How not to attract rats

By From page A6 | December 18, 2013

I wanted to respond to a letter about attracting rats to your yard and the absurd assumptions and accusations in that letter. As a member of Raptors Are The Solution, one of the things we teach is how to make your houses and yard less attractive to unwanted wildlife. It is very similar to many ongoing education outreach pieces I have done in the past when we were working on the coyote existence plan.

Here it is: Rats love ivy, they live in ivy and eat the snails that gather under its vines. Do not plant ivy. Rats love chicken coops; keep your coop clean. If you have a coop, you will have rats.

Pick up fallen fruit from under your trees. Keep your gardens neat and tidy; you will still lose some to the rats, mice, squirrels, possums, raccoons and birds that reside in Davis.

Do not have woodpiles. Do not have trees or vines that touch your house. Do not have open compost bins. Our hummingbird feeders do not attract rats; we fill seed feeders daily to prevent night feeding by rats and clean up under them for fallen seed. We do not have chickens. We compost only in a closed bin.

We do plant to attract birds and butterflies with things such as berry-producing shrubs and butterfly-loving flowers. We do have a shallow pond made just for the purpose of providing birds with clean water. With more backyard chicken coops and front-yard gardens, more critters will visit Davis houses.

For more helpful tips on what to plant to attract birds and not rats, please check in with our amazing Master Gardeners.

Cayce Wallace

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