Rats And Mice On Marijuana Plants

June 3, 2021

Rats and mice are rodents that scavenge for their food. Marijuana plants are an example of such rodent food.

As with many scavengers, they aren’t particularly picky when it comes to eating. They generally prefer human trash, but as soon as they run out of this first option they are known for gobbling up plant material.

Rats and mice both have long whiskers that are similar to a cat’s whiskers. They function as both a measuring stick as well as a feeler. Like cats, their whiskers are there to determine whether the space is wide enough to fit the animal’s entire body. This allows rats and mice alike to confidently squeeze through tiny holes and reach your basement or attic in search of some delicious treats.

Download my free Grow Bible to learn about pests that could ruin your marijuana plants.

Signs of rats and mice

It does sometimes happen , however, since rats require an entire third of their weight in food every day. Luckily for you, rats generally weigh less than one pound, and mice weigh in far below that.

Like all rodents, mice and rats have front teeth that continuously grow throughout their lives. These teeth have the perfect design for biting, chewing, and gnawing. These critters have no choice but to chew on things constantly to wear down their teeth, sort of like we use nail files to maintain and control our fingernail growth. Rats and mice would have a lot of gum pain and difficulty walking if they allowed their teeth to continue growing.

It is theorized that this is one of the main reasons they seem to like to chew on marijuana plant stalks so much. The woody stalk is another tool they can use for shaving down their rapidly growing teeth.

Signs of rat and mice

Rats reproduce at uncanny rates. They’re just as bad as rabbits in this respect. They won’t get out of hand just as long as you keep their environment the opposite of rat-friendly. That is, keeping the local cat population high enough to deal with these pests is generally a good idea.

This could be the neighborhood cat population as well as the population around your farm – whichever one is more fitting to your specific situation.

You might notice signs of gnawing or chewing on the stalks of your marijuana plants. You also might discover concentrations of rat stool or damage to your plants’ buds. You might even stumble upon the rats’ or mice’s nests, burrows, or colonies. If you have an eye for detail, you might be able to discover where rats have been scuttling across the ground. They generally form “runways,” which are little rat-sized trails between the food source and their shelter.

How to get rid of rats and mice

While rats and mice can be rather annoying, they generally won’t threaten the livelihood of your crop. This is simply because they prefer lots of other foods over fresh greens. Additionally, many outdoor marijuana growers know there are carnivorous birds in the local region where they are growing, meaning hawks, owls, and eagles probably already do a good job of keeping the rat population in check.

How to get rid of rats and mice - eagles can keep rat population in check
Carnivores like eagles can keep rat population in check

As already described, you can be sure there will not be a rat or mouse problem near your grow site as long as you make sure there is not a nice environment for them to live or scavenge in. One way of doing this (besides population the area with outside cats) is to make sure you contain your compost in a box or bucket with a tight lid. This has the added benefit of assisting your compost in its heating up process when it begins to sterilize.

If you are growing near your house, make sure to keep your kitchen scraps (the ones that don’t belong in your compost bin) sealed up in a plastic bag. You should throw it away in a garbage receptacle that has a lid that fits on snugly.

If you have any pets, make sure that you clean out their food bowls thoroughly and frequently. This will not only help avoid a rat or mouse infestation, but also ants, squirrels, and raccoons.

Always clean out food bowls thoroughly to avoid rats and mice
Always clean out food bowls thoroughly to avoid rats and mice

If you’re going to store something in the attic, make sure they are put in containers that are completely air-tight. This applies even to things aren’t sources of food for rats and mice. Both types of rodents will gladly steal your paper and fabric to improve the coziness of their nests.

You should also make sure that your entire landscape doesn’t have any delicious snacks left out. For a rat or mouse, delicious snacks can include fallen fruit, grain bags, animal food, fallen tree debris, dog or cat feces, or even horse feces. That’s right, rats even love to eat your pet’s poop. If you have it, you can add horse manure to your compost pile. It will help with the heating process that leads to breakdown and sterilization.

Keep the overgrowth trimmed around your house. Your house should be a minimum of 18 inches away from every plant. You should also trim vines that are winding their way around trees. This will help the tree and protect you from rats.

Trim vines winding their way around trees
Trim vines winding their way around trees

Keep your house free of any points of entry for rodents. Make sure your house’s foundations, windows, and doors are all perfectly sealed. If they aren’t, it’s basically like sending rats and mice a formal invitation into your home.

Another way of inviting mice and rats near your home is having a bird feeder that is low to the ground. Make sure any bird feeder you have is high enough that these rodents can’t reach them. You could even buy a bird feeder that actually collapses when too much weight is put on it. This will keep away squirrels as well, but will allow birds to use it just fine.

List of marijuana plant symptoms

  • Bite marks
  • Chewed stalks
  • Chewed buds
  • Concentrated mouse droppings
  • Rat habitats or mouse habitats

Rat poisons shouldn’t be necessary. In fact, you should avoid using them at all costs. They will cause long-term harm to the environment, and can lead to some major unpleasantness for you. If the rat eats the poison and retreats back to your home, and then dies there, you will have some pungent dead meat odors plaguing your home. You won’t be pleased with yourself if you decide to use rat poison.

Remember that plants with strong genetics have less change of getting sick and are less vulnerable for pests and diseases. So make sure you buy cannabis seeds from a trusted seed bank.

Buy Marijuana Seeds

FAQs About Rats and Mice on Cannabis Plants

What are some signs of rat infestation on your plants?

Bite marks, chewed stalks, droppings and rat habitats are some of the most common signs of rats and mice on your marijuana plants.

How can you avoid rats and mice around cannabis?

You can keep rats and mice in check by always keeping compost and kitchen scraps tightly sealed, avoiding plant overgrowth, and keeping your house free of any points of entry for rodents.

Do you have other tips for preventing rats and mice on your weed plants? Please leave your comments below.

Happy growing!


The founder of I Love Growing Marijuana, Robert Bergman, is a marijuana growing expert that enjoys sharing his knowledge with the world. He combines years of experience, ranging from small-scale grows to massive operations, with a passion for growing. His articles include tutorials on growing... [read more]


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  1. By Symptom Checker – Identify Marijuana Plant Problems ,24 Jul 2015
    […] Rats and mice […]
  2. By Marijuana Pests & Bugs – Control And Identification ,21 Jan 2016
    […] As with many of the pests listed in this index, your best bet is to take preventative rather than a reactive measure to keep rats and mice away. That is; you should do your best create an environment which […]Read More
  3. By weedsbro ,02 May 2016
    the first phrase was a bit lacking in writing fluidity... "rodents are opportunistic omnivores who relish seeds and fresh saplings, and cannabis is one of their favourites"
  4. By La volpe ,07 Oct 2016
    hi everyone , so i come in peace . I was searching about the health risks if i smoke an herb that has been touched ,climbed up or eaten a lil bit by a rat . Here in the west […]Read More
  5. By Laura ,21 Mar 2019
    Just put my germinated seeds in small dirt containers yesterday, something came and bit off the tops of all my 85 seeds?? Do you know what could have done this?
    1. By latewood ILGM ,02 Apr 2019
      Laura, Not much info to go on but, it could be pets, varmints, some bugs or flies, moths, etc. Another thought is: What do you mean dirt? If you use untreated dirt from your backyard, it could contain bugs that […]Read More
  6. By SG ,15 Sep 2019
    I would like to know what to do to save my plant after a rat or mouse has chewed on the stalk and has cut off the nutrient paths. Is there a wrap or something to keep the plant sucking […]Read More
  7. By latewood_ILGM ,01 Oct 2019
    SG, Sorry I cannot help you here but, I Suggest You Go Here: Support.Ilovegrowingmarijuana.Com Our Members And Staff Can Take A Look At Your Pictures And Give You Informed Advice. See you there, lw :)
  8. By Jenny ,22 Dec 2019
    My pot plants lower branches the skins eaten by rats They're in flower stage, does are they still going to survival
  9. By TRK ,08 Jun 2020
    We have a large garden, including raspberries, carrots, potatoes, chard, asparagus, tomatoes, and herbs. We transplanted our GSC seedlings next to the raspberries. Harvest mice came in and ate off the complete top of one of our 5 pot plants. […]Read More
  10. By Marion ,03 Aug 2020
    Thanx for having an article about this enumerated one problem I seem to have every year we grow. We‘re blessed again with about 6 or 7 large tarts, and we are growing 35 plants outside, and tried just about everything […]Read More

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