Hereford Smallholders – Having a problem with Rodents?
Herefordshire smallholders finding they are experiencing higher than normal levels of rat and mouse activity this Winter need to take steps to make sure they are taking a ‘prevention rather than cure’ approach.
This week we look at what Herefordshire smallholders can do to deter rats and mice.
Phil Martin of PGM Pest Control Hereford says that “it is essential to take steps to make your property less attractive for rodents. Removing food and water sources, shelter and warmth is key to our ‘prevention is better than cure’ message”.
This week we look at the 10 steps smallholder in Herefordshire can take to keep their yard and outbuildings rodent free this Winter.
Store animal feed in sealed containers. Choose storage containers with tightly fitting lids.
Check your yard and building daily for evidence of rodent activity.
Bag and bin your waste. Make sure bin lids are tightly secure and dispose of rubbish regularly to avoid piles of rubbish building up. Rodents love piles of rubbish so make sure you use bins to store rubbish until it can be properly disposed of.
Sweep your yard regularly and keep it clean from debris, spilled food, hay or straw and animal faeces. It is essential to remove all possible food sources.
Cats and dogs are regular residents of yards so make sure their food is put away after eating. Food left out is an invitation for rodents and not only is a food source but could also be contaminated by rodents.
Remove harbourage for rodents, for example, bushes, hedgerows, brambles and untended vegetation are ideal places for rats to shelter. Keep these regularly cut and tidy. Make sure you always trim back outside of nesting seasons.
Check and maintain your drains and covers. Unused pipes should be capped off.
Take an honest look over your yard and outbuildings to see whether you’ve made it easy for rodents to access your outbuildings. For example, if you’ve placed storage containers under windows this could be a clear route of entry for rodents.
Proofing is essential. Look for holes and possible entry points and seal them up. Remember that mice particularly can squeeze through very small holes. Take time out to do all those essential maintenance tasks such as clearing gutters and fixing drain covers.
Act quickly when you spot a problem. Rats and mice breed rapidly so if you spot the signs of rodents you need to act quickly.
As a reminder, it is important to deal with a rodent problem early on for the following reasons:
Rats and mice can carry diseases such as listeria and salmonella. These can be spread to humans through contact with their urine in food preparation areas.
Rodents can also contaminate animal feed and cause distress to livestock and chickens.
Both rats and mice will gnaw to keep their teeth in good condition, and have been known to gnaw wood, metal, cinderblock, pipes and cables.
Structural damage, floods and fires have all been attributed to rodent activity.
Rats and mice have rapid breeding cycles, which means a nesting pair moving onto your property can quickly become a major infestation.
All these things can leave smallholders with a very large bill to resolve.