It’s not just in the house that rats are unwelcome. Practically no one likes to have them outdoors either. Do you really want all the hard work you put into the exterior of your property being undone by rats in the garden? If not, you will want to act fast to reduce the amount of damage they are likely to do. As well as deterring them from coming into your home. Rats need shelter, water and food to survive and flourish. So, if you remove these, any rats who had been enjoying your garden will soon look elsewhere.
Rats a a habit of taking up residency in compost heaps, greenhouses or even under overgrown vegetation. They also like sheds, piles of uncleared wood and other sheltered areas. They will even hide under your decking.
If you want to ensure you get rid of them, we’ve got several effective methods for deterring rats in the first instance. Of course, if you want a fail-safe, long term solution, you may need professional intervention.
Keep Your Garden Clean and Tidy
You’ll have less trouble with rats in the garden if it’s clean and tidy. Not only will they not have so many great places to hide and nest. If the grass is always cut short, and there are no piles of rubbish or badly overgrown areas, there will be less to encourage them to stay. Plus, your garden will look a lot better.
Stop Feeding the Wildlife
We understand that this may not be the easiest thing to stop doing. However, it could be that if you have a bird feeder or enjoy feeding wild animals and birds in your garden, this is part of the cause of your rat problem. Birds can be very messy eaters. They are prone to knocking lots of their food off their feeders. This means that rats have access to an easy food source. So, even if they can’t climb up the feeder, they can get a meal.
Stop feeding wildlife or take more precautions to do it in a controlled manner. If you do, it’s possible to make anŷ impact on a rat problem.
Change the Layout Regularly
While we’re not suggesting you completely switch and change where everything goes in your garden, we are saying that a change around can often deter rats. Rats are known as being neo-phobic. This means they fear new things and change. Try moving items in your garden around a little bit and placing obstacles in their pathway. If they feel uncomfortable and apprehensive in your garden, they are less likely to hang around.
Remove Sources of Water and Food
This means you may need to get rid of that bird bath. You may also want to remove any similar standing water sources that are attractive to rats, and fix any outdoor taps that are dripping. You just want to make sure your garden is as unappealing to the rodents as possible.
If water or pet food bowls are put out in the garden during the day, make sure you move these at night-time. This is easy to forget. It is prudent to clear up any spilled cat or dog food from the surrounding area. Even a few stray pieces of kibble can provide a tasty snack for rats in the garden.
Look After Your Compost Bin
Another source of food for rats could be your compost bin. Check how secure it is, and consider fitting some chicken wire underneath to stop pests accessing it. It’s also wise to avoid adding food scraps to your garden waste compost.
Seal Holes and Gaps In Garden Structures Like Sheds
It’s important to check all structures in your garden – whether its sheds, summerhouses or anything else – for holes and gaps where rats could gain access. Then seal these up. To add extra protection, you could attach one of those metal kickplates to the bottom of the door to a shed or other out building.
Grow Peppermint For Rats in the Garden
If you don’t have or want to get a pet, an easy and natural way to get rid of rats in the garden is by planting peppermint bushes. Rats abhor the smell of it. Try and position these in a variety of locations around you garden.
Put some peppermint plants in all the areas rats have been spotted or you’ve seen signs of them, including around the shed and garage. As well as knowing you won’t have rats in the garden, you can also benefit from the organic and appealing mint scent in the air.
Get Yourself a Pet
We’d never advise you get a pet just with the purpose of tackling your rat problem. Rats carry diseases and that also pose a threat to your furry family member. However, as cats and dogs are quite a disruptive presence for rodents, rats in the garden are less likely to hang around if they know they are going to need to dodge and avoid a potential predator.