Whether you cook in a home kitchen or run a vegan cafe, restaurant or hotel, you may encounter rats! The saying that ”you’re never more than 6ft away from a rat in London’ is not true – more like 164ft according to experts.
- The best way to prevent rats moving in is to keep all food and rubbish sealed. Weir Bags offer quality recycling sacks which are more rodent-proof than black sacks. These are reusable – emptied into trucks, then left outside your door to fill up again.
- Don’t put cooked/leftover animal foods in compost bins, it attracts rodents. Some people say to wash eggshells beforehand in biodegradable washing up liquid, to remove the smell. Rodents are shy, so compost bins near footfall helps. Plant-based fertilisers are less likely to attract rodents.
- Keep gardens free of leftover food (see how to help our garden birds on why leaving out lots of stale bread and fat for birds is not good). Find tips on what to feed (mostly natural food) and how to gradually reduce excessive food, without harm.
- MouseMesh is a metal grille to deter mice (there’s a thicker version for rats). Keep it clean from leaves and don’t cover gas vents. Repair damage that could provide entryways (roofs, broken pipes etc). Keep cat flaps closed and toilet seats down!
Rats and Sewers!
How much do you know about sewers? If you’re an environmentalist, you may be interested in learning more about the underground we never see. When millions of people flush condoms, tampons, wet wipes, cotton buds and more down the toilet, it all washes into the sewers and sometimes reaches the sea, where marine life consume it. Just like shoving old people into nursing homes and pretending that sickness and death does not exist – we need to look at sewers, and why they are in such a state.
Recently in London, the affectionately named ‘Fatty McFatberg‘ (above) became the largest ever pile of goo mess the sewers had ever had to cope with. It took colossal effort to break it down, it could have flooded the city. When broken up, it was found to be made up of all the things you should not flush down the loo.
Sewers were only invented after an outbreak of cholera in London (Parliament was so smelly, it often had to close). Before that, all sewage would be dropped into the River Thames. But most sewers were designed for a much smaller population and can’t cope with people flushing away thick toilet paper, tampons and sanitary towels, condoms and goodness knows what else.
- Don’t flush anything down the loo but toilet paper, and make sure it’s quality recycled brands, not thick luxury ones. Use a bath guard or shower guard to stop hair clogs, and use natural biodegradable cleaning products.
- Hedgehogs and other creatures can fall down open drains, so use proper covers. Tiggywinkles says the only way to rescue hogs is to use two pairs of pliers to gently pull them out (take to your local wildlife rescue, to check for burns/injuries).