Have you noticed that stories regarding the increasing rodent populations are becoming more and more frequent in the media?
For British rats, the worst of times has turned out to be the best of times… (read more)
It’s boom time for rats… (read more)
Two Berkshire towns plagued by rats… (read more)
Apparently, the recession is allowing rats to have the run of empty buildings as businesses shut down, a sort of rodent squatter if you like. But this isn’t the cause of increased rodent numbers.. According to the National Pest Technicians Association, who publish an annual Rodent Report, the general causes of increased UK rodent populations are largely the following, let’s look at each one in turn:
- Over-feeding garden birds
- Poorly secured household waste
- Inadequately sealed compost bins
- Gardening DIY projects
Over-feeding garden birds
Although having lots of wild birds at your garden ornamental bird table is a lovely idea, please don’t over-feed them. An excess of feed can invite unwelcome visitors such as pigeons and even hungry squirrels; as well as rats and mice feeding on the dropped crumbs/seeds around the base of the bird-table.
Poorly secured household waste
Fortnightly refuse collections are being blamed for attracting rats since not all homeowners take care about securing household waste. Post-festivities is also a problem. Around Christmas time and after birthdays or parties there are generally increases in the amounts of rubbish which means using plastic bags if the ubiquitous wheelie bin is full. Just take care and make sure they are tightly sealed and if you spot damage to the outside of the bag, either move it or put it inside another one until bin day.
Inadequately sealed compost bins
Compost bins, whilst being a blessing to avid gardeners and those keen food waste recycling, can also cause pest problems. If they are not sealed correctly or placed on an appropriate surface, they are a rodent snack bar waiting to happen.
Gardening DIY projects
Finally, DIY. Who doesn’t like strolling around garden centres looking for inspiration and their next gardening DIY project. Unfortunately, decking can sometimes cause problems, despite it being a great addition to your outside area. How? Well, food can drop between the slats and become a food source. There is also ample space underneath for garden pests to make themselves a nice home. Just ensure you can access the under-decking area and clean it fairly regularly – and you should avoid any problems.
Don’t let rats and mice ruin your garden or property, the few simple tips above and here can help keep your property invasion free. However, if you do fall foul of rats or mice, its good to know that the pallette of the average rat or mouse is now understood much better by our experts – from technical experts such as Savvas who was mentioned in the Bloomberg post (mice like going for an Italian meal apparently) and front line colleagues such as Ben who contributes on this blog (peanut butter tastes nice to mice).