What can I spray (or sprinkle) on to the soil to deter rats?

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I have planted out various seedlings in my "container garden" and have suffered from repeated visits from a rat who proceeds to dig up the seedlings and/or dig holes in the soil, thus making my hither-to successful gardening effort almost worthless.
I have tried various herbs, chipped hot peppers, rat bait - which I do not like to use because I have free-range dogs and chickens.
Any suggestions welcome! (By the way, I live in Barbados.)
  6 answers
  • Invest in a no kill trap. I have a couple and works great to catch all kinds of critters. Just be sure to release far enough away so they do not make their way back - and also where there is a water source.

    • See 1 previous
    • Oh dear, well that happens! I would be sitting in the garden waiting for her (cause it is a smart rat), to show up . . . And nutty me would have a chat with her . . . 🙃

  • Jody Price Jody Price on Jun 14, 2017
    Start feeding neighborhood cats.

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Jun 14, 2017
    Invest in a few rat traps and bait it with peanut butter. Unless it is like a pet to you get rid of it before it decides to come into your home. Rats are not stupid and may find its way back to its food source after releasing it. You should not have trouble with catching other critters as they probably leave your container garden alone. Put the traps out at night when the chickens are down if you would prefer. Good luck!

  • Jamie Jamie on Jun 17, 2017
    I read if you shred up Irish Spring soap (with a cheese grater) and sprinkle it around the plants it will keep some critters away. I don't know if it works yet or which animals but it's worth a try. I just bought some soap to try it myself.

  • FRED RIGGS FRED RIGGS on Jun 17, 2017
    set out a trap with bait, catch him. Nothing to deter rats except traps and bait. Poison peanuts might work. Talk to an exterminator. That is their field of study.

    • Judith Dungan Judith Dungan on Jun 17, 2017
      Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions.
      I have been living in this old rubblestone manager's house on a badly-run dairy farm for more than 2 years now, and, between my 4 dogs, 3 'live animal' traps and countless normal snap rat traps I have caught about 30 or more rats and mongoose. This fellow seems pretty smart, however, as has happened to others 'pride goes before a fall' and I'll get him/her sooner or later!

  • Susan Susan on Jun 17, 2017
    I had field mice for a while - my cat would wake me up at 2 in the morning while chasing and playing with m! ack! I read (somewhere) have used CLUMPS of litter from my cat... yeah... urine clumps. Crumbled and sprinkled them around my foundation AND in my garden - have. not. had. mouse. one. since. Even has seemed to keep rabbits and squirrels away also! win-win- yeah at first for an hour or so - humans can smell it... nothin afterwards.