If you’re blessed with a green thumb, your local rats and mice will love your garden just as much as you do. They’re stealthy thieves by night, plundering your veggie patch, raiding your compost heap and ravaging your radishes. You’re not alone if you’re wondering to yourself ‘how to stop rodents from eating my garden?’ Here’s WHY rodents LOVE your garden, and five ways you can combat the relentless rodent onslaught. Get rid of your furry freeloaders … for good!
Why rodents LOVE your garden
Knowing how to stop rodents eating your garden all boils down to understanding why they’re there in the first place. Your garden’s a great source of food, water, shelter and protection from natural predators such as owls, foxes, hawks and snakes.
Tick some or all of those boxes and rodents will make a beeline for your garden. They won’t be the only ones though. So, how do you know whether your raiders are rodents or other birds and animals?
Just a case of mistaken identity? Five sure signs you’ve got rodents in your garden
You won’t always hear the scampering of tiny paws or telltale flash of rat tail. There are a few more-subtle signs to watch for that point to the fact you’ve got rodents in your garden. They include:
- • rat and mouse droppings
- • teeth marks in vegetables, bulbs and roots, because rodents need to engage in continuous gnawing behaviour to file down their incisors
- • burrowing and soil disruption
- • disappearing crops
- • rats and mice in your roof space or home.
Rodents have a wide repertoire of survival skills. They’re secretive by nature. By the time you start to see the more obvious signs of rodents, the infestation can be large and well-established, making eradication all the more difficult. If you suspect you’ve got rodents in your garden, you need to act swiftly.
Here are five practical ways how to stop rodents from eating your garden.
1. Reduce easy food sources
Rodents are natural scavengers and eat a wide and varied diet. If you’ve got a veggie patch, compost heap, or chickens, you’re actually attracting rats and mice to your garden. You’re providing an easy source of food and water. Worse still, if you’re attracting rodents to your garden, snakes will follow.
• Compost, rubbish and food waste
Your rubbish and scraps are an easy source of food for rodents in your garden. Invest in a secure compost system that makes access to this food source much harder. If you can’t have a sealed compost unit, try to position your compost heap well away from your home. Don’t forget to collect and compost fallen fruit rather than just leaving it to rot on the ground.
You should also avoid overfilling your garbage bin. Ensure the lid can be closed securely so that your rubbish doesn’t become their rich pickings.
• Build a barrier between rodents and their food sources
Your newly planted seeds, root veggies and delicate buds are also an excellent rodent food source. Raising up garden beds and using barriers to fence them off wherever possible is a great start. It doesn’t have to be a costly exercise. You can use chicken wire or old galvanised iron sheeting to do this. Keep in mind that rodents are excellent climbers, jumpers and burrowers. Your barriers need to be of sufficient height and buried far enough underground (at least 8 cm deep) to foil the most determined of rodents.
2. Don’t become your rodents’ local watering hole
Rodents also seek out a reliable water source. To them, your garden’s a lush oasis. You might inadvertently be supplying the rodents in your garden with easy access to water. It could be a dripping tap or even water pooled in the base of a pot plant saucer. Pooled water attracts rodents, especially when temperatures begin to climb and other water sources aren’t as plentiful. Getting rid of unnecessary pools of water means you’ll avoid stagnation and also reduce the number of places mosquitoes can breed in your garden.
3. Eliminate rodent hiding places
Overgrown grass and weeds allows rodents easy access to and around your garden. They’re less likely to be spotted by predators. They also create urine scent trails to navigate around faster at night when they’re most active. Keeping your garden free of long grass and overgrown vegetation reduces their access points and pathways significantly.
Don’t stop at just mowing the lawn and clearing the weeds. Rats and mice are excellent climbers. Clearing back climbers and overhanging branches from around your home will reduce the likelihood that they’ll find ways into your roof space and your home.
Junk, old cars, wood heaps and other debris in your garden: not only are they unsightly, they’re also a drawcard for rodents looking for shelter from predators. Clearing your garden of these accidental ‘rustic feature pieces’ gets rid of their hiding places … and the snakes that track them there!
Woodpiles are also a great hiding place for rodents. If you must store firewood, stack it up off the ground wherever possible so that it’s not an attractive hiding place for the rodents and snakes.
Don’t forget to explore your options when it comes to natural rodent repellents in your garden. They’re the plants that rodents don’t like: azaleas, mint, chilli and garlic.
4. Explore your other options: DIY rodent traps, baits and poisons
There are endless options on the market when it comes to rodent traps, baits and poisons. You can use mechanical traps baited with peanut butter, but the reality is that you’ll only be able to deal with one rodent at a time. You’ll also put yourself on a treadmill of having to continually re-bait and reset the traps. Worst of all, you’ll be stuck with a disposal dilemma, particularly if you catch a rat or mouse and it’s not immediately dispatched by the trap.
You can also buy throw bags of rodent poison and baits but you’ll also have to regularly check to ensure that they don’t wind up where they can be consumed by pets, children, or wildlife you do want to attract to your garden. The reality of DIY rodent control is you’ll be spending more time and effort dealing with rodents than getting out and actually enjoying your garden. If it’s all getting to be too much, there’s a much easier option: call in the pest control professionals!
5. Know when it’s time to call in the professionals
Even if you’re nonplussed about rodents in your garden, here’s something to keep in mind: rodents in your garden are a sure-fire way to end up with rodents in your home. Now, that’s one thing you’ll want to nip in the bud! Sometimes, you need to call in a professional pest controller to identify the culprits, assess the extent of the problem so you can finally stop wondering ‘how to stop rodents from eating my garden?’
Are rodents having a field day in your garden? Prestige Pest Control can help! We’ll come to assess the extent of your rodent problem and suggest a safe and effective pest control options tailor-made for you. If you want to know how to get rid of rodents in your garden once and for all, call us today on (07) 3856 2196.