Friday 21 December 2012

Unwelcome visitors...

For some reason or the other, we have an unwelcome guest visiting our compost bins. We have lived here 26 years and never had a rat go near them. We tried home made bait to begin with that is supposed to see them off in a gentler way. Not sure it did anything.

Now we are on proper rat stuff and it doesn't seem to be working, although I gather it can take a week or more. 

Clever little beggars aren't they. First one hole appeared then another but we think it might be the same rat. We are disturbing the inside to make sure they don't take up residence and reckon they are visiting for food (only waste from the garden and fruit and vegetable peelings from the kitchen, go in there).

So, we put the bait down both holes and as we don't want to kill birds or hedgehogs, stuffed cut leek roots into each hole. Each morning, the leeks have been thrown off to one side (guess they are not eating those then) and it is clear the holes have been used.

We also have some bait sitting inside a large plant pot in the heap as I don't want the bait to go everywhere in the compost itself otherwise I might have to chuck it away – mind you, not too keen on using rat visited compost either!

Been about 4 days now of using the bait, will give it until after Christmas then might have to use something else. Failing that, the bins will have to be moved onto flagstones rather than soil or else we will have to invest in one of those off the ground turning affairs.

Checked again this morning, leeks removed as per usual but unless the bait got washed away in the rain overnight, it looks like it might have been eaten.

Anyway, this morning, hubby moved all the fresh peelings etc into our other compost bin which has at least a foot of finished compost in it and which it/they haven't visited yet. We then made up some Jeyes fluid and poured it all over the outside of that bin hoping the smell will deter it/them from entering that one. The left bin was replaced (now empty) and bait put in a plant pot and half buried on its side. Time will tell if this will work.

I hate doing this as I know rats are intelligent beings but also know that wild rats carry all manner of disease so it has to be done.


  1. I hope this problem is cleared up soon. Is it weather related?
    I have only seen a rat here once- and that was when nearby sewers were being worked on [it ran down the passage past my back door- right over my slippered foot.[it was 7am, I was in my dressing gown going to the bin] I was surprised how freaked-out it left me. I do hope you get rid of yours before Christmas!

    1. I don't know if it is weather related but I'll be glad when its gone.

  2. Apparently it is only rats in cities and towns that carry diseases, country rats are healthy because they eat healthy and live in good conditions ie not in sewers and drains. They are probably raiding the compost bin there is a lack of food at this time of the year. I am sure they will disappear come the spring xxx

  3. Thank you ladies. Hopefully we will know in the next few days if we've been successful.

  4. We see rats down at the allotment - they've been known to completely strip a crop of sweetcorn or to eat the courgettes.We had a problem with them raiding one of our 'dalek style' compost bins down there but haven't seen any evidence of them in the garden.I hope you get it sorted out soon.

    1. I hope it goes and we don't get any more as its making me worried about handling the compost when the time comes.


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