Would you buy a house with a rat in the garden?

I have seen a house I like. It is available for a good price and is only built to roof level, closed in and weather-tight. I’ve had a few relevant professionals out to look at it, and all were happy with its condition. I have a few reservations about it, but the one I wish to discuss with you is the fact that…

Today, I saw a dead rat in the garden outside. A brown rat.

Makes me wonder if we should buy it at all.

The house stands on an acre in a remote area near a stream/ small river. There is no building going on in the area, there is no food in the house or around it - except for blackberries, the nearest house is about 50 metres away, across the stream.

The fields on either side have cows in them.

Why the rat?

Is it because of the stream? Is it because of the blackberries? Is it because some neighbour several fields away might have a compost heap with potatoe skins in it?

Thoughts? (rodent-related only, please)

Old age?

Ok, spqr, so that’s the autopsy part over with. It died of old age.

But why, dead or alive, young or old, a rat in the garden of a house which has been unoccupied and finished to current levels for 3 years?

Are rats the norm in gardens in the countryside? Does everybody in the countryside have a compost heap with rat delicacies within?

I should add that I was born and reared in the countryside myself, but I wasn’t aware of a rat problem during my youth, when I lived there. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t there, just that I wasn’t made aware of it if there were one.

This is a phucking National Crisis, I’ll have ye know…

There are rats everywhere, in cities and the countryside, but especially near streams, rivers and canals.

And why was it dead? Probably poisoned. A poison like ‘Storm’ causes internal bleeding and thirst which draws the rats towards water. It’s good for ensuring that a pesky rat dies outside your house and not under your bed.

I really wouldn’t worry about it. A good cat or a terrier will keep them away.

Off topic a bit, but I find it funny that people get freaked out at the sight of a mouse. Mice avoid rats like the plague so really there’s no better proof that you don’t have a rat in the house than the sight of a mouse.

If there is no cat in residence or no neighbourhood fox then most likely there are rats quite close to where you are sitting right now - town or country.

And what Coles2 said

To echo Coles2, don’t live in the countryside if you don’t want rates, mice, earwigs, spiders, flies, assorted biting things.

Mostly they leave you alone, in the winter the rats will try and get into the sheds/under the deck/in the wood/turf pile, the mice will try and get into the house. It’s not just near water, though, there are rats in every hedgerow too.

Traps are great yokes, I’ve never been mad keen on the poison meself - not since the buggers ran off with a bag of it that I left on a bench and I neither saw it again nor any dead bodies (and still plenty of evidence of rats - they shit everywhere).

The spinning bottle trap works very well apparently

youtube.com/watch?v=jezQKOl5 … ata_player

With a poison like Storm the rats bring it back to their burrows to store it or to give it to their young. I hate putting down the stuff but it works. We had a terrible experience a few years back when the rats found a way into the boiler house and along the pipes into the space behind the kitchen dry lining. In the dead of night you could hear the fuckers squeaking and mooching about. The dog was driven nuts by them. So I cut a hole in the plasterboard and dropped a load of poison in thinking that was the end of the problem, - but it wasn’t! We were woken up that night to the most indescribable racket in the kitchen as the dying rats bounced around the drylining space. It sounded like two dogs fighting, and myself and Mrs C had to stand for about an hour armed with a hurley and golf club as we expected the fuckers to come through the wall.

Then we got a cat.


I put poison down once for them.

Problem is you dont know where they go to die.

If they are behind a cupboard or something they stink the place out for months.

Another time I got crafty and nicked a neighbours cat and locked it in the kitchen.
After a couple of nights of hissing and thumping around the problem was solved.

So dont believe all those missing cat posters - they’re probably in my kitchen - they’ll be back when the jobs done. :wink:

I think this is the best thing I’ve read on this site…

When i was a young fella, i used to come home from school, change the uniform and go out to the garage armed with a 12 gauge and a belt of ammo. Fry up some bread and leave it out on a raised mound. The smell drives the rats nuts. They can’t resist it. They would crawl up to to feast and Blam!

It was like being a sniper, except much more messy. Patience and accuracy were vital. It was the best way of unwinding I ever had.

Our house was pretty ok as we had dogs, poison and a homicidal teenager to keep the rat problem in check. Our neighbours, on the other hand…

I’ve a mouse in the attic as we speak. Time to start baiting the traps again.

I always use Nutella and find it works very well as bait.

A 12 gauge for killing rats - that does not sound right. I would have thought a 20 gauge would be more suitable, less messy and easier to handle.

Maybe i liked the mess? Nothing like watching a rodent vanish into a haze of pink mist.

Its OK folks, no need to get worried. I don’t have any guns these days, not with the kids around.

Are you sure it wasn’t a water vole?

Poison doesn’t work over the long term, a small terrier is your answer, if you are worried about rats on your property.

Rats are everywhere in the country, we had rats in the compost heap when I was little so we got a lovely little kitten. The first rat she killed was bigger than her! It took her about 3 weeks to get rid of the entire nest and we never had rats anywhere on the land (only 2 acres) again.

Don’t do poison (what if something loveable eats it?) a cat -yours or borrowed(!) is the perfect solution, and a cat would never leave a rotting rat behind the skirting…

I remember years ago a guy I knew kept greyhounds, the problem he had was he had to keep food for them and it attracted rats so he caught one or two in traps covered them partially in parafin and set them alight, they headed straight for the nest and because they were on fire they cleared out the rest of the rats in that. Hmmm wonder does it work on politicians?