They say you are never more than three feet away from a rat - and that’s on a good day.
As we head into autumn the number of rodents in and around our gardens increases dramatically.
Green fingered Wiganers have been given advice on how to keep rats out of their garden during the colder months.
Estimates suggest there are over 10.5 million rats in the UK, that’s around one rat to every six people.
A spokesperson for GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk said: “Most gardeners view rats as pests so we’ve picked out some safe and humane ways to deter them.
“Some are obvious, like keeping everything tidy and making sure there is no food for them to eat or water to drink.
“Blocking gaps and keeping your compost bin lid closed are other top tips that will discourage the rodents from entering your garden.”
1. Keep your garden clean and tidy
Sounds obvious, but if your garden is clean and tidy then there’s less places for rats to set up home and hide. Pick up any fallen fruit, clear away clippings and keep hedges trimmed back.
2. Remove food and water sources
Rats are always on the lookout for food and water. Keep your bins shut and don’t leave loose bin bags beside them.
Make sure outside taps are drip free and if you have pets, do not leave their food and water bowls outside overnight.
3. Stop feeding wildlife
Rats will sniff out any seeds from bird feeders and will climb up them to retrieve the treats. If you’ve got rats in the garden, stop feeding other wildlife and store seed in secure containers.
4. Peppermint Oil
Rats hate peppermint oil. Add some peppermint oil to cotton wools or scrunched up fabric and dot them around the garden.
When the smell starts to fade, do it all over again.
5. Block gaps
To stop rats them getting into your home, seal any cracks or gaps in the external walls.
6. Newly planted garden
If you’re just starting out on your garden, protect new bulbs and plants by planting a layer of net just under the soil. Rats do set up home in your compost don’t use it on your fruit and veg.
7. Move things around
Rats don’t like it when new things are placed in their territory. Try moving pots and any furniture around the garden to place obstacles in their way.
8. Block off decking
Underneath your decking makes a great rat home. It’s sheltered, hard to reach and food can fall beneath the planks.
Sweep up after eating outdoors and block any access points.
9. Protect your compost bin
Keep the lid on your compost bin and put chicken wire underneath to stop rats getting in. Don’t add any food scraps and do continue to turn regularly.