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Rat seen in the garden!

(120 Posts)
Purplepixie Sun 05-Jul-20 14:28:27

Well, I posted this in this topic as I feel annoyed.

Yesterday I saw a massive rat in the back garden which is only small and I am worried in case in comes into the house. Now all the back windows and doors are shut. I shouted for DH to come and see it but he was busy and it was long gone before he got there. Last night he said that he had looked around the garden and poked everything with a stick. I know where I could shove that stick! He found nothing, not rat holes, poo or anything. Today I sat in the conservatory, windows and doors shut and again this massive rat trotted across the garden as if it owned the place. I said to DH that we need some professionals in to tackle this thing as it looks like a candid for the Grand National! DH’s response: I’ll cut the hedge! Eh? Is he on this planet! I never put bird food out as the stand broke and that never got fixed but our neighbours on both sides have loads of bird feeders. One of my neighbours always puts the remains of the meat out on the lawn to feed the red kites and I think they are feeding rats as well - we don’t speak to that side neighbours - police involvement etc. So they can keep their rats to themselves! I did expect a bigger response from my DH. What would you do if that was you? I suggested calling out the pest control but DH said that they often kill other animals and birds as well. Not sure. Or should I just knit it an outfit and call it Roland? I think I am going mad!

Purpledaffodil Sun 05-Jul-20 14:35:29

I had that problem when we had compost bins. Bought some pink blocks from a hardware shop and popped a couple inside the bins. Only found one rat corpse but have never had a problem since. Was sad to get rid of the compost bins, but I still feed the birds with no unwelcome Roland type visitors.

Hetty58 Sun 05-Jul-20 14:38:33

There are rats about everywhere so I think you are overreacting. What do you expect to achieve if you call out pest control?

If they put baited traps out, you may kill a few rats. Unfortunately, you may also kill owls, foxes and household pets that feed on dead or dying rats and mice. Then, you have a vacant territory for new rats to migrate to.

I would get the drains/sewers checked and make sure airbricks are secure, then mention the problem to any bird feeding neighbours, but that's all.

trisher Sun 05-Jul-20 14:38:35

Oh Purplepixie your neighbours are providing banquets for the rats-no wonder they are huge! I'd say ring pest control at the council but is anyone there? You can buy rat traps to put poison in so other animals aren't harmed. You do need to deal with it now. It could have babies and then you would be overrun.

Hetty58 Sun 05-Jul-20 14:41:01

Purpledaffodil, my enclosed compost bins and wormeries are set on concrete to prevent that problem.

Hetty58 Sun 05-Jul-20 14:44:39

trisher, the poisoned rats and mice don't always stay in the trap to die. At work, an entire brood of ducklings were lost due to a caretaker putting down a rat trap. They could get in, eat and get out - then drown in the pool, poor things!

EllanVannin Sun 05-Jul-20 15:03:42

I'd die if I saw a rat. With so many cats around here even a mouse is a rare sight. I think I'd be having words with the one who throws the meat out as rats will smell that a mile off.

Compost bins will encourage them as will the stupid idea of having food waste bins. A rat trap would be on my list of purchases.

magshard20 Sun 05-Jul-20 15:04:04

We have had rats in the garden, on a couple of occasions, my neighbour had them in his garden shed, he caught about 4 in traps and then had the garden shed demolished......think any remaining ones have now camped in our dilapidated shed (which needs demolishing, but not happened yet !) The other day my daughter was taking pictures of the birds in the garden, and "ratty" comes along and pinches a full fat ball and proceeds to drag it under the fence...... daughter doesn't know but as soon as she was out of the house, hubby went out and put a block of rat poison under said fence.....hopefully it will do the trick, if not more poison will be purchased and distributed around the outskirts of the garden!!

Chewbacca Sun 05-Jul-20 15:16:06

We had a nest of rats that lived, unbeknownst to me, under the floor of my potting shed. The very thought that I'd been less than 10cms away from the horrible things was enough for me to have the shed ripped down. Even so, they got into the house via the manhole cover that was at the bottom of our cellar steps and they were scuttling about between the cellar and living rooms space. Pest control came out and out blue cakes things all around and that finally got rid of them. I now have a compost bin and I'm so worried about rats being in there that I clobber it with a yard brush as I approach it in the hope that they'll scarper before I lift the lid.

Welshwife Sun 05-Jul-20 15:36:50

DD had found rats in her garden when she moved house. The house backed onto a sort of woodland and the rats lived there but ventured into gardens for food. Neighbours were putting out bird food and other food etc. She called the environmental health and they sent the man out and he set traps and came back several times. She scrubbed her bird table and only used it as a garden decoration with a lovely metal bird sitting on it.

AGAA4 Sun 05-Jul-20 15:52:14

Some of my neighbours had bird feeders and that was encouraging rats to come onto our property.

One of the neighbours wrote to everybody and asked that they stop feeding the birds as some of the feed was being scattered onto the ground and the rats were eating it.

All of the neighbours have stopped feeding the birds and we have seen no rats since.

Nanna58 Sun 05-Jul-20 16:01:31

How sad that people stopped feeding the birds, I would have politely but very firmly refused to stop.

Washerwoman Sun 05-Jul-20 16:02:39

We see the odd rat but on balance I've decided I'm not going to stop feeding the birds.Songbirds need all the help they can get with declining numbers,declining habitat and insects.I don't put loose food on a table ,just hanging feeders no mess feed and have counted 21 different species.Our neighbour however puts meat and cooked food out on her front lawn for foxes and the 'lovely ' magpies who have become a huge pest roosting in the wood behind our garden and raiding nests,killing feelings and even smashing the eggs and milk left on our doorsteps as their numbers have increased so much.Several of us have asked her not to leave cooked food as it will also increase rats but she won't stop.You could argue it's no different from feeding other birds but with roadkill plentiful corvids like magpies don't need extra food.
We did buy a rat trap but then I was horrified to hear often the rats crawl off and are dying away from it and owls have fed them to their young and poisoned them. And as we have tawny owls nearby I decided in balance to leave it.Unfortunately rats are around all over, especially with increasing litter.

Witzend Sun 05-Jul-20 16:11:27

I’ve seen one occasionally, but although we’re in the outer reaches of SW London there’s a lot of wildlife around here anyway - squirrels, foxes, badgers, wood mice. I’ve never seen a rat near the house, though.
We certainly aren’t going to stop feeding the birds.

A dd had a charming and incredibly tame pet rat called Dave, so I don’t hate the species on principle.

cornergran Sun 05-Jul-20 16:12:56

At our last home we called the ‘rat man’ after watching a huge rat stroll back and forth across our patio. Not in a rush and certainly not hiding. After examining the garden we were told ratty and his friends weren’t living there but rather using us as a route from some waste ground to next door’s shed. We knew it contained bags of dried dog food, apparently a rat banquet. Initial advice was simply to talk to the neighbours. We did, they weren’t bothered, more amused, so extermination it was. It took about a month before we were declared rat free, a huge relief.

Rosalyn69 Sun 05-Jul-20 17:07:25

Isn’t there something about never being more than a few feet from a rat as there are so many of them?
My cat regularly patrols the garage so I think she keeps them away.

bikergran Sun 05-Jul-20 17:11:51

The nest under my shed was about 18 inches across, over a 4/5 days I found 8 was horrible, pulled the shed down and put metal one up on concrete, so for the last 2 years I have not left my patio doors open.

It was next door feeding the birds, the bits of food were dropping down on the floor, giving the rats breakfast/dinner and tea, the run was from the bottom of the bird feeder to under my shed.

Oopsadaisy3 Sun 05-Jul-20 17:14:13

Hetty the rats chewed through our compost bins, which are on concrete bases.

Evie64 Sun 05-Jul-20 17:19:51

Yuk! Hate rats. Definitely put poison down. You can't be expected to never open your patio doors.

CleoPanda Sun 05-Jul-20 17:23:15

Horrified at all the random poison being put down. Does nobody care about the rest of the wildlife? Birds? Hedgehogs? Owls? Or pets? Or neighbours cats?
I’m aghast.

Hetty58 Sun 05-Jul-20 17:23:43

Oopsadaisy3, Oh dear, I've never had that happen. Maybe, being vegan, my food scraps aren't that interesting!

If we all had night cameras, we'd be seeing rats everywhere. They can travel a long way from their nests for food. I'd only worry if they nested on, or under, my property. We have plenty of foxes and owls here to keep their numbers down.

I have hanging feeders on long lengths of plastic washing line (to keep the squirrels off them) and when I replace them, I'll get the 'non-spill' type with a saucer underneath.

I won't stop feeding the birds, though. A neighbour had rats because she kept chickens (they could get to their food) and had to have her house re-wired because of them!

Washerwoman Sun 05-Jul-20 17:24:31

I actually hate the idea of poisoning any creature.It is a horrible way to die.

CleoPanda Sun 05-Jul-20 17:24:52

Meant to add, we live next to fields and have a stream running through the garden. There’s not been many days when I’ve not seen a rat!

Washerwoman Sun 05-Jul-20 17:32:54

And some barbaric human has put loads of rat poison down in our local wood.A dog walker found 7 separate lots.Imagine the cumulative effect of that on the local wildlife.Ditto unless I had a serious infestation in my house I personally would leave nature to sort itself out as Hetty said.I found several rabbits dying in dreadful circumstances earlier this year ,apparently a haemorrhagic disease that's evolved from myxamatosis introduced by us to kill rabbits.I would far rather a farmer took out a gun and dispatched them quickly and more humanely.

Purplepixie Sun 05-Jul-20 17:42:15

Thank you for all of your replies. We have no intention of doing anything to get rid of them in any barbaric ways. The initial shock of seeing the rat has worn off and we are intending renewing the fences in the near future. It wont get rid but the garden is going to have a big tidy up.

Also I was traumatised as a child by rats and I even used to have nightmares about them at the age of 7. We lived on the edge of a large village and the farmer had the haystacks on the other side of our back garden. When the combine harvester had been the place was riddled with them. Once when I was out walking my dog a rat attacked him and was attached to his paw. Well, the dog was a terrier and soon had it dead but I was hysterical. My dad had to take the dog to the vets and I never went out without him. He killed lots of them over the years. I hate them and I did over act when I saw it in our garden. Thank you for your responses.