How to avoid rats in the garden and greenhouse

Those who have noticed rats in their garden or greenhouse might benefit from having a look at their compost heap, it has been suggested.

Growers who add kitchen waste to their heap might find that this is the reason the vermin have set up home in the surrounding area, BBC Berkshire expert horticulturalist Colin Evans explained.

The gardening authority revealed that a recent caller to his Sunday Gardening Programme had a similar problem and found the reason to be the availability of food scraps.

He added that those who throw leftovers on the pile could be asking for trouble as it is an open invitation for vermin.

"I would go as far as to say that gardeners who put kitchen and household waste onto their compost heaps in a busy neighbourhood could be considered to be anti-social as your neighbours will have your rat problem as well," Mr Evans said.

The expert revealed that growers should also avoid putting weeds and unshredded wood onto the compost pile and suggested that only garden waste is added.

Meanwhile, eco-friendly organisation Greenopolis has advised growers to plan out their garden before planting it.