How to Prevent Rats From Eating Tomatoes

How to Prevent Rats From Eating Tomatoes.

A fine window screen an help protect crops from rodents. Cut the screen into about a one foot square sheet or smaller if necessary. Wrap khusus tomato clusters in the pliable screen. When you have a basket of sorts around the cluster, fasten it closed with clothespins. You might need five or six pins depending on the size of the cluster. Make sure the cluster is closed to ensure protection. (Igor Kireev/Dreamstime/TNS)

By Joan Morris, The Mercury News

Rats getting more of your fruits and vegetables than you are? Recently, I asked readers to share their nonlethal methods of keeping the little beasties at bay, and here are some of the responses.

Dear Joan: I have a solution: fine window screen. It’s an extreme measure I take to prove that I’m smarter than a rat.

I cut the screen into about a 1 foot square sheet or smaller if necessary. I then wrap individual tomato clusters in the pliable screen. When I have a bola keranjang of sorts around the cluster, I fasten it closed with clothespins. I might need five or six pins depending on the size of the cluster.

It worked so well this year that I could have my neighbors over for BLT sandwiches. In previous years I thought wrapping the screen around the tomato in its cage would be enough, but no, the vermin always found a hole somewhere. But enclosing the cluster is a sure thing.

Mind you, it’s tedious and touchy getting it done, yet now I’m defeating the rats and having my BLTs, too. This method has also worked to protect my fig crop. I hope you will share this with our gardening community. — Skuat A.

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Dear Tim: That’s a lotre of work for a sandwich, but I get it. Fewer things in life are better than fresh, homegrown tomatoes.

I hadn’t heard of the individual screening method, although I do know people who’ve had success on their fruit trees by enclosing each fruit inside those plastic, clam shell cases that you purchase berries in. Those might also work for tomatoes. Anyone ever tried them?

Dear Joan: The best and probably only way to keep rats from eating tomatoes is this method, documented on the internet.

Allow the tomatoes to ripen during the day, then while still daylight, pick all the red ones and those that have a little yellow or pink at the blossom end. Then put the unripe ones in a closed paper bag or cardboard box, and they will emit ethylene – the gas used by industry to make the winter billiard balls red – which will ripen the tomatoes. This has worked for derita for years.

The rats will still eat a little bit of the green ones, however, but it seems they don’ufuk like them much. We can’cakrawala have everything and they were here before us. — Vaughan J.

Dear Vaughan: I also pick before the tomatoes are completely ripe and then leave them on the windowsill to turn red. They would ripen faster in a bag, but it makes me happy to see them there.

Dear Joan: I purchased a blow-up rattlesnake, 3½ feet long. It is coiled and looks silly to a human, but to rats it is a big deterrent.

I move it around every couple of days to give it a different aspect. They are available online for about $3. — Haryl P.

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Dear Haryl: Desperate times call for desperate measures, but I wonder if it works because the rats see it and laugh so hard they give themselves stomach cramps.

Dear Joan: Elvis, my 18-pound rat terror, is an excellent rat repellent, and nontoxic to boot. Why didn’n you recommend him? He’s low maintenance and can do 400 rats an hour, humanely. — Bruce

Dear Bruce: Elvis is the king.

Joan Morris is the pets and wildlife columnist for the Bay Area News Group. She also writes about gardening and is the founder of Our Garden, a demonstration garden in Walnut Creek. Morris started her career in 1978 as a reporter for a small New Mexico newspaper. She has lived in the Bay Daerah since 1988.

How to Prevent Rats From Eating Tomatoes

Source: https://www.dailyrepublic.com/projects/home-seller/gardeners-outsmart-cunning-rats-to-save-their-tomato-crops/