The garden is an integral part of an Englishman’s home, providing opportunities for leisure, fresh air and connecting with nature. However, as the gateway to the outside world, it also has the potential to become a dangerous place if not correctly managed. That’s because there are a host of wild, and sometimes very nasty, creatures waiting to feast on the things that we discard. Here are five of the worst offenders:
1. The urban fox – This scarlet scavenger cannot wait to tear your rubbish sacks open in his hungry hunt for food. Left over pizza slices, chicken carcasses, fish fingers, it matters not; for his appetite is insatiable. That also makes him a danger to small pets, such as rabbits and guinea pigs. And don’t think that a flimsy little cage will save them, for once the fox knows your garden is a source of food he’ll keep coming back. The opportunity to dress up in a red frock coat and chase him down the street on horseback is no longer legal, so now it’s a case of the prevention being better than the cure. In defence of the fox, his diet also includes the second in our list of garden nasties: the rodent.
2. The rat/ mouse – The mischievous rat and its smaller, cuter cousin, the mouse, love rubbish, from where they pick up disease causing germs, which can be passed on to household pets. These germs might also infect ourselves, as the rat thinks nothing of urinating on the dining table or other inconvenient places. The fleas that he carries are also a menace, and were once responsible for the deaths of twenty-five million people in a plague known as ‘The Black Death’.
3. The fly – A little irritant that likes to lay its eggs in organic material, such as food scraps and grass cuttings. They feed and grow quickly, and once the eggs hatch, it takes no more than ten days for them to become adult flies, ready to spread a whole host of nasty bacterial
and viral infections.
4. The cockroach – This frightening, flying insect’s natural home is in rubbish and dirt, from where it picks up many disease causing germs, which are then carried on its body. It won’t account for those bacterial and viral infections, either, when it travels from the bin to walk on your kitchen worktop.
5. The cat and the dog – We’re not talking about Felix and Fido here, whom we know are impeccably behaved, but next door’s pets are never quite as obedient as our own. The cat, especially, is an agile creature, capable of sneaking unnoticed over the garden fence and tearing open those refuse sacks with razor sharp claws, whether for food or mischief, it matters not.
So, an untidy garden can be a frightening place, but it is not in our national character to be unnecessarily cruel to living creatures. Traps, chemicals and poisons can put both wildlife and humans at risk, and damage the natural balance of our garden.
‘Then what can we do?’ I hear you ask. The answer is simple. Keep your rubbish securely locked away and purchase a wheelie bin storage unit today.