Author Topic: Broadies under attack from rats  (Read 1343 times)

Digeroo

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Broadies under attack from rats
« on: November 15, 2020, 14:45:41 »
Yesterday I had a bonnie row of Wizard beans.  Today nearly half have been annihilated.  The beans have gone and the plant topped.  I though now they were six inches high they were safe.
Took the bottles off eight aquadulce yesterday to reuse the bottle, they were just showing a nice green shoot.  Today eight holes.
I am gutted.  Not sure how to stop them.  If I leave the bottles on too long, the plants will go leggy. 
I presume the wretched beastie will be back for more later.

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Broadies under attack from rats
« on: November 15, 2020, 14:45:41 »

Obelixx

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Re: Broadies under attack from rats
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2020, 15:12:35 »
Some people recommend dunking peas and broad beans in paraffin before sowing as the smell puts off the rodents.   Never tried it myself but did have one sowing of peas completely eaten by mice years ago so I gave up and stuck with frozen peas.

Haven't sown my broad beans yet as I'm waiting for OH to clear a bed so i can clear the dahlias to a new home and put beans in a bed I can more easily water with a seep hose.   Might have to sow them in toilet tubes at this rate and then hope the cats keep the nasties away altho th ebeans will need protecting against our recently adopted hens.
Obxx - Vendée France

ancellsfarmer

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Re: Broadies under attack from rats
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2020, 16:10:47 »
Unless you know it is rats, which need removal, then it may be voles. (which need removal!) Set Little nipper rat traps, the last thing they do is nip.
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Digeroo

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Re: Broadies under attack from rats
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2020, 19:03:02 »
I am pretty sure it is rats.  I have not had problems with voles in the past.  So I poured water on my compost bin and out popped a rat!!   I had not seen one for a couple of weeks but seems they are still around. 
I saw six one day.  Eating sweet corn.   But it will be back. 
Most people lost all their sweetcorn.  I managed about half of mine using plastic bottles to protect the cobs.  They have learned to get inside them now. 
It is very depressing they are eating things faster than I can plant them.
I will try the paraffin.   Though I am not sure I want to eat something which was covered in paraffin. 

Obelixx

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Re: Broadies under attack from rats
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2020, 19:59:39 »
The paraffin protects the seed but I don't think it penetrates and certainly won't affect the flavour of the beans in your pods, assuming you get a harvest.

An alternative would be to bait rodent traps with peanut butter which they can't resist but you'll have corpses to dispose of.
Obxx - Vendée France

Digeroo

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Re: Broadies under attack from rats
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2020, 15:53:31 »
Ill order some peanut butter. 
Difficult to dispose of poisoned rats.   
I covered some with fine mesh and they have survive since yesterday but others had disappear now.  Have loads under bottles and I do not dare taking them off until I have got rid of the rats. 
And I already know they will go under the mesh because I lost a lot of rye which I had sown as green manure, and actually saw the rats crawling about under the  netting.

ancellsfarmer

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Re: Broadies under attack from rats
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2020, 21:20:12 »
 
Difficult to dispose of poisoned rats.   

If poisoned then:
Either dig a hole minimum 12" deep in an unused area (lift turf, bury, re-turf) or place in black sack in the wheelie bin.Preferably double bag and tie outer bag with string.Trapped corpses can be buried under compost at a depth foxes will not go to. 2ft. To co-exist with rat infestation risks Weils disease .Google this if in any doubt.
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Digeroo

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Re: Broadies under attack from rats
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2020, 12:17:23 »
Know about Weils disease. I used to work for a company who cleaned drains.  But thanks for reminding me.
I only accepted photocopies of their time sheets!!
HMRC told me I should have the originals and I refused.
Now I will not feel so bad poisoning them.
I think the problem is people bringing their food waste and putting it in compost bins.  There is a reason it is illegal.
I am not sure the council will be  best pleased if they do in the wheelie bin.  We are not allowed any food in the bins.  If they smell anything they will not take the bin.

ancellsfarmer

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Re: Broadies under attack from rats
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2020, 14:28:25 »
Could be an interesting case with a refused (sic) wheelie. One of the few statutory reasons for a local authority to exist is for the regular and lawful removal of household 'soil'.
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Digeroo

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Re: Broadies under attack from rats
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2020, 21:21:33 »
Maybe they can go in the food waste bin.  I might ring them up and ask them what to do with a dead poisoned rat?  I think I would be better to bury it.  Maybe leave it out for a red kite.  One fewer of those would be a huge bonus.   
We have a kestral again so I want to make sure it stays.  Though I have not seen a vole for a while.  Perhaps they decamp if there are rats about.   It has been several years since the last kestral sat hunting on the bean poles.   It used to be such a thrill to watch them. 

JanG

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Re: Broadies under attack from rats
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2020, 23:20:09 »
I haven't noticed a decrease in small rodents when I've had numbers of rats around as well. ☹️☹️

Digeroo

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Re: Broadies under attack from rats
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2020, 11:51:24 »
Things are getting worse!!
The wretched beast have now discovered how to dig below the plastic bottles and eat the beans.  So they are getting up ended.
The rows of directly sown green manure beans have simply been eaten too.  There are regular hole where they have dug.
The poison stations have arrived from Ebay and the poison bought from Screwfix.  I really do not like doing this but otherwise I will not be able to grow much at all if they are just going to eat the seeds.  And I do not want Weils disease.  I know someone who got it and he was ill for quite a while.
I have also learned that Bay Leaves can kill them or deter them so some of those will be off the the plot today.  I have a large plant in my front garden.   
And the next lot of beans are soaking in Paraffin.  I got it from the Chemist, but it is actually rather thicker than I was expecting.

Vinlander

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Re: Broadies under attack from rats
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2020, 20:49:01 »
I can't remember what viscosity you should expect from paraffin (except that it's thicker in winter), mainly because although it foxed them for a couple of seasons I had to stop using it decades ago when the vermin realised that following the paraffin smell would make it easier to find a meal - and in winter they were obviously too hungry to be bothered about the taste...

I got another couple of years by using white spirit, but even that got found out, so I've had to rely on mesh barriers. The key thing seems to be just keeping them from getting close enough to smell the individual seeds - or alternatively making it impossible to dig by laying mesh directly on the soil can also work - as long as the shoots can get out through the mesh and only appear when other food sources have already started. In the SE it's possible to sow in December to take advantage of this.

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

gray1720

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Re: Broadies under attack from rats
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2020, 08:22:59 »
Having made the mistake of taking a lug from a bottle being handed round round at a Young Farmers' party, that turned out to have been used to light the barbie, I can tell you that you will at least have the satisfaction of knowing that your rats will be able to sh*t through the eye of a needle when they've finished your paraffin-soaked beans!

My garden is smaller than your Rome, but my pilum is harder than your sternum!

Digeroo

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Re: Broadies under attack from rats
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2020, 19:48:47 »
Much against my better judgement I tried poison.  That appears to be expensive rat food.  I think hitting it over the head with the plastic container might be more effective.   They seems to be totally unaffected by the poison. Saw one of the rats a couple of days ago and it looked very fit and well.  I have taken to banging the compost bins that seems to disturb them.   But I am still loosing beans.   
We have a hawk of some kind and that seems to be catching quite a few. 
I have some micromesh and I found them underneath, but I now have some very fine light weight stuff and they do not seem to like that I think they get caught up in it, so avoid it, so I might get some more in. 
I have been told that dogs have clear them out.  When I was a child my Aunt had a farm and a cocker spaniel called Markie.  And he was brilliant at finding rats.
I am planning how to keep them off sweet corn.  I put plastic bottles over them and will  not have to sellotape the bottom of the bottles back on.  My OH says he can drill a hole in the bottom for the stalk. 



                                                                   

ancellsfarmer

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Re: Broadies under attack from rats
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2020, 17:11:33 »
Much against my better judgement I tried poison.  That appears to be expensive rat food.  I think hitting it over the head with the plastic container might be more effective.   They seems to be totally unaffected by the poison. Saw one of the rats a couple of days ago and it looked very fit and well.  I have taken to banging the compost bins that seems to disturb them.   But I am still loosing beans.   
We have a hawk of some kind and that seems to be catching quite a few. 
I have some micromesh and I found them underneath, but I now have some very fine light weight stuff and they do not seem to like that I think they get caught up in it, so avoid it, so I might get some more in. 
I have been told that dogs have clear them out.  When I was a child my Aunt had a farm and a cocker spaniel called Markie.  And he was brilliant at finding rats.
I am planning how to keep them off sweet corn.  I put plastic bottles over them and will  not have to sellotape the bottom of the bottles back on.  My OH says he can drill a hole in the bottom for the stalk. 



                                                                   
If it possible that your rats can get peanuts, from a neighbours bird feeder for example, they will thrive! Peanuts contain vitamin K , the antidote to many domestic rat baits. A thus mixed diet will give them pelts like doormats!
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Paulines7

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Re: Broadies under attack from rats
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2020, 01:07:39 »
Wood mice were eating a lot of my seedlings in my greenhouse and they particularly liked my beans which I start off in modules.  I bought two humane traps online and they were very successful, so I bought two more.  I use the very cheap cheese spread that sells for about 40p a tub for bait and they love it.  I used to take the mice down the end of the paddock to let them go but I was told that they could find their way home easily and that I was probably catching the same ones all over again.  I was going out most days so I ended up taking them in my car and releasing them somewhere in a woodlands near a river, about 6 miles away from home.   I love wood mice now I have seen them close up.  They are very sweet and have such appealing little faces. 

I now have a lot of rats and they are in my compost heap, but it's situated a long way from the house.  I saw 6 up there last week. I never put food on it as I have three large green compost bins that are rat proof.  However, one of my cats had killed and brought indoors 3 young rats last week and on the fourth day he brought in a live one! He let it go and it ran under the settee.  My two cats sat and waited but it didn't show itself.  A few hours later I noticed that one of the cats had located the rat behind behind the curtains.  I picked up one of the traps that I had set earlier and went over to the curtains and as the cat went round one end, the rat ran into my trap.   I didn't have the heart to kill it though as it was very young so I released it away from the house.

I don't use poison as it can be fatal to mammals and birds that feed on any rodents.  When the cats bring in their dead prey, I double wrap it in sealed bags and put it in the general rubbish.  If it has no injury, I will catch it and let it go, but if it's injured I do have to put it out of its misery.   

 

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