Rat!

We have a small garden and try to make it as wildlife friendly as possible, we feed birds and get a lot coming to our garden, have a compost bin, piles of grass, leaves etc. We've had mice before and just left them to it, they've never come into the house, but today i saw a rat run across the garden, and has tunnled under the compost bin. Advice online seems to say 'stop feeding the birds', but I don't want to! We will move the compost bin to a hard surface to disrupt its home, any other advice? Would anyone recommend just leaving it? I don't think our neigbours will be too happy!

Posts

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 14,736

    It's a fact that rats are everywhere. It's a fact that they take advantage of any food source available to them. They also like to live in warm, dry places. The only real way to be rid of them is to get them to go elsewhere. That means putting the bird food, and any spilt food, out of their reach and making the compost heap an unwelcome place for them.

    You could put down traps but the presence of food and housing would only bring in others.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • I live in a rural area where other people have chickens and we also have a river in the village. Due to the presence of rats in the vicinity I have deliberately never fed the birds on a bird table, but have made sure that I have shrubs with berries and leave my herbaceous plants with their seed heads over the winter for the birds to feed on. I have a cat, but still get plenty of birds in the garden and of many varieties. I also make sure that I only put the correct material onto my compost heap so that I don't encourage rodents.

    Another important step that I take is NEVER to leave the house door open, just in case, and I don't have a cat flap so that my cat can't bring anything unwanted into the house!

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    Other people on here have suggested making sure the compost is good and wet, and giving the bin a bang every time you go past.  Both are said to discourage them.

  • Hard as it may seem, the Environmental People do advise the complete cessation of feeding birds for a period.  Be it 2 or 4 weeks, not putting out any feed can help to move the rats on.

    If you keep chickens, ensure that their feeding station is as vermin proof as possible.   

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