Experts warn of an infestation of “super rats” that are entering homes this fall after a hot summer.
Professionals say that heat waves and an abundance of food from accumulated garbage and leftover food provided the perfect conditions for mice to feed and reproduce quickly.
Experts say this could lead to an infestation of giant super rats that can grow roughly the size of rabbits.
According to the scientists, mice increase as a result of their remaining energy flowing into their body mass and growth which means they are also multiplying more than ever.
In fact, female rats can give birth to about 72 babies per year, and these babies are ready to raise themselves in a matter of weeks.
As usual food sources dwindle, temperatures will drop, and since there are far fewer burrows for them to seek shelter thanks to drought, these unwanted pests can set their sights on people’s homes and gardens.
“It’s time to protect your garden and home now,” said Chris Bonet, founder of Gardening Express.
“When mice are hungry, they will eat just about anything — even dog feces, so you don’t really want these little bloated mice to be around.
“Some of the necessary measures to take to protect yourself and your home are placing protective odors around your home and removing any litter, debris, and garden debris that has accumulated during the summer.”
Here are the top tips from the experts at Gardening Express that will prevent super mice from invading your garden and home…
1. Check your garden for any food sources
If you have any fruit trees, shrubs or vegetables growing, be sure to harvest as quickly as possible, and make sure to remove any windfall from the ground under an apple tree for example as soon as possible.
Anything you store will need a safe place that is not open for these creatures to invade.
2. Remove any rubbish, debris or garden waste that may have accumulated and are ready for disposal
Don’t be late to shake this one up now, mice are already on their way with families sending out expedition parties to search for their next rung on the property ladder.
3. Bird tables are famous for attracting insects
If you have one and it ends up catching it, you may have to remove it completely so there is no food source.
In the meantime, regularly, daily, if necessary, remove and spill the seeds – late afternoon once the birds have finished feeding will be best.
Also, make sure your bird table is in an open area away from bushes, fences, and walls – mice are expert climbers and will jump from a nearby tree if they can.
4. Make sure there are no areas where mice can easily take shelter
Does your shed or garage door close properly?
Are there loopholes?
Consider installing metal kick tape on doors to prevent them from being bitten and to make sure any holes are filled and covered.
Small mice can squeeze through very small holes.
5. Pet food protection
Many people store bags of pet food in a shed, and indeed anything edible should be stored in a container or bucket with a lid.
Ideally, metal rats, like hungry rats, have a great sense of smell to hunt this down and have been known to chew through plastic containers to get food.
I’ve even seen them nibbling on the lids in buckets of commercial rat poison in the farm store’s shed.
6. Check your drains
Check the integrity of any drain system and that all drains are covered, and replace urgently if necessary.
Also look around the perimeter of your home, checking for any antenna bricks or potential entry weaknesses – take action immediately and make any repairs or replace any grilles you need right away.
7. Cut off access to water
Rats will also need a water source, so if you have a dripping garden faucet, a water butt or a clogged drain, again – sort it now.
8. Protect your compost pile
Did you get a compost pile? Turn it on, don’t put up leftovers, and keep it wet—otherwise rats can see your intimate compost pile as a new 5-star hotel with room service.
It’s also worth considering putting it in chicken wire to make it less porous.
9. Monitor your greenhouse
If you have a cold frame or greenhouse, make sure there are no piles of pots and trays lurking under the benches – these will make the perfect shelter and a fun little maze for rats to hang out in.
10. Use scents
Put protective odors around the perimeter of your barns and your home—rats may not be tempted by strong smells like garlic powder—which can be bought in large online buckets, or white vinegar.
Apply liberally around weak areas.
11. Consider traps and baits
Be prepared and invest in traditional traps and baits in case an invasion hits your garden and property – no worse than having a local plague attacking your prized plants, garden, shed – or worse – and find stores where you need them.
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