Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Don’t feed the rats warning

RESIDENTS of Wargrave are being warned to remove bird feeders and avoid using poison to stop rat infestations in the village.

A survey was carried out across Wokingham borough last year following complaints that the rodent population was increasing.

The Public Protection Partnership, which runs environmental health services across the borough as well as Bracknell and West Berkshire, spoke to hundreds of residents who reported having problems with rats.

It found that many homeowners had not removed food sources such as bird feeders and others had no control measures in place at all.

Now the partnership has recommended that residents who have an infestation should:

• Reduce areas of waste, woodpiles and overgrown areas which provide homes for the rats.

• Keep compost bins as pest-proof as possible and stand them on top of chicken wire or mesh.

• Remove bird feeders or other food sources.

• Ensure that any other animals such as chickens or rabbits are kept in pest-proof pens with no access for rats.

• Pest-proof property, including ensuring that all climbing plants are at least 1m away from the eaves, capping off any exposed pipes and filling holes in the brickwork.

The council can take action against any landowner found to not be dealing with an infestation.

Councillor Norman Jorgensen, chairman of the partnership, said: “It is clear that not enough households are taking appropriate action when they have rats in their garden or within their property.

“The survey also highlights that a large proportion of households which have tried to treat the problem failed as they did not use the services of a professional pest controller who can use a stronger single feed bait.”

To report an infestation, visit www.wokingham.west

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