Rat warning as January cold snap sets in

Homeowners are being advised to look out for super rats invading their homes and gardens this January. 

Gardening experts at GardeningExpress have shared tips on deterring rats as the cold weather settles in.

This comes after a woman in Farnworth Bolton was left afraid of entering her garden after super rats invaded and took over the space.

She says she is afraid to go into her garden and that the rats have now dug holes, entering her neighbours spaces too.

Her outdoor space now smells like foul rat urine and is covered in droppings making it impossible for her grandchildren to play in the garden.

Chris Bonnett, gardening expert and founder of GardeningExpress said: “The cold snap expected this January will mean that these rodents are fleeing their usual habitats and are in search of a warm home. 

“You may find that they are trying to enter your home and if you’re experiencing them in your garden it means they’ve viewed it as a suitable place to begin building a nest and keep warm.

“This is likely to happen if you have any debris and garden waste on the ground or sources of food growing such as fruits and vegetables.

“Having rats in the garden is a major inconvenience so we’ve shared a range of ways people can keep the rats out of their homes all together.”

 How to keep rats out of the garden:

  1. Clear up any rubbish

Debris, rubbish and garden waste sitting on the floor makes an attractive, warm nest for rats. Clear up any that may have accumulated during the winter to ensure there are no spaces that may entice the rodents.

  1. Cover up and gaps and holes
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Rats can enter even the smallest of holes on garden sheds and empty plant pots and set up a new home. Cover any gaps no matter how small to prevent them from getting in.

  1. Use garlic powder to deter

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.

  1. Cover drains

Cover drains and grates and ensure they are all intact. If necessary replace damaged ones and check around the perimeter of your home for any other points of entry.

  1. Water sources

Rats need a water source if they’re going to set up their new home. A dripping garden tap, water butt or blocked drain are all great sources of water for the rodent and can make your garden the perfect home for them.

  1. Keep compost heaps moist

Dry compost heaps are a warm and attractive home for rats. Keep your compost heap moist throughout to deter them from making themselves comfortable.

  1. Keep an eye on bird tables

Bird tables are notorious for attracting rats so it’s worth keeping an eye on them and removing any spilt seeds in the late afternoon once birds are done feeding. 

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