Do you want to get rid of rats in your garden? There are few things more annoying than dealing with garden pests, and rats are certainly pests. These rodents can eat your garden crops. Plus, rats are vermin that can spread diseases. The good news is there are some proven ways to get rid of rats in your garden and yard.
Signs of a Rat Problem
First, though, let’s briefly look at some of the signs that you have a rat infestation. One of the clearest signs of a problem is an accumulation of rat droppings. You might also notice burrow holes in the ground. A single rat burrow can house up to eight rats.
Another common sign that there is a problem is the greasy trails that the rats leave behind. These will contain rat pheromones and might include pieces of their fur. This is how they mark a path around your garden.
If you spot rat trails, you can use a cloth to remove these pathways. While this won’t be enough to get rid of the rat, it will help disrupt their passage around your garden. If you want to learn more about how to spot rats, check out this article.
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Get Rid of Rats in Your Garden by Setting Rat Traps
If you know you have rats and want to get rid of rats in your garden, a good first step is to set out some rat traps. Traps will do two things. First, they allow you to immediately begin to control the rat population. This makes it harder for them to congregate and breed. Plus, rats will eventually learn that your garden isn’t a safe area for them.
There are many types of rat traps that you might want to explore. Sometimes, you might want to use a lethal trap. A modern snap trap is an effective and humane way to catch and kill rats. Simply put a food bait in the bait trough—we’ve found peanut butter to be very effective. Then place the traps outside in the early evening where rats have been present.
If you are taking this approach, it’s recommended that you wash your hands thoroughly after disposing of the body, as rats have been known to carry disease. It’s also a good idea to put these traps in a place that children and pets won’t be able to access them.
Another option is a live rat trap. These are designed to capture the rats. You’ll then be able to move them into a new location, far away from your garden.
Regardless of which approach you take, it’s a good idea to bait the trap with peanut butter. Rats will find it difficult to resist this alluring scent. Remember that rats are nocturnal, so put out your traps at dusk or later for best results.
Use Netting to Get Rid of Rats in Your Garden
Covering garden plants will netting is a good way to protect plants from rat damage. You can also use a soil net. This will make it harder for rats to burrow into the soil and eat roots and root crops. If the rats can’t get to this source of food, they might decide to move on to another location.
However, this isn’t a fool-proof approach. Some determined rats might chew through the netting. Because of this, nets are often used to limit the damage, rather than driving rats from your garden.
Sometimes a metal mesh is a good way to keep rats from garden plants. Many hardware stores will contain pieces of corded or metal rat netting. If not, find rat netting on Amazon.
Get A Solar Powered Repellent
One of the most unique ways of removing rats is by using a solar-powered repellent device. There are a few ways that these devices operate. Typically, these units are motion activated. They emit sonic waves which scare away rats and other wildlife. Other devices might use LED flashing lights.
As they run on solar power, they are easy to use. You just need to pop a few around the edges of your garden. Plus, these are non-lethal. They aren’t going to hurt the rats or other animals in the area and are safe to use around children.
Rats are sensitive to any changes in their environment. They are likely using your garden because they think it is a safe space for them. Because of this, you might want to use animals to keep them out of the area.
If you have pets, they can be a good deterrent. You don’t need to get something that will hunt the rats. They just need to pose enough of a threat to make the rats think that they won’t be safe in your garden.
Even if you don’t have pets, there are some techniques you can use to disturb the rats. You might want to keep changing the layout of your garden. Since rats prefer static environments, your constantly shifting garden will freak them out.
You can also try a product called Deer Ban. This product uses coyote urine to trick animals into thinking a predator is nearby.
Get Rid of Rats in Your Garden by Using Rat Repellent
We’ve saved one of the best solutions for last. All you need to do is spray this around the outside of your garden and in the areas where rats are known to congregate. The scent of the repellent will drive them out of the area.
Some people are reluctant to use repellents because they are scared about the effect on children or pets accidentally ingesting some. Thankfully, you can get some that are made from natural ingredients. If possible, choose a repellent that is waterproof, so it will last for a long time. Here’s a good list of rat repellents.
One rat repellent that we like is Natural Armor Mice & Deer Repellent, which uses a powerful peppermint essential oil formula to repel rats. Other formulations are also available.
Preventing Rats from Coming Back
Once you have been vigilant to get rid of rats in your garden, now what? You must make sure they don’t come back. There are a few simple ways that you can do this.
First, it’s a good idea to think about what is attracting the rats in the first place. Usually, they will be attracted to a food source. This could be the birdseed that spilled from a feeder. Rats also love the food scraps that can be found in your compost pile. It’s also a good idea to look for any water sources and fix any leaking taps.
Next, it’s time to think about the condition of your garden. Rats love messy spaces and thrive in the long grass. They will use this as cover to hide from predators. So, consider giving your garden a little clean-up. An eco-friendly Cordless Electric Lawn Mower is a great way to keep your grass nicely mowed.
Third, you should make sure that they can’t get access to your buildings. This will reduce the amount of damage that they will be able to cause. Plus, rats will often use things like decks to provide some shelter from the wind and rain. These locations provide a safe environment for rats to breed. Because of their high reproductive rate, this can make it harder to get rid of the rats.
Finally, it’s important to be vigilant. Look for signs of a rat problem. As soon as you spot a problem, you should start using rat repellents. It’s easier to get rid of a few rats than it is to get rid of a population once it has become established.
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