HOW TO PREVENT RATS IN YOUR GARDEN
The majority of rats in this country live within the sewage system, they are no problem if the sewage pipes are in good condition as they cannot escape from the system. Some rat populations live above the ground especially in the countryside and generally are no problem to the public.
Rats will come into gardens and houses for a number of reasons. Firstly, if the pipes which carry sewage away from your property are damaged or broken then rats may escape. Secondly, rats are always on the look out for food, and if you leave food out for birds, foxes and hedgehogs or place it on open compost heaps, then this may attract rats on to your property.
HOW TO REDUCE THE RISK OF RATS BEING ATTRACTED TO YOUR GARDEN
The following tips will reduce the chances of having rats establish themselves in your garden:
• Ensure that drainage is in good repair, that drains are not broken and that inspection chambers are in good condition.
• When feeding birds use a bird table or a hanging net, and ensure that any food that falls to the ground is cleared away.
• Don’t leave food for foxes or other wildlife lying around on the ground in your garden, the food that you leave amounts to only a small percentage of their total intake and they are unlikely to starve if you don’t feed them.
• Ensure that dog and cat food is not left unattended and remove the bowls for cleaning as soon as they are empty.
• Clean away spillages of food from rabbit, guinea pig, bird and pet cages and where possible ensure that they are raised off the ground by at least 8” and positioned on a hard surface, this will enable you to clean under them thoroughly.
• Do not put meat or other non-vegetable/fruit food waste on to compost heaps and where possible use a properly designed composting unit.
• Out-buildings and sheds should be constructed and manufactured so that rats cannot gain access, particular attention should be paid to any gaps around the door.
• Ensure that gardens do not become overgrown or allow rubbish to build up eg old mattresses and furniture, as this will provide cover for rats to live under.
• Make sure that vegetation is not allowed to grow or dead leaves and litter accumulate under low level garden decks. Follow the guidance of the Timber Decking Association.