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How to Keep Rats Out of a Vegetable Garden

By Kristi Roddey
Rats are destructive visitors to a vegetable garden.

Few things are more frustrating than spending time and energy growing vegetables in the garden only to discover that rats are munching on them before you can. These sneaky rodents can squeeze into small openings, so fences are largely ineffective. By limiting potential nesting spots and repelling the creatures with unappealing scents, you can keep them away from your crops. Start working to prevent rats early in the planting season. According to the mentors at Garden Help, rats produce several generations in one season. Two rats in the garden can quickly multiply to dozens.

Limit composting material. A thick layer of straw may minimize weeds, but it also provides a nesting spot for rats and other pests.

Plant mint or marigold plants along the garden's border. The scent of these plants repels rats. Moth balls around the garden may also prevent rats from visiting.

Place bacon and peanut butter in traps. Put the traps around the garden and near any potential nesting spots in the yard.


Things You Will Need

  • Rodent traps
  • Peanut butter
  • Bacon
  • Moth balls
  • Mint plants

About the Author


A professional writer and editor, Kristi Roddey began freelancing in 1999. She has worked on books, magazines, websites and computer-based training modules, including South Carolina Educational Television's NatureScene Interactive, "Planted Aquaria," "Xtreme RC Cars" and online courses for Education To Go, Inc. Roddey holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of South Carolina.