Rodent warning as ‘super rats’ head for UK homes – how to deter them

A gardening expert has urged Britons to secure their homes after sightings of so-called “super rats” in the north of England.

One woman who had lived in the same house for 28 years claimed she had never experienced anything like it after her property was recently invaded by vermin.

As reported by The Bolton News, 48-year-old Angela Hardman claimed she constantly hears the rats in her garden and is plagued by their urine and droppings.

Bolton Council was forced to take action in the area, though other homeowners are still at risk, according to Chris Bonnett, gardening expert and founder of GardeningExpress.

He said: “The cold snap expected this January will mean that these rodents are fleeing their usual habitats and are in search of a warm home.”

Chris continued: “You may find that they are trying to enter your home and if you’re experiencing them in your garden it means they’ve viewed it as a suitable place to begin building a nest and keep warm.”

Of course, certain factors make some properties more tempting than others, which include debris and garden waste on the ground, or sources of food growing such as fruits and vegetables.

Even if your own space is free of this, neighbouring land that does contain either can put you at risk.

Fortunately, several things can be done to stop “super rats” from getting too close.

How to deter rats

Rats can sneak through even the smallest of holes in garden sheds and empty plant pots, where they’ll quickly set up a new home.

The easiest fix for this is to fill, block or cover any gaps no matter how small, with bricks and other heavy objects.

Drains and grates shouldn’t be skipped off the list when it comes to plugging holes, so it’s worth doing a quick once-over of the property to ensure they’re all intact.

If necessary, Chris recommended replacing any damaged ones and checking around the perimeter of your home for any other points of entry.

For areas that aren’t so easy to seal off, the gardening expert noted another remedy that works well – garlic powder.

He explained: “Rats are not fond of strong scents such as garlic powder or peppermint oil so it’s worth sprinkling some of this around vulnerable areas in the garden.”

Water sources are another attractive feature in the cold of winter, so be sure to fix any dripping garden taps, and block off water butts and blocked drains that could tempt rats.

One area that is the exception for keeping dry, however, is compost heaps. Chris said: “Dry compost heaps are a warm and attractive home for rats. Keep your compost heap moist throughout to deter them from making themselves comfortable.

“Bird tables are also notorious for attracting rats so it’s worth keeping an eye on them and removing any spilt seeds in the late afternoon once birds are done feeding.”

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