....or is DH? bird food and rats

(61 Posts)
Clarella Fri 11-Mar-16 13:04:23

DH keeps getting his knickers in a twist about bird food encouraging rats. Obviously, yes the odd mouse or rat might partake, but does it warrant trying to put a coconut feeder in difficult to reach places or not out at all?

I'd love an actual bird table but I think he'd have a daily annurism anurrism anourism heart attack.

(To be fair, I think he has a mild phobia after experiencing a rat getting into his old flat and having to clear up a load of mess under the bath. However, rats are everywhere. This house is fine. And I had a pet rat so kind of a bit more bomb proof. Obv I don't want them in, but I do want to feed the birds.)

SwearyInn Fri 11-Mar-16 13:06:08

I'm with your DH. We stopped feeding birds due to getting rats several times. Pet rats very very different to wild ones. Not night at all, and they're very very bold.

PennyDropt Fri 11-Mar-16 13:08:45

I photoed a rat climbing up the pole and onto the bird table with night vision camera.
I wouldn't have thought they could climb on but they did.

I now have a rat stopper on the bird table pole (upturned bucket).

Clarella Fri 11-Mar-16 13:09:32

But most of the stuff on the floor gets eaten by the birds and no evidence of rats reaching the bird food.

I want to encourage more birds!

Oysterbabe Fri 11-Mar-16 13:12:19

I agree with you.
I actually wouldn't mind watching rats feed. They're cute

Katenka Fri 11-Mar-16 13:13:55

Yabu. We had to have pest control out here for months bra use a neighbour kept feeding the birds.

There were loads of rats. Couldn't let the DC go out in the garden at one point.

Keeptrudging Fri 11-Mar-16 13:17:19

Our bird table attracts lots of birds, pheasants and a badger. No rats (and we live next to a farm). We have cats and a big dog, maybe they keep the rats away?

Crabbitface Fri 11-Mar-16 13:23:30

Nope. We ended up with mice IN our house because i stored bird seed in the cupboard. No way will I buy it again. They can eat the worms! My friend had rats. .. they ate through her floorboards and into her bedroom while she slept. She had a big dog too.

diddl Fri 11-Mar-16 13:24:42

We have a bird feeder above the patio because it's easy to sweep up the dropped food if necessary.

Clarella Fri 11-Mar-16 13:32:13

I guess it's if it becomes an actual issue.

I grew up in the countryside. But I guess there's more rats in towns.

We saw one mouse 2 years ago in the garden, and a rat last winter (no bird food then).

But in towns enough kebabs and packets of chips get strewn about.

We appear to have 4 very greedy wood pigeons, a black bird pair, a wren, a robin and several dunnocks. They don't leave much left as far as I can see.

Thymeout Fri 11-Mar-16 13:36:08

When we had an invasion of rats - huge problem, people had to dig up decking and take down sheds, the first thing Environmental Health said to us was, 'Stop feeding the birds'.

MyLifeisaboxofwormgears Fri 11-Mar-16 13:37:47

I put out suet pellets in the morning - the birds have eaten everything within 20 minutes. No pickings for rats!

Never had a rat, we did have mice but the chickens ate them.

Using pellet feeders hanging in trees should not attract rats.

Only put out what the bird will eat in the day.
You can buy small suet bars which my sparrow family scoffs in 10 minutes - so no food to attract vermin.

Roomba Fri 11-Mar-16 14:58:51

My friend's neighbour has always put out food for the birds, for about twenty years. It has now reached the point that the neighbour's back garden is full of massive rats which have also invaded nearby houses, including my friend's. No amount of pest control visits, pleading with the guy or letters from the council telling him not to feed birds has resolved the issue so far. My friend is beside herself with it all.

FranHastings Fri 11-Mar-16 15:29:49

Ours attracted mice, ravenous evilsquirrels, foxes and cats. We took it down, but the mangy foxes still come and the garden is now full of fox poo. angry The mice got in the shed and the house. Horrible and quite ruinous.

HopIt Fri 11-Mar-16 15:42:55

Honestly, wildlife needs all the help it can get so get some squirrel proof feeders and feed away. If there are signs of rats you probably should stay away from the chucking it on the lawn type food.
I like this company for bird seed www.wigglywigglers.co.uk

HortonWho Fri 11-Mar-16 15:49:00

He's wrong - the squirrels get to them first.

I have a growing army of robins, tits, jays, magpies and doves waiting for me to serve up the sunflower seeds and dried worms every morning. They hoover it up quickly, otherwise the squirrels muscle their way in.

RB68 Fri 11-Mar-16 16:14:02

we had rats and whilst they do eat birdfood it rarely causes them - there are too many other food sources around. Ratman said so long as it doesn't have vit k in it (IE peanuts) its fine - this counters any rat poison put down. I think neighbours were asked to stop feeding birds for a few days when poison was put down to encourage rats to eat that rather than other food. But they were not told it had to stop. Rats are a fact of life - its unusual to get them in a house - usually outbuildings and council rat man soon sorts them with poison etc

Fiona80 Fri 11-Mar-16 17:09:36

I am with your husband.

We had mice a few years in a row during the winter and they caused havoc. Scratching and scuttling under the floorboards, I couldn't sleep at night. As for their droppings, so unhygienic. Yuck! Don't know how the got into the house.

So as for rats, don't even get me started.

OldCrowMedicineShow Fri 11-Mar-16 17:11:55

One positive is that owls would catch the rats at night.

Paintedhandprints Fri 11-Mar-16 17:14:09

I opened my shed just after christmas for the first time in a few months, and a rat ran out. It had scoffed the suet balls stored in there and made a big mess. I pit some poison down in the shed and cleared all bird food into secure metal boxes. Not sure if the rat has succumbed to the poison yet, or if its been at the feeder. I do see a massive squirrel having a go at the feeder though. Get some anti squirrel feeders and store the feed properly and you should be fine.

theycallmemellojello Fri 11-Mar-16 17:16:58

Can't you just get a rat-proof bird-feeder? I don't get why that's a problem. I agree with your DH and even if you don't he's perfectly entitled to say no on this issue.

Clarella Fri 11-Mar-16 17:20:22

I think the answer is to change the type of food and feeder.

I'm just wondering how much of an issue this is / could be. His parents and mine are similarly dismissive. As is everyone I know! But clearly is IS an issues sometimes.

I do not want to stop feeding the birds.

Clarella Fri 11-Mar-16 17:21:33

.... As this link that just popped up on FB shows .....

Does it need a trigger warning?! Giant rat.

http://news.sky.com/story/1658135/giant-rat-bigger-than-a-dog-near-playground

comingintomyown Fri 11-Mar-16 17:48:11

Clarella ...that is totally revolting and shocking

Clarella Fri 11-Mar-16 17:59:55

Sorry. blushgrin

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