I have just taken delivery of a RSPB feeder seelction pack which includes suet bars. This morning I found gnaw marks on a bar which had fallen from a makeshift hanging feeder.
I don't want to encourage rats and would like some advice on the best way to stop them getting at the bird food.
I have hung the feeders from a bush but have not put any food on the ground for this reason.
This post is based on experience - I remember seeing large rats and their tunnels around pheasant feeders.
Hi Swallow Fan.
One of the first thing you have to do is prevent any food falling to the ground, one of the best ways to do this is to have trays attached to your hanging feeders if possible.
Rats will also climb trees and bushes so you could do with a feeding station if you don't have one.
My Flickr photos
I suppose another question is do you deal with the rats that are already present.
My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bobs_retired_now/
Hi Swallow fan, as Alan says rats are good climbers and will use any available twig, branch, shrub to access food and it is best to ensure feeding stations are moved far enough away from easy access points, however, I think the best method and the one we use to prevent grey squirrels from accessing food, is the use of a free-standing feeder pole with a baffle dome fitted beneath the feeder hooks. I have enclosed a photo of what we use in our garden. The baffle will prevent the rat from getting access to the food. If you have more than a couple of rats I would suspend all feeding for at least two weeks as rats are opportunists and will seek food elsewhere. Good luck.
Here's the photo of our set up.
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