Rats on Allotments
We report regularly on the importance of preventative pest control. Recently, we brought you a story of rat misery in loft spaces and this week we want to highlight the increasing problems of rats on allotments together with the increasing issues arising from people keeping chickens.
Check out the video of these rats enjoying the spoils at an allotment. Their brazenness in broad daylight will shock many of you but this isn’t new. And, with increasing numbers of people turning to self-sufficiency and keeping chickens, the problem is growing.
So, if you are an allotment holder, grow your own fruit and veg at home or keep chickens, it’s worth having a read of this blog, checking out the video and reviewing out top tips for a rat free environment below:
Removal of Harbourage (places to live / shelter)
* Remove all debris, rubbish, old equipment from the plot
* Minimise the amount of materials you keep on plot (e.g. timber)
* Ensure that any structure is housed on hard standing (e.g. concrete; paving slabs) to prevent rodents from burrowing in underneath. For example, shed/s, storage units, greenhouses etc.
Removal of Food Sources
We recognise that this is a tall order on an allotment particularly! However, there are some steps you can take, including:
* Not leaving household waste on site, including in compost bins
* Harvesting fruit and vegetables promptly
* Don’t leave discarded fruit and vegetables around
* Turn the contents of your compost bin/s regularly
* Keep any food / compost securely (e.g. use bins with solid sides and lids; add a wire mesh lining in the base etc.)
* Do not feed birds or other animals at your plot. If you have chickens, clear up any left-over food as soon as possible
* Store seeds, bulbs, chicken feed etc. in rodent-proof containers
Ensure Good Housekeeping
* Keep your plot tidy – encourage neighbouring properties to do the same
* Visit regularly, make your presence known (e.g. kicking compost bins)
* Inspect the plot regularly
* Thoroughly wash (and peel, as appropriate) the fruit and vegetables you harvest and destroy all vegetables with signs of rodent damage. Note that rats carry risk of disease including Weil’s, Salmonella and Leptospirosis and they urinate everywhere)
* If you discover you have a rat infestation, make sure you wear disposable gloves when dealing with the problem and harvesting your vegetables
* Keep your shed/s / chicken runs / storage unit/s / greenhouse/s etc. secure and in good order; check regularly for signs of rats living underneath.
If you are an allotment-holder and find you have a problem, inform your local authority as soon as possible. In Herefordshire, you can find more information at: http://www.herefordcitycouncil.gov.uk/your-city/council-services/allotments/
Our message of the day:
Killing rodents can only provide short term control of populations. Sustainable control can only be achieved by reducing the rodent carrying capacity of the environment. The best way to deal with rodent infestations is not to have them in the first place.
And remember, it’s a criminal offence to cause unnecessary harm to any animal. You could be fined or imprisoned if you kill non-target species when putting down poison or traps. You should always seek professional pest control advice.
For advice and solutions, contact PGM & Son Pest Control. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01981 241334 / 07964 370480 or use or contact us page on the website for a free no-obligation quote.