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???...
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
"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.
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