Rodent Issues

There are many obvious benefits to a greenhouse but there are also some drawbacks. Rodents.

Compost pots ravaged for their worms

Compost pots ravaged for their worms


That first winter with the greenhouse the rodents in the area were pretty bad and they found the greenhouse to be a nice place to keep warm, find food and be protected from many predators. Rats like to eat nice worms and the worms would congregate in any compost filled pot that I might set down into a grow bed to keep moist till I planned to plant it out in the soil garden. I lost many seedlings that first winter to rats or squirrels digging them up to get at the worms.

We tried many types of rat traps. Old fashion spring snap traps or the newer plastic clip traps. The gruesome stories I could tell… Ok I’ll tell. There was one time we couldn’t find one of the traps as it was no longer where we had left it. I eventually decided that a rat must have been trapped and some animal carried it off trap and all to eat elsewhere. It was only weeks later that I found the trap wedged under something. Apparently the rat had gotten it’s foot caught by the trap but wasn’t killed. It managed to drag itself to where I found the trap and then when the trap was wedged and it could move no further, it chewed it’s leg off. I found the trap with the foot still in it. Now one might argue that perhaps the rat was eaten by some other animal after all and the trap just go wedged where I found it. Well, I once might have agreed until I later caught the rodent missing it’s foot.

We killed many rodents that winter in the greenhouse. We tried many traps and learned they must be secured rather well to something larger than a rat. We found that the spring traps are fairly dangerous to bait and set and they must be place so that you are not risking friendly neighborhood cats and dogs or other pets. Finally I found that the Rat Zapper Ultra (make sure it’s the Ultra that uses the D cell batteries) works fairly well at catching and killing rats where you are not willing to use poison.

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