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HELP! There's a rat on my garden

(40 Posts)
CrazyHippo Mon 21-May-18 07:44:40

I am truely truely mortified. I opened the curtains this morning and there is a rat sat eating my bird food.

We are tidy people and have a simple but well looked after garden. No children yet so the garden doesnt have toys to hide in or food scraps. However we do have decking because the garden slopes steeply so it breaks it up a bit and provides a flat area for seating..which i know "could"provide shelter for a nest.. tho im pretty sure theres no obvious holes.

My neighbours garden however ressembles a junkyard. Theyve put a fence half way down their garden and just dump all their unwanted crap at the back of the fence. Its clear this has been happening for years as its all overgrown and full of bags of rubbish.

Were home owners, they're council. Does this mean if we ring the council theyll assess if the rat has come from them and help us? Or are we totally liable for paying for pest control?

Im so mortified that i daren't tell anyone in real life.

mummymeister Mon 21-May-18 07:48:32

don't be mortified its only a rat and there are huge numbers of them everywhere. ring the council and explain what you have seen and what the next door garden is like. bird feeders do attract rats and decking provides a place to nest in the same way that piles of wood do, or rubbish.

you can also ring a private pest control contractor but unless both of you treat at the same time and you remove food sources and shelter then they are unlikely to go away because as I said at the top of the post they are everywhere.

good luck.

TuTru Mon 21-May-18 07:52:14

Rats are everywhere. They love bird feeders too. Don’t be mortified.
Just get pest control to sort it out xx

wonderings Mon 21-May-18 07:54:47

Don't be mortified OP, they are absolutely everywhere - thank god they're not in your house!
Definitely ring the council if their garden is a state. I live in a council house and it's in the contract to keep your gardens clean and if neighbouring council houses are a mess to report it so you would definitely be within your rights to do this.

treeofhearts Mon 21-May-18 08:02:02

Rats adore bird food. Where there are bird feeders, there are rats.

Judashascomeintosomemoney Mon 21-May-18 08:07:27

Rats need food, water and shelter. Get rid of the bird feeders, compost bin if you have any and open water source like water butt or pond (drain them). Can you take the boarding off the front of the decking so it isn’t so attractive as a shelter? These are the steps I took when I spotted a rat in our garden and it was gone within a few days never to reappear. Didn’t need pest control. Even if you get pest control in the rats will return if there’s food and water and shelter. Good luck.

Pikmin Mon 21-May-18 08:08:34

I saw one and bought a cage trap, it caught the rat the same day.

UrsulaPandress Mon 21-May-18 08:09:51

The farm where we keep the horse is awash with rats. Awash I tell you.

I have perfected my scream.

SirVixofVixHall Mon 21-May-18 08:10:29

There is a rat in everyone’s garden, some people just haven’t seen it yet.

MyOtherProfile Mon 21-May-18 08:12:03

Rata are all over the place. And foxes. Both wander around our gardens down our street and nobody is shocked. If it bothers you get a trap. It's easy and cheap to sort.

StellaHeyStella Mon 21-May-18 08:13:55

Have you got a squirrel baffle fitted to your bird table? The bird feed will definitely be a source of food which will be attracting them into your garden.
It might be worth looking for a pest control company who charge per visit (£35 round our way) and that way they could advise you on whether it'd be worth setting traps in your garden when the rats are possibly nesting in your neighbour's garden.
Personally I'd also call the council and let them know that you think they have rats nesting in one of their properties and see what they say.

wowfudge Mon 21-May-18 08:16:13

I got rid of the bird table we inherited after eyeballing a rat eating the bird food.

BillywilliamV Mon 21-May-18 08:19:03

Its only a rat, wouldnt bother me as long it stays outside.

BillywilliamV Mon 21-May-18 08:20:19

Dont suddenly stop feeding the birds, they ay be relying on your feeder to feed their fledglings.

wowfudge Mon 21-May-18 08:22:18

We're surrounded by woodland, etc. In warm weather like this I doubt the birds are relying on our bird table.

CloudCaptain Mon 21-May-18 08:23:51

I had this. It got into our dilapidated old shed and gorged on a tub off fat balls and Guinea pig food stored in there. I then saw it sitting on the bird feeders. Luckily one of the neighbours cats got it and left it displayed on their lawn. Also use squirrel proof feeders and have replaced the shed (it was rotten anyway). All food stored in sealed containers.

CloudCaptain Mon 21-May-18 08:24:31

Birds generally feed insects to fledglings.

VeryFoolishFay Mon 21-May-18 08:31:24

Our council direct you straight to their nomintated pest control people and they have a slightly preferential rate. Their holding music is 'I saw a mouse...where? etc etc'. Insensitive.

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Mon 21-May-18 08:50:40

It happens to us all - when I was a student I found one staring through the back window

Have you got a friend with a terrier that might be able to help? It would need to be before the poison goes down to avoid secondary poisoning

AviatorShades Mon 21-May-18 09:05:40

veryfoolish gringringrin

AviatorShades Mon 21-May-18 09:08:58

Sorry, posted too soon, meant to follow with Stellas plan of action is sensible and that's the way I'd go.
Good luck.

C8H10N4O2 Mon 21-May-18 09:10:23

Decking + Birdfood = Rat Hotel. You might as well send them gilded invitations.

LA will normally direct you to local pest control but the issue is likely to recur unless you change something. Pest control may be able to suggest something less radical than moving the decking.

If its more than just one sighting I wouldn't waste time getting in pest control or your neighbours might not be happy that you are inadvertently hosting rats without acting.

Roomba Mon 21-May-18 09:10:49

Sorry, I had to laugh at the hold music grin

Rats really are everywhere as others have said, especially where they can find cosy places to nest (neighbour's garden) and ready sources of food. We had a nightmare years ago with a neighbour who had a garden like Mr Trebus's, refused to clear I and put food out for the pigeons and rats birds twice daily! The council took him to court and he was fined but didn't stop. Meanwhile we all had to deal with the rats in gardens/back alleys. Luckily they never made it inside my house! Neighbour died in the end and it was all cleared - haven't seen a rat since despite also being near a canal and a river.

C8H10N4O2 Mon 21-May-18 09:12:42

Personally I'd also call the council and let them know that you think they have rats nesting in one of their properties and see what they say.

The OP doesn't say they are nesting in the neighbour's garden, just that this is a possibility as is their own decking and birdfood.

Gunpowder Mon 21-May-18 09:13:32

grin @ I saw a mouse music!

Apparently rats always live under decking. The good thing is they are apparently much easier to get rid of than mice.

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