Everyone wants to protect their garden as much as possible from the summer heat, but there are other threats your garden may face, too—like rodents. Although rodent infestations are most common during the winter, when rats and mice make their way inside to seek shelter from the cold, these crafty creatures can linger outside your property year-round, potentially wreaking havoc on your yard and garden specifically. Keep reading to learn the best ways to keep rodents out of your garden, and remember that for rodent control and all your other residential pest control needs, you can count on our experts at Hopper Termite & Pest.
The Top 8 Ways to Keep Rodents Away From Your Garden
- Get Rid of Possible Shelters: Rodents like to hide out in tall grass and leaves, so you should trim your lawn as much as possible during the summertime. You also shouldn’t let spent plants pile up near your garden, always bagging them and throwing them away ASAP. It’s a good idea to keep wood piles as well, storing them in a shed or another place away from your house (this is important for preventing termite infestations, too.) And finally, turn your compost weekly, preferably spraying it with a gardening hose.
- Eliminate Possible Food Sources: Rodents will go out of their way to find food anywhere they can, including in the vegetables you have planted in your garden. For this reason, it is important to harvest anything you have planted early, before it can attract rodents (not to mention rabbits.) Another common food source rodents will seek out in gardens is bird feeders. If you have noticed rodent activity on your property, get rid of your bird feeder for at least a few weeks, and make sure your birdseed is properly sealed and safely stored.
- Exterminate Lawn Grubs: A grub is an insect (oftentimes a beetle) that is still in its infancy. These insects can cause a lot of problems for your lawn in their own right, causing patches of your grass to thin. They can also attract rats, mice, and gophers to your garden, as grubs are a fairly common food source for rodents. Consider using milky spores if you have noticed grubs in your garden, or call a pest control professional for treatment.
- Remove Waste Containers: Trash containers and gardens do not mix. Chances are you don’t want an unsightly trash can in your garden anyway, plus rodents often flock to trash cans to find food. In general, it is important to make sure your trash containers are as sealed as much as possible, as rodents love any area that is unsanitary and contains food scraps. You may also want to hose your trash containers down periodically, just to be safe.
- Seal Up Openings: This is a general note for getting rid of rodents, but if you really want to keep them away from your property, you should seal off cracks and holes in your home wherever possible. This may not be feasible everywhere, but you can at least close any holes around your garden that could lead into your house.
- Plant Fences: Mice can compress their body to the size of a penny, while certain rats have been known to fit through holes with the circumference of a quarter. However, you may at least be able to keep gophers and a few other animals away by burying a hardware cloth under your soil to create a fence around your garden.
- Put Down Mesh Tubes: Another solid strategy for keeping rodents away is using mesh tubing. Specifically, you should place plastic mesh tubes around your seedlings to prevent them from being eaten.
- Let Your Cat Do What Comes Naturally: This advice is more for pet owners who happen to have an outdoor cat, but if you do have a cat that’s comfortable being outside, it’s not a bad idea to let them poke around in your garden for rats and mice (assuming they are well trained enough not to tear up your plants.)