So along came Samuel Whiskers and grabbed a few mouthfuls. He then was biting a few bits of cooling (?) grass, rubbing his lower jaw along the ground and then ran off.
He returned and tried to sample seeds rather than take a mouthful.
When he had gone again, and much quicker than ever before which gave me hope, I went out and swamped the whole pile of seed with Cayenne Pepper. Wily Samuel returned, sampled, and then turned his back on the pile of seed provided for his delectation to feed on the seed falling out of the bird feeder above. Hmm.
So tomorrow we mix in Cayenne into the feeders.
And in our kitchen cupboards we found some super strength Cayenne. I remember it well and why we kept it I know not. I do remember us saying we would never touch it again as it felt as if your tongue had been stripped.
From the internet.
Don't try black pepper for rat control. Go with cayenne pepper instead or a hot pepper sauce. Other home remedies to control rats include wasabi and peppermint (dried or tea). Animal urine also deters rats.
Sprinkle the dried spice in areas that have a proven rat presence. You can also combine hot sauce with a little oil (so it will stick) and spray this on rat-infested areas. When the rats get a whiff of the pepper, they'll move out. Repeat as often as needed, if the rats move elsewhere in your landscape or if new rats appear.
The Super strength Cayenne will be put onto the fat ball too tomorrow. Hoping no food Rats like means no Rats.
Otherwise.... our gardener has offered me the loan of his gun. Many years ago I discovered I was a crack shot and was horrified when I actually shot a rabbit. ( No-one told me what you had to then do to said rabbit before it enlarged somewhat in the boot of my car over the next few days. But we draw a veil over that memory.)