Dog drinking from puddle

Leptospirosis in dogs – what you need to know

One of the most important reasons to control rats is the danger of leptospirosis. Also called Weil’s disease, leptospirosis is caused by bacteria spread via the urine of infected animals — usually rats. 
It is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be spread to humans, as well as dogs,…

How to use an airgun for rat control

How to use an airgun for rat control

Where to find rats If you have permission to shoot on a farmyard or on ground that’s managed for pheasant shooting, the chances are there will be rats. Rats are smart and will search out easy feeding opportunities and it doesn’t take them long to find them. Sniffing out animal…

shooting rats

Shooting rats in broad daylight

The vast majority of my winter rat shooting is done during the hours of darkness. My usual routine is to arrive an hour or so before dusk so I can set up in time to catch the early action and shoot on into the night until activity tails off. Going…

airgun pest control

Effective pest control with an airgun

What do you do when grey squirrels, rats and corvids are robbing nests of eggs? You get out the airgun - and you lay in wait, as Mat Manning explains

Ratting with terriers

What better way to clear a farm of rats?

The first rats came fizzing 
out before anyone was ready. Even Jay, the very model of lurcher sharpness, 
was taken by surprise as the rodents fled their burrows and made for safety. The terriers, tied to a gate post outside, burst into a frantic chorus of yelps and whines as…

Learn how to zero your own rifle

This is the start of the ratting season for airgunners

Most farming units harbour 
a few resident rats throughout the year — especially if pigs or poultry are present — but numbers usually increase as autumn arrives. Many of these incoming rodents will have spent the warmer months in open countryside, foraging a relatively natural diet. But things start to…

Sealyham terrier

Ratting with a Sealyham Terrier

The phone rang, “Hello Nick, it’s Harry Parsons, what you doing next Tuesday?” A quick check of the diary and it looked all clear. “Fancy coming out for a day’s ratting?” As much as I hate rats, especially their scaly tails, I do enjoy a day’s ratting with the Working…

Ratting terrier

Ratting with terriers

I’ve been to a meet or two 
in my time: beagle packs on village greens; minkhounds 
on crumbling stone bridges that look as old as the river which winds beneath them; and foxhounds in the courtyards of austere country houses. But this was a little different. Bleary eyed, smelly, and…

Terrier types

Terrier Types

  Hardwired earth dogs Patterdale/Fell Lakeland   Dual-purpose Bedlington Jack Russell Border Ratters Yorkshire Norfolk and Norwich Manchester English Toy Scottish West Highland White Cairn Skye Popular in Europe Fox (rough and smooth) Jagterrier   Vermin dogs Kerry Blue Soft-coated Wheaten Irish Welsh Sealyham Airedale Lucas Sporting Lucas  

Jumping terrier

Are terriers born anarchists?

Terriers bring a smile to our faces, whether the smug condescension of the handler of well-trained gundogs or the rictus of embarrassment that comes from having thought your dog’s behaviour could not get any worse before you discover that it just has. Quite a few owners of well-trained gun dogs have a terrier tucked away somewhere, usually dismissed laughingly as…

rodenticide

New law on using rodenticide

Farmers, gamekeepers and pest controllers are reminded that from Saturday, 1 October, they will not be able to buy professional rodenticide packs for use outdoors without first showing an approved certificate of competence or proof of membership of an approved farm assurance scheme. Dr Alan Buckle, chairman of the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use, said that the way…

gundog breeds

Vaccinating gundogs

One of the great things about owning healthy, fit dogs is that visits to the vet are rare. In the past six years I’ve been lucky enough to have only had to make annual visits to the surgery for what I call the spaniels’ MOT. A result of this is that my younger spaniel, Rowan, really…

Tunnel traps

How to use tunnel traps for pest control

Using tunnel traps to control small predators such as stoats, weasels and rats is time-consuming, but is nevertheless important for those of us who want to try and nurture some wild stock. Foxes and crows might be at the top of the list but, once their numbers are under control, it…

Harper Classic

Harper Classic .25 HW90

Steve Harper is one of the old-school airgun makers in Britain. Famed for his innovative Harper classic guns, his fortes were his precision-made air canes and air cartridge firearms and pistols, many bearing his electronic triggers. Based in his Buckinghamshire workshop, Steve now spreads his time between classic one- offs…

shooting outbuildings

The advantages of reduced-load .22 rimfire ammunition

With cattle in the barns and grain stored over the winter months, it seems an endless task to keep hungry vermin species at bay. As soon as I have to battle against colder and wetter weather, most of my vermin control heads indoors — in and around the barns and outbuildings now…

Rabbit clay shooting

Tips for shooting vermin

Here we look at how a variety of vermin species can be simulated with clay targets. All you've got to do is practice hitting them!

What’s the best cartridge for pest control?

What I’m going to do here is highlight the various cartridges available and their usefulness in pest control. It’s impossible to choose a calibre for all the different species of pests – a rabbit and a poult-pinching fox cannot be compared. While many cartridges come close to covering all bases,…

man with air rifle

Five popular air rifles for under £500

  1. Logun Solo A wallet-friendly price at £299, this single-shot PCP air rifle is built to withstand regular use. It looks good but combines looks with a workmanlike approach. Definitely one to consider. 2. Webley Osprey This gun stands out from the reset of the airguns produced by this manufacturer.…

pre-charged air rifle

Charge of the air brigade

For discreet but deadly despatch of small pests you can’t beat pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air rifles. Almost silent and astonishingly accurate, these have become the favoured tool of many rural and urban pest controllers. I keep one beside my office window. Complete with scope and moderator. It has done sterling work…