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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!)