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Rats Nest in Raised Bed

I found a rats nest in a raised bed in my polytunnel. It didn't look complete and I found no rats in it. It was a tangle of rope, paper, plastic and string sitting on top of the soil, covered by a sheet of wood. Naive move by me!

There were two holes dug to two exit points. I placed traps at these and caught 4 large rats. For the past week all traps were clear.

I removed the nest and surrounding soil in the bed. I also opened the tunnel doors  in order to keep temperatures low to help kill off pathogens left by the inevitable faeces and urine.

Besides physically deterring the rats, what should I do with the soil? According to the CDC any potential pathogens in the soil will have died off after one week below 25°C.

I can't seem to add the link!

Google CDC Cleaning up after rats.

Thanks in advance.

This is my first post but I've been reading post on here for ages, it is an invaluable resource for a novice gardener.


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,624
    Hello Chris, I wouldn't worry too much about pathogens. Rats are always around and people survive.  Are the raised beds too big to remove the soil and put in fresh?
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Hi Lizzie, I removed about 6 barrows worth and replaced with compost. I think that particular bed is 20ft L x 4ft W x 18" H. 
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,624
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,541
    I'm sure there are rats etc urinating all over our gardens all the time. 
    I'd not worry about it
  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,336
    Better safe than sorry.
    I have seen some cases of Leptospirosis and it is a very serious, sometimes fatal disease.
    In a more open space there is not much you can do, but in an enclosed area, i would take all precautions.
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • Thanks for the help guys.

    What other precautions would you recommend besides removing soil, making the area less attractive to rats and adding traps? 
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