Rat In The Compost Bin

We have a beehive type of bin, in use for about a year & sitting on lengths of slab about 8" wide (so wooden edge is not on bare soil but worms can get in).

Finally my cousin's available soon to put down a proper base for it but yesterday we noticed our "visitor".  I put some poisoned bait into a length of drain pipe & laid it by the hole which had been dug under the slab.  The hole only appeared within the last couple of days or so & we therefore hope that it's on its own. (I haven't dare open the bin & look in image) (or stir it.......)

So, provided the bait works & it's the only one, what would the best way to make a base for it?  We could fix chicken mesh to the bottom (would it chew the wire?) Cousin suggested standing the slabs on their sides so it would have to dig down 8" to get in - could that work?

We have 2 bins, no.2 so far unused & will be sited a fair distance apart.

As for content we eat a lot of fruit so a lot of banana skins, apple cores,etc & the only "cooked" stuff is shells from boiled eggs.







  • star gaze lilystar gaze lily Posts: 11,470

    Ahhhhhhh!!!!!  We have some compost bins at the bottom of our garden, which backs onto fields. The other day I went to move the empty one and------- there was a grass snake staring up at me!!!!! Boy did I run!!! Lol

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,115

    Lucky star gaze lily.

    Not so lucky Highland jeannie.  You'll need stronger wire than chicken wire.  Weldmesh would be better, with small holes.  Just place the compost bin on it.  The rats usually move in from the fields about this time of year.  They are rarely solitary!

    Borrow a Jack Russell or similar terrier.

  • star gaze lilystar gaze lily Posts: 11,470

    I  know I don't want rats but whats lucky about a snake whelsh onion?image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 45,175

    I'd love to find a grass snake in our garden - we used to get them when we had the small-holding - loved to watch them swimming in the ponds.  I know there are some in this area - they have been seen - so I live in hope. image

    As for rats - yes small-holed weldmesh would do it.  They'd gnaw through chicken wire.  Brother (a potato farmer) says rats will eat through concrete to get at potatoes - they love potatoes more than anything - so refrain from putting potato peelings on your compost heap while there are rats in the vicinity.

    If you stop taking chances, you'll stay where you sit. You won't live any longer, but it'll feel like it.” 
  • star gaze lilystar gaze lily Posts: 11,470

    You were uo with lark! Good info Dove, will keep that in mind image

  • Thanks for your replies folks; we thought about the terrier route a couple of years ago when we had mice in the loft but don't know anyone with one, plenty of collies & labs but don't think they'd be much good!  This bin is only a few feet from the back of the house so we're keeping all doors shut just now - might also stop the robin from coming into the sun lounge again!!

    There's never a dull moment in the countryimage.

  • I had the furry buggers in mine too. I resorted to placing a thick guaged steel mesh underneath the bin and then concrete the base in so they couldn't dig under. It worked a treat. Even had the local authority pest control round who remarked it was the best deterent he'd come across and that they wont get in.

    Also he stated that the compost bin wasn't the attractent for the rats but a neighbour who was a bit over zealous with feeding the local bird population!

  • BoaterBoater Posts: 241

    One of our Collies was a determined mouser, once she had a sniff or a sighting she would sit and wait until one appeared. Admittedly I only defintiely know of her catching one, and I may have helped by flushing it her way....

    Intelligent dogs Collies and Labs, if they are interested in rodents I'm sure they would be good ratters. Now I think of it, I think my boss' Lab used to get rats when he was younger.

  • The first time I had rats in my compost was when I added egg shells.  So don't know if they are attracted to eggs!  I know foxes like eggs.

    I no longer put egg shells in and haven't had a problem.

  • My Boo is a good ratter.  We had and probably will have again, rats under the shed as I feed the birds, I won't stop doing that.  They had got into the  compost bin but I kept it very wet, didn't hurt the compost at all. No rats in there since.  I see rats as a continual problem and its just a case of keeping on top of them.  But Boo, who's a 3 way cross.  Mom was a cross West Highland terrier/jack russel and dad was a pomeranian, she's very fast, very fast indeed.  So its just a case of putting poison down as and when they appear. 

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