DIY: Peppermint Garden Diffusers To Keep Rats Away
When I approached our homeowner’s association about the community garden, I was met with a surprising lack of pushback. One woman, who is in her eighties came over the next day to let me know how proud she was of me to take on a hobby, and how it reminded her of her mother’s victory garden. A few others commented on how cool it was, but two of the homeowners had one concern: rats.
This is the urban gardener’s arch-nemesis. This is our Goliath, I am told.
It wouldn’t have occurred to me to take my HOA friends’ worries very seriously because I had never seen rats in our neighborhood. Then, I got a call from my Godmother who had “exciting news for my garden”. She had found a way to deter rats! She educated me on how very real the critter concern is, and how quickly I should act, lest I develop a problem that can’t be fixed.
If you’ve been following along via Instagram, then you’ll be able to answer this question. Have you seen my son digging in our garden dirt? Have you seen him eating the soil? He eats ALL THE DIRT. The very LAST thing I need is for him to eat rat poop. He’s tasted the dog’s poop in fact, and that entire event sent me running into the house yelling, “MAYDAY! MAYDAY!” up to my husband, who at the sound of my nautical wailings did nothing in response. Once I saw Boyd with the poop in his mouth, I ran over to him, took my pointer finger and fish hooked the poop out, flinging it God knows where, and then ran with the baby at arm’s length while he chuckled and flailed. With dog crap on my own hands, and a child with feces in his mouth, I somehow managed to get the water from the faucet on, and started splashing it all over, which did nothing, since my 12-month-old can barely drink from a straw, let alone my cupped hand.
Joe apparently though the mayday call was odd, so took his time coming downstairs once Boyd was all cleaned off, and I was merely shaking and babbling about poop.
Needless to say, if rats get in the garden, my child will eat their poop and I will die. R.I.P. me. The end.
With Aunty Pammy (my godmother) and her wise council comes all the instructions on what to do, and how to do it. We already know when to it (immediately), so as to prevent any trouble. The rest is easy and only requires tiny plastic Tupperware containers or glass jars, a box cutter or scissors, a wick, and peppermint oil.
Happy critter-be-gone making!
Cut a hole in the lid of your container. My jars have lids with holes in them, but most don’t.
Fill jar with ½ inch of peppermint oil. My jars a bit big, so I am doing a ¼ inch of peppermint.
Cut a wick the height of your jar, plus about an inch to stick out the top. Insert wick into jar.
Place in garden beds, around edges.
I have two 8’x4’ garden boxes, so I am placing 6 jars in each bed. Two along the long side, and one on the short side. I mean business with these rodents – no thank you.
I hope these help you continue to have a critter-free urban garden and a child whose favorite snack (dirt) remains untarnished. Good luck!