10 Tips to Keep Rats Out of Bin Stores


Rats need water, shelter and food to survive. The chances are, your bin store provides at least two of these needs. It’s also a place where rats won’t often be disturbed. Making your bin store a rat’s paradise.

The old saying goes, you’re never more than 6 feet away from a rat. But, according to the BBC, a more realistic distance is 164 feet. Rats have an extremely strong sense of smell. So if you’ve created a habitat which will suit them, chances are they’ll find it. Add in the fact a rat can get through a gap the width of a pencil, and they can soon become an issue. 

In this article, we look at the problems which come with a rat infestation. How to tell if you’ve got rats and 10 tips for keeping rats out of your bin stores.

How to tell if you have rats

Unless you disturb them it’s unlikely you’ll come across rats during the day. Rats are nocturnal and will usually be active during the night.

Here’s a list of ways to tell if you have rats:

1. Finding partially nibbled food.

2. Holes in packaging and other materials.

3. Small droppings.

4. Nests.

5. Tracks and markings.

6. Smells.

Rats will always seek out warmth and food. They’ll chew through packaging to get to food and into other areas to build nests. And droppings are a sure-fire way to know when you have rats. If droppings are dry, they’re old. But if they are soft and moist, they are fresh.

Look out for holes. And markings along the bottoms of walls can be caused by rats brushing up against them. If you can smell a musky odour, then you likely have a large infestation.

Can rats make you sick?

Rats carry a bacterial disease called Leptospirosis. This develops into Weil’s disease and can be fatal. It is carried in the rat’s blood, tissue and urine. Most likely passed on through contaminated surfaces.

The first signs of Leptospirosis can be a high fever, headaches, chills, vomiting and more. This can develop into kidney and liver failure as well as meningitis. Which is why you must deal with rat infestations as soon as possible.

You can find a pest controller in York by heading to British Pest Control Association. Then entering your postcode.

Can rats cause structural damage?

Rats can cause serious structural damage to buildings. They burrow and tunnel in and around drains, under rocks, concrete and paving slabs. Creating pathways to food and escape holes from predators.

A rat’s teeth grow constantly. To keep this under control they will gnaw on their surroundings. Rats chew on electrical cables, pipes, wiring and anything else they can get their teeth into. This can lead to a whole host of issues, from flooding to electrical fires.


10 Tips to keep rats out of your bins

1. Ensure bin lids are secure
Rats can easily squeeze into tight spaces and gnaw their way through the smallest gaps. By securing your bin lids you reduce the risk of rats getting in and improve the chance of them moving on.

2. Replace any broken bins
Broken bins mean easy access for rats. But they also don’t do their job of containing waste and smells properly. Which means broken bins are more likely to attract rats.

3. Think about bin placement
Where you leave your bins can make a difference to the chance of them attracting rats. Avoid moist areas and places where the bins will be near a heat source or in direct sunlight. This will help to reduce decomposition and excessive smells.

4. Bag up your food
Loose food smells, it will stick to the inside of your bin and it attracts rats. Ensure that any food waste is properly contained before putting it in the bin.


5. Clean your bin
Clean smells won’t attract rats. Plus, using disinfectants will help to kill any pathogens left behind by vermin. Always wear gloves when cleaning the inside and outside of your bin. Or, hire a bin cleaning company to do it for you.

6. Keep your own bin
Be sure to retrieve your own bin after collections. Paint on a number or add another unique feature to ensure you get your clean and well-maintained bin back. Not everyone is as meticulous as you. Other bins could be contaminated with food and/or pathogens from vermin.

7. Put your bins out on time
Bringing your bins out into the open is like inviting rats to come and check them out. Keep your bins secured in your bin store until as close to a collection as you can leave them. Bearing in mind rats are nocturnal, avoid putting your bins out the night before a collection.

8. Keep compost bins separate
If you’re an avid gardener then chances are you have a compost heap. But compost heaps can attract all kinds of critters and creepy crawlies. Especially rats! Keep your compost heap as far away from your bin store as possible.

9. Be proactive (But not too much)
Make sure you keep the previous steps in mind to avoid attracting rats. If you get rats then it may be time to use traps and bait boxes. But don’t use them unless you already have an infestation. Ironically, they could attract rats and a bait box is the perfect hiding spot.

10. Keep your bin store clean and tidy
If for any reason your bins are overflowing, you have excess black bags or bulky items taking up space. Then York Recycling can help. Click the link for our rubbish removal service and we will clear your rubbish within 48hours.

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