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Rotten Rats in my garden!

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Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  Shoda on 8/22/2010, 2:27 pm

I have some nighttime visitors (I think it is rats based on the dropping size). So far they only go for the ripest tomatoes on the vine. I am mentioning this in case anyone else is having trouble getting vine ripened tomatoes.

Right now it is pretty sad because they are taking at least half of my harvest. I only manage to get the other half by harvesting very early (at a light to mid color change) and ripening on the counter. I have to leave a few for the rats or they start eating my green ones.

I remember growing up in Washington state and our entire dinning table covered in green tomatoes that my mom pulled when the rains started. Most ripened just fine and the others we ate as fried green tomatoes.

Today I go look at rat bait and traps. Wish me luck!

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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  Old Hippie on 8/22/2010, 2:42 pm

yuck! I HATE rats! Best of luck to you.

GK

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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  Odd Duck on 8/23/2010, 10:17 am

Make sure you are burying your kitchen scraps deep enough into the compost heap or you are sending out an invitation. I just keep my turning fork right there by the heaps and dig a hole at least 12" deep, drop in the scraps and cover. I heap up over the "fresh" stuff as I cover, too. I have not had a rat problem since I realized I needed to bury stuff deeper.

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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  Ha-v-v on 8/23/2010, 10:31 am

[quote]Today I go look at rat bait and traps. Wish me luck![quote]

Make sure you say, Now look you "dirty rats" (with squinty eyes) you got my tomatoes see.. you're gonna pay. lolol
Ha-v-v

ok and the quote thing is buggin me.. lolololololol

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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  boffer on 8/23/2010, 10:51 am

[quote]Today I go look at rat bait and traps. Wish me luck![quote]

there's no forward slash in the closing tag

Code:
[/quote]

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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  Ha-v-v on 8/23/2010, 11:39 am

[quote="boffer"][quote]Today I go look at rat bait and traps. Wish me luck!


there's no forward slash in the closing tag

Code:
[/quote]

there's no forward slash in the closing tag


oh it has changed. I have to click on the quote each time to get an opening or ending quote. A new learning curve. Smile
Ha-v-v

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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  Wyldflower on 8/23/2010, 11:40 am

I'm sure you're aware of issues with using poisons. Please be careful with the rat bait.

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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  Shoda on 8/23/2010, 11:47 am


Make sure you say, Now look you "dirty rats" (with squinty eyes) you got my tomatoes see.. you're gonna pay. lolol
Ha-v-v
That is SOOO how I feel.

OddDuck -- I think that is how I attracted them. I saw a rat a few weeks ago in our compost bin scrounging in the bedding from our pet rats. I bet they left a wide range of treats in the bedding that were just what the rats wanted.

I ended up buying a few "snap traps" and will see how they do. So far, they avoided them and went for my tomatoes. Grrrr...

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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  Odd Duck on 8/23/2010, 1:04 pm

@Shoda wrote:

Make sure you say, Now look you "dirty rats" (with squinty eyes) you got my tomatoes see.. you're gonna pay. lolol
Ha-v-v
That is SOOO how I feel.

OddDuck -- I think that is how I attracted them. I saw a rat a few weeks ago in our compost bin scrounging in the bedding from our pet rats. I bet they left a wide range of treats in the bedding that were just what the rats wanted.

I ended up buying a few "snap traps" and will see how they do. So far, they avoided them and went for my tomatoes. Grrrr...

Yep, rat heaven for wild ones. Do you have a covered container that you could use to "start" the composting process? Maybe you could put all your rat bedding in there until it starts to heat up enough to not be "food" anymore, then dump it into the big bin? Brace yourself for the smell from a closed bin, though!

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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  Shoda on 8/30/2010, 1:33 pm

I have two compost bins. The covered one has actually become a huge worm bin and is mostly finished. The open one is the one we were using. Guess I have to change that.

The rats (or whatever) ate most of the peanut butter from my traps, sprung them and got away. So we are still sharing the tomatoes.

I leave them a half eaten or damage tomato on the ground and that seems to slow them down a bit. As long as I harvest the tomatoes at first blush, I am still getting enough for our family to eat. So I guess it isn't all bad!

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Varmints

Post  ander217 on 8/30/2010, 5:15 pm

Sorry about your rat problem, Shoda.

Two years ago it was a groundhog eating my garden. Last year an armadillo was digging for bugs in my garden and apparently decided to take a bite now and then from a ripe tomato. It had my cat all fuzzed up one evening. I doubt that she had ever seen one before and didn't seem to know what to make of it.

This year it was voles eating everything. What will next year bring? Rats? Argggh!

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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  Chopper on 8/30/2010, 10:03 pm

Our dogs, who can be garden pests themselves, rooted out a mouse nest tonight. They are very proud of themselves.

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Yuck!

Post  Shoda on 9/10/2010, 4:25 pm

I finally caught one. As my kids would say.... YUCKY!

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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  Shoda on 10/7/2010, 2:25 am

An update on the vermin problem! Some critter has been triggering the rat traps but not getting "caught". Then one morning I went out and one of the rat traps had been triggered and was on the other side of a 6 foot fence. I put it back in my garden, but didn't have a chance to reset it. The next day... it was GONE! The rat trap has disappeared! Do you think there is a very big rat that got tired of it and decided to hide it from me?

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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  Old Hippie on 10/7/2010, 11:54 am

I HATE rats!!

GK

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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  Squat_Johnson on 10/7/2010, 1:29 pm

If your trap is missing, be cautious when picking veggies. That rat might have hidden the trap and baited it with a cherry tomato or a lettuce leaf. Very Happy

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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  Shoda on 10/7/2010, 8:16 pm

Gee Squat... I hadn't thought of that! I better be careful. I think it must be REALLY big in order to carry it off.

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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  momvet on 6/29/2015, 4:20 pm

These are older posts but I am looking for information on rats. Every year for the past 3-4 years, rats have come at night and eaten my ripe tomatoes. We have caught 6-12 rats every season (using an old fashioned trap - a "zapper" and have-a-heart didn't work). I have no idea where these creatures come from because we live in a fairly typical suburban community and there isn't any place in our yard for them to hide. I noticed some "gnaw marks" on my baby zuke (tomatoes are just starting to ripen so set out traps last week. We have caught 5 rats since then (one per night in my squash bag). I was just wondering if there are any new ideas out there to keep them away. I won't use poisons (as a vet, I've seen terrible consequences). I have 2 Jack Russells but one is old and deaf and the other is too spoiled to be left out all night. Just wondering if others have this problem and what you do about it. I don't want them getting the best tomato crop I have ever had Mad

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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  sanderson on 6/29/2015, 5:28 pm

Kathy,  "Roof rats," the scourge of urban gardening.  They use our fences, roofs, trees, telephone wires to safely travel around a neighborhood.  They eat our pet food, fruit and nut trees, and gardens. For short plants you can make 1/2" mesh cages.  You can make safe bait stations with large PVC piping.  I prefer the anticoagulants with an emetic.  Dogs and cats can throw up, rodents can't.  If you secure the stations on fence rails or trees, dogs will be safe.  If you use a 2" PVC Tee and longish pipes, a cat won't be able to reach the bait. Hope this gives you some ideas.

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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  TCgardening on 6/29/2015, 7:16 pm

Momvet,
The rat problem must be worse that we thought! I am in Florida and the vermin have hit my garden hard this year also. This year I had to use the baits but used a tamper proof bait box so only rodents can get to the baits. I had to stop planting anything earlier this year until the vermin are under control. I started seeing them during the daylight hours under the bird feeders. I figure if a few are out during the day they must be thick as thieves after dark. Funny when I was looking on-line for help I found a California website.
http://ucanr.edu/sites/MarinMG/Marin_Master_Gardener_Help_Desk/Leaflet/Getting_rid_of_rats/
My neighbor mows his weeds once a year need it or not so I know where my problem originated.
Good luck
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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  mollyhespra on 6/29/2015, 9:48 pm

Dang!  And I thought I had it bad with the chipmunks that have eaten all my strawberries.  At least my rodent is cute (which hasn't stopped me from having murderous thoughts on more than one occasion I can tell you).

Seriously, though, how about an electric fence?  I'm thinking I might have to go that route since the chippies are small enough to fit through the hexes of my garden fence. How big are your rats?  Could you do an electric fence set-up?

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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  sanderson on 6/29/2015, 11:18 pm

Due to their flexible bodies, the rule of thumb is mice can squeeze under a 1/4" gap between door and threshold, and rats a 1/2" gap. Hence the 1/2" metal mesh that Southern Gardener uses are secure against just about every mammal. I forgot about how roof rats like to nest in the tops of palm trees. Tamper proof bait boxes are good. If you make your own, make sure there is an opening at each end. If they can't see a second escape route, they don't like to go inside. In dry weather, a shoe box taped shut, with 2 holes, will work. (Unless you have a dog that shreds everything.)

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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  momvet on 7/9/2015, 12:23 pm

We have trapped 8 rats so far. We live in the suburbs of Southern California, for cripes sakes! I have never seen a rat during the day or found any evidence of a nest (well, my "hate affair" with rats began about 10 years ago when they got into our garage attic area and nested in my Christmas ornaments that I had been collecting and making since 1979). I won't use poison so I guess I will just have to "deal". Thanks for everyone's suggestions!

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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/9/2015, 12:50 pm

Heheh there are plenty of rats in Southern California. I've seen ones as big as cats.

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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

Post  sanderson on 7/9/2015, 3:32 pm

Kathy, A well developed neighborhood with mature trees, palms, bushes, pets, and veggies/fruits and nuts often have roof rats. The port cities often have wharf rats in addition. The fact that you have trapped 8 rats is good. You may have severely impacted the immediate local population.

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Re: Rotten Rats in my garden!

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