When someone has a problem with rodents, most of the time it’s because they are in the home.
But garden rodents can also be a problem. In many cases we’re called out because a homeowner’s garden has become infested. In this scenario, a person is suffering from either rats, mice or squirrels in their garden.
The problem with garden rodents
Garden rodents can become a big issue if left unchecked. The last thing you want is rodents scuttling across your lawn. Especially when you are entertaining guests or relaxing in your garden. This can also be a big problem if you have children. You wouldn’t want one of your kids to get bitten by a rat, would you?
What’s more, rodents such as rats and mice can eventually make their way into your home and cause more trouble. Also remember, squirrels are rodents, and these pests can cause just as much damage as rats and mice. As you can see this can be a big issue. But if you have rodents in your garden, what can you do about it?
Why do you have rodents in your garden?
The main reason why these pests set up camp in the garden is because they have found a place to hide. Rodents are generally nocturnal, and only come out at night to feed. Which is why you’ll rarely see them during the day.
It also means they need a safe place to hide away when the sun is shining. Your garden provides them with enough hidden spaces where they can live and raise their young.
If you have rodents the reason why is probably because your garden is overgrown. These rodents will hide in a wide variety of places. This can primarily be in long grass. Rodents also like to hide in piles or leaves or in garden refuse.
Other places where they build their nests are beneath overgrown shrubs and bushes. And occasionally in overgrown trees. Although this mostly applies to squirrels. Basically, any place that is wild and out of sight will provide a hiding place for rodents.
What else attracts garden rodents?
Another reason why they move into your garden is because they have found a good source of nourishment. This food can come from fruit trees, or perhaps a vegetable patch. Garden rodents are also attracted by various seeds and nuts which may be in your garden. And to a lesser extent, it can be because you have a bird feeder. Or because you have pets and leave food outside for them.
It can also happen if you have other animals which you feed. For example, ducks or chickens. Additionally, if you have a compost heap they will be particularly attracted by this. Compost heaps usually contain food waste, which gives them more than enough food to survive. Compost heaps also provide a warm place for garden rodents to build their nests, raise their young and hide away.
Something else which attracts rodents is garden clutter. Many people have gardens which are absolutely strewn with rubbish. This can range from broken lawn mowers to piles of wood or rubble.
How to get rid of garden rodents
The only solution to preventing rodents from infesting your garden is to keep it clean. Start by clearing up any clutter you may have and throwing away rubbish. Then clear up the overgrowth. Cut your lawn, rake up leaves and also trim the bushes and shrubs. Anywhere that is dark, dank and overgrown should be cleaned up.
Also make sure to turn over your compost heap. Don’t leave it lying for months, otherwise you could attract rodents. Ultimately, you want to clear away anything that could provide a hiding place and refuge for these animals.
Another fairly simple solution is to get a cat, if you don’t already have one. Cats are viciously effective rodent killers, and a cat or two can solve this problem in no time at all. Various breeds of dogs can also keep rodents out of your garden.
The bottom line is that keeping your garden neat and trimmed is the only way to prevent garden rodents.