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What to Do When Your Neighbor Has a Rat Problem?


Updated: Dec 29, 2022

If your neighbor has a rat problem, it won’t be long before you might have a rat problem. Rats are tenacious, curious creatures, and they’re quick to procreate.

Regardless of whether your neighbor deals with the infestation or not, your home will absolutely be at risk of the rats making their way inside.

Here are our tips to help you protect your home, so your neighbor’s rat problems don’t become your problems too.

Rat-Proof Your House

The first thing to do when you find out your neighbor has a rat problem is to turn your home into a fortress against rats. Thankfully, you can do that without building a moat or watchtowers. Instead, the key is to identify anything that could be an entry point for rats, and then to seal it up.

These are the most common types of rat entry points, and what you can do about


  • Any holes or cracks in the foundation of your house can be sealed with concrete, steel wool, or (temporarily) with caulk.
  • Inside, cover vents with screens and use caulk to seal any other holes. If you live in an apartment building, you may need to identify any gaps behind fixed cabinets and cupboards, especially in your kitchen or bathroom.
  • If you live in a house, overhanging branches can help rats climb through your attic, so you may want to do some pruning.

Start Cleaning

Rats are smart, so even if you think you’ve sealed away all entry points, they may still find a way into your home. Before that happens, start cleaning, with a big focus on anything that rats may want to eat!

Get in the habit of getting rid of any food waste in a way that won’t be accessible to rats, tidy your floors, and avoid leaving food debris sitting around in your sink. Additionally, clean away any piles of stuff or clothes in your home, since rats can use them for hiding or building their nests.

Don’t Forget Your Yard

It’s hard to keep animals out of a yard, but it’s important to do. We’ve written a guide on how to get rid of rodents in your yard, and the tips will also help prevent an infestation. They include how to get rid of hiding spots, tips for locking away food sources, eliminating access to water, and more.

Talk to Your Neighbor

We know – it’s 2022, and you don’t want to speak to your neighbors. That said, if you know that your neighbors have a rat infestation, helping them out will also help you.

Ask your neighbors what they’ve done so far to deal with the rats. You may discover that your neighbor is very receptive to dealing with the rats, but they don’t know what to do. Maybe they’re elderly or invalid and they don’t receive enough support, in which case, they deserve your sympathy.

Give them some rodent control advice, and perhaps suggest that they hire a professional exterminator. If you live in Southern California, we might be able to help!

Approach a Third Party like a Homeowner’s Association

If your neighbor isn’t receptive to your suggestions, you may want to approach a third party like a home owner’s association. If you live in an apartment building, you can speak to your landlord to the building management.

Leaving a rat infestation unchecked often goes against local bylaws or other regulations. There might be all kinds of legal recourses that might force your neighbor’s hand if they’re being lazy or negligent. The rules vary widely from city to city, so if you need to take a legal route, make sure to check with local laws and recommendations.

Final Thoughts

Rats are a problem that can affect everyone in your building neighborhood. Dealing with a neighbor’s rat problem can be difficult, but it’s important. Rats can wreak havoc on infrastructure and they can carry a whole range of diseases. Do whatever you can to keep them out of your home, and if you can help your neighbor that’s even better.

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