There's a rat in me compost, what am I gonna do?

Fnaar

Smutmaster General
Location
Thumberland
Hi compost fans
I've been composting merrily for about a year; a big black compost bin, I put 3 layers of chicken wire around/under bottom before starting to use. Careful about what we put in, but recently some unrinsed eggshells and a whole pile of monkey nut shells went in....(it wasn't me, honest!) Now signs of rats inside (poo, burrowing etc).
How to get rid without emptying contents, putting down poison etc. We live near a river with secluded/sheltered banks, so rats are pretty much inevitable, just don't want them any nearer the house or living in my compost...ideas appreciated!
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
Fnaar said:
Hi compost fans
I've been composting merrily for about a year; a big black compost bin, I put 3 layers of chicken wire around/under bottom before starting to use. Careful about what we put in, but recently some unrinsed eggshells and a whole pile of monkey nut shells went in....(it wasn't me, honest!) Now signs of rats inside (poo, burrowing etc).
How to get rid without emptying contents, putting down poison etc. We live near a river with secluded/sheltered banks, so rats are pretty much inevitable, just don't want them any nearer the house or living in my compost...ideas appreciated!
Try one of those ultrasonic rodent scarers? No idea if they work, but I see them in gardening catalogues.

Meanwhile the rat pee and poo will be nicely activating your compost I guess.
 
Fnaar, we've got the exact same problem. When we first moved in last year, we got the council out, they put poison down and no more sightings. About 2 months ago I saw a rat in the compost bin, and the next day on the lawn eating windfall apples. But I haven't seen it again since, so hopefully it's gone away. As long as it stays at the bottom of the garden I'm not going to worry about it, although Mrs G is a bit reluctant to chuck stuff in the compost bin these days.
 
OP
Fnaar

Fnaar

Smutmaster General
Location
Thumberland
One solution suggested (and our bin is almost always nearly full) was to give the contents a really good soaking, and clear the area round the bin of vegetation....plus be more careful (must tell the kids) about what goes in. There, I seem to have answered my own question! :tongue:
Might still try the flamethrower option though..... :blush::biggrin:
 

Tetedelacourse

New Member
Location
Rosyth
Patrick Stevens said:
Be careful - they often carry a ghastly disease called Weil's disease which is spread by their urine.
= Flames required.
 
Patrick Stevens said:
Be careful - they often carry a ghastly disease called Weil's disease which is spread by their urine.
Agreed, rat-shite and urine is nasty stuff. You don't want it in your compost.
If it was me I'd place a trap in the bin, on top of the compost, baited with a bit of bacon rind or other meat. My brother has exactly the same problem, so periodically it's a case of getting the trap out.......
 

Elmer Fudd

Miserable Old Bar Steward
There's a rat in me compost, what am I gonna do?

I think we could compose a song around that opening line, second line could be :-
There's a rat in me compost, what am I gonna do?

We could call ourselves 'You Be 40+'

Seriously though, after keeping cockatiels, african greys and macaws, due to the 'seed droppage' vermin can be a problem at this time of year so get some rat poison down in a piece of waste pipe (aka sink) about 12" long.
Next best thing (although I'm no fan of them !) get yourself a cat.
 

Pete

Guest
To deal with the immediate problem, it's got to be the nice man/woman from the Council, I'm afraid (who will lay poison). Or a private pest controller. No other alternatives.

Avoid cooked food in the compost, it's best to confine yourself to raw vegetable trimmings and garden waste (and shredded paper works fine), certainly meat or fish, cooked or otherwise, is a no-no, also things like bread and eggshells are a bit 'iffy'.

We had the same problem about five years ago: I was advised that the rats were possibly getting in from underneath, so I laid down a rough paved plinth to stand the compost-bin on: rough and gappy so that the water would still drain out and worms could get in, but not big enough gaps for the rats.

Seems to have worked since then: no further problems :blush:.
 
I would first advise getting the council to do any poison. Rat populations are becoming immune to certain types and to combat this certain areas use certain combinations of poisons. Personally dislike poison on account of when the rat dies they may be eaten by wildlife thus poisoning them.
A good rat trap is the best soln. I bait mine with Bavarian smoked cheese and the feckers jump into them.
 
Top Bottom