Discouraging rats at the allotment site is everybody’s responsibility. If you follow these tips you will be able to minimise the likelihood of rats on your plot.
- Turn the contents of your compost bin regularly.
- Never put meat, dairy, bones, bread or cooked food into your compost.
- Enclose the base of your bin with heavy duty wire mesh or paving slabs so rats cannot burrow underneath.
- (Rats can squeeze through gaps of 15mm and have powerful teeth so consider using galvanised light welded mesh 13mm x 13mm if you want to try this approach. Ensure there are no gaps between the base of the compost bin and the footing by basing it on a level surface).
- Place your bin away from sheds, hedges or overgrown fence lines as rats will be discouraged by lack of cover and disturbance if you place your bin somewhere you regularly pass.
- Harvest produce as soon as it's ripe. Food lying on the ground should be picked up and not left to rot.
- Keep your plot as tidy as possible to reduce potential hiding places for rats to nest (including not stockpiling materials such as logs and other timber).
- Keep your shed well-ordered and retain seeds and other potential food sources for rats in rodent proof containers, such as metal tins.
- If you have chickens on your plot, ensure they are cleaned out and fed a small amount on a regular basis. Large quantities of food left on your plot will attract rats.
- Ensure water butts and water for livestock is covered and secure.