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Help! I’ve got rats.

Home Forums Carers / rescuing a hedgehog Help! I’ve got rats.

  • This topic has 3 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 5 months ago by Avatar photoNic.
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  • #38982

    Hi, I need some advice. I’ve had a hedgehog house and feeding station for a few years in my back garden all watched with my garden camera. Over the last few weeks I’ve noticed a rat, a big rat! It didn’t worry me at first but now there’s 3 or 4☹️ I think I need to move everything into the front garden under a big bush. I really didn’t want to have to do that as my hogs are so used to finding their food & water in the back☹️ Will the hogs still find the food & water? I won’t put rat
    traps down, I just couldn’t! Is there anything I can do to deter the rats?
    Any advice welcomed.

    #38985
    Avatar photo
    Nic

    Hi hoggy07

    The following is a link which contains links from several old topics re. rats
    https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/forums/topic/rat-probelm/
    They are all quite old now, but may be useful. There are lots of newer ones if you search through, but, sorry I haven’t collected them – the Forum doesn’t like more than one link per post these days, so not so easy to do.

    But first you probably need to stop feeding birds, if you do (or feed them small amounts which are quickly eaten, on a container on, i.e., a bird table which the rats can’t access, but so that when the rats turn up there is no food there for them). It is often bird food which first attracts rats. But if the rats can’t find food they might give up.

    Then search to see if there is a rats nest in your garden and disturb it, so that hopefully the rats will get fed up doing repairs and move home. You will need to be persistent. But also check for any bolt holes – you will usually see mounds of disturbed soil.

    Some rats won’t eat wet cat/dog food, but you might have to give up feeding the hogs until you can get rid of the rats. If you do stop feeding, don’t forget to keep providing water. Unfortunately rats do tend to go through water saucers, but the hogs will need water. (Water best left available all day every day for the hogs).

    But one other thing you can try, if you don’t mind the rats getting the odd bit of food, is to scatter some cat/kitten biscuits (some rats will eat those, but not all) on the grass (if you have some) which would take the rats longer to find and so give the hogs more of a chance of finding some. But the neighbours may not be keen on that if they see that you appear to be feeding rats. Especially if there are 3 or 4 already. I recall one person being told by the council that they had to stop feeding the hogs because they were attracting rats.

    Then there is the ‘supervised’ hog feeding possibility mentioned in one of those previous posts.

    I can’t really comment about moving the feeding site, not knowing the layout, other than that if the hogs can find it the rats inevitably will as well.

    Sadly there is no easy solution, but good luck. I know what a nuisance it is. Hope you find something that works.

    #39136

    Thank you for the replies. I think the best thing I can do is just leave
    plenty of water out & remove the food for a while until the rats have gone elsewhere. Surely it’s better to try this at this time of year as there’s other food sources out there? I’m going to hate removing their biscuits😞

    #39485
    Avatar photo
    Nic

    Hi hoggy07

    Yes, I know what you mean re. removing their biscuits. I feel the same, but sometimes it can’t be helped. I would try some of the other deterrants at the same time, i.e. filling in bolt holes, etc. to help encouraging them to move on more quickly. When I have had them in the past, I poured water down the hole first to make sure no rat was in there before filling it in – wouldn’t want to bury a rat! I was quite pleased that a rat never came leaping out of the hole, though – which might be a risk! Although they could probably dig their way back out.

    Good luck. I hope they move soon.

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