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8 Effective Tips to Stop Rats from Eating Your Garden

Have tiny rats turned your whole garden upside down? If you have a beautiful garden, you would definitely know the pain of a rat eating up your garden. And just like me, you might have tried thousands of tricks to protect your garden and precious crops from these tiny destructive creatures.

I have struggled a lot with this, and I don’t want you to go through this. Noticing their tunnels, cylindrical droppings, or parallel teeth marks on the crops, if any, in your garden are all indicators that rats have invaded your garden.

In this article, I will share 8 of the secret tips you must know on how to get rid of annoying rats invading your garden. Honestly, I don’t believe in poising them at first; instead, you can try some fool-proof tips I mention here.

Getting rid of these uninvited guests can be a tiresome task, but guys, it is not impossible. Read on if you want to stop your garden from being destroyed by rats.

Top Tips to Stop Rats Eating Your Garden

You can find many tips to get rid of mice from your garden, but not all might be effective. Here I have compiled 8 of the best tips that worked wonders for me, and I am sure they will work for you. Let’s go through them one by one.

Have Your Lawn in the Best Possible Shape

Tips to stop rats

Rats and other rodents are huge fans of debris and dirt. Now you must be thinking, why is it so? The reason is that they get to have a new site to hide. So an untidy garden is most likely to attract many rats compared to a tidy one.

You don’t have to do much; just make sure you regularly keep your lawn clean and in shape. Usually, lengthy grass can hide these rats, so trim your grass short. Do not cut the grass completely; you can maintain a 1/3rd length rule. You can have help from a lawnmower or lawn edger.

Another thing you can do is to remove the grass that has overgrown into the fence or the sidewalks. These can be a hub for the rats and a threat to your garden. You also need to care for the dead leaves or any other debris accumulated with this.

If you have any storage or areas cluttered with a lot of pots, then make sure to place them at a distance from one another. These cluttered areas can house a lot of rats, so it is important to clear them out as soon as possible.

Keep The Heap Moist!

If your garden has a trash bin or even a small basket or compost heap to store the garden material, make sure it doesn’t have any food scraps. If your trash cans are full of food scraps, the rats will often pay a visit to eat from there. This food scrap is the main source of food for these rats.

Tips to stop rats

Another thing you can do is to make the compost heap as moist as possible. Rats are not a huge fan of wet or mushy compost bins, and they tend to avoid them. You can include a lot of green and brown materials and then make it moist by pouring water. Watering this heap regularly will stir away most of the rats.

Also, you can tie a chicken wire around your bin and the base. This way, no rat will be able to climb up the bin and get into it. If your heap is mainly of dead greens, then you can use this as compost in your garden for your crops. If rats have made a home in these heaps, avoid compositing them onto edible crops.

Eliminate Water Source If Any

Tips to stop rats

How many times have you promised yourself that you would fix that dripping tap in your garden? 10 times? Or 20 times? If you have a busy schedule, you are actually housing rats in your garden by not fixing those leaky water taps. Now is the time you fix this because if you don’t, you will have these unpaid tenants every now and then.

Water is the main source of survival for any living being. Rats can survive without food to some extent, but without water, they would just die off. Eliminate the source of water and see these guys vanishing from your garden.

Another major source of water is from the drainpipes or other drainages. Make sure to cover these drainages with a baffle. It is better to secure them with something so no rat would visit there for water.

If your garden has a pond or a tiny birdbath, you don’t have to get rid of it because most of the time they have birds, it is most unlikely for the rats to visit there and drink water from them.

Border Your Garden with Herbs

8 effective tips to stop rats from eating your garden

This is the easiest trick I know. Rats and mice are just way too annoyed by the smell of herbs. Lots of people have mint plants growing at the home. If you don’t have any, you can grow your own, or you can purchase them from the grocery store as well. Just keep in mind that mint plants tend to want to run so can spread quickly. Keep them under control and they are a great deterrent for rats and mice.

You can place tiny mint pots all over your garden to repel these tiny stubborn creatures. I had some pots of my own, and I successfully grow mint in them. Having the mint plants in pots also controls their willingness to run if planted straight in the garden. I placed these pots in different locations in my garden and successfully got rid of almost all of the rats (also see my article: How to Get Rid Of Snails in Your Garden ┃8 Effective Ways).

If you don’t have much space to grow mint leaves, you can also try the peppermint oil trick. Peppermint oil has a very strong smell, and it is often used for repelling mosquitoes and other insects.

You can dip a tiny cotton swab in peppermint oil and scatter them in your garden. Trust me; you can never go wrong with this one. Make sure you change these cotton swabs weekly, as, with time, they might lose their smell.

Other herbs like thyme, garlic, and basil can also be strong repellants against rats. You can plant these around the outer rim of your garden with these herbs. So when a rat visits your garden, they will only be put off and be aware that you have nothing to offer them.

Create Sturdy Underground Barrier

Rats are masters at creating tunnels that are deep in the ground. Once I had good fencing, I still saw a lot of rats invading my garden. The reason was that the fence I had wasn’t deep enough to not let the rats into my garden.

8 effective tips to stop rats from eating your garden

So, if you don’t have a fence yet, then have one because this would be literally a lifesaver for you. Make sure it is secure and you have reinforced it well into the garden. Rodents or rats can dig up into the ground, so if the fence is deep and firm, they won’t be able to do anything about it.

One effective thing that you can do is have a grid hardware cloth of 1/4” installed under your fence. Start by digging deep, about 6 inches down and 6 inches apart from the fence. Now you have to staple hardware cloth to the base of your fence, and this is the barrier that will protect your garden from rats. Don’t forget to hide this hardware cloth in the soil so it would not look unpleasant.

Place Onions around the Garden

Yes, you read that right! You can even use onions to scare away rats from your garden. No, I am not saying that you have to grow onions in your small garden. That is not the solution. You have to cut an onion in half and place them all around your garden.

8 effective tips to stop rats from eating your garden

The reason is that onions have this pungent and irritating smell to them. So, the rats entering your garden smell the onion and they will run out of the garden as soon as possible.

Make sure you replace this sliced onion once every while; otherwise, it will rot. Be careful while placing these onions in a secure place because often dogs are allergic to them.

If you have a beautiful outline of your garden, you can line them with growing onions and garlic. This will give your garden a good outline, and it will also repel every kind of rodent from your garden. After all, you have looked after your garden very well, and you don’t want it to be destroyed by rats’ attacks.

Move Things Around

Rats are not fond of strange or unfamiliar objects. In short, they are neo-phobic, which means they fear new things, and a change in direction would be the most annoying thing for them. You can try placing obstacles in their way, which would annoy them and make them run back out of the garden.

Also, make sure to change the setup of your garden every now and then. If you have any pots in your garden have their place changed more than often. While doing this, also look out for underlying burrows or tunnels. There are chances that these rodents or rats might be hidden somewhere between those pots.

You can also try changing the position of the compost bin. Don’t forget to cover this bin with a lid and avoid adding food scrap into it, as I mentioned earlier.

Block Decking or Holes

Tips to stop rats

I do know how much you love your deck, but guys, let me tell you that this can be the official hub for the rats to shelter. The space just beneath the deck is perfect for these rats or rodents. This place is very hard to reach, and leftovers from the tea parties will give them a good feed sweeping through the planks.

Make sure you have blocked all the access down there. And if the problem still persists, you might have to switch to a concrete patio. If you are still planning to keep a decking in your garden, then ensure no food particles sweep through the planks, and you are not providing any feed to these rats.

If your garden building has any holes, consider them fixed right away. You can stick a metal plate to prevent any rats or rodents from entering your garden. Using some screws, make sure to stick the metal plate firmly onto the hole.


So, if you ever suspect that rats invade your garden, you don’t need to freak out. With these eight easy tips, you will be able to keep rats away from your garden and can grow new seeds without fear of getting them eaten by rats.

Make sure you have created the most unfavorable environment for them by firming the fences, covering holes, if any, and planting stingy herbs all around your garden. Hopefully, now it is easier for you to bid farewell to your uninvited guests! So, get up and start working on it before it gets way too late.

Ian richardson

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