Author Topic: Rats in the garden  (Read 3204 times)

velosam

  • '.....you used to be an apple on a stick.'
Rats in the garden
« on: 26 July, 2021, 08:28:19 pm »
Well I think it's a rat. Brown and scrawny and but. Ran from underneath the neighbours house into my kitchen waste pipe. I blocked the sewer from the top and blocked as much as I could where it came from.

First time I have seen it but then I don't go in the garden much.

What should my plan be, sigh?

Thanks

Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #1 on: 26 July, 2021, 08:47:54 pm »
Everyone has rats in their garden, most never see them.
If they become an issue then careful use of poison may thin them out.
If it’s an issue to several homes then it’s probably the council, or a professional pest operator.
It’s worth making sure that you aren’t being too hospitable; no food waste, rubbish piles etc. Keeping the garden tidy, grass mown etc makes it less tempting because there’s less cover.
Jack Russells or proper cats can make your area less welcoming, but can be just as much hassle as the rats.

Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #2 on: 26 July, 2021, 08:49:45 pm »
Identify access points, and block.  Not only into your house, but a broken sewer drain nearby?
Identify food sources and remove (seed on ground from bird feeders?   wrong stuff in compost bin?)
Note that rats apparently need a daily water source, so anything you have and don't need, remove.  e.g. pots in the garden that are full of rainwater.

Decent traps, not the ones from DIY stores but proper ones, and ensure that they are located on the runs (near walls) and ALSO inside cages to prevent cats or other non-targeted species getting to them (a legal requirement).

Buy an air rifle.


I personally dislike poison as you have no way of knowing where the corpse will end up stinking, nor whether next doors cat will eat the rat and also suffer.

Basil

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Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #3 on: 26 July, 2021, 09:06:21 pm »
Do you or your neighbours have bird feeders?
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Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #4 on: 26 July, 2021, 09:17:36 pm »
^ This.

We have had bird-feeders in the garden for 40 years.  Tits, especially, hurl the seed out onto the ground at an impressive rate to find their favourites.  This is good for the ground-feeders, like blackbirds and dunnocks and - rats (and woodmice).  Normally it has been manageable and very interesting to watch the interactions between the birds and the rats and squirrels.  But this year, when we got to two adult rats and nine young all swarming around at once, we decided, with heavy hearts, to remove the feeder.  Never seen a rat since.  We know they will be around (they like electric cables in the winter) but we don't see them in the garden.  They have to eat, so they move their feeding operations.  Sadly, it's reduced the bird activity but at least they have raised their young.

ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #5 on: 26 July, 2021, 09:27:03 pm »
Rats are in everyone's garden. If they don't get into the house, there's no problem, and normally there's plenty of food in bins etc. to keep them full.

Bird feeders are a menace to society. I'd feed them to rats.
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Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #6 on: 26 July, 2021, 09:28:40 pm »
^ This.

We have had bird-feeders in the garden for 40 years.  Tits, especially, hurl the seed out onto the ground at an impressive rate to find their favourites.  This is good for the ground-feeders, like blackbirds and dunnocks and - rats (and woodmice).  Normally it has been manageable and very interesting to watch the interactions between the birds and the rats and squirrels.  But this year, when we got to two adult rats and nine young all swarming around at once, we decided, with heavy hearts, to remove the feeder.  Never seen a rat since.  We know they will be around (they like electric cables in the winter) but we don't see them in the garden.  They have to eat, so they move their feeding operations.  Sadly, it's reduced the bird activity but at least they have raised their young.

You can get feeders with trays under them to catch the seeds dropped.  The other birds then eat them from the trays and the ground stays clear hence avoiding the pests.

velosam

  • '.....you used to be an apple on a stick.'
Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #7 on: 26 July, 2021, 10:14:25 pm »
Thanks all.


Garden is relatively tidy, and they live under the neighbours floor. No water sources except for the kitchen sink drain pipe which is what it sunk itself into.

Just in case I emptied the compost bin and put the contents in a bin.

Bricked up the sewer pipe, so it's not getting out. Or maybe I should unbrick it, let it out and then brick it!

No bird seeder in my garden or ready food. Not sure what else to do. Will let the neighbour know.

Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #8 on: 26 July, 2021, 10:19:12 pm »
^ This.

We have had bird-feeders in the garden for 40 years.  Tits, especially, hurl the seed out onto the ground at an impressive rate to find their favourites.  This is good for the ground-feeders, like blackbirds and dunnocks and - rats (and woodmice).  Normally it has been manageable and very interesting to watch the interactions between the birds and the rats and squirrels.  But this year, when we got to two adult rats and nine young all swarming around at once, we decided, with heavy hearts, to remove the feeder.  Never seen a rat since.  We know they will be around (they like electric cables in the winter) but we don't see them in the garden.  They have to eat, so they move their feeding operations.  Sadly, it's reduced the bird activity but at least they have raised their young.

You can get feeders with trays under them to catch the seeds dropped.  The other birds then eat them from the trays and the ground stays clear hence avoiding the pests.

To quote one of our member's signature lines, "I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that"!

Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #9 on: 26 July, 2021, 10:22:55 pm »

archy

  • once asterix
Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #10 on: 27 July, 2021, 12:04:01 pm »
^ This.

We have had bird-feeders in the garden for 40 years.  Tits, especially, hurl the seed out onto the ground at an impressive rate to find their favourites.  This is good for the ground-feeders, like blackbirds and dunnocks and - rats (and woodmice).  Normally it has been manageable and very interesting to watch the interactions between the birds and the rats and squirrels.  But this year, when we got to two adult rats and nine young all swarming around at once, we decided, with heavy hearts, to remove the feeder.  Never seen a rat since.  We know they will be around (they like electric cables in the winter) but we don't see them in the garden.  They have to eat, so they move their feeding operations.  Sadly, it's reduced the bird activity but at least they have raised their young.

You can get feeders with trays under them to catch the seeds dropped.  The other birds then eat them from the trays and the ground stays clear hence avoiding the pests.

But what if the seeds drop from the trays?  Are other birds less messy eaters? 

In rural France we got loads of mice but I never saw a rat.  I think the many natural predators - snakes, pine martins, foxes, polecats, buzzards, feral cats - fixed them.
what man calls civilization
always results in deserts

Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #11 on: 27 July, 2021, 12:11:37 pm »
I thought that the logic was that the fussy eaters on the feeders drop the seeds, into the trays, and the other birds then eat from the trays.  The desired seeds aren't in the trays so nothing thrown on the floor.

My feeders are almost empty now, so we don't have the woodpigeons hoovering the ground, but the birds that are usually fussy eaters are quite happily eating the leftovers.

My next aim is to find a more suitable food mix to reduce the wastage.

Regulator

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Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #12 on: 27 July, 2021, 12:24:35 pm »
Just a reminder that it you trap a rat you are required to dispatch it (same with a squirrel).  It is unlawful to release it.


EDIT:  Just double-checked.  Law has been changed so rats can be released.  However, you still cannot release a trapped grey squirrel.
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I completely agree with Reg.

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Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #13 on: 27 July, 2021, 12:26:10 pm »
No rat has ever survived my traps.

Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #14 on: 27 July, 2021, 01:20:21 pm »
We get rats in our compost bins, doesn't matter what we put (or don't put) in them, it all gets eaten. Including, recently, quite large chuncks out of the lid on one of the bins itself  :-\.

We also have bird feeders, usually from November to June. They're near the house, about 40m from the compost bins, so we don't get rats at the house fortunately.

I did one find a rabbits head in the garden. No idea where that came from.
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Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #15 on: 27 July, 2021, 01:49:47 pm »
Probably a rabbit's body.
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Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #16 on: 27 July, 2021, 08:26:51 pm »
Next door one way has bird feeders.  Next door the other way has cats.  We had rats once, when clutter built up under the boy's garden playhouse.  Once that went, we didn't have a problem as there wasn't a nice place for them to shelter.  The nearby industrial estate (1km away) has some monster rats, which I suspect would scare off the neighbours cats. 
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ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #17 on: 27 July, 2021, 09:03:18 pm »
Rats are nothing when you've gone mano-a-raccoon. Those critters can pick locks and, on a good day, run an elaborate scam that involves them dressing as an old lady and knocking on your door, distressed.
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meddyg

  • 'You'll have had your tea?'
Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #18 on: 27 July, 2021, 09:35:56 pm »
Lockdown has been a good time for rats - quieter streets maybe, folk stuck @ home feeding birds.
A visiting dog found our wood pile irresistible - sure enough, rat's nest in there.
I rebuilt woodpile, rats decamped under the shed. Rats fled as shed was moved (it was time for it to go).
Today, scurrying from the loft at 0730h
Neighbouring house has been empty for a year
Pest control from Cardiff CC arrive Friday...

you're never more than 6ft from a rat,apparently

Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #19 on: 27 July, 2021, 09:39:54 pm »
"you're never more than 6ft from a rat"

Cabinet meeting tries social distancing

archy

  • once asterix
Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #20 on: 28 July, 2021, 09:12:40 am »


Next door one way has bird feeders.  Next door the other way has cats.  We had rats once, when clutter built up under the boy's garden playhouse.  Once that went, we didn't have a problem as there wasn't a nice place for them to shelter.  The nearby industrial estate (1km away) has some monster rats, which I suspect would scare off the neighbours cats. 

"There were rats, rats, big as bloody cats,
In the store, in the store.
There were rats, rats, big as bloody cats,
In the Quartermaster's store."
what man calls civilization
always results in deserts

Mr Larrington

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Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #21 on: 28 July, 2021, 09:39:38 am »
Someone with more time on his hands than can possibly be good for either himself or BRITAIN reckons 164’ is closer to the mark: Are you never more than 6ft away from a rat?.

On the other hand, in That London you are rarely more than six feet from someone who professes to support Manchester United.
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Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #22 on: 28 July, 2021, 09:52:10 am »
I saw a rat in my garden in 1997.

I got two cats in 1998 and have never seen a rat nearby since.  Most cats aren't actually big enough to take on a rat*, but the rats still clear out.

*I had a 14lb tabby bruiser that actually did kill a few
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Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #23 on: 28 July, 2021, 10:47:20 am »
Out cat is tiny. She used to kill rats (doesn't any more but she is 18 and an old lady now). She was a rescue from a farmyard litter so maybe that explains it.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

archy

  • once asterix
Re: Rats in the garden
« Reply #24 on: 28 July, 2021, 11:20:41 am »
Our rescue cat from the Limousin is also very small but has managed to bring home adult rabbits on two occasions, quite unharmed.  We can only assume he talked them into making the quite long journey, through two catflaps as well.  I'd imagine he finds rats rather vulgar creatures.
what man calls civilization
always results in deserts