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help i have been feeding garden birds in feeders for 10 yrs now an d suddenly found rats in the garden

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the rats have always been there Mollie ( sorry ) they just found your 'free-lunch' that's all.
Bird feeder's dilemma I'm afraid, "to feed or not to feed?"
it's all about rat proofing your feeder's, slippery poles etc, keeping food off the ground but the birds will scatter it anyway so that's difficult. They are brilliant at jumping so try & keep feeders away from bush's, trees fenceing etc & so on & so fourth. I loath rats with a passion, not much scares me but these animals give me the creeps, however, I refuse to use poison as this is against my ethics & when last winter I opened the curtains & there was this huge rat sitting on the window ledge not two feet away from me enjoying breakfast from my bird feeders it was a simple reminder that we are all uncomfortably close to these canny intelligent creatures. I took photo's of it by the way - - shudders ;-(

10 Dec, 2010


I'm surprised it took so long! The birds at our feeders make one heck of a mess, spreading grain everywhere so we only feed them when they can't get other food and only in the morning to give more time for them to clear the spilt food.

Re keeping the rats numbers under control, my brother's garden is bounded by a railway line on one side and a canal at the end and he shoots the rats with an air rifle - just a thought.

10 Dec, 2010


It is always a hazard feeding birds. I cannot understand how birds ever survived 50 years ago, people rarely fed the birds and we had far more birds then than now.

10 Dec, 2010


I quite regularly see a very large rat on the branches of my apple tree from which I hang a bird feeder.

So long as they're not in the house I think of them as tail less squirrels!

10 Dec, 2010


Being surrounded by allotments and farmland, we get them regularly near the bird feeders too.. I used to have a fear of Rats until my son brought one home as a pet! It didn't go down well at all I can tell you, but after a while I got used to him (Rupert) and quite enjoyed his company, he used to follow me around the house and sit on my shoulder!! I became very fond of Rupert, they are very intelligent creatures and very clean, believe it or not, yes good old Rupert cured my fear of rats too!!

10 Dec, 2010


Trouble with rats is that they do carry some very unpleasant diseases (Weil's especially). Living in the country as we do, there are a lot of them in the fields. Still, as we have no sewers we at least do not get them from that source. We do put poison down, in their runs when we find them. That way at least nothing else can get at it. There is a poison available now which is marketed as being safe for predators. Trying it out to see if it actually kills the rats.

10 Dec, 2010


Dido. I agree about pet rats. My ex brought a white rat home and it was lovely. Highly intelligent and loved to be cuddled.

10 Dec, 2010


have the same problem at times they even climbed up the tree to get to the peanut feeders..Hubby does put down poison as we would hate to be over-run with them

10 Dec, 2010


Well Wyeboy I think it has something to do with how we have trashed the place in the last 50 years.

There was much more natural food about and we hadn't started covering our gardens with slug pellets so robbing those birds that eat the slimy creatures.

"Silent Spring" tells the story but hopefully things are beginning to improve a bit.

I consider bird feeding as part of our recompense for wrecking the natural habitat.

An excess of any creature (rat or other) indicates an imbalance in the natural order.

10 Dec, 2010


I had a problem with rats in my compost bin a few weeks ago and they were able to get into my loft somehow, there was no visible sign of entry. It is an old cottage and I think they managed to get up through the wall separating the old cottage from the new extension.
Not wanting to tackle the situation myself I called in the experts from the council and they sent their rat catcher out. I was happy to let him use appropriate poisons and manage the influx of rats in a professional manner and as humanely as possible. He still visits weekly and has got rid of them from my bins and roof space.
There are too many types of poison available to the public that are not efficient at their job as the rats are building up their immune systems to combat them. Bring in a trained exterminator to rid yourself of them as efficiently as possible. As much as I don't like them I would not want them suffering through bad management.

11 Dec, 2010

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