Pest Control Tips for the Yard
Rats and mice are unwelcome visitors to your yard. They are able to squeeze through extremely small holes and are incredibly stealthy. Opportunistic nomads that will quickly sniff out sources of food and ways to reach them, rodents can be hard to keep at bay. But they must be controlled as they spread disease, contaminate feeds and can consume huge volumes of your food supplies. But rodents are not your only problem! Flies and mosquitoes are also best kept to a minimum and so good husbandry at the yard is essential.
Manure, rubbish and anything else that is decomposing will attract flies. Clean your stalls regularly, keep your manure pile as far from the yard as you can and clear it frequently. Keep waste bins closed and, if possible, sealed. Don’t leave any waste lying around for any reason. Clear up spilled feed every day and tidy away pet food bowls as all spills and leftovers will provide a great meal for rodents.
Standing water will attract mosquitos. In addition, rodents need a source of drinking water so keep standing water to a minimum and prevent water from pooling. Refill troughs and buckets regularly and don’t allow water to collect anywhere. Areas of high footfall on soft surfaces will become depressed and will then collect water and so should be filled in if at all possible. Don’t leave pets’ water bowls lying around at night as even this small amount of water could attract vermin.
Protect Your Feed
Rats and mice will relish tucking into to a good meal of horse feed or grains and so these must be protected as part of your pest control. Store opened feed in sealed, rodent proof containers and keep stores of unopened feed off the ground. Keep feed supplies on pallets if you can’t store them at an elevated level of the barn. Rats not only eat your food, they will also contaminate it with their urine and droppings.
Check your buildings for holes and gaps that rodents can use to gain access. Mice can pass through a gap of just 6mm so it can be hard to identify every possible area of ingress. Plug any holes that you find with concrete or cover them with steel mesh. Protect any areas which rats could chew through with steel mesh and fit strips to cover any gaps under doors.
If rats and other vermin continue to be an issue then you will have to exercise further pest control. The easiest and most natural way to keep rats at bay is with cats or terriers. These enthusiastic hunters will seek out and destroy rodents with amazing efficiency. You can also set traps to capture rodents but if you do this then make sure than you feature a sufficient number of traps covering the entire yard. Poison as pest control should be a last resort and avoided if you have cats and dogs at the stable as they may find the poison palatable.
You will have to keep on top of your cleaning duties, maintain a tidy stable and plan your feed storage carefully. You should remain vigilante and check the fabric of your buildings for areas that have been chewed through. If you are thorough, you should be able to keep pests to a minimum at the yard.