Feed the birds - not the rats

A POTENTIAL rat infestation could be caused by people leaving food out for birds during the cold winter months, it has been warned.Babergh district council is warning people in the area that it is not only the birds who like the titbits left out and complaints about rats are on the rise.

A POTENTIAL rat infestation could be caused by people leaving food out for birds during the cold winter months, it has been warned.

Babergh district council is warning people in the area that it is not only the birds who like the titbits left out and complaints about rats are on the rise.

According to the council's environmental health officers the cunning creatures have taken to relocating in parts where food is in abundance because their food sources have also diminished.

But officers are keen to stress that the message is not that people should stop feeding birds altogether but take a few precautions to stop encouraging rats to the area.


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Sue Herne, one of Babergh's senior environmental health officers, said:

"The number of complaints regarding rats in peoples gardens are on the increase once again.

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A tasty bird table, seed on the ground, fat balls, fruit and seed cakes are just as acceptable to rats as they are to garden birds."

Babergh's Top Five Tips for Feeding the birds but not the rats:

1)  Put out small amounts of food on bird tables but remove anything that's still uneaten before dusk

2) If using feeders,  just have one or two in an accessible place and remove at dusk - remember rats will climb trees to get to hanging feeders

3) Try to remove any sources of water that may be standing around and again do not leave after dusk

4) Keep your food in rodent proof containers with lids securely attached

5) Ensure any areas that you use to fill feeders are kept tidy and any spillages are cleared up straightaway

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