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Am I mistaken in thinking that rats only come into compost bins if food is put in. Vegetable peelings are not classed as food as far as I am aware. I get the tiny flies in my bin and plenty of wood lice but I still get decent compost from it.
What a shocking statistic. Thankfully my neighbours' new arrivals were quickly despatched! The baited traps set by the council appear to have done their job....for now. With rats so well established in many areas, like London, I'm sure this is a constant battle for many. I wonder if other users have a rat problem in their area?
We're getting increasing reports of rats in our part of Reading, where none used to be seen. (Although judging by Mr Smith's statistic, they were probably there - just staying out of sight!)A widely-held local view is that as the rats' appearance has coincided with the council switching to fortnightly rubbish collections - could there just possibly be a connection between the two? An opinion which, needless to say, is not shared by the council...!
We're in a small rural town in Cumbria, with farms not so far away in any direction. We have had rats, but so far fewer instances than in Carlisle, where there is a terrific array of fast-food outlets, and a willing (and often drunk) clientelle in the early hours. Rats certainly seem to be more of a problem in cities don't they?
Adam, each issue of Gardeners' World comes to me a month later as I am in Chicago, IL, USA. However, each time I have a question or problem a solution invariably turns up in "my" latest issue. Rats are my current souce of anxiety.

I have lived in Chicago for 40 years and this is the first time I have had or seen them in my neighbourhood. The Streets and Sanitation Dept. had been baiting the alleyway when I noticed a hole in my garden. Later that evening I saw them scurrying and the peeking out of the hole. Needless to say I yelped in a most undignified manner. S&S came out and baited the hole. We covered it and laid wire cloth with heavy stones on top of that. 4 hours later my son tells me he sees a rat. Sure enough the rat used a tiny space I missed. I went to the basement, mixed cement and gave them a proper set of "cement shoes Chicago style".

With construction of new homes near the railway, I think they have been displaced. We are glad to say our dead count is at 6, though 1 under my beans, and another where I couldn't get to it (also cemented in to prevent more attempts to lodge under the garage) are enough for me.


Rats have never had it so good as around the Sutton area. According to Sutton & Surrey Water there are upwards of 3 billion currently in the water system. Plans under consideration include the supply of air guns and/or Jack Russells to all residents with their next water bills. Global warming eh!!
Thanks for the feedback from as far afield as Chicago. It's great to see we have readers right across the world. Rats are a global problem, and I'm horrified by the figure of 3 billion rats, Simon. Can that really be true? It is certainly worth be vigilant, especially if you feed birds or provide cozy habitats around your garden where rats could live.
We have a very well known duckpond in our village where children of all ages like to feed the ducks and swans (mostly on bread). Unfortunately this means the pond banks are full of rats which can been seen in broad daylight helping themselves to discarded bread. In spring when the ducks start to lay eggs, the rats eat the eggs - or if any hatch, the baby ducks soon disappear.

If only people would realise that if there is a lot of bread left on the grass, it is silly to throw more, as this encourages rats and crows to come down and attack the baby ducks.

I have been trying to grow my own organic fruit + veg from last year 2007 but there has always been a rat problem ever since I moved here 20 years ago. The Local council put Rat Poison down each time you complain but they're back within a week. Rats or a Rat has got into my compost bin which is only 6 months old (it looks like maybe only one got in, scurried through + gets off. What do I do cos I just want to cry?, do I keep the compost and carry on like everything's ok?) There is also lots little tiny midges as well(anyway, little tiny flys around and inside the compost bin when I open the lid + I associate these with dead rats ets.}PLEASE HELP
Had a family of rats take up residence in the compost bin some years ago but the Council sorted it out.
Adam, you think you have it bad, try living in London: Every hour in London 4000 rats are born! THAMES Water has agreed to discuss the rat problem in the sewer system. At an environment committee, chairman Cllr Eric Williams said "One rat can produce 2,000 rats in one year. It can be a major problem." And one for everyone - According to the 1995 National Rodent Census, one in 20 UK properties is infested with rats. Be afraid, be very afraid!!

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