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Home Forums Champions’ chat Rats!

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    I’ve noticed a rat at night on the garden cam eating from the hog food bowl and want to deter it. I’ve heard that peppermint can work but there are various types around, oils, sprays etc. Any advice on this as I don’t want to deter the hogs as well. Thanks!

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    Hi 5sandown

    Personally, I wouldn’t use sprays – because of the hogs. If you find where it is getting into your garden, or has a bolt hole, you could try planting mint around that. I usually fill in bolt holes and try to make them difficult to re-dig. I pour water down first to make sure no-one is in residence!

    Other than that, if you feed birds, try to make sure that no food drops to the ground and chase the rat away every time you see it. You will find they are more sensitive to sound/movement, etc. than hogs so it’s sometimes possible to scare them away even if a hog is also present.

    I have on occasions resorted to supervised feeding. i.e. only feed the hogs when I was around to scare the rat away. The poor hogs didn’t have food the rest of the night, but they wouldn’t have done anyway if the rat had been eating it all and squirreling it away somewhere. Hopefully if the rat doesn’t get any food, it will realise it might have better luck elsewhere.

    Some retailers will say that those rat scarers don’t effect hogs. In reality they don’t know, as one manufacturer once told me. He also told me they cease to become effective with rats outdoors very quickly. He even said if you buy one ask for a money back guarantee that it will keep the rats away for a reasonable length of time.

    I tried in the past, for a short while, putting a rodent scarer out during the day and one night forgot to remove it. I saw a hog physically flinch when it went past that area so my feeling is that they do hear them. Needless to say it hasn’t been out since!

    Good luck. Hope you manage to deter it.


    Thanks for the comments Nic. There are so many threads on this that I wanted to try and clarify my thoughts. I’ve blocked any holes, except, of course, the hedgehog hole. I also read somewhere that the smell of cat urine dissuades rats So I’m trying used cat litter in a couple of old socks! I won’t use sprays or traps and will change the way I put food out to see if that works. I think we’ll always have rats so will look to make things as difficult for them as I can by other means. The real issue with deterrents like sprays is there doesn’t seem to be any agreed view on whether they affect hogs or not so I’ll err on the side of caution. Thanks again!

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    The lengths we go to – used cat litter in old socks! Be interested to know if it works.


    Well I haven’t seen the rat for 3 nights but how do you prove a negative? More likely that the local cats have seen it off ……and the used cat litter hasn’t discouraged the mice!

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