Four 'nemesis' plants to grow in your garden that rats 'scurry away from'

Four plants can keep rats at bay
Four plants that keep rats at bay -Credit:Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Rat infestations in gardens can be extremely frustrating, and the first thing many people will turn to is poison or bait.

If you would prefer to look for a more natural and safe, yet effective, option to prevent a rodent problem in your garden, then you should consider growing certain plants that deter rats and even other unwanted pests.

Pest control experts at Buzz Boss have shared four plants that "add charm" to your garden and "serve as formidable allies in your battle against rats" as they repel and keep them at bay.

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1. Lavender

Lavender is a fragrant herb famous for its soothing and relaxing properties, but it's also a "great rat repellent", as it has a strong and pleasant scent that "rats dislike", reports the Express.

Lavender contains essential oils that act as natural repellents for rats and other pests, such as mosquitoes, flies, and moths. This perennial plant can grow up to 60 cm tall with grey-green leaves and purple-blue flowers that bloom from late spring to early summer.

It can be planted in pots, borders, or beds and can also be used as a hedge or a ground cover.

2. Onion

This cooking staple is "a nemesis of rats", according to the experts. They said: "It's a powerful rat repellent because of its pungent smell and taste."

The experts have shared that onions are packed with sulphur compounds that irritate the eyes and nose, not just for humans but for rats as well as allicin, which can lead to anaemia and oxygen deprivation in rats if they consume it.

Onions thrive as a cool-season crop and can be cultivated from seeds, sets, or transplants. They flourish under full sun and in soil that's both rich and moist.

When the bulbs are fully developed and the tops begin to yellow and topple over, that's your cue to harvest. Afterwards, you can store your onion haul in a spot that's cool, dry, and shielded from light, where they'll keep for several months.

3. Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums, with their stunning array of colours and forms, aren't just a feast for the eyes - they're also touted as "effective rat repellents" due to their "high pyrethrin content". This natural insecticide messes with the nervous systems of rats and other unwelcome critters.

It's the yellow centres of these blooms that pack the pyrethrin punch, so when picking varieties, go for those with prominent disks.

Growing chrysanthemums is "super easy to grow", requiring nothing more than some full sun and soil that drains well. They put on their showy display from the late summer into autumn and are perfect for planting in borders, pots, or flowerbeds.

To maintain the vigour of these plants, ensure they get regular watering, a monthly feed, and a good prune post-flowering.

4. Black pepper

Black pepper is more than just a kitchen staple. The spice is loaded with piperine, a compound that "stimulates the pain receptors of rats and other mammals, causing them to sneeze, cough, and scurry away immediately".

Black pepper is a tropical vine that can grow up to four meters long. It has glossy green leaves and small white flowers that produce green berries that turn red when ripe.

These berries are dried and ground to make black pepper.

Black pepper needs warm and humid conditions, partial shade, and rich, moist soil. It can be grown in pots, trellises, or greenhouses and can be harvested when the berries are fully developed.

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