Rats

Hi...just wanting to pick brains of anyone with similar problem..currently have a family of rats in garden,  don't believe in poison but desperately need them gone,!... is it just as simple as not feeding birds, ?. I have stopped doing this ( killing me seeing them gather on empty feeders)... but these bleeping rats still here???...

  • I would suggest, as you have already said you have done, stop feeding. Remove any feeders and don't throw out any scraps. If there is soil where the feeders were positioned, turn over the soil, so that any food dropped from the feeders and any bird mess will be turned over and fresh soil replaced on top. Clean and wash any pavement or concrete, hose loose chippings or stones and cut (and hose) any grass areas where the feeders may have been placed. Hopefully once all areas are free from food etc, they will move on?

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Hi, I think the general advice given is same as you are doing; remove all food sources (also include any outdoor pet dishes should you have a dog/cat, etc.) and it is important to remove any build up of fallen food on the ground as this will still attract vermin. You are right not to use any poisons as this could affect other wildlife or domestic animals. You may have to leave off feeding the birds for a month or more to give the rats time to disperse as they will seek food elsewhere and if possible get your neighbours on board too so nobody is feeding birds/animals in their outdoor space. No need to worry about feeding your feathered friends at this time of year as there is an abundance of natural food around for them and they will eventually return in time once you are able to reinstate the feeders. After a few weeks and no more sign of rats I would start with just one feeder (preferably sunflower hearts which the majority of birds enjoy) and see how you go from there; I would leave off any fat/suet products which can often crumble and end up on the ground. I would also keep the ground below feeders free from any spillage; Hope this bit of information helps and good luck.

    X-post with Catlady 

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Many thanks...I'm very much of the mindset that all creatures deserve to just do their thing, as the song goes..everything is beautiful in its own way ..just wish they weren't in my garden,!...
    Hate not seeing the garden full of birds,
    I'm guessing the tips of putting down strong smelling/ tasting things is a waste of time?... I dotted cayenne pepper around but I'm half expecting them to knock some fajitas up...
  • I think the best way to continue is withdraw all food from outside areas, clean up any residue or spillage and remove feeders completely so birds are not wasting energy landing on empty feeders. Don't worry they will return after a few days once you are able to reinstate the feeders but for now best to concentrate on sending ratties on their way as they will have no alternative but to seek food elsewhere and hope you can convince neighbours to do the same as nobody wants a rat problem. Cayenne or other strong repellents will not work as well as removing all food sources. Once again, best of luck and the birds will be absolutely fine if you totally remove all feeders.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • As already suggested, the rats like the birds are only there for the food.

    The irony is, they all need to feed up ready for the onslaught of winter. I had a related problem early this year, but with grey squirrels, not rats, and that was the build up to breeding time.

    Thankfully the grey squirrel population is nice back to where it was, only three regulars, which provide much amusement.

    Stick at it and good luck, it will work.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler