Rodent Eating Potted Plants on Deck?

I planted my pots on my deck and now every night some rodent snips off flowers or plants half way up and leaves by the pot or eats trailing plants leaves in piles? There is no rat or rabbit poop or any poop at all. This is the first time this has happened in 14 years in Nelson B.C Canada in the forest.


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June 28, 20190 found this helpful
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I just had deer eat all of my tomato plants, so I feel your pain.

The only safe thing to do is move the things UP and out of their zone...whatever it is...Is that something you can do? I do have a ledge where no critters can easily get to, but the back lower space gets better sun. This is the first time in years I have had issues.

I guess before I go on, are you sure this wasn't a human doing this since you saw no poop? I ask because we had kids in the neighborhood a few years ago and they were cutting flowers and taking them. They left everything else alone...but took people's hydrangeas and day and tiger lilies.


If you are sure it is critters--I know mine was the deer as they were later seen doing the same in my neighbor's yard, you risk hurting other critters and humans if you put any chemicals or even pepper type products on the plants. We have a lot of critters who don't bother plants but walk through areas that could be hurt bad if we did this so that is a big NO NO in our neighborhood.

If you can't move the plants, it looks hideous, but chicken wire works also to keep critters safely at bay. I saw my neighbor out doing this after the tomato debacle.

The last thought is to plant things like Marigolds that just about no critter will eat AROUND anything you want to keep. We just had this conversation in my gals group that they do that with their gardens--two rows of marigolds circle the garden and that seems to keep most things at bay.


Post back what you decide.

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June 30, 20190 found this helpful
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Here is a tip on how to find out what type of "guest" you have eating all your nice plants. Maybe some sort of identity will help you decide how to discourage the critter.

Since your plants are outside try to find some sort of medium that your critter will have to step in and maybe leave some foot prints.
This medium can be fresh dirt, sand (bag from local store), flour (this can be difficult to remove), baking soda, etc.
Just put enough around the pots that a footprint (paw print ? Size?) will show up; smooth it out and check it out in the AM.
Take pictures and ask your agriculture agent for help.


Try this link for help as they should be able to direct you to someone that can give some suggestions for handling animals in your area.

Many years ago, I even used this method for 'catching' someone who happened to be coming in my yard uninvited (stealing plants) by smoothing out the ground around the plants where a footprint could be seen.
I did not have a camera but I made a ''cast' and saved it for 'proof'.
Solution; I posted a sign in front of my plants saying "We know who you are and will report the next theft!"
Everyone thought it was so funny - but - it worked - no more thefts.
No security cameras back then...

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
June 28, 20190 found this helpful

You can use cayenne pepper. They dont like that

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June 30, 20190 found this helpful

This is the first year I have had the same problem....what I found is the possums are coming in on the deck and pulling the plants out....I tried hot good good....then I shaved up some Irish Spring (original) soap...we have used that around the garden for the deer for I put it on top of the dirt in my plants and they have left my plants alone since....good luck....

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