Q: I live near a small creek and am thinking about planting pampas grass along it. I was told, however, that pampas grass draws rats. Is this true?
A: Whenever you have a pest problem, your first question should be “Why is this creature in my landscape and not somewhere else?”. Animals look for three things: food, shelter and water. Without all three, they will move away. Your creek provides water but you can’t easily get rid of its presence. Pampas grass, along with other plants that have low foliage, like monkey grass, maiden grass, honeysuckle, kudzu and juniper, can provide shelter for rat burrows. But only if there is a source of food nearby will rats have all they need to set up housekeeping.
My conclusion? As long as you don’t have bird feeders or pet food or open trash cans close at hand, it’s not likely that rats would be drawn to live in your pampas grass.