Greenhouse Hazards: Are Snakes and Rats Attracted to Them?

Having a backyard often means encountering a range of creatures and wildlife, particularly in the vicinity of your garden area. Some of these animals might be enjoyable, while others could be bothersome. Yet, it is typically the plants that attract these visitors from nature. The question is, can this dynamic be changed with a greenhouse?

Greenhouses can attract snakes, rats, and wildlife. Greenhouses help close up your plants from things that might not help them grow properly, but that doesn’t mean they won’t attract certain things from nature or be able to get through occasionally.

This post highlights some things you need to know about greenhouses, the kind of wildlife they may attract, the kind that benefits you, and how you can control it if you don’t want to.

What are Greenhouses?

A Greenhouse, a glasshouse, is a building designed to protect tender or out-of-season plants against excessive cold or heat. Think of it as a garden in a house, except that it’s not actually in your house, but you’ve reserved space for gardening in a building outside your house and not just left small pots inside.

The greenhouse was typically developed to keep plants from a hostile climate but has been adapted to creating a controlled environment, suiting the needs of particular plants.

So, they help plants grow well by artificially creating the conditions for that growth. 

Greenhouses forms

Greenhouses are usually made with a glass- or plastic-enclosed framed structure

As far as the structure goes, the common type has a double-sloped, or A-shaped, roof; then there’s the lean-to greenhouse, which has only one roof slope and leans against the side of a building.

The design is usually such that the plants in the greenhouse are heated by the sun or through artificial means such as heaters.

Ventilation within the greenhouse

To keep it from becoming too hot or cold, some ventilating system is also needed, with roof and end-wall openings, where fans can draw air and circulate it throughout the interior. To aid you with this, you can check my recent article on ventilation for greenhouses. It covers more reasons greenhouses need ventilation, from pollination to better plant growth.

Common vegetables in greenhouses

Some common vegetables that can be grown in greenhouses include:

RadishesTomatoes
PeasOnions
StrawberriesPotatoes
GarlicSunflowers
Leafy greens like lettuceMushrooms

With this, we shall be talking about the different wildlife

What Kind of Wildlife Can Greenhouses Attract?

Below are some of the common animals that greenhouses can attract.

Rodents are wildlife in greenhouses.

Some of the common creatures that could make it you’re your greenhouse are rodents. These cause a lot of damage as they can eat anything on the plants, from the roots, bulbs, and shoots to the leaves.

Rodents feed on germinating seeds, while others attack and consume young and emerging plants.

Greenhouses typically contain tasty new plant shoots and other rodent delicacies, making it easy for rodents to hide and get shelter. They can create tunnels through plant soil and chew holes in plastic pots.

Common rodents that attack greenhouses

The white-footed mouse and the meadow vole are the most common greenhouse rodent pests. Others include chipmunks, voles, woodchucks, squirrels, gophers, rabbits, moles, and other furry little mammals that can wreak. Keeping rodents out of your greenhouse can be hard.

Snakes can be found in greenhouses.

We commonly associate snakes with violence and don’t usually want to meet with them, but contrary to that notion, snakes aren’t always that bad to have around your plants.

Snakes are shy animals that try to avoid contact with people just as much as people try to avoid encounters with snakes.

Benefits of Snakes in the Greenhouse

Snakes can, however, be beneficial to your greenhouse as they eat a variety of pests.

Snakes can be used to control the population of rodents and other pests.

They feed on slugs, beetle grub, mice and voles, and other pests going down their tunnels after them.

The present dangers of having snakes in the greenhouse

However, snakes can still be dangerous in that, although they don’t like to be disturbed if that happens, they can attack you or anybody entering the greenhouse, so there are times when you may need to get rid of garden snakes.

Insects in greenhouses

Even more common than rodents are insects. They come in a wide variety and many numbers to be peskier. Like snakes, not all of them are bad.

Some help prevent more harmful insects from getting to your plants and provide them with certain things to help them grow better.

A wide range of insects wanders in and out of backyard greenhouses. Some are simply looking for plants to pollinate, some are just passing through, and others are searching for plants to feed upon.

Common insects in the greenhouse

Some common insects include leaf miners, Aphids, Thrips, Cutworms, Armyworms, Cabbage looper, Beetles, Earworms and hornworms, Green vegetable bugs, Spider mites, Stem borers, Root-knot nematodes.

Snails and slugs are bad for plants too.

How to Keep Wildlife from Your Greenhouse

The following steps may be considered for those who may not want to have any wildlife. You can vary how much nature you let in with how many methods you incorporate.

Identify the creatures in the greenhouse.

You should know what type of wildlife is getting into your greenhouse or which your nature can attract to ensure they are not dangerous or know how harmful they can be to you and your greenhouse.

Plug up holes in the greenhouse.

Regularly check your greenhouse to cover any holes critters might have made to get in. You can remove hiding or nesting areas or clean brush piles and tall grass spaces.

Also, consider blocking crawl spaces beneath your porch or decks.

Utilize Repellents in the greenhouse.

You can deter pests through scent repellents, such as garlic clips, castor oil, and predator urine. However, you will need to monitor and reapply them to ensure they remain effective.

Look into using products with hot peppers against wild nibbling rabbits.

Some plants are also not attractive to rodents and, in ft, serve as a deterrent, such as a castor bean and fritillaria.

Different types of repellants that you can look into

Visual and auditory repellents can also be used. These include ultrasonic repellent, motion-activated water sprayers, noisemakers, and visual scare devices such as reflective tape and faux predators. You might need to change these methods after some time, however.

Insecticides can be very effective against pests. Consider short-lived natural pesticides, as they can damage the outer layer of soft-bodied insect pests, leading to dehydration and death within hours.

Fences can be used to keep wildlife in the greenhouse

A wall can be an effective way of keeping out nature. You can set a fence around the greenhouse.

It would help if you tried to get the fence a bit below the ground to keep the underground rodents from getting in.

An electric fence keeps woodchucks, rabbits, and deer at bay. You can also put a steel or plastic lid over the plants so pests can’t get to them.

Traps in the greenhouse

Traps are used to capture wildlife so they don’t destroy your plants. The material of these traps is commonly galvanized steel that comes in different sizes.

For example, a spring-loaded door that closes, locking a trapped creature. Use food like vegetables and crackers to lure the animal inside.

You can also look into using yellow sticky traps as another method of entrapping insects.

Net against insects can be used in the greenhouse.

You can also get an anti-insect net, preferably with a 1/5-inch mesh at most.

When installing these, ensure that no space is larger than 1/5 inch wide around the net as it surrounds the greenhouse, even the areas found near the ground.

Anti-insect nets are proven effective against tiny insects approaching and attacking your plants.

Do Hosing in the greenhouse.

We can also do a true and tested method of physically removing insects and wild creatures on our plants by hosting the leaves or plants they have attached.

Consider using a strong blast, high-pressure hose. Do this at least once weekly with the other methods for the best results.

Natural predators in the greenhouse

Insects such as parasitic wasps, ladybug beetles, and predatory mites are predators of insects that can damage plants. Natural predators are known to destroy nymphs and pupae, and other smaller insects found in greenhouses.

Organic Neem Oil in the greenhouse

You can utilize neem oil as an all-natural and nontoxic substitute to control some pests in the garden. Spray it on plants to kill the pests’ eggs, larvae, and pests.

Spraying all plant leaf surfaces effectively stifles the larvae’s development and eradicates them before adulthood.

Neem oil may act as a repellent, effectively preventing adult insects from landing on the sprayed plants and laying their eggs on the leaves.

Conclusion on greenhouses attracting wildlife

Greenhouses can attract wildlife. Of course, not all nature is bad. If you can create conditions that won’t allow your plants to need not many forms of wildlife, you don’t need to let them in.

With these steps above, you should have more time to focus on giving your plants ideal conditions, as that is the main purpose of a greenhouse. Hopefully, they will help you, and remember that you can maximize their effectiveness by mixing and matching methods to find which best suits your area and greenhouse.

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