'Email the Editor' has received the following letter about rats (name, address and email address withheld)....
I am am writing to you to praise the fantastic service provided by SSDC's Pest Control Service.
I live in Curry Rivel, with my 'other half', in May she saw a large rat in the garden, near the shed, we thought that was 'nice' but probably not unusual (you are never far from a rat they say). A few days later, I was sitting in the garden near the shed and compost bins when a rat came around the corner and 'eyeballed' me, it didn't seem at all put out, unlike myself..... I hate rats.
We then found the bloody remains of rabbits in the compost heap, lovely, it seemed the rats had killed them and dragged them into the compost heap through one of those access flaps at the bottom of the plastic compost bin (has anyone ever successfully used one of those flaps, they just come off and are generally useless).
We then found that the rats had gnawed their way into the shed and had found some loose bird food, there was evidence of nesting and 'droppings'.
After a period of standing on a chair and and freaking out (in a butch, manly fashion), I called the Pest Control Service at SSDC; I left a message for 'David', who amazingly got back to be within the hour, arranged a home visit and appeared promptly on cue. David explained that rats went where there was easy access to food, food scraps such as fruit and potato peelings, a nice quiet area such as a compost heap in the corner to nest. For a small, reasonable fee he laid poison traps, explained what steps we should take and returned once a week to check traps until our 'rat' problem was resolved.
What a great service.
We now are careful about how we store bird food and have resited our compost bins to a busier part of the garden, I have also taken to banging about around the the compost bin area.
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St Andrew's Church
URC Church, Wiltown, TA10 0JF