Preventing Infestation of Rats
It is the responsibility of all plot holders to take the correct measures in ensuring the allotment is not subject to rat infestation. If it is considered that a plot holder has not taken reasonable steps to prevent infestation, the council/society will view this as a breach of tenancy – Schedule 2: Rule 10 - and notice may be served.
- Turn the contents of your compost bin regularly (at least twice per year). This not only disturbs any rats that have taken up residence but also aerates your compost heap which speeds up the process of digestion and reduces the amount of methane (a greenhouse gas) your heap emits.
- Plastic compost bins should be given a small gauge wire mesh lining at the base or can be placed on paving slabs to prevent rats from burrowing in underneath.
- Regularly kick your compost bin to ensure it is not a peaceful place for rats to sleep and check they are not taking up residence in your greenhouse!
- Never put meat, dairy, bones, cooked foods or other inappropriate items in your compost bin. This will attract rats and make your bin smell.
- Harvest ripe fruit and vegetables promptly and take them home to enjoy
- Do not leave discarded fruit and vegetables on the ground; clear them away to your compost bin, as these are a source of food for rats and other pests.
- Ensure that allotment gardens do not become overgrown or allow rubbish to build up e.g. timber, old carpet, stockpiled materials etc, as this provides cover for rats to live under (harbourage).
- Remember to thoroughly wash (and peel if appropriate) any food you harvest. Vegetables with signs of rat damage should be destroyed. Rats carry risk of Weil’s disease, Salmonella and Leptospirosis among other things and they urinate wherever they go!
- Members of the public are not advised to use rat bait in public places. There is a very real risk of exposing non-target animals to accidental poisoning, which apart from the distress caused, is illegal and could result in prosecution.
- Please report specific problems with rats to members of the allotment society committee.