Serving the Farming Industry across the Midlands for 35 Years
Farmers and grain store managers are being reminded to prioritise pest prevention with a few handy tips on rodent control.

Farmers and grain store managers are being reminded to prioritise pest prevention with a few handy tips on rodent control.

The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) is advising farmers to implement a simple measures to deter rats and mice to seek shelter indoors during colder weather. 

Winter often sees rats and mice forced out of their nests – seeking somewhere warm near a source of food and water. Grain stores and other farm buildings provide an ideal environment for rodents.

Taking steps early can avoid a small pest presence spiralling into a major infestation. And BPCA experts reinforce the message that prevention is better than cure. 

“Good yard maintenance is a major factor in deterring rats and mice from moving in. The aim is to remove all the things they need, such as shelter, warmth, food and water,” says BPCA technical manager Natalie Bungay.

“The first step is taking just 10 minutes to stand in your yard and look around with a critical eye. Look for any obvious steps you may have overlookedd that could make your property less hospitable to rodents” 

Contamination can be costly. Rats and mice can carry a number of diseases including listeria and salmonella, adds Ms Bugnay. 

They can also contaminate animal feed, cause distress to livestock and chickens and land farmers with a hefty repair bill. Rapid breeding cycles, which means a nesting pair moving onto your property can quickly become a major infestation. 

“Both rats and mice will gnaw to keep their teeth in good condition, and have been known to gnaw wood, metal, cinderblock, pipes and cables. Structural damage, floods and fires have all been attributed to rodent activity.”

Farmers should call in a pest professional to deal with infestations while protecting non-target species. Specialists have access to a range of products unavailable to the public.

10 Top Tips against rodents

Take 10 – Put aside 10 minutes each day to check yards and outbuildings 

Put a lid on it – Store animal feed of any kind in a securely fastened container.

Bag it and bin it – Bag and bin waste  – don’t leave it piled upnext to the bin

Clean sweep – Clear your yard of any debris, spilled food, hay or straw.

Cats and dogs – Ensure cat and dog food isn’t left laying around.

Hedge your bets – Keep hedgerows, brambles and untended vegetation at bay.

Cap it off – Rats can travel through drains, so cover drains and cap off unused pipes

Put in place – Keep bins away from open drains or below windows

Proof it – Fill any small gaps with a mix of wire wool and quick-drying cement. 

Spot the signs – Look for clusters of faecal pellets near bins or food stores