Last winter we saw an unprecedented level of rodent activity, the most active areas being rural holdings. Following a warm spring and ambient summer experts are predicting escalating rat numbers this autumn. With harvest in sight it will not be too long before food supplies in the countryside start to run out and rats will be on the search for a sustainable meal. Here are some tips:

? TIMING: During the summer months rats feed on the fruits and berries in the hedgerows and grains and seeds in the fields. When harvest has been completed and there is the first cold snap their food source is quickly exhausted and they will beat a hasty retreat to somewhere more inviting such as a smallholding. Now is the time to think about making your holding less hospitable to unwanted visitors.

? TIDY UP: Get rid of old equipment and feed sacks, trim back weeds and scrub where rats can hid and burrow. Clear up any spilt animal feed as this is just an easy meal. Store any feed away from walls and preferably in metal bins. Seal the bottom of doors with a metal strip to deter rats and mice gnawing through.

These few simple steps won’t keep rodents away indefinitely but it will make a control programme far simpler and help concentrate the areas where rats and mice will feed and harbour.

MORE: PelGar has produced a free DVD: Six steps to successful rodent control. For a copy and / or further advice contact PelGar Tel: 01420 80744 Email:

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