Rodents can be a real problem and cause lots of damage. They can be particularly problematic in the tack room, where we keep our most expensive items. No one likes finding their new reins have been chewed. Whilst it not feasible to completely rid the yard of rodents, you can try and manage them and more importantly prevent them damaging things. We have put together a few tips to help you keep your tack room and equipment protected from rodent damage.
- Rats will chew through most materials, however they do not like metal, which is why it is used so frequently to protect thing from rodents. You can look at lining the bottom half of the walls of you tack room walls and door with sheet metal to help prevent rodents chewing their way in from outside.
- Where possible use metal boxes and bins to store things in. You can get feed bins, rug boxes, tack lockers and cupboards all manufactured from metal, that are very good at protecting against rodent damage. If you are using these make sure you keep the lids and doors closed when you are not getting items in/out, to prevent any rodents getting in and then getting shut in, when you close the door.
- Hang everything up. It is much harder for rodents to get things when they are hung up, so keep all your bridles and saddles hung up as high as you can. Remember to make sure that reins, stirrups and girths are not left dangling down. Also look at using saddle covers and bridle bags as another of protection for your equipment.
- If you can get a feral cat for the yard to help manage and deter rodents. If you are planning on leaving the cat locked in the tack room overnight make sure they have a litter tray and a comfy bed soothes do not start sleeping or posing on your equipment. Don’t forget to give them access to fresh water at all times.
- Try and keep feed in a separate place to the tack room. This is not always possible, especially on livery yards where you are given one allocated place for all your kit. If you cannot store your feed separately then keep it in a metal feed bin and make sure you sweep up any split feed immediately so as not to encourage rodents.
- If you are having problems with rodents you may need to invest in some traps. There is a variety of different options available and it will all depend on which ones your are comfortable using. If you are using traps with poison in make sure they are out of the way of people and also be aware of any cats or dogs you have on the yard that may eat a poisoned rodent. Also make sure any spare poison is kept locked away, far away from any feed or hay etc.
- Keep the bins and muck heap as far away from the tack room as possible, rodents are attracted to these.Make sure you sweep up everyday and also empty the bins regularly to avoid leaving food out to attract rodents.
If you are having a lot of problems the best thing to do is contact a pest control company who can come out and give you a detailed and targeted plan to help get the issue under control. If you have any other good ways of rodent proofing your tack room, please share them with us.
The Tidy Tack Rooms Team