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RATS IN THE COMPOST


 
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inishindie
Rank attained: Tree plantation keeper


Joined: 27 May 2007
Posts: 563
Location: inishowen Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 12:48 am    Post subject: RATS IN THE COMPOST Reply with quote

Hi

Do not be put off composting if you think there is a rat in your compost. Too many of us are discouraged if they see any signs of rodent activity. If you have one of these in the bin then be careful when you are poking around as they could turn nasty. A friend of mine used to go in there with a pitch fork and stab away until all was quiet. you could go for a more sneaky way of getting rid of the problem. (The friend eventually found a small access hole then push down a rat killer block. They this for a few days and your problems should be gone. )

To make sure the pests do not come back try agitating the compost regularly. Here are some other ideas to keep things running smoothly

1. Compost should be vegetarian. Do not add meat, bones, fat, dairy foods or oily cooked foods (unless your compost bin is specifically designed for animal waste).

2. Don't let weeds or tall grass grow around your composter because this gives rats a place to hide.

3. Cover up the food you add to your composter with leaves, woodchips, pine needles, twigs, paper towels, shredded newspaper or other dry "brown" carbon materials to eliminate odours.

4. Keep your composter lid shut tight.

5. Pick up fallen fruit or vegetables from your garden, otherwise it can be a source of food that rats will return to.

6. Rats might nest in a compost pile that is dry and undisturbed. Keep your pile moist and active.

7. Rats hate the smell of mint. Chop up and crush leaves and stems, boil them in water, and spray the mixture around your bin. Keep it as concentrated as possible.

8. Use a bird feeder that catches dropped seeds and don't overfeed. Store seed in metal or heavy plastic containers with lids.

9. Try using small mesh wire netting under the composter. This will allow for the worms to get through but not the rats.

Cheers

Ian

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GarethAustin
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian

What about rats under Pampas Grass?, this seems to be a recurring problem with many gardeners, any ideas?
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inishindie
Rank attained: Tree plantation keeper


Joined: 27 May 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:45 am    Post subject: pampas grass Reply with quote

Hi Gareth

Apologies for answering a question with a question but is this why people set them alight in autumn?

I thought that this was to keep them tidy but maybe not, I would think that it would be pretty unpleasent for the rosdents to make a nest after it was burned.

I haven't heard of the problem before so I'll ask around.

I have another problem in my garden at the moment. A small rabbit has managed to break the defences and has got into the veggie patch. The kids in the area are trying to catch it so I don't think it will be around long!

Cheers

Ian

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GarethAustin
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian

Its a problem which I've encountered on a few occasions now. The Burning of Pampas is surely very dangerous as its a shallow rooted plant, to use a pun - surely your playin' with fire as it might be killed off?
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BlackBird
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GarethAustin wrote:
Ian

Its a problem which I've encountered on a few occasions now. The Burning of Pampas is surely very dangerous as its a shallow rooted plant, to use a pun - surely your playin' with fire as it might be killed off?


Not so. The Burning of Pampas grass is only dangerous where it can set other objects on fire. Pampas grass is adapted to wild fires that occour on the prairie or pampas. Once your own pampas grass is 5 years old or more then you can burn it down. Just dont use petrol or diesel to do this. Once every 5 years will keep it fresh.
This method will run the rats if any from the clump but it may also kill hedgehogs who can hibernate within it as well. To protect the hedgehogs you must burn the grass no earlier than March.
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GarethAustin
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

good advice Blackbird
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inishindie
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 10:26 pm    Post subject: pampas grass Reply with quote

Thanks for the information, very useful as pampas grasses do get very unruly after a while. Nice tip about the hedgehogs too.

Ian

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