Two years ago around Christmastime, a rat decided to dig a tunnel into the compost bin. I therefore moved the bin and the rat disappeared. This year, there were again the telltale signs of a rat digging into the bin, so I’ve moved it and hope I can now forget about the bin for a few months. (Moving the bin also means that the rhubarb, which been underneath, now won’t be at risk of being forced. It has, on the other hand, been fed with a thick layer of compost.)
However, there has also been rat activity in the latest hugel bed. It seems that the bokashi solids have been discovered, as I not only found a couple of holes in the bed but a stray banana skin, which had been pulled out from under the soil.
I covered the holes pictured above with bricks, aiming to see if a new hole would appear, which by next morning it had. There was no doubt then that I needed to try to dissuade the rat from using the contents of the bed for meals.
So, I stuffed the holes with straw and covered the bed with cardboard – good to have reduced the stock of that behind the piano. Then I emptied the finishing-off compost bin onto the cardboard.
At the moment, I’ve only covered half the cardboard with a thick layer of compost. The idea is that this might smoother the smell where the rat has been getting in better than a thinner layer over the whole area. I imagine this will do little to prevent further activity but you just never know, do you?