Field mice and rats can be common garden pests and more tricky to keep out your garden than other types of animals. Common rats that will get into vegetable gardens include the Norway rat, pack rat and roof rat. Rats will feed off any fallen fruits, waste and ripe or spoiled vegetables in your garden. It's important to keep your garden and yard maintained and to harvest your vegetables as soon as they are ripe to prevent rats from being attracted to the area.
Remove food sources near your garden, such as spoiled crops or spilled bird food. Make sure any bird feed is above the ground and not too close to the garden.
Get rid of any possible areas that the rats could use for shelter. Remove any stack of wood or tall patches of weeds.
Insert a tall chicken wire fence around your garden. Make sure that it is at least 5 inches deep in the soil. Also, make sure that the chicken wire has fairly small holes in it.
Purchase mice or rat traps if the problem continues. You can find several types of traps at your home and garden store, including glue boards or snap traps.
Place the trap or traps at least 10 inches from the fencing of your garden. Add a food source for bait, such as peanut butter, bacon or hot dogs. Leave the traps overnight and remove any dead rats in morning.
Contact your local animal and pest control if many rats continue to get into your vegetable garden. A professional will be able to find out where the rats are coming from and how to prevent them from returning.