Do Rats Dig In Houseplants [Facts and Information]

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People love to decorate their yards with houseplants. It is frustrating but not uncommon to find holes in the houseplants. Typically, small animals dig holes. You must be wondering, do rats dig in houseplants?

Yes! Rats, rodents, mice, raccoons, and rabbits are keen diggers. They will dig into the soft soil of the house plants in search of small insects to eat. Rats can bite on the leaves and roots of the plant. It will lead to starvation and causes the death of the plant. 

If you have noticed dirt around your plants and holes in them, you must read this article till the end.

How To Stop Rats From Digging Houseplants
How To Stop Rats From Digging Houseplants

Rats Might Destroy Your Houseplants

Rats Might Destroy Your Houseplants

Digging rats is the worst nightmare of any house owner. The terrible part about rat infestation is that it can eat the plants in your garden.

Rats might burrow deep into the soil and can dig all the way deep into the roots. The roots will weaken, and the plant will starve to death. 

According to 1991 research, the rats are called pests of the greenhouse. They will attack any plant with leaves and roots. Five rats in the winter of 1905 were observed closely. It was seen that they ate numerous tulips in one night.

Signs Of Rats In Your Garden

If you notice a hole in your house plant overnight, the culprit is usually rats. Rats are nocturnal and dig deep in the soil for food and shelter. Given below are the five signs of rats in your garden.

· Size of the hole

The hole made by a rate is usually two to three inches in diameter. They also create a lot of destruction around the yard.

· Bite Marks

You might also notice bite marks on the pot of the plants. On the containers and plastics as well.

· Tracks

The rat will leave track marks on the soil and the surrounding area of the plants. The run marks of the rat are two to five inches wide and are visible.

· Rat Droppings 

Another common sign that can help you identify the presence of rats is droppings. Rats’ scat is two inches long and cylindrical. 

How Do I Keep Rats Out Of My Potted Plants?

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To keep your house plants safe, you must find a way to stop rats from digging in them. Rats are the most annoying pests to deal with, but you must find a way to get rid of them. I have mentioned a few tips and tricks below to stop the rats from invading your yard.

· Create Physical Boundry

Make a physical boundary using a metal hardware cloth around your plants. Use the hardware cloth and cover the soil and roots of the plant. The hardware cloth will allow water to pass through, but the rats will not be able to get access. 

· House Cat

Allow a house cat to roam around your plants at night. This trick will scare away the rats for good.

· Clean The Yard

Keep your plants and the surrounding area clean. Rats are attracted to anything that will shelter them. Tall grasses, weeds, heaps of soil, or litter around the potted plants can become a rat’s home.

· Natural Repellents

The natural method to get rid of rats is to grow herbs in your garden. Intense herbal odors like garlic, mint, basil, oregano, cayenne, and peppermint repel rats.

What Is Digging In My Potted Plants?

Potted Plants

Animals like raccoons, rats, rodents, squirrels, foxes, and house pets dig in the potted plants. Typically, the bugs crawling on the plants are an attraction for the animals.

Some animals like rodents and rats can burrow for shelter. Potted plants make a perfect shelter for small creatures as it provides food and warmth. Pest worms on the plant provide great appeal for raccoons and foxes to dig in the soil.

It is also possible that rats dig into the house plant for shelter during cold weather.

Would A Mouse Dig In A Houseplant?


The mouse can dig in a houseplant. Mouse digs in plants to store food or to make a nest. They can dig deep into the plant, destroying roots. It can also bite onto the leaves of the plant. 

The large, potted plant makes an ideal shelter for mice, especially during winter. The nest in the soil will kill the plant as the animal might nibble on the roots. However, some plants are poisonous and can kill the pest. 

Do Rats Eat Plant Leaves?

Do Rats Eat Plant Leaves

Rats can nibble on anything that seems edible; they are more attracted to huge plants with big leaves. Rats will eat plant leaves, leafy vegetables and fruits, and flowers growing on plants. 

As you know, rats are keen diggers. The vegetable grown underground are easily accessible to them. Rats will never stay in one place and can damage your garden, digging into the soil and destroying the vegetation.

What Scent Will Keep Rats Away?


Rats are annoying and can destroy property and plants. It is necessary to get rid of the pest. Before trying the technique, first, try to get rid of the rats using odor.

There are certain scents that rats do not like. These scents can work as pest repellent: clover, garlic, tomatoes, onion, hot peppers, coffee, house ammonia, peppermint, eucalyptus, cats, chili powder, and white vinegar.

Do Rats Dig Holes In The Dirt?

Rats like to make their nest in the fine sand or dirt near food sources. Therefore, they will dig holes in the sand to burrow or make their living space. Collecting and storing food items is a habit of rats. It will gather the food and burrow it in the dirt for difficult days.


Rats in search of food and shelter can invade your house plants. House gardens provide them with plenty of food, clean water, and shelter.

Small animals will consider your garden a part of grasslands or forest. Large plants will make perfect homes for rats. Garden beds, decorative plants, and lawns are suitable for small creatures like rats to live in them.

Rats can kill house plants. Therefore, one must take measures to stop the rats from breaking into the house gardens.

The above article must have answered all your queries. If you have any more questions, feel free to comment below.