Why Are Rats Under Your Shed?
Sheds are the perfect home for a garden rat trying to establish a new colony. The question is how to prevent them?
Rats are among the most noticeable rodents in our gardens, not least because they are among the largest.
Our Bristol rat control service is regularly called upon to investigate rat problems in people’s gardens which are usually a result of a few common factors.
5 Common Reasons Your Garden Shed Has Rats
1. Feeding birds with mixed feed. Spilt seed from bird feeders can be reduced simply by ensuring that each feeder contains only one kind of seed.
Birds will peck out the seed they don’t like, depositing it on the floor and eat only those seeds it prefers.
2. Animal feed is available from pets like rabbits and chickens. The smell of food in feeding bowls is a great encouragement to foraging rats and mice. Avoid enclosures built using wire mesh large enough for mice and juvenile rats to pass through.
3. Compost bins that are well stocked and lack a solid base. Compost bins offer a self-heated place to nest. The decomposing contents also provide a regular supply of food, fresh from your kitchen.
Starchy foods like potatoes are a popular meal for an overwintering rat. Most compost bins don’t have a base in them, so we need to create one that the rats can’t penetrate. Compost bin foundations are easy to install and can be done using patio slabs and some wire mesh.
4. Damaged drains and drain inspection covers. Faulty sewers and broken inspection chamber covers allow rats to reach the surface and your garden unhindered. The sudden appearance or presence of holes near to, or next to drain covers is ideal for rodents to surface into your garden.
5. Large quantities of stored or abandoned rubbish/waste. Rats are quite vulnerable to the effects of low food supply and harsh winter conditions, but where there is shelter (your shed), they can thrive in the most extreme conditions.
Keeping Rats Away From Stored Food
Rats will always exploit large concentrations of food waste left out for long periods. Keeping potential food sources well protected is essential to any successful rodent control programme.
With any food reservoir, there will be a propensity for rodents to make a home nearby. Your drains are a food reservoir and what we put down there in the form of faeces, is all the food they need.
Remember that rats do not have a sense of taste, but do possess an excellent sense of smell.
Rats rarely establish themselves under sheds without a good source of food nearby. For this important reason, you must always look for “Why They Are There”.
Sometimes the cause will be a simple one that is easy to identify, and in other situations, it can prove tough.
How To Prevent Rats Under Your Garden Shed
Some simple steps can ensure that you never have a rat problem under your shed. The measures that will help you get rid of rats include:
1. Site your shed on a solid concrete base (they can’t dig through this).
2. Surround your shed with a 12 inch wide and six-inch-deep layer of pea shingle/gravel.
3. Raise the base up five inches by placing the base on wooden beams or bricks
4. Solve the original cause.
It sounds simple and, well actually it is. But what’s the wildcard reasons for your problem that will be a far tougher nut to crack?
In many cases, this will be down to your neighbours! The other reason can be your proximity to natural reservoirs of activity like waterways (rivers, streams and canals) and bodies of water (lakes, ponds and ditches).
WaspKill UK Pest Control with Simon Berenyi