They can gnaw their way through your fruit and vegetables; set up camp in your compost; and burrow tunnel networks in your soil.

It may be tempting to use traps or poison, but they can pose a risk for dogs, children and native wildlife. It’s better to employ methods that deter rats and offer a permanent solution.

Here are six ways to rid your garden of pesky rats for good.

Peppermint oil

Rats hate the smell of peppermint oil, so it’s an effective way to drive them away. Moisten some cotton balls with 100 per cent pure peppermint oil and place them in various spots around the garden, including the garage and shed. Reapply the oil a couple of times a week.


Get some catnip from a garden centre and plant it in several spots around the garden. Be strategic with your planting and look for signs of rat activity like nests and pellet droppings.

Keep your garden clean

You can deter rats from setting up home in your garden by keeping it clean and tidy.

Remove piles of wood and garden clippings; pick up any fallen fruit, berries or vegetables; and cut back overgrown areas.

Remove food and water sources

Rats will seek out any sources of food or water in your garden. Make sure your taps aren’t dripping and don’t use a bird bath.

Remove bowls of pet food or water at night.

If you like to compost, keep it secure and bury any organic material deep in the bin.

Make sure lids are tightly closed on bins and don’t leave garbage bags outside for long periods.

Soil netting

If you want to protect a new garden from rats, lay a piece of netting just under the soil. This will prevent rats from burrowing and eating roots and bulbs. Determined rats may chew through the netting, so keep an eye out for it.

Sealing gaps

Rats will try to enter your home through any gaps or cracks in external walls. Use an appropriate sealant to block any nooks and crannies.

With spring around the corner, people are getting ready to get their gardens into shape. Time to start clearing the deadwood and taking away the last of fallen leaves. But there may also be some unwanted pests lurking beneath the winter debris, especially rats. Because they are experts at hiding, you may not see rodents in the garden, so it’s important to learn how to recognise signs of rats and how to get rid of rats in the garden.


Where do rats live in the garden?

Gardens are a favourite spot for rodents to congregate and settle. The most common garden rodents are rats, mice and voles. Your gardens, no matter how big or small can be a prime location for rodents to inhabit. The downside to this is that rodents can inflict an array of destruction and damages to your backyard.

Ample supplies of discarded food and waste ensure that they won’t go hungry. Your compost pile could become a banquet for these uninvited guests. And the trees, wooden structures and benches, and plastic ornaments give them plenty to chew on.

Unfortunately, a garden also provides plenty of hiding places for rats: behind furniture, in shrubberies, under piles of grass, leaves, or firewood, inside sheds and glasshouses, and under barrels.

Types of garden rodents

There are a handful of different types of rodents that can commonly be found inhabiting your garden, they are:

  • Brown rat
  • House mouse
  • Wood mouse
  • Field vole
  • Bank vole

Sign of rats in garden

Although rodents are experts at hiding themselves, you can spot the signs of rats or signs of mice once you know what you’re looking for. Although rodents are usually nocturnal, you might see some rodent activity during the daytime too, especially if there’s a shortage of food.

Pay particular attention to waste areas in the garden, such as rubbish bins, compost piles, pipes and firewood stacks. You might notice tell-tale signs, such as bite and nibble marks on paper and wood. Perhaps some wooden boxes or old newspapers have been chewed. Or discarded food may have been disturbed.

Rodents will usually burrow their nests anywhere safe that’s also close to the food supply. You might be able to see track marks, such as disturbed grass, from the nest to the food. Rodents are creatures of habit and usually use the same pathways each time when looking for food. Also, watch out for rat droppings or mouse droppings; if they droppings are still moist, it’s a sign that there has been rodent activity in recent hours.

  • Burrows around 6-9 cm in diameter and can be located anywhere that is relatively undisturbed and near to food.
  • Track marks covering walls, banks, hedges and through vegetation. Rats memorise pathways and use the same routes to and from their shelter.
  • Smear marks along stone, wood or metal, such as on steps, fencing and gate posts.
  • Droppings between 15 and 20 mm long, cylindrical, flat at one end and often pointed at the other. They are moist when fresh, but dry within hours.
  • Damage to packaging and barriers, such as doors and fences.

Damage caused by rodents in garden

No one wants to see rats in their garden. From a purely financial point of view, the sight of rodents isn’t going to do any favours to the value of your house! And don’t forget the health risks. Rodents are notorious carriers and spreaders of diseases.

Rodents can also do a lot of physical damage to your garden. Their burrows can cause holes and uneven surfaces in your garden. Wooden fences are particularly vulnerable to the rodent dental attention. Constant rodent gnawing can weaken any wooden structures or containers. Also, they might damage pipes and hoses. A particular danger arises when rodents gnaw any electrical wires or even water pipes. Also, rodents can damage your car.

If you store food or seeds in garden sheds, these are likely to attract the rodents’ attention. They might chew their way through the containers and attack supplies within. Also be aware of the risks posed by leaving pet food unattended in the garden. And if you’re hoping to grow food in your garden, you’ll certainly want to ensure that you’re a not simply raising a crop for rodents to feast on.

How to keep rodents out of a garden

Your aim should be to prevent rodent activity in the first place. Check for any inviting openings in sheds and out-buildings, and seal them up. Remember, mice can squeeze through tiny holes.

  • Eliminate any harbourage points around buildings and sheds. Seal any small gaps that allow them access. Rats need only a height gap of around 15mm to gain entry and mice need 6mm, though normally mice access holes around 20-20mm in diameter.
  • Remove potential nesting places by keeping gardens clean and tidy. Remove piles of wood, garden clippings etc and cut back overgrown areas.
  • Cover any household food waste such as in compost heaps and garbage bins. Make sure lids are closed and garbage bags containing food are not left outside for long periods.
  • Do not scatter bird feed on the ground. Use a bird table or feeder basket to feed birds.

How to get rid of rats in the garden

Be careful if you’re putting down mouse traps or rat traps. Make sure that household pets (or even wandering humans) aren’t likely to stumble into them. Remember that rodents are likely to be suspicious of new items in the garden, so it will take time to traps to have an impact.

If you use toxins, rat bait and poisons, seeks professional advice. These methods can lead to dangers if not used properly.

Rodents are very cunning and opportunistic creatures so sometimes, although all the necessary prevention techniques are used, they still find a way to inhabit your garden. In these instances, your best option is to contact a certified rodent control professional to help deal with your situation. A professional pest control technician has a wide range of skills, knowledge, and expertise at their disposal allowing them to successfully remove any type of rodent from your garden.

Do you have any rodents in your garden? Contact us for immediate advice and assistance from a local expert. We’re here to help.

How to Keep Rats Away from Your Garden?

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Rats are one of the difficult pests to deal with and they can quickly evolve beyond a nuisance for your home and turn into a health hazard. Sometimes, however, they don’t target your actual house, but your outdoor space.

So, Fantastic Pest Control has made this quick handy guide to answer the most common questions and explain exactly how to get rid of rats in the garden.

Why Do You Get Rats in the Garden?

Rats will infest a garden if they find it hospitable for a dwelling. So, if your garden offers plenty of hiding places, they will love it. If it offers them lots of food, be it from a food garden you’re working really hard on, pet food left outside, or a constantly opened rubbish bin, they will love it. Have a sprinkler? They will love it.

Table of Contents

Where do rats nest in the garden?

Rats would find the safest place they can to make their nest. This can be a garden shed, a hollow space under structures, or another cluttered area with a roof. It’s possible that they also use the nearby sewers.

Are garden rats dangerous?

Yes. It doesn’t matter if they’re in your garden, or in your house – rats are a dangerous pest that carries an array of serious diseases, which are harmful to people and pets. Not only that, but they can also chew on electrical cables, which can cause significant damage to your property.

What damage can rats cause in the garden?

The first damage you can think of is if they eat all the fruit and vegetables you grow in your food garden. If you store any produce in the garden shed, they will most likely eat the food in there as well. If you have compost bins, they will invade those, too.

Their sharp teeth are able to gnaw on fences and shed doors as well as electrical wires and water pipes. Additionally, they dig holes and shallow tunnels, which can disturb your lawn and create uneven surfaces.

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Signs of Rats in the Garden

  • Rat droppings. It’s very easy to spot rat droppings, they are a sure sign that you have a problem. They are oval shaped and resemble a large rice grain about 10 mm long.
  • Pets are acting strangely. Cats and dogs will be the first to notice if there is an infestation. If you spot your pet stalking holes and crevices too much, you should be alarmed, because there is definitely something hiding.
  • Burrows. The common brown rat is known to dig holes and make shallow tunnels. They’re usually placed close to the food source.
  • Bite marks. Rats would gnaw on anything, but the most common thing you can find in the garden is rubber hoses. If there are teeth marks, this is a big sign.

How to Get Rid of Rats in the Garden

Using rat poison is the most successful method for dealing with rats. However, it’s not advisable to place toxic products anywhere near where you grow food. So for now, we will concentrate on other methods.

  • Remove all clutter. The first thing to do is to remove all the clutter that provides the rats with hiding places. In some cases, this might be enough for them to find your garden inhospitable, despite the abundance of food.
  • Live traps. Use small cages with food bait to capture the rat. These are mostly used if you’re not sure what kind of rodent infestation you’re dealing with. It may turn out not to be a rat, but an endangered species. In this case, you should capture it alive and release into the wild.
  • Snap traps. These are designed to kill the rats instantly. For a long time, they have been a very successful method of dealing with rats. If the infestation is small, they might be enough.
  • Electrocution traps. Another effective (and expensive) type of trap that can help you a lot. These are boxes that produce a high voltage shock that kills the rat instantly.
  • Use water. Flooding their burrows is a good way to evict them, however, bear in mind they might have dug tunnels under your crops, so you might be flooding your plants as well.

How to Get Rid of Rats in the Garden Shed

  • Get equipped. You might get in contact with rat faeces or with a dead rat, and that can be extremely dangerous for your health. So, put on a face mask and rubber gloves.
  • Find and seal all holes. Look at all the possible entry points in the walls, door, floor, and even roof. A rat can easily get through a coin-sized hole, so seal all of them tightly.
  • Install traps. Be it traps for instant killing, or the more humane live traps, just make sure to make the shed environment inhospitable.

How to Keep Rats Away from the Garden

Once you’re certain you are rat free, it’s a good idea to make a few changes in the garden in order to make sure they won’t come back.

Get a pet

If you don’t have a dog or an outdoor cat, now might be a good time to consider the option. It’s not advisable to use your pets as pest control, but as a preventative measure, they can do a good job.

Keep food away from the lawn

Things like bird feeders and pet food can easily attract rats and other rodents, so don’t put any there, unless it’s highly necessary.

Shut tightly the rubbish bin

There are very handy locks you can install on the rubbish bin, so the smell from organic waste doesn’t attract just rats, but any wildlife in general.

Check also:

6 Reasons Why Rats Make Good Pets

How Effective Are Cats in Pest Control

Keep the garden tidy

The less clutter you have, the more inhospitable your garden would be for rats. This includes the lawn. High grass is perfect for hiding, so make sure to mow it regularly.

Block access to the garden shed

Block holes in the walls and door and make sure there are no hollow areas under the shed that can serve as a potential hiding spot. This will keep the rats away from the shed.

Remove water sources if possible

It’s a tricky thing to do, but it’s a good idea to remove sprinklers and birdbaths from your lawn. Unlike mice, rats cannot survive without water and this would be a good reason for them to keep away.

Rats are very difficult to deal with when they manage to increase in number, so you should ever be vigilant to notice the first signs and act accordingly. If you let a rat infestation get out of hand, you may find it hard to eliminate without the help of professional pest controllers, and the Fantastic Pest Control team is always ready.

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One Response

  1. Willson says:

    Pests like rats, mice and cockroaches may appear in your house if you neglect cleaning and do not take out the trash on time. I’m surprised people live in filth and then wonder why their place became infested.

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Although the mouse mix will provide the mouse with a good basic diet, mice also enjoy fruit and vegetables. However, it is important that fruit and vegetables should be introduced to a mouse’s diet gradually as a sudden large amount of fruit or vegetables can cause diarrhoea.

To begin with the mouse should only be given a small piece of fruit or vegetable once or twice a week and graducally this can be increased to larger amounts every day. If at any time the mouse shows signs of diarrhoea all feeding of fruit and vegetables should stop until the mouse has recovered and then gradually re-introduced into the diet.

Certain vegetables, herbs and fruit can be fed to mouse. The mouse should only be fed an amount it will eat as if the mouse is fed too much and leaves vegetables and fruit in the cage it can become mouldy.

Some fruit, vegetables and herbs that are safe to feed a mouse are:

  • Apple (seedless)
  • Banana
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts – small amounts occasionally
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower leaves and stalks
  • Cucumber
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Lettuce – small amounts occasionally
  • Mango
  • Parsley – a good tonic
  • Peas
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Tomato

Fruit, vegetables and herbs that should not be fed include:

  • Kidney Beans (raw)
  • Onion
  • Potato (raw)
  • Potato tops
  • Rhubarb (raw)
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Tomato leaves

I often get asked what a rat can and cannot eat, so I have compiled this list as a guide for owners. This is to get an idea of what can be fed and what should be avoided. Not everything is included in this list but I have tried to include as much as possible.
As a general rule if its safe for human consumption then it’s OK for Rats too.
Rats need a balanced diet, so everything in moderation.
Foods to avoid.
Mouldy Soft Cheese – The moulds in the cheese are often toxic so best to avoid
Citrus for Bucks – Due to the D-Limonene in the Citrus fruit, mainly found in the pith and skin, this can cause cancer in males.
Green Potato
Carbonated Drinks
Raw Dry Beans
Raw Peanuts
Fruit Stones
Safe FoodsVegetables – Aduki beans, Asparagus, Aubergine/Eggplant, Avocado, Bamboo shoots, Bean Sprouts, Beetroot, Bok Choy/Pak Choi, Board Beans, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Butternut Squash, Cannellini beans, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chick peas, Chicory, Clover leaf, Coconut, Collard greens, Courgette/Zucchini, Cress, Cucumber, Dandelion leaves, Fennel, French beans, Gala, Garlic, Globe artichoke, Green beans, Haricot beans, Jerusalem artichoke, Kale, Kidney beans, Leek, Lentils, Mange tout, Marrow, Mung beans, Mushrooms, Okra, Olive, Onion, Parsnips, Peas, Peppers, Potato, Pumpkin, Radish, Red Cabbage, Red onion, Rocket, Runner bean, Savoy cabbage, Shallot, Soya Beans, Spring greens, Spring onion, Spinach, Swede, Sweet chestnuts, Sweet corn, Sugar snap pea, Turnip, Water chestnut, Watercress.
Fruit – Please note pips and stones should be removed – Apples, Apricots, Banana, Cantaloupe, Cherries, Damsons, Figs, Grapes, Kiwi, Melon, Nectarines, Passion fruit, Peach, Pears, Papaya, Pineapple, Plums, Pomegranate, Prunes, Raisins, Tomato.
Berries – Blueberries, Blackberries, Cranberries, Loganberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Elderberries, Goji berries, Gooseberry, Hawthorn, Juniper, Mountain ash.
Herbs – Basil, Parsley, Dill, Coriander, Sage, Tarragon, Saffron, Echinacea, Dandelion, Mint, Thyme, Oregano, Chives, Rosemary
Some flowers, leaves and branches are safe to eat/chew. I mainly stick to fruit leaves and branches.
Nuts – Almond, Walnut, Brazil nut, Hazelnut, Peanut, Cashew, Pecan, Macadamia, Tiger nut.
Meats – can be given raw or cook but I tend to stick to cooked – Beef, Chicken, Lamp, Pork, Goat, Rabbit, Duck, Goose, Turkey, Quail, Pheasant, and Offal.
Eggs are also safe to eat and are best given cooked in the shell for enrichment.
Seafood – Cooked or raw but again I stick to cooked – Bass, Crab, Haddock, Halibut, Herring, Mackerel, Roe, Salmon, Sardine, Sea bass, Shrimp, Swordfish, Trout, Tuna, Lobster.
Insects marketed for Reptiles are safe for rats to eat, never feed wild insects as these can be harmful.
Milk is fine for rats to drink and can help if a rat has lost weight – Coconut Milk, Almond Milk, Goats Milk, Puppy Milk, Cow’s Milk, Condensed Milk. Lactol is also handy to have which is powdered Kitten/Puppy Milk.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and veg should be fed daily, making up 50% of the food offered to your finches (25% if you are feeding pellets). All leftovers need to be removed from the cage at the end of the day, as they quickly spoil and rot (or attract mice, rats and wasps in aviaries).

Food fit for a Java Sparrow

Finches are generally unfussy and will enjoy any suitable vegetables you offer. A mixture of bright colours appeals to them, so mix green courgette and broccoli with red apple and bell pepper, orange carrot and butternut squash, yellow corn cobs and… well, you get the idea. The key here is to provide food that is good for the birds, and to avoid ones that can upset their stomachs. As a starting point, try to source organic food, and always wash it well before serving to the birds.

Suitable Fruit and Vegetables For Finches

  • apple (avoid the pips: they contain small amounts of cyanide)
  • banana
  • beetroot
  • bell peppers (all colours)
  • blueberries
  • broccoli (the sprouting varieties are best)
  • butternut squash (and any other squash)
  • cabbage (savoy, kale)
  • carrot
  • celery (leafy ends – the sticks themselves are too watery and will fill the bird without adding much nutrition)
  • corn on the cob
  • courgette (zucchini)
  • fennel bulb (especially the feathery green parts)
  • greens – try dandelion, chickweed, nasturtium, spinach, parsley, spring greens, mustard cress; but only in small quantities – an excess of greens can hinder calcium absorption
  • mango
  • melon
  • papaya
  • peach and nectarine
  • pear (not the pips – for the same reason as apples, above!)
  • peas – fresh from the pod
  • pumpkin (and any other squash)
  • raspberries
  • strawberries
  • sweet potato
  • tomato (ripe – never green)

Unsuitable Foods for Finches

Never feed your birds the following:

  • acorns
  • alcohol of any kind
  • aubergine (egg plant) – the stem and unripe parts are toxic, and finches don’t tend to be very interested in the flesh if there are other vegetables on offer
  • avocado – this is both fatty and toxic
  • beans – no uncooked bean is suitable
  • broad beans (fava beans)
  • caffeine
  • chocolate or any other sweets and confectionary aimed at sweet-toothed humans
  • citrus fruits – these are fine in very small amounts, but too much can cause digestive problems and loose droppings
  • elderberries
  • fruit stones, pits and pips – most of these are mildly toxic (or, in the case of peach stones, lethal)
  • garlic – opinion is split on whether the garlic and onion family is okay for finches, and wherever there is doubt, it’s easier to simply avoid
  • lettuce – not toxic, but of very low nutritional value, so there’s no point having your birds filling up on it. It can also turn droppings watery if eaten in bulk.
  • mushrooms of any kind
  • nettle
  • onion – see garlic, above
  • peanuts
  • potato – these are mildly toxic when raw
  • rhubarb – the leaves are toxic
  • sweet pea
  • tobacco

Dried Fruit and Veg for Finches

Finches enjoy dried food, but you should avoid giving them too many sweet treats such as raisins and sultanas. You can buy prepacked dried fruit and veg, and as long as it’s organic and without preservatives or colourings (sulphur is one to watch out for, as it’s routinely used to colour things like dried apricot), it’s a suitable finch foodstuff. The one advantage of dried food is that it doesn’t spoil as quickly as fresh fruit and veg. Many finches enjoy the texture, too, and some like to put the bits of the mix in their water trays, eating it when it has partially rehydrated. Dry food can also be a handy bridge between seed and fresh food if your seed-addicted bird is reluctant to add new stuff to his diet.

Dry food and fresh food each have their place in your pet finch’s diet

Preparing Fresh Food for Finches

Hard vegetables and fruits such as carrots, squash and unripe pears should be finely chopped or grated. Greens can be left whole or chopped – it’s a good idea to mix the fresh foods together, though, so chopping usually works best. If serving sprigs of greens separately (dandelion, for example – a particular favourite with many finches), leave them whole, and tie together in a bunch for the birds to snip with their beaks.

Serve fresh food on feeding stations away from the dried food – any fresh stuff landing in the dry seed will encourage rotting. If you have an aviary, the fruit and veg can be served on the floor. In the wild finches search for fruits and seeds on the ground, so this appeals to their natural instincts.

Welcome to our complete guide to rabbits eating zucchini! Letting you know whether it’s safe to feed your bunny this tasty vegetable, and how to do so. Answering that important question – can rabbits eat zucchini safely?

We’d all like to feed our rabbits as varied a diet as we can provide, to keep things interesting for us and them. In “Can Rabbits Eat Zucchini we’ll find out if zucchini could be a new addition to your rabbits meals.

Can rabbits eat Zucchini?

Can rabbits eat zucchini? Yes, they can!

Although not as commonly linked to rabbits as carrots or hay, people all over the world supplement their rabbits’ meals with zucchini.

As part of a balanced diet zucchini gives extra nutrition and variety to your rabbits’ mealtimes.

Rabbits eat zucchini, and some really enjoy it! But as with any fresh vegetable it can’t be their main food source.

Wild rabbits survive mainly by grazing, and your bunny is no different!

The optimum way to feed your pet rabbit is with a hay-based diet, supplemented with fresh vegetables.

Let’s take a closer look at the part zucchini can play in that diet.(SEE NOTES)

Is zucchini safe for rabbits?

So we know that the answer to can rabbits eat zucchini is technically yes, but is this always the case and at any quantity?

Adding new foods to your rabbits diet can always be a cause for worry. The pitfalls of rabbits’ intolerances to certain foods can make it a little scary.

The PDSA lists zucchini as safe to feed to your rabbit as part of it’s daily supplement of fresh vegetables. So at first glance it looks as though it could be a great new addition to your rabbit’s mealtimes!

But are there any circumstances when zucchini might be bad for your pet? (SEE NOTES)

Is zucchini bad for rabbits?

It’s all about quantity and following the rules for a basic healthy rabbit diet regime.

As part of a hay-based, well-rounded diet, zucchini poses no inherent threat to healthy rabbit.

That being said, all rabbits are different. Sometimes the only way to know is to experiment, so that you can tailor your rabbit’s meal to suit them.

Avoiding bunny tummy troubles

As with all new foods it should be introduced slowly to allow your pet to become familiar with it. That means introducing anything new, including zucchini, in tiny quantities.

This is important because diarrhea can be serious in rabbits, and a sudden change in diet can upset your rabbit’s tummy.

Start with a tiny taster and increase quantities over the space of several days. If you notice any new problems, remove the zucchini and continue to monitor your rabbit. Always contact your vet if diarrhea doesn’t clear up rapidly.

So, if zucchini fed sensibly won’t harm your rabbit, does it actually do him any good?

Is zucchini good for rabbits?

The addition of fresh vegetables to your rabbits diet makes their meals more interesting and varied, but can also have health benefits.

Zucchinis contain a whole host of nutrients and a good quantity of potassium (262mg per 100g).

Potassium is essential for your rabbit’s nervous system.

Any supplement of fresh vegetables will be beneficial to your rabbit’s digestive system.

A small helping of fresh vegetables can go a long way for your rabbit, and zucchinis are no exception. Remember to give your rabbits zucchini gradually for the best results.

How much zucchini should my rabbit eat?

It’s all about proportions rather than exact quantities. Your rabbit should thrive on a hay-based diet. Fresh vegetables should be as a supplement, not a mainstay.

Fresh vegetables can and will help make your rabbits diet healthy and nutritious, but they should not make up the bulk of their food. A slice or two of zucchini for a small rabbit, mixed in with other vegetables, a large rabbit might enjoy three or four slices

Remember, too many vegetables can cause digestive distress.

Rabbits are not good at judging when it is time to stop, so be careful not to overload them!

Can rabbits eat zucchini raw?

As with any vegetable you choose to feed your rabbit, zucchini should be fresh and raw. Your rabbit’s digestive system is optimized to handle hay and raw vegetables. It’s how they prefer them!

Can rabbits eat zucchini cooked?

Everything a rabbit needs can be provided in fresh and raw form. Their stomachs are just not made to handle cooked food, and there’s really no reason to give it to them.

The advantage here is that it’s not only healthy for your rabbit, but less effort for you! Raw produce is usually cheap and readily available, so it’s easy to keep variety in your rabbits diet.

We take in the nutrients in vegetables more easily after cooking, but your rabbit is fully optimised to take on raw food.

Tempting as it may be to unload your leftovers on your pets, it’s better to avoid this with your pet rabbits.

When a food is cooked it breaks down its component nutrients.

Can rabbits eat frozen zucchini?

Zucchinis are rarely frozen, but it’s a viable way to extend the shelf life for human consumption.

Okay for people does not necessarily mean okay for rabbits however.

We eat a lot of foods that rabbits cannot.

Freezing breaks down food in a similar way to cooking. It also destroys some of the nutrients that make zucchini a viable option for your rabbit. It will also affect the way the zucchini tastes, which might put your bun off!

Fresh is always best when it comes to feeding your rabbit vegetables.

Do rabbits like zucchini?

Rabbits are rarely picky, and will eat most things given to them.

Every rabbit is different, and nobody can tell you which vegetables they will enjoy. Introduce new food slowly, and let your rabbit become familiar for the best chances.

Whether zucchini proves a new favorite is down to your rabbit!

Can bunnies eat zucchini – summary

Rabbits can eat zucchini and many rabbits will enjoy small quantities of this vegetable as part of a well balanced diet.

When your bunny is in the earlier stages of it’s life, you’ll understandably be worried about how it’s young stomach will cope with different foods.

And current guidelines are to introduce any vegetables very gradually at 2-4 months of age.

If your bunny has only recently been weaned, it’s best to leave the zucchini until their later life. Add vegetables slowly and cautiously to your buns diet.

As we mentioned before you should watch your rabbits for any changes in behavior following a dietary adjustment.

Let us know how you get on in the comments below and tell us what your rabbits think of zucchini.

Resources & Further Reading

  • PDSA
  • Halls A E. Nutritional Requirements for Rabbits 2010
  • United states department of agriculture


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  • Rats are omnivores (they eat plant and animal material). They will eat a wide variety of food if offered. Rats are intelligent animals and providing a variety of different foods can help to enrich their environment.

    Basic Rat feeding guide

    • Rats should be fed a combination of ad lib fresh fruits and vegetables and small amounts of good quality rat pellets or rat cubes (ensure they have a protein content of at least 16% & fat content of 4-5%).
    • Avoid feeding rats a seed/grain mix as these are too high in fat and sugar. Rats are very prone to becoming obese and malnourished on these mixes. They tend to ‘select’ their favourite bits in the mix and therefore miss out on important nutrients.
    • The following should be considered as treats and only offered in very small amounts: Cereals, grains, seeds, breads, biscuits, sweets, cooked pasta and rice and breakfast cereals.
    • Provide clean fresh water at all times.
    • Any changes to the diet should be made gradually to avoid gastrointestinal upsets.

    Do not feed the following (please note that this is not an exhaustive list):

    • Blue cheese
    • Green bananas – inhibits starch-digesting enzymes
    • Green potato skin
    • Licorice – suspected to cause neurological poisoning in rats
    • Orange juice
    • Mango
    • Raw artichokes
    • Raw dry beans or peanuts
    • Raw red cabbage and brussel sprouts
    • Raw sweet potato
    • Avocado
    • Rhubarb
    • Sticky foods such as peanut butter, some candy, and dried fruits – poses a choking hazard
    • Seaweed

    Want to know what safe foods for rats are?
    If so, take a look at this article. We’ve done some investigation on how to know what foods your rats can safely have.

    From the smallest of the rodents to the largest of the canines, all pets love treats.

    But how do we know what is safe to give them and what is dangerous?

    For more common house pets such as cats and dogs, the nutritional rules may be more universally known.

    But for more exotic pets like the intelligent, albeit tiny rat, the lines may be a bit more blurred.

    Like most pets, rats are unique and have specific dietary needs.

    What do rats eat? What can rats eat?

    In today’s article, we hope to help you navigate your rat’s most prominent dietary needs as well as provide you with a list of what you can feed him and what you should stay away from.

    So, let’s get started!

    What Are The Dietary Needs of Rats?

    Rats, like most living creatures, have specific dietary needs that play a vital role in their longevity, their health, and their overall happiness.

    Whether they are in the wild or in an enclosure, all rats need a balanced diet of vitamins and minerals, proteins, and healthy carbohydrates.

    So what do wild rats eat, anyway? Do rats eat meat?

    Did you know that rats are omnivores? Their natural diet consists of both plant-based foods and animal proteins, and that doesn’t change when they are domesticated.

    The best way to keep your pet rat happy and healthy is to provide him with the healthy diet he needs to thrive.

    Pet rats do best with commercial rat foods specifically designed for them.

    That means foods made for guinea pigs and rabbits simply won’t do. Rat food is created to meet all the nutritional needs of these plant and meat-eating critters.

    You can learn more about pet rats by clicking here.

    Can Rats Eat Human Foods?

    While we recommend implementing a high-quality commercial rat food into your rat’s daily diet, there are also some human foods your pet rat will not only enjoy but can help to add a healthy variation to their everyday meals!

    Many human foods are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and protein. They should be implemented into your rat’s day-to-day food intake.

    Here Are 25 Foods That Are Safe for Your Pet Rat!

    Here’s a list of 25 safe foods.Click on each one to find out more!

    1. Grapes
    2. Bananas
    3. Apples
    4. Tomatoes
    5. Cherries and other berries
    6. Plums
    7. Melons
    8. Pineapples
    9. Green Vegetables
    10. Potatoes
    11. Sweet Potatoes and other tubers
    12. Pasta and bread
    13. Pumpkin
    14. Rice
    15. Popsicles
    16. Peppers
    17. Cheese
    18. Meats
    19. Saltine crackers
    20. Yogurt
    21. Eggs
    22. Almonds and sunflower seeds
    23. Cereal
    24. Dog biscuits
    25. Mushrooms

    Can rats eat grapes?

    Yes! If they’re seedless.

    Dogs should stay away from grapes – but rats, on the other hand, will thoroughly enjoy them!

    In fact, purple grapes especially have even been said to have anti-carcinogenic properties. They can actually help to reduce the chances of your rat developing cancer.

    However, we should keep in mind that, like most fruits, grapes are a high source of sugar. An excessive amount can cause digestive issues in your rat, such as diarrhea.

    Can rats eat raisins? Only in very small amounts, as these treats have a lot of concentrated sugar.

    Can rats eat bananas?

    As long as they are not green!

    Feeding your rat an unripe banana can cause harmful digestive problems.

    However, yellow or browning bananas are just fine and can be an excellent source of vitamins for your rat.

    Still, since bananas are high in sugar and fat, they should not be implemented as a primary food source and should only be given as an occasional treat.

    Can rats eat apples?

    Apples can add a delightful bit of diversity to your rat’s diet.

    Avoid the core and seeds and offer him small slices a few times a week to give him a tasty, juicy treat he’ll love!

    Can rats eat pears? What about other fruits? Watery fruits, such as pears, peaches, and kiwis, can also be safe.

    Can rats eat tomatoes?

    These are actually a great source of potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C, as well as cancer-fighting phytochemicals.

    So yes, they can! But just remember, rats may not like the skin, and they might make a mess.

    Can rats eat cherries? Can rats eat strawberries? Can rats eat blueberries?

    The answer to all of these is yes.

    A number of other berries such as raspberries and blackberries are also safe for rats and serve as wonderful treats.

    Still, remember that like most fruits, berries are a natural source of sugar. They should, therefore, be given in limited doses and you should remove any pits.

    Can rats eat plums?

    Plums are chock full of vitamins, including vitamin C.

    Vitamin C is an essential vitamin responsible for healthy tissue development in not only humans but rats as well!

    Can rats eat watermelon? Can rats eat other melons?

    Rats love juicy fruits like melons.

    Give them a small slice a few times a week to reward them for good behavior, or simply to show them you care.

    Some of a rat’s favorite melons include honeydew, cantaloupe, and seedless watermelon.

    Can rats eat pineapple?

    These acidic fruits are high in sugar.

    So while they are safe, they should be fed in moderation.

    Can rats eat broccoli? Can rats eat cucumber? Can rats eat avocado?

    Break out the broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, kale, avocado, and cucumber.

    Green veggies like the ones listed above are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and protein.

    Avocado is great for rats that need to gain weight quickly. Just avoid seeds, rind, and leaves. Note that asparagus, broccoli, and cauliflower can give rats gas, so feed sparingly.

    Rats will love munching on these healthy green snacks. But see the list below for greens to avoid – spinach and celery!

    Can rats eat potatoes?

    Potatoes are a fat-free, sodium free, cholesterol free source of vitamins C and B6. They are also excellent sources of fiber, magnesium, and antioxidants that will help to keep your rat happy and thriving.

    However, you should avoid potatoes that have turned green as they contain solanine, a toxic chemical that can cause digestive issues in rats.

    Also, be sure to peel and dice your potatoes. Only give your rat the meat of the potato.

    Never give your rat the potato eyes, which are the potato endpoints.

    Can rats eat sweet potatoes? Can rats eat carrots and other tubers?

    Like russet potatoes, cooked sweet potatoes are a fabulous source of vitamins and minerals.

    Avoid giving your rat uncooked sweet potatoes, however, as they can prove toxic.

    What about other tubers? Can rats eat carrots? Can they have rutabaga and parsnips?

    Yes, in small amounts. Tubers can be good for their nutritional value and because they have less sugar and water than other fruits and vegetables.

    Cooked squash is a healthy veggie your rat will love. Carrots can be eaten raw.

    Can rats eat pasta and bread?

    Cooked and dried pastas are a tasty treat and a great source of carbs, which rats actually need in their diet to flourish.

    Rats will especially enjoy dried pasta as they can gnaw on it a bit more.

    Can rats eat bread? Whole-grain breads and pastas are safe for rats to eat especially if softened with milk, but don’t allow them much, as it can give them gastrointestinal issues.

    Can rats eat pumpkin?

    Rats love pumpkin, so feel free to incorporate it into your pet rat’s diet every once in a while.

    Be careful, though, as pumpkin seeds are very high in fat. While rats can eat the seeds, we suggest you give your rat pumpkin seeds in moderation.

    Can rats eat rice?

    While rats can have white or brown rice, we suggest brown rice.

    Can rats eat popsicles?

    Popsicles aren’t just a fun summer treat for us! Rats too enjoy these icy delights, especially when it’s warm outside.

    Remember, popsicles are typically a high source of sugar and artificial flavoring, so give only give bits of popsicle to your rat in small doses.

    You can also seek out the lower fat, sugar-free variety.

    Can rats eat peppers?

    Of course, we’re talking about sweet red, yellow, and green peppers, not spicy!

    Give your rats small slices at a time and watch him much away on these colorful, juicy, tasty veggies!

    Can rats eat cheese?

    This is a no-brainer, really.

    Everyone knows that rats love cheese! This includes cottage cheese.

    However, we suggest cheese in smaller quantities and on only on occasion. The healthiest options for your rat are cheeses that are soy-based.

    Avoid blue cheese, as the mold can be toxic to your rat.

    Can rats eat meat?

    As previously mentioned, rats are omnivores. This means they require both meat and plant-based foods.

    Thoroughly cooked meats such as liver, beef, chicken, turkey, and ham are excellent sources of protein.

    Chicken and liver are the healthiest options for your rat. Small amounts of turkey, ham, and beef are fine too.

    Can rats eat saltine crackers?

    Since rats like to chew, saltine crackers are a fine snack for them.

    However, only give saltine crackers occasionally, as they are high in salt, Too much sodium will make your rat sick.

    Can rats eat yogurt?

    Yogurt can play a wonderful role in keeping your rat’s digestive system healthy.

    Plain yogurt with low sugar and live active cultures are the healthiest.

    Can rats eat eggs?

    Protein is an essential part of a rat’s diet.

    Scrambled or hard-boiled eggs are protein-laden food rats will love!

    Can rats eat almonds and sunflower seeds?

    What about nuts and seeds? Can rats eat almonds?

    While nuts like almonds and sunflower seeds are fine for your rat, they are high in fats. They should only be given on occasion or as a special treat.

    Can rats eat cereal?

    Cheerios, Chex Mix, Corn Flakes, and other cereals low in sugar and high in carbs make delightful and healthy snacks for your pet rat.

    Can rats eat dog biscuits?

    Dogs aren’t the only one who love dog biscuits!

    If you are going to give your rat this doggy-style treat, we recommend small amounts, broken off if necessary.

    Dog biscuits are very hard, and your rat will enjoy chewing on them.

    Can rats eat mushrooms?

    Can rats eat mushrooms? Yes, in small amounts, if cooked.

    Cooked mushrooms can offer many health benefits to your pet rat. An occasionally cooked mushroom makes a great treat while at the same time offering a lot of nutritional value to your rat’s diet.

    However, not all mushrooms are safe. Only feed your rat mushrooms that are deemed safe for human consumption as well.

    20 Foods You Should Never Feed to Your Pet Rat

    1. Raw Beans
    2. Chocolate
    3. Poppy seeds
    4. Licorice
    5. Raw sweet potatoes
    6. Candy
    7. Peanuts
    8. Soft drinks
    9. Caffeinated drinks
    10. Unripe/green bananas
    11. Raw artichokes
    12. Rhubarb
    13. Green potatoes
    14. Spinach and celery
    15. Moldy foods
    16. Wild insects
    17. Onions
    18. Tofu
    19. Potato skin and eyes
    20. Citrus fruits

    Can rats eat uncooked beans?


    Uncooked beans contain hemagglutinin, an extremely toxic anti-nutrient that can harm the digestive tract in rats.

    Can rats eat chocolate?

    Chocolate, while a human favorite, is full of large amounts of sugar and caffeine, both of which can be toxic to rats in large doses.

    For this reason, chocolate should be avoided.

    Can rats eat poppy seeds?

    Poppy seeds can be fatal to rats or cause irreversible brain and nerve damage.

    You should be especially careful what you are feeding your pet rat, as poppy seeds are found in many tasty human foods.

    Can rats eat licorice?

    Just like poppy seeds, licorice has been known to cause neurological problems in pet rats.

    Aside from being toxic, it is also high in sugar.

    Can rats eat raw sweet potatoes?

    While cooked sweet potatoes are just fine, raw sweet potatoes can be toxic.

    Make sure you cook them and dice them up before giving them to your pet rat.

    Can rats eat candy?

    Candy is a very high source of sugar with basically no nutritional value whatsoever.

    When looking for a sweet treat for your pet rat, we suggest small amounts of fruits from the list of safe foods above.

    Can rats eat peanuts?

    Peanuts contain anti-nutrients and, like raw beans, harm your pet rat’s digestive system.

    For this reason, you should also avoid peanut butter.

    Can rats have soft drinks?

    Like candy, soft drinks contain high amounts of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. Neither of these is good for your rat.

    Can rats have caffeinated drinks?

    Caffeine raises the heart rate and can cause heart attacks in small animals such as rats.

    For this reason, caffeine should absolutely be kept away from your pet rat.

    Can rats eat unripe or green bananas?

    As stated above, ripe bananas are a delicious treat for your rat.

    However, green bananas can be toxic and cause digestive issues for your pet rat.

    Can rats eat raw artichokes?

    While many veggies are great for rats, raw artichokes can harm the rat’s digestive system.

    Can rats eat rhubarb?

    Rhubarb contains oxalates, which are extremely toxic and can kill your pet rat, especially if improperly cooked.

    For that reason, this food is off limits.

    Can rats eat green potatoes?

    Russet potatoes are perfectly safe when ripe, but they become toxic when they are too ripe and turn green.

    Can rats have spinach or celery?

    Can rats eat spinach? The answer is no.

    Spinach contains high levels of oxalates, which is toxic to rats and can cause numerous health issues.

    Can rats eat celery? Not really! Celery has very little nutritional value, and is a known carcinogen for rats.

    Can rats eat moldy foods?

    If you think your pet rat will fare just fine eating that old piece of moldy bread, think again.

    Mold can be toxic to rats. This is the main reason blue cheese is such a no-no!

    Can rats eat wild insects?

    Many pet stores offer mealworms as a safe food for rats.

    However, insects farmed for pet consumption are very different than insects that live in the wild.

    Wild insects can be a source of disease and pesticides. Some even harbor parasites.

    Can rats eat onions?

    Onions can make your rat sick, causing anemia and digestive problems.

    Can rats eat tofu?

    Some tofu can contain harmful bacteria that can be toxic to your rat.

    Can rats eat potato skins and eyes?

    While the meat of a potato is safe for your rat, the potato’s skin and eyes (the eyes being the endpoints of the potato) can be toxic to your rat and should not be given to him.

    If you are feeding your rat potato, be sure it is peeled and diced first.

    Can rats eat oranges? Can rats eat grapefruit?

    High-citrus foods like oranges are safe for female rats, but male rats should not eat citrus fruits. These contain high levels of D-limonene, which can cause kidney cancer in males.

    For this reason, we say avoid citrus foods altogether for both female and male rats.

    Other foods that contain D-limonene include orange peels, orange juice, mangos, black pepper, and nutmeg. So can rats eat mango? Nope.

    What Else Should You Know About Your Rat’s Diet?

    So now you know the answer to, “What do pet rats eat?”

    The lists above are not complete lists. Be sure you research any foods you are unsure of before offering them to your pet rat.

    Unlike humans, rats do not have a gag reflex and cannot throw up foods that are toxic to them.

    Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you know what you are giving your rat and whether or not is healthy for him.

    Make sure human foods make up no more than 10-20 percent of your rat’s diet. Which ones are your rat’s favorites?

    Resources and Further Reading

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