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hiya im newish to gardening trying to pick up a few tips along the way by watching gardening progroms and picking at your experts brains, ive been working on my mother in laws garden and unlike your nieghbours friendly newt all i seemed to find is buried tins and rats i was relaying her patio and found loads of rats and rat runs under there and in the rose corner .

will they cause havoc on the roots of the rose bushes or will they be ok ,and is there a way i can keep them out of her garden without putting out poison,traps or using these ultrasonic deterants as she hasnt the funds for a outside power point ,

all i can think about is putting low down barbed wire and hiding it by growing clematis up it but i dont think thats very granchild friendly ha ha ha.


  • The Great Crested Newt. It's the most powerful creature in the UK, it can stop new roads, new homes, new airport runways being built and even get on television if one is killed.

  • and people who live in areas where Great Crested Newts are found often overlook how they've disappeared from so many other areas!
  • I am fairly lucky as I live in an area that has many streams ,but then they built the dreaded Motor way and ruined the prospective homes for frogs and newts, but we do still have a few callers even so and slow worms frequent the garden and hide under whatever they can find, as for rats and this is for Michael you must get rid of them they are vermin germs abound and if you have a pond they will eat your fish and pollute the water, don't leave any food adound if you feed the birds take anything in at night, and hang feeders on metal poles and grease the pole so the rat can't climb it as it surely will.
  • It amazed me how newts appeared in my garden pond in my last home. It had only been filled and planted for about two weeks when I wandered out to have a look and got really excited to see two. I later found out that the builder next door had rescued some from a customer's swimming pool, put them in his pond and they presumably came under the fence and into mine. The population seemed to explode. I found baby ones under rocks and adults in bags of compost I'd been using. I found the best way to see them was to go out at night and direct a torch into the water.

    Once question..I had lots of frogs until the newts arrived, and then lots of newts but no frogs. I know that newts eat tadpoles, but would they eat that many?
  • To Es... i guess you must be unlucky, we seem to have the whole gamit of wildlife in our ponds, and we didn't introduce any! they just arrived. Toads, Newts,frogs, Slow Worm and Grass Snake, they all seem to get on and co habit, i'm sure there is a bit of cross cultural eating going on, but it seems to balance itself out!!! Actually everything seems to eat tadpoles, even blackbirds.
  • A Great Crested Newt for Prime Minister is what I say... Problems solved... No new roads, no new homes, no new airports, no jobs. Still, as long as the Amphibians are happy.
  • Reply to Michael.
    Rats, as far as I know don't do much damage to plants in the garden, but they are unpleasant visitors and carriers of disease. Barbed wire won't stop them. Stop feeding the birds, clear out the compost bins, and remove any other possible food sources. If you have an infestation, call in professional help. Good luck.
  • Reply to Es and sarahs pond life
    Newts have a reputation for feeding on other tadpoles, but then they will all eat each other given the chance. A large pond, with enough variation in depth, marginal undulations and aquatic plants should be able to accommodate many different amphibian species. These vary year on year, so absence of frogs (and spawn) might be down to predation, or just a poor return from previous inhabitants.
    I've just been out in the garden and there are four newts back in our pond. It is raised, made out of old railway sleepers, three high, so they have had to climb to get back in. Like frogs and toads they do return to the pools of their births, but because they are more shy and secretive, they are rarely seen in large numbers. Of course, some don't return to the ponds in which they were laid as spawn, they colonize new ponds, otherwise how would these new ponds ever get frogs, toads or newts in them. In the evolutionary time scale, ponds are transient short-lived water bodies (think ox-bow lakes) which may exist for years or decades, but eventually dry up or get invaded by willow, so amphibians must have some strategy for exploring for new spawning sites.
  • I too have a small pond - made from a baby bath with pond liner and a few plants. I had two newts last year about this time and they both left after two months. I have found a family of them behind our garage in our wildlife area and too would like to know if they will re-visit our pond. At one point we had two newts and 5 frogs all at one time!!
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