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Highland Jeannie

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 ) (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 lily

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


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 lily

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


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. 

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.


star gaze lily

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

Highland Jeannie

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 country.

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!

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. 

star gaze lily

I'm still wondering why its lucky to have a grass snake in the compost bin

Grass snakes are harmless and show that your garden must be pretty healthy if is is capable of sustaining enough prey to attract one. Also I guess they like compost because of the heat it generates, so it is also a sign that your compost heap is working properly.But mainly I think Welshonion probably just meant you are lucky to have seen one, although if you have a thing about snakes you might not agree....

star gaze lily

Ahh I see. But your right I don't like snakes so no, I didn't think I was that lucky lol

No expert

Putting the bait in a piece of sewer pipe is the safest way to lay bait for rats as it keeps it away from birds and other animals. A good idea is to use block bait with a hole in them and tie a length of strong wire through it so the woolly boy can't take it away and hoard it. Another way is to pin the bait down so it cannot be carried away.


Highland Jeannie

Thanks for the comments, I haven't been out to look lately - was a touch damp today!

The bait that I used looked like green coloured oats; I just chucked a handful into the pipe. It didn't say how long it takes to work or how much must be eaten

OH has volunteered to look in the the bin tomorrow.

One problem with poisoning is if they are actually living in your house and end up dying in some hidey-hole you have no chance of ever locating or getting to - the smell as they putrify is awful!

No expert

If you have rats in the house then you have a bigger worry than the smell. Those grain type baits are fine as the rat eats it's fill rather than carrying away a block bait to hoard it.

Highland Jeannie

Yikes I'm hoping that they're not in the house!!!!

Looked in the bin today & no sign of anything from the top, but noticed that the bait in the pipe had been disturbed.

Hmmm, cousin coming tomorrow to do some slabbing & edging, initially he thought he'd not get time to do some sort of base for the bin, but now he might - so we'll need to empty it.........  Why is there never a Jack Russell about when you need one?? 

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