This summer I lost 95% of my corns, pepinos, melons, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, ginger and other yummy veggies to rats. They chewed through plastic nettings (double layered) and paper bags.
I used traps and cages with baits like fresh vegetables, bacon and meat (raw and cooked), cheese, bread and biscuits. Nothing worked.
I am at a community garden and there is no electricity, so any tech-savvy device that needs plugging in is out of question.
The Garden also practice organic gardening so rat poison is not an option. It is also the fact that owls and frogmouths are in the Garden so I don't want them die of feasting on poisoned rats.
Any suggestion on how I protect my crops from the rats?
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How frustrating for you. One tip from me, make sure you are wearing gloves when handling traps, bait etc. The rats can smell a rat! They are pretty smart.
You might also like to try the mouse and rat attractant that is sold. It is a paste that comes in a tube and the makers claim it is more effective than cheese. It looks a little like peanut butter, which I have also used successfully in the past for catching mice.
Definitely rats, saw their teeth marks and long tails when I walked into the Garden.
Thanks @greygardener for the tips!
I tried peanut butter too but will definitely try again wearing gloves.
This weekend I will go to Bunnings to check out the rat attractant. Anything is worth to try,
Hi @QuailFlock, if they're near your house use traps not baits. With baits they go back to their nest and die, if that's near where you spend time you will have a very unpleasant smell while it decomposes, if you trap them then you can make sure they disposed of properly. I have had a lot of sucess with peanut butter on standard spring loaded rat traps.
I recently found an excellent repeller for mice which is all natural.and may also work on rats..
I also used to have scratchings every night in my walls and they were too loud to be mice so most likely bush rats, which are in my area...
Not a sound since..so I'm guessing the repeller has worked on them as well.!!
It's simply consists of cotton wool balls soaked in Peppermint oil and strung onto a piece of wire so they are all together..
I placed them in front of the doggie door, where the mice were getting in..
For a garden area (providing it wasn't too large) you could soak some sticks or some lengths of thin dowel in the oil and lay them along the garden perimeter..
Thank you. I loathe them. Now I have a cat he loves catching them. I bought $20 electric censors for the rooms. Going to try this.