We're about more than just birds (though obviously we like them a lot).
All creatures....


  • This is my first time on this site and I am hoping someone can help or give advice.  4 weeks ago my neighbours came and asked us to take our bird feeders down because they had discovered rats in their garden.  We have not seen any in our garden.  Pest control advised this while they laid baited traps, hence the rats going for the poison not the bird feed

    My garden was alive with birds, all the different Tits, Green Finch, Goldfinches, Robins, Garden Warbler but most of all a pair of Greater spotted Woodpeckers.  We live near woods and have seen in flight Jays and the Green Woodpecker.

    We are missing our colourful friends and wonder if anyone knows how long we need to wait before we can return our feeders to the garden?  I would hate to think that this is something we will not be able to do again.

    If anyone can help or give advice please let me know.

    Thank you Bassie

  • Hi Bassie and welcome to the forum,

    What a shame, and especially at this time of year when birds need a bit of extra help to feed their young and keep themselves healthy at the same time.

    Is it certain it's your bird food that is attracting the rats? There could be many other reasons.

    One way of discouraging them could be to make sure there is no food left on the ground over night, clean up the area religiously, and minimise the amount of spillage from the feeders. You can attach trays to the bottom of hanging feeders to catch any spillage - these work extremely well. You don't say what sort of feeders you have, but I would suggest that if you have ground feeders, it may be better to stop these until the problem is sorted.

    Good luck.

  • Hi Sparrow

    All our feeders are on a multi stand and we have one in our Beech Hedge full of Nyger seed which we have not removed hence why we still have goldfinches.  We very rarely but ground feed out due to cats which I would of thought would put of rats.  

    Thank you for your help may just give it another week or two and try setting up the feeders gradually and being more vigilant over any spillage on the ground.  Alos get some of the trays you have mentioned.

  • You are never far from a rat, just a fact of life. You say you have not seen them in your garden, in that case it probably is not you that is attracting them. Give it a few days, then put you feeders back up. Why should you be deprived of your enjoyment watching the birds, and the birds deprived of your feeders. Buy an air rifle, just in case.

  • ive got rats that visit my garden! they tend to eat what the fussy birds leave! they are not sewer rats, brown rats that live in burrows... what is everyones problem with them? i enjoy watching them as much as i do the birds. just another one of gods creatures.... live and let live! xx

  • Stich
    Buy an air rifle, just in case.

    Is that to shoot the neighbour? LOL

  • Linda, na that would be naughty,lol.

    F B, I respect your opinions re 'live and let live', but have you considered what your garden would be like if it were overrun with rats? The diseases they carry, and spread in their feceas, is not something I would like to have in our garden. We have Grandchildren who play in the garden, and often are looking for a ball lost amongst the bushes. I would dread them putting their hands in something with nasty diseases. Rats are best discouraged, I m h o.

  • I have many feeders in my garden and also throw food on the ground for the ground feeders. As I live backing onto fields and a ditch runs under the rear of the garden we do occasionslly see a rat or two. Never more and only once or twice a year. They are brown rats  and it should be live and let live, but I agree they could soon get out of hand. My husband despatches them with an air rifle I'm afraid but he is a very good shot and then we have no more appearing. Last year or the year before the visitors centre feeding area at nearby Fairburn Ings reserve had a lot running around. They closed the feeding area for a short while and had them removed ... some how.