Keeping Rodents Out of Your Buffalo Garden

Whether you have a green thumb or not, gardening can be a relaxing and rewarding summer activity. A prosperous garden requires a lot of time and attention! While you may want your kids to learn and experience planting, you likely don't want rodents taking their share of your efforts. 

Unfortunately, gardens are a prime spot for rodents in search of food. Your garden provides rodents with shelter from predators and a great food source, why would they want to leave? When some rodents are known to carry transmittable diseases and destroy backyards, you'll want the 411 on preventing, finding and removing them. 

Signs there are rodents in your garden

What kind of rodents are fond of gardens? Rats, mice and voles. There are different types of each, but in Western New York, you'll likely find common brown rats, house mice and field voles -- each with their own signs of activity they leave behind. 

Rats 

The largest of garden rodents, rats burrow around 6-9 cm and can be found near planted fruit and vegetables. Rats create pathways, so look for track marks around vegetation. Luckily, rats are rather messy, so their activity can be easy to spot. Sometimes they will leave smear marks along stone or wood that is in your backyard. You also may find droppings that are about 15 and 20 mm long and flat in shape. 

Mice & voles

While rats burrow, voles make whole tunnel systems that include chambers and exits. If you spot an uneven surface on your lawn or soil, it could be voles. Small gnaw marks are also signs that indicate mice and vole activity. Check for scattered small fruit (like berries) on the ground nearby plants. Another way to spot mice activity in your garden is if you find torn paper or materials used to build a nest. 

Damage caused by garden rodents

Aside from some people having a real fear of rodents, they are quite a nuisance to have in your garden. Rodents will damage the food and plants you are working so hard to grow. Rats and mice are also known to carry diseases, that can be transmitted to humans through contamination. If you plan on eating the food in your garden, you definitely do not want to be sharing it with rodents; this also poses a risk to pets and children who may be playing in the backyard. There's also more superficial damage that rodents can do, like chew on wooden fences or wires that are in the garden. If you worry about your dog digging up soil in your garden, don't wait until a rodent does it from underground!

Preventing rodents from damaging your garden 

So, how do you keep rodents out of your garden? There are a few DIY options that you can try, like rodent traps, but they are not always a completely effective solution. Try removing piles of wood and any garden clippings that may be laying around. Keep your garden as tidy as possible -- trim shrubs and grass periodically. A big mistake some homeowners make is scattering bird feed on the ground, this attracts rodents and pests of all sorts to feast in your garden. If your garbage cans are stored in the backyard, or shed, make sure they're sealed tight and emptied as much as possible. 

Bringing in a pest professional 

Rodents are tricky pests to prevent altogether without help from a pest control professional. If you try to keep rodents out of your garden and home this summer and need a little extra support, call Ehrlich for a free quote. 

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