you even know they're rats? All this concern but you haven't actually found any rats yet from what I can read in your essay.

    Could be some mice. Or it could even be glis glis! No idea where you live but in the home counties they do tend to hibernate about this time of year in people's roofs.
    Originally posted by Lokolo

    I understand my essay was rather lengthy, I tried to add all important points and re read it about 3 times realising I had left out some key issues. In future, short and to the point is probably best. However, due to this and to your point about finding any rats.. I probably should have also mentioned we have spoke to neighbours and they have also confirmed rat activity in their property similar to what we are hearing ourselves. She also even mentioned a sighting near the back door of her house, so we are fairly confident it is rats. Also, the attic is covered in rat faeces; which was later confirmed to be rat faeces by the pest controller who later visited.
    • Mikey26
    • By Mikey26 8th Nov 19, 6:31 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Mikey26
    For info, rodents don't immediately die when they eat the poison. It makes them feel unwell and they, like us, take to their beds and die there. that's why there are no dead rats or mice in the loft.


    Your landlord has acted reasonably and got pros in. There isn't much more he can do. However, rats need to be addressed by the whole terrace. If you are doing your bit, but the people next door are doing nothing or worse actually adding to the problem by not cleaning and leaving food out etc, then the problem will never go away.
    Originally posted by phill99

    Thanks for your reply. We were just kind of hoping that we don't actually have some sort of nesting situation going on in our attic. After all, given the property was not occupied for two months before we moved in I'm guessing they have had plenty of time to make themselves comfortable. As you mention they die in their beds, that could potentially be above us. Who knows, will have another visit from pest control guy on Monday (3 days time) and will see what he finds.
    • Mikey26
    • By Mikey26 8th Nov 19, 6:39 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Mikey26
    It does sound as though your landlord is doing everything they can. Have you seen any rats anywhere, or found any droppings or any other eveidence iof them inside the house?

    In a terrace, the attics are almost certianly connected so it would be worth either you, or the pest control people, speaking to the neighbours to let them know about the issue and to suggest that it is addressed by everyone.

    rats are intellieent so it can take time and different types of poins to get rif of them.

    You could also look into getting the 'silent' sonic repellers (although consider then getting rif od them before your baby comes homne as even if you can't hear the high pitchedsounds, she might be able to!
    Originally posted by TBagpuss

    Currently no sightings of rats inside the actual property and same goes for droppings inside the actual living area of the property (only droppings found have been in attic), with neighbours both sides of us we have asked to see if they have also heard any activity. The people on our left seem to have heard nothing in 21 years of living there and the lady on the right has mentioned an "on off problem| with them. Our pest control person did chat to both of them and the lady with the on off issue is currently arranging pest control to come in for her house. Hopefully it all gets sorted together, we heard mixed reviews on the sound repellers but think we will also give it a try. Thank you.
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