A gardening expert has warned UK homeowners to secure their homes against an influx of “super rats”. These rodents have been spotted in the north of England and are seeking warm homes due to the cold weather.
Angela Hardman, a 48-year-old woman who has lived in her house for 28 years, said she constantly hears rats in her garden and is troubled by their urine and droppings. She claimed she had never experienced anything like it before.
Bolton Council has taken action in the area, but according to Chris Bonnett, founder of GardeningExpress, other homeowners are still at risk. He explained that if you’re experiencing rats in your garden, it means they’ve viewed it as a suitable place to start building a nest and keep warm.
Certain factors make some properties more attractive than others, such as debris and garden waste on the ground, or sources of food like fruits and vegetables. Even if your own space is free of this, neighbouring land that does contain either can put you at risk. However, there are several things that can be done to prevent “super rats” from getting too close. Here’s how to deter rats.
How do you deter rats from your garden?
Rats can easily make a home in garden sheds and empty plant pots, even if the holes are tiny. The best way to stop this is to block any gaps with bricks or other heavy items. Don’t forget to check drains and grates too, and replace any that are damaged.
Gardening expert Chris suggests using garlic powder in areas that are hard to seal off, as rats don’t like strong smells. He said: “Rats are not fond of strong scents such as garlic powder or peppermint oil so it’s worth sprinkling some of this around vulnerable areas in the garden.”
In winter, rats are attracted to water sources, so fix any leaky garden taps and block off water butts and blocked drains. However, keep your compost heap moist, as dry heaps are a warm and inviting home for rats. Chris also warned about bird tables attracting rats, so keep an eye on them and remove any leftover seeds in the late afternoon.