Fruit Trees and RodentsMice, rats and other rodents are happy eating pretty much anything. However, fruit is among their favourite options. So, if they find a reliable source of fruit, they will likely come back. For fruit tree owners, this can pose a problem. The rodents can smell your fruit from a surprising distance and are drawn to the sweetness. Rodents like to make nests near places where they can regularly find food. This can spell bad news for people with fruit trees. However, all hope is not lost. You can protect your property against mice and rat infestations while still having fruit trees.
Protecting Your PropertyThe keys to protecting your property are two-fold: make your trees less attractive to rodents and make them harder to access. The following four techniques can help significantly:
- Prune Regularly: Drooping branches make it easier for mice and rats to climb into the tree and reach fruit. Rodents like to stay hidden when they can. Overgrown and low-hanging trees can offer plenty of places to hide. Additionally, if there are lots of fallen leaves and twigs on the ground, they will use these as nest materials. So, pruning and trimming regularly can help.
- Space Out Trees: If your trees are very close to each other, rats and mice can easily hop from tree to tree. They will also be significantly more attracted to the area and more likely to make nests. Spacing the trees out as much as possible is a good strategy.
- Clean Up Fallen Fruit: Rats and mice have few qualms about eating fruit from the ground. There is no reason to make the food search easy for them. Pick up fruit that has fallen as soon as possible. Also, make sure to carefully seal any trash receptacles you put it in.
- Add Rat Guards: Rats are impressive climbers, and mice aren’t bad either. You can protect your trees by adding sturdy plastic or metal around the trunks. These rat guards make climbing significantly more challenging.
- Avoid Other Structures: If possible, plant your trees away from other structures such as your home and any fences or sheds. Rodents, especially roof rats, can use those structures to jump to your trees. A little extra space is all you need.