How to Get Rid of Rats in the Vegetables

Overview

Rats live throughout the world and thrive in old buildings and warehouses. In addition to eating your garden, they carry numerous diseases, including dysentery, rabies, tapework and Murine typhus, according to the University of Florida's Wildlife Management Division. Worse, if they get into your house, they quickly contaminate food and can even damage your home's structure.

Preventing Rat Infestation

Step 1

Remove any sources of shelter for rats, including wood piles, old cars or debris.

Step 2

Clean up after your pet, removing any pet droppings. Keep pet food indoors.

Step 3

Place tightl -fitting lids on all trash cans.

Discouraging Rats

Step 1

Dig a trench 6 inches deep around your garden.

Step 2

Dig holes 6 inches deep and 4 inches wide in the ground for your posts. Place the posts firmly in the ground.

Step 3

Insert chicken wire into the trench to surround your garden. Fill in the dirt firmly around the chicken wire and the posts.

Step 4

Staple the chicken wire to the posts with a staple gun.

Remove Rats

Step 1

Place two or more traps in your garden where you notice rat droppings.

Step 2

Don't set the traps, but put bait inside the trap and around the outside perimeter.

Step 3

Leave the traps unset for two or three days so the rats become conditioned to the traps and aren't afraid of them.

Step 4

Set the traps only after the rats consistently take the bait.

Step 5

Take the traps to a location at least two miles from your home to release the rats.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always wear leather gloves and a long sleeved shirt when releasing rats to avoid being bitten.

Things You'll Need

  • Rat traps
  • Rat bait (fruit, peanut butter, cheese)
  • Chicken wire with 1 inch or smaller holes (3 feet wide)
  • 4 by 4 posts, cut 3 feet high
  • Stapler gun and staples

References

  • Baltimore City Health Department: Bureau of Vector Control
  • Ohio State University Extension Factsheet: The Eastern Chipmunk in the Home, Yard, and Garden
  • Wildlife Management: Non-Chemical Rodent Control

Who Can Help

  • Sunset: The Perfect Raised Bed
Keywords: rats in garden, removing rats, rat infestation

About this Author

Julie Christensen has been writing for five years. Her work has appeared in "The Friend" and "Western New York Parent" magazines. Her guide for teachers, "Helping Young Children Cope with Grief" will be published this spring. Christensen studied early childhood education at Ricks College and recently returned to school to complete a degree in communications/English.