How To Protect Weed Plants From Mice & Rats
Over the years, many cannabis growers have learned effective means of tackling hoards of leaf miners and waves of aphids. Unfortunately, this cannot be said of their ability to handle rodents like mice and rats. We know this because it’s pretty common to see rodents having a field day destroying cannabis stems to pieces and digging at the seeds.
There’s only one solution to this problem—learn the tricks to preventing and treating an infestation before it’s too late. Lucky you, we’re here to show you how.
What Threats Do Mice and Rats Pose to Growing Cannabis?
Like with most other crops, growing thriving cannabis means paying attention to the diseases and pests that destroy them at their various growth stages. Among these pests are rats and mice. These rodents, though not the most prevalent pests, can cause significant harm to your growing marijuana. They’ll happily eat the leaves of young plants and nibble right through thick stems.
Let’s take a dive into their antecedents:
Not only are they known to be dirty, but rats also have a bad rap for being disease carriers. Since they’re opportunistic feeders, you can bet that they’ll make a meal of your squashes, root veggies, and marijuana plants once they’re within sight. They’re notorious for eating seedlings and feasting on thick stems to sharpen their ever-growing “front teeth.”
On average, rats consume about 3g of food daily and weigh roughly 200g. As if this isn’t enough, they multiply quickly as the females produce about 10 pups in a litter and around 6 litters yearly. In other words, just a few rats can become a serious infestation in no time if you let them.
Even though mice have longer tails than rats, they’re more slender, weigh less, and look smaller than their cousins. But don’t let this fool you—their strength lies in their productivity. Compared to rats’ 10, mice can produce 16 pups per litter and 8 litters in a year.
True to their bad family rap, mice are also opportunistic feeders, and can hardly resist cannabis stems and fresh seedling leaves.
Telltale Signs of Rat and Mice Infestation
There are a number of warning signs to show that rats and mice are having a field day damaging your cannabis. They include:
- Chewed stems
- Gnawed buds
- Rat and mouse droppings close to plants
- Mouse burrows in and around your lawns
How To Fend Rats and Mice Off Your Cannabis Plants
It’s always better to prevent rats and mice from invading your garden than trying to fight an infestation. You can do this by:
Problems with composting are one of the major reasons why rodents are in your garden. Some composting materials like bread, fish, eggs, grains, diary, and meat attract rats and mice. So, be sure to limit them from your compost bin to reduce the infestation.
Removing Bird Feeders
Do you also use your garden as a meditative/relaxation spot? Then hanging bird feeders and watching as birds gather next to them can help to enhance your experience. Unfortunately, you’d have to choose between them and your weed because they also attract mice and rats.
Removing Water Sources
Rats and mice (especially rats) need water to thrive and will naturally be drawn to water sources. So, removing bird baths and containers with rainwater is always a wise idea.
Keeping Things Tidy
It’s no secret that mice and rats love dirty and covered spaces. As such, make it a priority to keep your garden clean/tidy and avoid anything that grants rodents free passage to your crops.
If you’ve already missed your opportunity to prevent an infestation, you can reduce the damage by:
Setting Humane and Deadly Traps
Setting traps, whether humane or deadly ones, remain one of the most effective methods of dealing with rat and mouse infestations. It all depends on what approach sits better with you. While humane traps won’t kill the rodents, they keep them locked inside containers after luring them in.
Unleashing Your Feline
You can get rid of mice and rats naturally by leveraging their life-long enmity with cats. Cats can help you deal with rodent infestations by stalking and pouncing on the rats once they’re sighted.
Using Rat Poison
The good old rat poison, like rodenticides, still works wonders. Just be sure to keep them out of reach of children and pets.
Keep Rodents Away from Your Cannabis Grow!
If you’ve been looking for fool-proof methods to keep your cannabis safe from rodents, there you have it! However, beyond rodents, other animals like deer and even your beloved pets can be dangerous for your crops. So, to sail through your cannabis growing season without hassles, be sure to also fence, net, and create other physical barriers around your garden. We’re rooting for you!