Rats in Garden

Keep rats out of your urban garden

Rats and mice can be a problem in city gardens, a clean garden, free of trash and weeds is the best way to keep rodents out of your garden.

You don’t want to let rats hang out in your garden because they carry diseases and enjoy spending time in garbage and sewage, don’t let your garden be contaminated!

rat urban garden

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How do I keep rats out of my garden?

Keep fat and protein out of the garden.  Rats will travel to dine on fatty protein rich foods

Clear piles of brush. Rodents look for protected places for their burrows or homes

Rat proof your compost because a compost pile can get hot and rats love the heat

Keep the garden clean because where there is garbage there could be rats

Let a cat prowl the garden because it will keep the rats away- Warning cats in gardens may also kill friendly wildlife including birds and butterfly’s

Avoid Boston Ivy and similar think woody matting plants that could create a home for rodents

How do I know if I have rats?

See them: Rats and mice tend to come out at night, if you see one, there are very likely more

See Droppings: Rat dropping are about the size of a raisin, mouse dropping are about the size of a grain of rice

Find Burrow: Rat burrows are often indicated by a hole in the ground between the size of an avocado pit and a tennis ball, mouse burrows can be as small as marble

Noise: if you hear excessive rustling and gnawing at night it may be a rodent

Be sure: put flour along a wall in the suspected area in the evening, see if there are any tracks in the morning

How do I get rid of rats?

Take away their food

Get all garbage out of the garden, any trash cans should be tightly covered

Make sure there isn’t pet food in your garden

Rat proof you compost bin learn more

Use a birdfeeder that is “squirrel proof”

Take away their home

Remove and piles of wood, debris, garbage, loosely stored toys or tools

Remove all weeds

Pack burrow entrances with soil

Use traps

Bait traps with high protein food like meat or peanut butter, place along walls, poor eyesight leads rodents to stick to walls when moving about.

Humane traps are very effective; however, disposing of rodents remains an issue. Once caught rodents can be taken to a vacant lot on the outskirts of your city, this may be a problem as you are transferring the problem and someone may be eyeing that lot for an urban garden. Releasing rats in the forest or a field also can disrupt the ecosystem

Sticky traps are effective but give the rats a torturous death of starvation, struggle and grievous imagery

Snap traps work well and should be placed along the edges of a wall

Warning: Poison is not advised. If you use poison bait rodents will return to their burrow before dying leaving you with a rotten poisonous rodent somewhere under your garden. Poison is also a risk to pets, kids, and you.  If you do use poison place it in a humane trap so it is contained and you have the rodent

Get a professional exterminator. A quick Google Search will help you find someone reputable and effective. New technology allows exterminators to be relatively environmentally friendly.

Get the neighbors involved:  A block rodent proofing party can nip a persistent problem. Rodents tend to stay within 100 ft of their home, but families grow and expand quickly. Getting neighbors involved can also work wonders building stronger community and better gardens, street tree beds are another great block or neighborhood activity

Rodent proof your compost bin

Learn how to rodent proof your compost