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06 Sep 2014 14:35 by Cioffi1 Star rating in London & Calahonda . 216 posts Send private message

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I'm here for two weeks and WAS enjoying myself until the other evening when my daughter pointed out a mouse under the terrace table. "That's a rat" I said and chaos reigned for the next few hours! The terrace is swept and mopped daily and since the appearance of there has been no dining on the terrace table! We have no pets and I like to think we are pretty clean living people! During the day all is well but every evening at around 10:00pm it appears, last night it brought a friend as well! Needless to say the terrace doors remain closed and the air con on full blast. 

The scary thing is that for the first week we were sleeping with the terrace doors open! I watched to see where it/they came from and they are accessing via a massive bougainvillea to the left of my terrace, hopping onto a plant pot and then down onto my terrace. If I bang on the terrace doors they go back the same way. This goes on all evening. The apartment to my right has numerous caged birds on their terrace and let's say, wouldn't ever be featured in Homes & Gardens! Unfortunately there's no bougainvillea to my right, if there was my visitors would have an easy route to where I think they are trying to get to. 

I've reported the problem to The Gestoria who tell me they have called out the pest control people. This was a week ago and I don't think they've been. I've asked for the bougainvillea to be cut down and was told they would make this request to the president of our community and so far there has been no action at all. I've asked for the email address of the president (twice) and so far this has not been forthcoming. In the interim period any ideas of what I can do? I've already put down blue poison which is being eaten daily but the visits are still taking place! I've read that bleach diluted in water and sprayed on the point of entry will deter them and have done that today, so I'll be interested to see what happens tonight. 

We've had this apartment for 8 years and this is the first time we've seen any rat activity. We're nowhere near bins and the community is well kept. 

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas!

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06 Sep 2014 15:27 by mariedav Star rating in Ciudad Quesada. 1091 posts Send private message

If you have untended palm trees near you, this is where they build their nests. A residencia near us had this problem which the council came out and dealt with. They also ordered the owners of the land to keep the palms trimmed.

There's a plug in device advertised quite a lot on Spanish TV which claims to get rid of them and is available from Don't know if it works but we have a similar thing in our garden (ultrasonic) which is quite effective at keeping the cats away.


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06 Sep 2014 16:03 by Cioffi1 Star rating in London & Calahonda . 216 posts Send private message

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Our gardens and palm trees are very well looked after and I'm convinced the nest is at the base of the bougainvillea. Having hung over my terrace this afternoon I can see rat drpings on the top of our air con outside "thing"

i'm surprised at the glacial pace that this problem is being dealt with. To be honest, no one seems to care :(

i've seen the plug in things on Amazon and will order a couple and bring them out with me the next time I come as we have two plug points on our terrace. 

Thanks for the suggestion 


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06 Sep 2014 16:28 by Mickyfinn Star rating in Spain and France. 1837 posts Send private message

I read somewhere that there is a rat within 10 feet of everyone on the planet. So best advice is get over it, it's very normal.

Time is the school in which we learn Time is the fire in which we burn. Delmore Schwartz.

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06 Sep 2014 17:04 by Cioffi1 Star rating in London & Calahonda . 216 posts Send private message

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Yes I've read that too. I also think that what you can't see doesn't worry you but when rats are within a few inches of your door it is a worry. 

Thank you for your constructive feedback - much appreciated. 

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06 Sep 2014 17:18 by broph Star rating. 147 posts Send private message

Hi, you need to take action right now and do not wait for president or local authority. If I read you correctly and you are due to leave your property unattended for some time. Then I recommend you take action immediately to remove the rodents. Even if it means paying for one of the specialist vermin control people.  If you leave this until the president or local authority takes action it might be to late and you might find the rodents will have managed to gain access inside your unattended property via the Aircon unit or ventilation ducts. They can chew through hard surfaces if given enough time and if they are on the hunt for shelter Or food source. Even if you cut back the tree yourself it might help. And then destroy the nest if you locate it.

Neighbours of ours had an infestation within eight weeks !!!

best of luck.


This message was last edited by broph on 06/09/2014.

This message was last edited by broph on 06/09/2014.

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06 Sep 2014 18:07 by casperruby Star rating. 165 posts Send private message


This is a problem every hotel , , restaurant food outlet see form time to time. You say you sre putting blue rat poison down and it is being eaten that is the correct thing to do keep putting down fresh poison daily when it stops being taken tge job is done. And when you leave the apartment put poison out in containers that are made for this purpose with plenty of poison in so tgey will kill off any stragglers if you use the cirrect poison containers cats etc wont be able to get to it.

Go to a proper hardware store to buy tge poison not cheap stuff offered by supermarkets.

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06 Sep 2014 18:21 by Cioffi1 Star rating in London & Calahonda . 216 posts Send private message

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I completely agree with you! Luckily, I leave tomorrow and my husband and brother arrive on Friday. He's already decided to do as you suggest and go out, buy a saw, some gloves and hack the massive bougainvillea down himself. He has also said that he'll get pest control out himself and then raise merry hell down at the Gestoria!

I'm sure the attraction is the multiple bird cages on the next terrace and the seed mix on the floor - it's just that our terrace is en-route and the only way they can get to it. 

We do have someone who comes in once a week when we're not here but he wouldn't see them in the day as they only come out at night. 

Even though we are ground floor it must be at least a 20ft drop from our terrace so the bougainvillea must be how they're getting up here!? I'm thinking that they may be going onto the terrace to my left as well as this bush/tree is between the two. 

I just hope that my husband doesn't get himself into trouble when he starts hacking at the bush/tree as this community seems very precious about their flora and fauna!

I appreciate your response although now I'm considering turning the air con off!


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06 Sep 2014 18:25 by acer Star rating. 1392 posts Send private message

The "rat within 10 feet" comment is probably not literally correct, but not far from the truth.  Rats are largely nocturnal although can often seen at dawn and dusk, they generally live in sewers, drains and concrete recesses - like gaps between old patios and the house where there's been a bit of subsidence, or under sheds, large pieces of debris.  Their urine can spread weil's disease which can be deadly, so it's good to take prompt action.

I've found that the usual blue coloured grain you can buy at the DIY store works well, but you have to check it daily and not stop replenishing the bait when you see a dead rat - there's often more than one in the vacinity!  2 weeks is usually enough. This rat killer is deadly stuff so you need to keep it away from birds,  domestic pets, including roaming cats etc.  Inside a piece of 3" diameter or so drain pipe is good, if placed alongide a wall that is likely to constitute a "rat run".

Good hunting!

Don't argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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07 Sep 2014 13:59 by inspectahomespain Star rating in Orihuela Costa, Spai.... 2417 posts Send private message

Vip Supporter

I am not sure where you are in Spain but I cam tell you that the problem this year is not related to food otr nests but water

We have had a real problem this year in gardens and pool houses with rats, had a meeting with pest control and they explained that normally some water would sit in the drains but this year, which has been the dryest since 1941,  there is no water so the rats are coming out of the drains and countryside looking for water

What you should avoid are any puddles around terraces and in plant pots

In a pool house last week a maintainer was bitten by a rat, during the day

Roy Howitt Independent Property Consultant WE CAN FIND YOUR DREAM HOME 627 955 748

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07 Sep 2014 16:31 by Cioffi1 Star rating in London & Calahonda . 216 posts Send private message

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That makes absolute sense! The droppings that I see every morning are around two large plant pots that I water late at night. Perhaps I should only water early morning. Still have pest control out though as it has really freaked me out. 

Thank you for the information. 

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08 Sep 2014 08:48 by eggcup Star rating. 567 posts Send private message

Another option is to get a couple of local Spanish teenagers - they love chasing rats!

In fact, one day I was sweeping up in our garden and saw a rat and was praying none of my Spanish friends had seen it - but they'd all seen it and the adults thought nothing of it, while the kids went on the chase. Apparently they're clever animals etc. and I'm a vegetarian, but I hate and fear them too, unfortunately. We put out poison every couple of years if we see one and that seems to do the trick. Although everyone says if you see one rat or mouse there are loads more about, that hasn't been my experience. If you get the one, quite often it's job done.


My account of moving to Spain."><img


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09 Sep 2014 20:20 by Cioffi1 Star rating in London & Calahonda . 216 posts Send private message

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If I could have grabbed a couple of Spamish teenagers I would have done! Your point about putting poison down a couple of times a year is a good one. The thing is, we've had this apartment for almost seven years and this is the first time this has happened and I've never contemplated that this would happen. 

Since my return home I've received an email from the president of the community who assures me the bougainvillea is going to be cut down and the pest control company have been called out. My husband goes this Friday so at least we'll know for sure if this has been done. 

I appreciate all the replies, especially when I was there on my own fretting! - so thanks for that 

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10 Sep 2014 21:26 by Susanspain Star rating in Mijas, Malaga. 145 posts Send private message

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Just the one? You are lucky!

They are everywhere. (And seem more visible in Spain.)
A cat usually does the trick :) 

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13 Sep 2014 11:38 by Jayneejay Star rating. 5 posts Send private message


i had rats ouside .. I saw droppings .. I have a cocker spaniel and they can smell anything out..

anyway.. He wouldnt go out the door.. Went all parculiar for weeks ..

then one morning the rat was dead at the bottom of the pool yak..

so that was that problem cured.. Dogs back outside again..

but i have seen more on other side of the fence ..

theres a plot next to me and people throw their old trees branches in it and the rats live under them ..

i have also seen very grey rats too ' fruit rats ' they tell me .

they seem to be everywhere 😳

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17 Sep 2014 14:33 by Cioffi1 Star rating in London & Calahonda . 216 posts Send private message

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Since my original post 11 days ago we have made some headway with our problem. The president instructed the gardener to cut the bougainvillea back - so a 20ft plant turned into a 10ft plant. The night after this was done the rats still managed to visit our terrace! 

My husband went back to the Gestoria (for the third time) and the pest control man actually visited the apartment and put ONE sticky trap on the terrace but didn't go down into the garden under the terrace to locate the nest. 

My husband paid a fourth visit to the Gestoria and the gardener arrived to cut down the remaining 10ft. All was well until a couple of rats jumped out of the bougainvillea and he fell off his ladder! My husband raced down there to make sure he was OK. We are not fluent Spanish speakers but as my husband is Italian, they managed to communicate and he agreed to continue and removed the entire bush/tree. The root base is still there though, and I guess if that isn't removed  the damn thing will grow back quite quickly - although I think he'll probably dig it out himself! The gardener says there is a big rat problem so I'm surprised there are no visible bait boxes around the community. 

Hopefully the removal of the bougainvillea "ladder" and the poison WE have put below our terrace and on our terrace will solve the problem. 


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01 Oct 2014 16:45 by Cioffi1 Star rating in London & Calahonda . 216 posts Send private message

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I'm pleased to report that we are now have a rat free terrace. The Bougainvillia has been completely removed plus all the other undergrowth under our terraces. The gardeners were out there for three days doing it. We've also removed an obsolete satellite dish plus our old one (which we should have done a long time ago) so there is no way anything can get up to us (we are at least 15-20 feet off the ground) the last 12 days of my husband's stay was completely rat free!

Looking at the other blocks in the community that have Bougainvillia climbing around their terraces I'm wondering if they're suffering the same as we did? This was the first thing that has gone wrong for us since we moved in and I have to say we're really impressed with the way our community has dealt with it. My husband got talking to people while he was there in other communities with the same problem and nothing is being done - so I guess we''very been lucky  





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01 Oct 2014 22:54 by randolph Star rating. 167 posts Send private message


We live on the coast but on the edge of a rambla. In the last 10 years we have never had any problem with mice or rats ( so I believe!!) but last year we were infested with ants and I put down outdoor 'ant traps'. 2 weeks later we saw our first rat who was so brazen it would come up to our patio where the traps were in situ.

Our neighbours said they were 'campo rats' ie enlarged mice. BUT still rats. 


Could be that what kills one pest attracts another..............









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