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How To Keep Rats Away From Tomato Plants

How To Keep Rats Away From Tomato Plants

There’s something really appetizing about picking and eating fresh, juicy, and succulent tomatoes!

Unfortunately, rats love doing that, too, as they can tear through your tomato plant and devour all the fruits.

So, how to keep rats away from your tomato plants?


One of the first measures when growing something should always be safeguarding your vegetation against pests like rats.

Here are 5 ways you can do just that:

  1. Put up tomato plant cages and fences.
  2. Keep the area clean and tidy.
  3. Grow rat-deterring plants and herbs.
  4. Place rat traps.
  5. Recruit outdoor rat predators.

These simple DIY methods can be applied to protect your plants from rat attacks!

When you spend so much time and effort growing tomato plants, it can be heartbreaking to see them go to waste due to a rodent invasion. Let’s get into the details of saving your tomatoes from getting devoured by these nuisances!

How To Detect an Imminent Rat Invasion

How To Detect An Imminent Rat Invasion

The opportunity to access fresh produce is something pests will never miss out on. This is why you need to look for rats when planting your tomatoes.

After all, having rodents visit your fruit and vegetable plants can also lead to numerous health hazards. How can you expect to eat something defiled by filthy critters?

Here are some telltale signs you had late-night guests:

  • Small paw marks with 5-toed back and 4-toed fronts.
  • Bite marks on the tomatoes.
  • Partially eaten tomatoes.
  • Rat feces and urine stains around the plants.
  • Damage to the tomato stems.

These are clear indications of a raid carried out by rats. You should prevent further attacks if you wish your tomato plant(s) to thrive.

5 Ways To Put Off Rats From Your Tomato Plants

Ways To Put Off Rats From Your Tomato Plants

Rats can live off almost anything, from days-old rotting leftovers to animal feces.

It can be part of their dinner plate if it has even the tiniest nutritional value.

Rat Fact!

Like humans, rats are also omnivores, able to eat and digest almost all biological material.

But when given the option, rats will go for the fresh and tasty stuff, making your tomato plant their primary target.

Here are 5 ways you can prevent that from happening:

1. Put Up Cages & Fences

Put Up Cages &Amp; Fences

If you’re growing plants in your garden, the best deterrent would be to surround the area with a fence.

You can use a sturdy hardware cloth so the rats won’t be able to chew their way through.

Rodents love to burrow their way in, so make sure to dig the fence at least 6 inches deep to prevent that.

Additionally, you can use tomato cages as well. These simple gardening tools offer the extra benefit of supporting your tomato plant, so they don’t tilt downwards, making it more difficult for the rats to reach the fruits.

2. Keep the Area Clean & Tidy

Keep The Area Clean &Amp; Tidy

What are pests most attracted to other than fresh and juicy tomatoes? Smelly and easily accessible trash in an untidy area!

So it would be best to avoid doing stuff like:

  • Putting out your garbage in unsealed bags near your garden.
  • Leaving pet food lying around.
  • Neglecting cleaning the dried-out leaves and other biodegradable compost.
  • Not tidying up the garden by removing unnecessary items.
  • Not trimming down the grass and removing the overgrowing weeds.

If otherwise, you’re sending out invitations for a free buffet for the rats.

3. Grow Rat-Deterring Plants & Herbs

Grow Rat-Deterring Plants &Amp; Herbs

Rats have an extremely sensitive sense of smell. They don’t have amazing eyesight, so they make up for it with their strong noses. You can use this to your advantage!

You can plant different herbs and flowers to mask the fragrance of your deliciously fresh tomatoes, such as:

  • Mint
  • Onions
  • Lavender
  • Garlic
  • Leeks

Grow these around your tomato plant or on the borders of your garden. The fragrance from these plants will make the rats think twice before entering or coming close.

4. Place Rat Traps

Place Rat Traps

Rat traps are the most common and well-known way to get rid of rats.

Placing these contraptions around your tomato plant can ensure that these critters try out the food from the traps first and get whammed in the process!

You can even bait some fresh tomato pieces to lure them into the traps.


Make sure to place the traps when kids and pets sleep, and there’s no chance of them coming near the traps.

5. Recruit Outdoor Predators

Recruit Outdoor Predators

Rodents are nocturnal creatures, so if they come after your tomato plants, they will be after dark. This is why it’s advisable to get hunters who are active at night, namely cats and owls.

Get an outdoor cat; you can have some nightly live-action Tom and Jerry show. As you know, cats love to hunt mice, so having one around will deter the rats from coming close.

Another predator that loves to hunt rodents is the owl. Also, owls are nocturnal and active at night, making them perfect for controlling the rat population.

Interesting Fact!

An adult barn owl goes on the hunt on a daily basis after dark, able to take out as many as 12 rats in a single night!

You can put an owl house near your garden, giving the bird a clear vision of your tomato plants and anything that tries to come close.


After countless days taking care of your tomato plant(s), you wouldn’t want it all to go to waste just because of some pesky critters.

Here are 5 ways you can prevent that from happening:

  1. Put up tomato plant cages and fences.
  2. Keep the area clean and tidy.
  3. Grow rat-deterring plants and herbs.
  4. Place rat traps.
  5. Recruit outdoor rat predators.

If everything fails, you can always contact your local pest control service to get rid of the rats and keep your tomato plants safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Rats Like To Eat Tomatoes?

Yes, rats love tomatoes, especially the fresh and succulent ones grown on plants.

Can Rats Climb Tomato Plants?

Rats are excellent climbers, so they won’t have trouble climbing tomato plants.

Do Rats Eat Tomato Plant Leaves?

Rats love eating fruits, so unless they’re dying of hunger, they will focus on the fruit of the tomato plant rather than the leaves.

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