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How to Get Rid of Rats in the Vegetable Garden

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.

Rid Of Rats?

Few pests create such feelings of aversion and disgust as common rats infiltrating a home or yard. Perhaps this dates back to the reputation of rats (Murinae Rattus) as the carrier of bubonic plague and other diseases—although actually, it was the fleas on the rats that actually carried plague. In reality, rats are a habitual problem in some climates. The only really effective way to control rats is to block their access to food and trap or poison the ones that continue to hang around. If you have a rat infestation, it's because three conditions have been fulfilled. Second, once inside your home, they have found sources of food and water. The first step requires a thorough cleaning of your kitchen and pantry. Store all food items safely in the refrigerator or in closed containers. Look for wall cavities or corners where loose materials are offering rats a place to nest and clean out any existing nests or loose debris you find. The final step is a little more difficult. When you seal your house, a number of rats will probably still be inside, and they will continue to search for food until you remove them—either through trapping or poisoning. One of the problems with poisons is that they take time to work, so the rats may die in the walls or some other inaccessible place. For this reason, you may prefer to use traps. They work by interfering with blood clotting, causing rats to bleed to death. This too must be in a sealed bait station. Neighboring animals may find it. Follow the instructions carefully, changing the bait station as directed. Kill traps generally us a snap design. The design of snap traps has evolved over the years, and modern versions are easier and safer to use than the traditional wire and wood ones. It's a humanitarian alternative to a snap trap only if you check it regularly and don't allow the rodent to die of thirst and starvation. An unpopulated, wooded area a mile or more from your house is ideal. If you don't have any success, it may be time to rely on the experience and know-how of a professional pest exterminator.

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