Produce > Pests & Diseases

Broadies under attack from rats

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Yesterday I had a bonnie row of Wizard beans.  Today nearly half have been annihilated.  The beans have gone and the plant topped.  I though now they were six inches high they were safe.
Took the bottles off eight aquadulce yesterday to reuse the bottle, they were just showing a nice green shoot.  Today eight holes.
I am gutted.  Not sure how to stop them.  If I leave the bottles on too long, the plants will go leggy. 
I presume the wretched beastie will be back for more later.

Some people recommend dunking peas and broad beans in paraffin before sowing as the smell puts off the rodents.   Never tried it myself but did have one sowing of peas completely eaten by mice years ago so I gave up and stuck with frozen peas.

Haven't sown my broad beans yet as I'm waiting for OH to clear a bed so i can clear the dahlias to a new home and put beans in a bed I can more easily water with a seep hose.   Might have to sow them in toilet tubes at this rate and then hope the cats keep the nasties away altho th ebeans will need protecting against our recently adopted hens.

Unless you know it is rats, which need removal, then it may be voles. (which need removal!) Set Little nipper rat traps, the last thing they do is nip.

I am pretty sure it is rats.  I have not had problems with voles in the past.  So I poured water on my compost bin and out popped a rat!!   I had not seen one for a couple of weeks but seems they are still around. 
I saw six one day.  Eating sweet corn.   But it will be back. 
Most people lost all their sweetcorn.  I managed about half of mine using plastic bottles to protect the cobs.  They have learned to get inside them now. 
It is very depressing they are eating things faster than I can plant them.
I will try the paraffin.   Though I am not sure I want to eat something which was covered in paraffin. 

The paraffin protects the seed but I don't think it penetrates and certainly won't affect the flavour of the beans in your pods, assuming you get a harvest.

An alternative would be to bait rodent traps with peanut butter which they can't resist but you'll have corpses to dispose of.


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