We're about more than just birds (though obviously we like them a lot).
Ask an expert


This question is not answered
I've had to abandon one bird feeding site because of rats close to the house. Now they're pestering my other wildlife patch, probably nesting in compost heap. But I've just spotted our first hedgehog in years, which may also be using the heap. Is there any solution to keep rats at bay?
All Replies
  • I've just come here to ask the same question. I have a squirrel-proof cage feeder up a pole near a tree in the garden, and it is successfully squirrel proof so far - but not rat proof. Just seen one actually inside the cage in broad daylight. Furious.

    Unfortunately a baffle isn't practical for where the feeder is (the rat is jumping out of a tree onto it and there's nowhere in my small garden to move the feeder away from the tree). I was wondering whether I could somehow use peppermint oil or spray somehow to deal with it, but I'm not sure if birds tolerate peppermint or if it'll put them off too. Anyone know?

  • Hi Supertramp and Chris

    I think Rats are probably the hardest thing to keep under control when you have food out for the birds without taking extreme measures to control them.

    I'm like you Supertramp I have Hedgehogs in my garden so cannot use poison/traps if I see any Rats so I have taken the option to shoot them.

    Chris is it jumping onto the top of the feeder?, if so you try a baffle above it like a rain cover.

    I don't know if the spray will deter the Rats but I wouldn't think it would put the birds off.

  • I am lucky with so many foxes and badgers visiting I haven't seen a rat for ages, but my neighbor was troubled with them a few weeks ago    they even burrowed into his greenhouse, he bought a catch em alive trap and caught two, he took them to a local park and released them-no sign of rats since.

  • If I had rats, I would immediately call out pest control.

  • Trouble is Thomo pest control only use poison a danger to other wild life

  • Anthony James

    Trouble is Thomo pest control only use poison a danger to other wild life

    Then so be it. Rats can spead disease if left unattended and if it’s the only way to get rid of the rats, I would definitely call pest control.

  • Bit late to this, but i had three rats persistently coming to garden over Christmas 2017 in to new year 2018. I stopped ground feeding altogether as they used to come in broad daylight. I thought they'd move on but nope - think they'd set up camp nearby by this point. In the end i caught two using a humane trap, with peanut butter on a cracker. It took a while for them to enter the cage and were very suspicious, but eventually they succumbed! Caught two over a week or so. The third disappeared on its own. I released them in some fields round the corner (away from houses) and they never came back. PETA suggest humane trapping but not releasing more than 100 metres from catch site. I was probably a bit more than that to be honest, but had no choice as it was a matter of time until neighbours saw them brazenly wandering about the garden! Some of my neighbours feed seagulls over winter and ive seen rats brought in by that, so i suspect ill have another visit this winter!