listen to your uncle LP and get a cat.
Where we used to live, we had a canal right outside our front door, After quite a few years I got talking to the guy who lived on the other side of the canal. (in a straight line, only 30-40 yards away, but a couple of hundred, walking round the streets - thus very little contact). He was poluted with rats from the canal. In 35 years, we never saw a single one. We had two cats.
PS; cats are great. We has a Siamese; the cat equivalent of a Border Collie.