seen in my garden. About 3-4 inches long.
No interactions present.
This is a very wet looking baby rat.
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Thanks Graham. There were two of them in our garden. What should we do about them?
It is up to you Ian, if you are OK with them being there they'll probably move on when the weather gets better. However, if you want rid then you need to contact your local council's pest control dept. Depending on your council the service will be free or there may be a small charge. You could try setting your own poison but I don't recommend it as it would probably prove more expensive than calling in the local council and you need to set the poison right to ensure other wildlife, dogs and cats can not get at it. The only other legal way of killing rats is to shoot them.
If you do decide to ignore them then make sure they do not have access to any cooked food; always close the lid on your bin, do not put cooked food on a compost heap for a while, don't put any on bird tables etc. Rats quickly get bored if the only available food in a garden is bird seed and they'll leave. If they have access to regular supplies of tasty cooked food they'll hang around and probably breed, then you are in trouble and will have to call in the exterminators.
I had a cheeky house mouse appear in my living room a few nights ago (no photo so didn't post on iSpot) when the temperature dropped outside. Having received visitations from mice when I was away for 2 weeks many years ago (they chomped a hole in the bottom of a bag of bird food and no doubt stuffed themselves for most of the time I was away), I now just make sure that all food - human, dog or bird - is in cupboards or containers the mice can't get into, and they never hang around for long. One might reappear on a quick foray if the weather gets really cold but if there's nothing to eat they won't stay, so if ratties aren't that keen on bird seed Graham's advice should do the trick.
OU Certificate in Contemporary Science
I think the cold flushed them out into daylight but have suspected they come in at night and mop up some ground bird seed and the odd fat ball. I will control what is left in the open, but there has been a history of rats in our back gardens, even in the neighbours kitchen in the past. House built on old woodland.
I suppose the real concern is the health hazard... neighbours have young children so will pass info on to them.
Lat/Lng: 53.6684, -2.6279
OS grid ref: SD586192