UK Gardeners Advised To Move Furniture Now For 1 Grim Reason

I'm taking notes.
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Ah, autumn ― now that the weather has begun to take a turn for the chilly, it’s hard to ignore the fact that barren winter is coming.

You know who hasn’t taken the “winding down” memo, though? Rats.

“Where there is food and the temperature is not too cold will lead to rats breeding. So the rat population will peak in the Autumn,” warns PEST UK.

We’ve written before about the subtle signs rats have made their home in your lawn (watch out for holes in your grass, teeth marks on veg, and even piles of empty snail shells). But what if you’ve already got a case?

Well, it might not rid your garden of a thorough infestation, but it turns out that simply moving your furniture could help to keep a full-on invasion at bay (yes, really).

Rats are creatures of habit

The RSPCA says that rats and mice are “neophobic,” or have a fear of new things (relatable).

That means that they really like their routine, and often have what the RSPCA call ‘static habitats’ (homes that aren’t liable to change or moving around).

So, if you suspect a rat or two, “you should move garden furniture and
other objects around your garden; new obstacles will confuse
and alarm rodents,” the RSPCA says.

Gardener’s World agrees, saying that placing obstacles in rats’ usual course and even placing items in their runs can help to banish them.

Of course, this isn’t the only way to get rid of rats

Though confusing rats can help to deter them from your garden, it’s far from the only way to keep the furry visitors in check.

First of all, removing excess bird feed before it builds up can deter them, says the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). And the same goes for pet food.

“Plant repellents, such as wood hyacinth, allium, and daffodils, are known to help keep rodents at bay,” the RSPCA says. And tidying up your lawn can give rats fewer places to hide, too.

Speaking of which ― rats love clutter, which is filled with hidey-holes and warmth. Consider a garden-wide clear out before taking more extreme methods.

But if nothing else works, you might want to reach out to your local council to see if they offer rat control (many do). If you want to catch them yourself, try break-back rat traps, the RHS says.

In the meantime, though, I’m off to move my deck chairs...