Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Ugh, yesterday I went to pick some jalapenos off my plant and every single one of my Sixteen peppers are GONE! I suspect a RAT! I've never had my hot peppers taken by critters, but then this one is a mild jalapeno. I also had two pimentos, GONE, and all the slight red grape tomatoes, GONE...this was all in one or two nights.
I saw a rat the other day in the garden, as big as a squirrel in broad daylight. I suspect the bird feeder is attracting them. I know our citrus tree attracted rats and wonder about my compost pile. I did find two missing key limes also last week.

Anybody else have a problem with rats?

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

YUK!!!!! I have squirrels that pull things off my plants. Have not seen any rats & hope it stays that way.

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Time to set a rat trap in among the foliage!

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

One year I started alot of tomatoes from seed. All different kinds of heirlooms etc. I wish I had pictures. Morning after morning, I would get up and my tomatoes would have big bites out of them, or eaten up. I did not get one, not one. Im still upset about that all these years later. Ive always suspected rats, as the fence I put around them would not let a racoon size in.

I always thought tree rat was slang for squirrel. Mercy, I never knew of real tree rats as big as squirrels. Are they the same big ones that live on the ground too? I know it wasnt the squirrels getting the tomatoes. I would check them at dark, and squirrels are affraid of the dark, so it had to be something that thrived at night.

The squirrels love flower buds. Irritates me within an inch of my life when I see them pluckthem off, then give them the buzz saw treatment.

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Here in P.C. Florida, I catch fruit rats all the time - not quite as big as squirrels, but a good 3 pounds!

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Well last evening the hubs and I were outside enjoying the nice evening and saw the rat again under the bird feeder. It wasn't quite as big as the squirrel near it, but pretty good sized. So my son came out and they said they would take care of things. I went inside to clean the dinner dishes up and they said the rat was taken care of, with man grins on their faces.

Yes GG I heard that the rats will live in trees, especially over by the coast, but I'm sure these are living in our shed because I hear something scurry when I go in there. The DH got some rat traps, he and son were testing them out yesterday and thought one of them were gonna lose a finger. Anyway they put two in the shed last night.

Kay when we had our orange tree I know I would see big rats eating the fallen fruit, some even would go into the tree and eat holes in the fruit...would tick me off.

Taylor Creek, FL(Zone 10a)

Squirrels are fuzzy tailed Rats. In Jacksonville the river rats are 8 to 10 pounds. A small one is a baby.
Here on Taylor Creek I am very blessed to have a beautiful deck that I plant to the hilt. The squirrels dig in my rail flower boxes, so I put cayenne on the soil.
Yesterday as I was about to try some cross pollination a dam squirrel was taking off with the coral red Hibiscus bloom who was going to be the donor. Should I make a jalapeno spray for the foliage? Would it hurt my plants?
To stop squirrels from robbing bird feeder put crushed red pepper in there. It wont affect the birds.

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

I've heard the crushed pepper idea before, but obviously the rats don't mind heat. We did get another rat last night in the trap in the shed, so 2 gone.

The squirrels do dig in my pots, I put a screen over my seed pots, and the netting from citrus bags makes a good covers for seed pots also. I put big heavy seashells or stones over the soil in potted plants and that helps, some.

I can't imagine 10 pound rats...sheesh!

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

I've been watching this interesting thread to me that you have started Sunkissed. I had never thought about rats as culprits around here,... although we all know they are here in Central Florida in abundance. I will be wondering if that is why some things dissapear now!

I do know that the Opossums and/or Raccoons can sure make a ripe Melon completely dissapear on occasion though!; however, so far have never had anything bother the peppers, beans, cucumbers, greens or anything else much ever; ... Wish I could be helpful but have been lucky much so far.

I did move my figs out front though because of the Squirrels. My outside in the day Cats, and the night roaming ferrel Cats that seem to love our gardens too, seem to keep some other critters away I think possibly. The Cats seem to know how to get through our jungle and never tear up anything. They even seem to be aware of how to walk through younger seedings put in the ground. I am amazed by that...

I hope you can figure out who's stealing what, and can solve the mystery!

Happy Gardening without the bandits your way!


Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

Funny thing to me about the night animals. I can have a feral cat, raccoon and opossum all eating off the same plate, all at the same time. I saw one of the cats swat at the coon the other night, I gasp, thinking that was the end of the cat. Nope, the raccoon just backed of and let the cat eat.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

And its a fact GG!


Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Last spring had an invasion of rats. They had nests built just under the soil in my garden and also were in garden shed eating wires on all my Christmas lights. Couldn't take that so loaded everywhere up with D-con that my dog couldn't reach and also bought very large rat traps and baited them with peanutbutter and tied them in place so they couldn't drag them off. I was burying a couple every day. Had to replace over 37 strings of lights on Christmas nativity scene. The scene when all up is over 40 feet long and that was a job so mice or rats had to go.

Now we have 2 young cats in the hay barn and hopefully they will do their job. I'm hoping they will keep the rabbits away also. If we get a fence put up around backyard garden I'll be able to raise vegies again which I love fresh vegies.

David, I'll bet your cats will keep you critter free at least I hope so.

Sherri, you will have to keep on top of the mice or rat problem as you know how they multiply.


Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

In all my Googling about getting rid of rats and mice, Cats were one of the solutions. Also said if you have indoor cats which mine are, spread the used cat litter around the perimeter of the garden and the smell makes them think there is a cat and they won't come in. I put some along the back fence where I know they will scurry along, but don't want to stink us out with that one.

Bonnie I just love your kitties, they are so cute. Hope they turn out to be good mousers.

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