Guidelines to discourage rats at allotment sites

Table of Contents

Discouraging rats at an allotment site is everybody’s responsibility. Please follow this advice to help prevent them making your plot their home:

  1. Turn the contents of your compost bin regularly (at least twice per year). This disturbs any rats that have taken up residence.
  2. Plastic compost bins should be given a small gauge wire mesh lining at the base or can be placed on paving slabs to prevent rats from burrowing in underneath.
  3. Regularly check your compost bin to ensure it is not a peaceful place for rats to sleep.
  4. Do not use your compost bin to dispose of household waste. Never put meat, dairy, bones, cooked foods or other inappropriate items in your compost bin. This will attract rats and make your bin smell.
  5. Harvest ripe fruit and vegetables promptly and take them home to enjoy (they are a food source for rats).
  6. Do not leave discarded fruit and vegetables on the ground, as these are a source of food for rats and other pests. 
  7. Keep your plot tidy and ensure that allotment gardens do not become overgrown or allow rubbish to build up e.g. timber, old carpet, stockpiled materials etc. Built up rubbish etc. provides cover for rats to live under (harbourage). 
  8. Fruit and vegetables with signs of rat damage should be destroyed. Rats carry risk of Weil’s disease, Salmonella and Leptospirosis among other things and they urinate wherever they go. 
  9. Sheds must be made rat-proof i.e. holes should be blocked and regular checks should be made to ensure that rats are not living underneath sheds or taking up residence in your greenhouse.
  10. Consider storing seeds, bulbs etc. in rodent proof containers.

Maintaining a compost heap in good condition is the responsibility of the tenant and not to do so may put the tenant in breach of the tenancy agreement and this could ultimately lead to termination of the tenancy agreement. 

If having followed these guidelines, you become aware that there is still a rat problem on your plot, please contact who will arrange for a site visit to be carried out to assess the problem and determine an appropriate course of action.