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15 messages
04/01/2013 at 16:55
Hi Kate when I cut the borders in the mainly glass area of our back garden I stacked the turf face to face back to back against the fence with my compost bins in front.The local Rat found a great place to live with food on the door step,every time I opened the bin the rat looked up and then disappeared down in the compost,After poking around the edge of the bin I found the hole just where the food was still edible so I cut up a tin opened it to fit round the bin ,no more rat when the turf had broken down I used it on the borders.
04/01/2013 at 16:57
I understand you all too well. I used to love feeding the birds, watching them go about their busy lives.

I first noticed the rat (probably more likely rats) during an unusual snowy winter; I was feeding more than usual and noticed the paw prints in the snow. I was willing to accept it (them) for the winter but when it started appearing everyday during the daytime I decided enough was enough, stopped feeding the birds and called in the council.

Fast forward a couple of years and I decided to try feeding the birds with just meal worms thinking the rats wouldn't be attracted to them but they came back again quite quickly so they obviously hadn't gone far.

I have now stopped feeding altogether and am in the process of planting more bird friendly plants and leaving water out for them to drink and bathe in.

Last summer I had less birds in the garden than when I was feeding but quite a number did come for the water and to feed off aphids and seed heads and hopefully will keep coming for the extra berries and seed pods which I am hoping will come from my new planting.

I am sure the rats are still around the area somewhere which is fine; just as long as they don't appear in my garden again.
05/01/2013 at 09:52
I am sure you always wear gloves in the garden, Kate, but they are more important when you have rats. I do not feed the birds till all "natural" food is gone from my garden. They have had the holly, pyracantha , cotoneaster and grapes but there ae still loads of rose hips so I have not put any costly bird seed out yet. If the rats get under the floor boards you need to tell the counciland have the pest controller out.
05/01/2013 at 23:22
Well done, Kate, on your eviction tactics! I am weedy when it comes to killing things and hope we never get anything really awful at the allotment. I know this thread is about rats but if anyone has any advice about avoiding mole murder, I'd be glad of it.

http://www.mandysutter.com/reluctant-gardener-day-800-a-velveteen-visitor/
07/01/2013 at 11:19
Thanks for all your comments. Happymarion of course I wear gloves I am very safety-conscious!

Many Sutter - can't you learn to love your mole? ;)

Kate
07/01/2013 at 14:53
Since I moved the compost bin last autumn, we appear to have been rat-free. I've also toned down what I bung in there. The cats still manage to find the occasional young one though.
07/01/2013 at 15:21
Hi Kate, I'm working on it! I would love to clap eyes on him/her. Have been enjoying reading up about moles and their tunnels. Apparently their nests can be 2' down!
07/01/2013 at 18:30

Rats!!!!! They are back under patio,the cats catch a few and the numbers are kept down with their help .My neighbour now has put the covers back on ,thank goodness.At one point they came into the house to the small porch roof and one night after hearing scratching  I noticed a hole in the wall ,I opened the back door and a rat ran out between my legs!! As well a hearing them under the drain cover but thanks to council they were reduced.

10/01/2013 at 14:11

jus t looking at that photo (which sends shudders down my spine)I remember walking across the downs in winter and there in the branches of a berry bush were two rats enjoying eating the berries broad daylight.

11/01/2013 at 12:54

We occasionally get an influx of rats - my husband feeds the birds and doesn't mind the rats, he won't have it that they carry disease!  At this present time, we're not seeing any at all but when we do there are plenty!  Neighbours cats are now welcome in our garden as are the foxes.  We have plenty of magpies who attack the rats when they are around and I believe they occasionally kill the young ones just for sport!  I have to say I find the rats very amusing at times.  They are very intelligent but the disease issue does bother me.  All the bird feeders are now restricted to the bottom of the garden which backs onto a conservation area so we're bound to get a variety of wildlife.

12/01/2013 at 15:36

My husband was very pleased to hear that he was not the only one outsmarted by a rat!  We have a sunflower heart feeder situated on a wooden fence which Hubby made, which has horizontal & vertical supports.  It was like "Mission Impossible" as we watched the rat work out a route past the obstructions & rat traps to get to the feeder.   I am sure Ratty enjoyed the assault courses we set him, & always worked out the way through, even parachuting in once, I wickedly told my husband. Not sure we have seen the last of him yet.

14/01/2013 at 16:10

Weil's  is a serious disease carried by rats,they contaminate water and their   urine surfaces.It is a really nasty disease that causes kidney damage at the least.Of course you can not help liking them at a distance and they are part of the wild life but they can breed at a alarming rate and can when confronted give a very very painful bite.

17/01/2013 at 19:34

My compost bin was colonised by fieldmice, last year.  Sometimes I would lift the lid to see a baby, completely unafraid, blinking up at me.  They enjoyed the fruit and veg peelings I dropped in every day.  When the weather got warmer, they disappeared

18/01/2013 at 18:20

The best rat deterrent is a rat catching dog; Jack Russells are good. I have had to reduce my bird feeding too, and put trays under all the feeders. Suitably modified pot dishes work well and are cheaper than purpose made types, but they encourage pigeons so a cylinder of clematis netting is also added. Blackbirds still get at the seed ok; and a squirrel sometimes unfortunately. A finer metal mesh would help but stop the blackbirds too.

E 2
18/01/2013 at 19:41

Sadly I no longer feed the birds at all due rats not just in the garden but in the loft! Even a bird feeder stuck to a window was at risk - the rats would climb up the wall next to the window, and try and jump onto it. This did provide me with a way of catching one, but there is always another eventually, if not immediately. They are scarily intelligent - it's extremely hard to lure them into traps, and they are not put off by noise or movement for more than a few seconds. Electronic rodent repellers don't work, and even a rat-catching cat doesn't put them off (he's not too happy about being shoved in the loft either!)

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