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02/09/2013 at 14:49

I have recently seen a rat in the garden which seems to be coming in from the very overgrown, neglected garden next door.. I am horrified!! What to do? I don't want to put down any poisons, so any thoughts on how to discourage this visitor much appreciated!!

02/09/2013 at 14:53

If you call the council they will put poison down. 

If you don't want to use poison, borrow a good Jack Russell.

02/09/2013 at 14:55

Rats are everywhere.  Make sure you don't leave any food around.  If you decide to put poison down you can put 'throw packs' inside lengths of drainpipe, which you put alongside walls, etc, where rats are likely to run.

The Environmental Health or its equivalent will tell you if you have rats, but it is up to the householder to do something about it if they wish to.

They can also be trapped, but you have to be certain how you are then going to kill them.  Know anybody with a suitable gun?

02/09/2013 at 14:58
Book, there are many ways of getting rid of rats but they all end in the rats demise,sort it now before it gets amorous,
02/09/2013 at 15:05

The only rat I know lives next door to Tea

02/09/2013 at 15:06

Welshonion - nope, no guns around here! I only object to poison because of the chance of birds or visiting dogs eating it by mistake!! I've only seen the one so far but its a big one and I worry about it coming inside the house.

02/09/2013 at 15:14

Poison may slow them down but more importantly take away the food source. clean out cans and bottles. You can burn stuff on the fire if available or even flush it in reasonable quantities.


02/09/2013 at 15:34

You can now get traps which are very easy to set,just push it down and it is set. I use them in my green house and put either peanut butter or choc spread, it works every time.Once they start to breed they are everywhere.It is an incredible number that just from one pair is amzing how many they produce.Nip it in the bud a.s.a.p.

02/09/2013 at 16:00

Have had one in the house this luckily with the help of my daughter and my friend Sluggy we managed to get it out. Cornered in the bathroom and caught it in the bucket. Talked to the rat man with the local council who dais it sounded like an isolated incident but if i saw anymore he would come out and put poison down. I too was concerned about the poison as i have 2 cats. He said that the poison was fast acting and they would diie" in their beds". So far havent seen it again hoefully 3 grown women shouting and yelling at it was more that it could cope with.

02/09/2013 at 16:17

There maybe a broken manhole cover in the overgrown garden. Has there been any renovation work or building work done in the area? Builders sometimes break or temporarily remove the manhole covers and the rats come out for a look around.

02/09/2013 at 18:00

Blackest - we are careful not to leave food ouit but unfortunately it seems to be the bird feeders that attracted it in the first place! I haven't refilled them since but I am torn- I really want to feed the birds through the winter!

Maud - that sounds like the stuff of nightmares!

Waterbutts - there is building work going on but it's quite far down the road. Sadly a lot of houses on our street have very overgrown front and back gardens - lots of renters so inevitable I guess.

02/09/2013 at 18:55

It,s a hard coice to make,do i put feed of for the birds or for the rats.I have watched a rat scale up a pole and climb down with a full fat ball.And i certainly would not feed with seed, as birds scatter it everywhere.This is just asking for trouble.


02/09/2013 at 20:06

Contact the local council environment health department immediately.  Tell them it's coming through from your neighbour's garden and they will respond.

02/09/2013 at 22:03

Make sure you keep all the doors shut . I only tried a rat trap once it was just an oversized mouse trap . I put it down and the bugger must have ran off with it ,couldnt find it anywhere . The chocol;ate. works on the traps for mice . I melt it and dribble it on the pad, so it sets hard  Got  mice in the greenhouse ? use this  all the time .

06/09/2013 at 09:47

I have 2 cats so im quite used to them bringing in mice as presents for me but the rat was the last straw. The man from pest control was lovely and put my mind to rest. There does seem to be a lot more rats around this year could it be that so many people dont dipose of their rubbish properly?

06/09/2013 at 11:21

Another vote for the gun, and specifically a .177 at 11.9 ft-lb muzzle energy, no paperwork required. Get an underlever, as they're more accurate than a break-action and involve less kit than a bottle-charged one. Choose a spot for your bait, pick a comfortable spot to wait, measure the distance, zero your sights at that range and learn how far high or low the gun hits at other ranges (e.g. on target 5m, 1cm high at 10m, 2cm high at 15m, 1cm high 20m, on target 25m, 1cm low 30m, 2cm low 35m) and then just put some food there and wait.

6 rats that moved into my compost heap when the cottage next door was demolished died of pistol (max 6 ft-lb energy or you need a class 1 firearms certificate and good luck getting one of them for a short weapon) shots to the head, but that involved standing over the hole for an hour, waiting for them to poke their heads out. A rifle will let you take them out from much longer ranges. One big one found its way into the peanut feeder this year. One big hole from its left kidney to its right shoulder put a stop to its raiding.

You'll need to keep trying it to be sure there aren't a few more, but it's the one way to be sure you kill exactly the creature you want to kill and nothing else. (Most important skill with a projectile weapon: NOT shooting what you DON'T want to hit!)


Curious English composition exercise: "I killed the 6 rats that moved into my compost heap with an air pistol ... and am glad there were only 6 or they could have brought at M16 and then I'd have been in trouble." "I killed the 6 rats that moved into my compost heap when the cottage next door was demolished with an air pistol ... and, let me tell you, demolishing a cottage with an air pistol is a long, slow job."

06/09/2013 at 12:07

I find all this aggression very distressing.

Gardening is about finding a little peace in life and trying to form a relationship to Nature rather than the artificial life we lead in the world outside. Sometimes, Nature isn't quite the mother we hoped she would be. We have to accept a certain amount of discord in any relationship. If your mother shows you a side to her character that you don't much care for, you don't shoot her.

06/09/2013 at 12:30

I feel the same way, waterbutts. I sometimes get the impression that I'm wrong or not a real gardener because I strive to accomodate wildlife in my garden because I truly believe that every living thing, vermin or not, has an equal right to life.  I admit I find it distressing sometimes when, for instance, the morning after I have lovingly planted something I find it strewn all over the lawn because something has decided to burrow for Australia but I just shrug, replant (sometimes a dozen times) and eventually the critter gives up.  I find it irritating that I built a series of raised beds only to find they were in the route of a 'fox run' but, rather than try to get rid of the foxes, the raised beds have been turned into a wildflower meadow instead of the planned veggie-beds. The bees and butterflies are thrilled

I understand the health issues of rats and reluctantly accept that calling in pest control is probably the wise option here, but I am distressed by the casual and almost joyful descriptions of killing that seem to have become the tone of this discussion.

06/09/2013 at 12:31

06/09/2013 at 14:43

It is lovely to live in a world where wildlife is not destructive, damaging or disease-ridden, but try sitting beside a hospital bed where a close relative is stricken with Weils Disease from kayaking  on a river or doing electrical work on a bit of harvesting equipment in a barn or attending the funeral of a young rower who fell in a river.

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