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Compost Bins & Lovely Rats

I have built 2 bins from pallets and they are sealed from the wind and rain and light which is ideal for our little friends as a cosy place to sleep

I added some cuttings and found a squatter last Spring and removed the cuttings and the rat left as the bin is now empty

I laid plastic sheeting and then overlaid it with wire netting to stop weeds and the little varmints from getting in

? Do any of you chaps and chappess's have any information on how tiny a gap they can squeeze through and what can I add to theis years cuttings etc to dissuade them from moving in

And no I cant kill them as its against my nature

Everyone is just trying to be Happy.....So lets help Them.


  • archiepemarchiepem Posts: 1,155

    what are you putting in the compot bin . your need to starve the rats and they will move on

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,174

    They can get through tiny gaps, they can virtually flatten themselves.  Also they can gnaw through wire netting and breeze blocks - I grew up on a farm and I've seen it.

    If they want to get into your compost heap they will - the best thing to do is to keep it damp and to turn it frequently so they can't set up home there for too long. Keep disturbing them.

    If you have rats aroun under no account put potatoes or peelings in your compost - spuds are their favourite food and a member of my family who is a large commercial potato grower has amazing stories of the lengths rats will go to in order to get at potatoes.  

    I have wooden compost bins and I don't keep all the rain out - I lay sheets of heavy duty cardboard and carpet over the top to keep most of it out, but I don't let it get too dry and cozy.

    Good luck image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • chickychicky Posts: 10,396

    Never knew that about potato peelings - good job our heaps are a long way from the house.image

  • We had to call in the Rat Man from the council this year. He said rats will eat anything, even each other, so there's not much you can do to deter them. I could see they'd been having a go at a banana skin, for one thing - you'd need to exclude all food and vegetable waste, not just cooked stuff. I mean, they're not going to sit there saying, "Ugh, raw carrot, I can't eat that!"

    We agreed to let him put in poison, which did the trick.

    Today we unpacked to compost heap and to our relief there were no dead rats or bones or any sign of them.

  • We had a rat in our bin a few weeks ago (I started a thread on here). The bin was temporarily sited on bits of broken slab & we could easily see where it had burrowed under. I put some poisoned bait in a pipe by it's entrance, but it probably only had 1 taste & we then had some slabbing & edging done; there was a lot of noise & we didn't see it again.image

    The bins have now been sited on 8" deep bits of slab, well cemented, so we live in hope.image

    Apparently there is a very strong type of unchewable mesh (but does the rat know that??) that could go under the bin.

    Alternatively, do you have a friend with a Jack Russell??image

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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,174

    A good cat and/or a Jack Russell really are hard to beat for keeping rats at bay image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,284


     Did someone say they had a job for me...  Rat!, where? let me at it.


  • image

     Yawn, you want me to chase rats? Seriously? 

  • hollie hock wrote (see)


    They do breed at an incrediable rate and can get in anywhere.  

    They certainly can.  It's a good reason to keep the toilet completely closed as they can easily climb the soil pipe and swim the u-bend.

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