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
Remove any sources of shelter for rats, including wood piles, old cars or debris.
Clean up after your pet, removing any pet droppings. Keep pet food indoors.
Place tightl -fitting lids on all trash cans.
Dig a trench 6 inches deep around your garden.
Dig holes 6 inches deep and 4 inches wide in the ground for your posts. Place the posts firmly in the ground.
Insert chicken wire into the trench to surround your garden. Fill in the dirt firmly around the chicken wire and the posts.
Staple the chicken wire to the posts with a staple gun.
Place two or more traps in your garden where you notice rat droppings.
Don't set the traps, but put bait inside the trap and around the outside perimeter.
Leave the traps unset for two or three days so the rats become conditioned to the traps and aren't afraid of them.
Set the traps only after the rats consistently take the bait.
Take the traps to a location at least two miles from your home to release the rats.
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.