If you are reading this article, you have annoying rats in your garden. You will find rats in your garden principally due to two reasons: the presence of hiding places and a constant supply of food.
The most common species you will find in your garden is the Norway or brown rat.
To prevent your plants from getting damaged, it’s paramount you get rid of rats in the garden.
What is the impact of rats in the garden?
If you have a large garden, you most likely have a structure such as a gazebo. Rats cause structural damage to these structures by gnawing and burrowing them, which undermines their structural integrity.
The rodents will also feed on irrigation pipes and electrical wires.
Rats are opportunistic animals. Once they are in your garden, they will seek new places to live, feed, and breed.
If you don’t remove them early enough, they multiply fast, which might lead to total colonization of your garden.
The rodents carry a wide range of diseases brought about by viruses, bacteria, worms, and protozoa that can spread to you and even your pets.
How to get rid of rats in your garden
There are plenty of rat traps in the market you can use to get rid of rats in the garden. These traps include:
Snap traps are designed to kill rodents instantly with a spring release mechanism that is triggered when the rodent steps on the trap or takes a food bait.
When you are using the trap outdoors, you should be cautious how you place it. Position it in such a way it doesn’t affect pets, children, or other animals in the garden.
These, too, are designed to kill the rodent as soon as it steps on them.
Electrocution traps discharge a high voltage shock when an animal walks on the metal plates inside the containment box.
While they are highly effective, they are often expensive to purchase; therefore, you should be ready to part with a substantial amount of money.
Just like snap traps, you need to check for and dispose of dead animals regularly.
Live capture traps
If you don’t like dealing with dead rats, you should opt to capture them alive using live capture traps.
These traps feature a small cage with a trigger mechanism that shuts the animal in when the rat pulls on some bait.
Once you capture the rat, you can decide to free it or move it away from your garden and release it elsewhere.
While the traps won’t kill rats, you should regularly inspect them for any non-target animals that might be caught.
These emit sounds that are beyond the range of human hearing, but it’s audible to the rats. Due to this, the sounds can repel the rats without causing any harm to humans.
While the ultrasound repellents are effective at repelling rats at the early stages, studies show that some of the rats get used to the sounds after some time, rendering the repellants ineffective.
Professional rodent control
The final way you can get rid of rats from your garden is to hire a rat exterminator.
The cool thing with hiring the exterminator is you don’t have to worry about buying traps or chemicals—the exterminator comes with their own.
For you to get ideal results from the professional, hire an experienced one. The expert should also give you a guarantee they will get rid of all the rodents.
Safety tips when getting rid of rats.
If you opt to get rid of the rats by yourself, you should be cautious of your safety as the rats can infect you with diseases. Some of the things you should do to protect yourself include:
When setting up traps, set them in such a way you don’t affect non-target animals, children, and other family members.
Never handle the rats or the poisons with bare hands. This is to avoid contaminating yourself.
If you opt to kill the rats, ensure you dispose of the dead animals safely. One of the most effective ways of doing it is burying them deep in the ground. This way you prevent them from getting dug up by pets and wild animals.
Another effective way is placing them in a sealed plastic bag then in waste disposal.
Different states have different regulations on rodent disposal. To avoid being on the wrong side of the law, always check the regulations.
How to keep rats from your garden for good
There are plenty of ways you can do it. Some of these ways include:
#1: Use Peppermint oil
Rats hate the smell of peppermint oil; therefore, it’s such a great way of driving the rats away.
To keep off the rodents, moisten cotton balls with 100% pure peppermint oil then place it in the various parts of the garden.
You also should place it in the garage and shed. If you have a gazebo, place the oil there too.
Remember you have to keep on reapplying the oil to keep the smell going. This calls for you to reapply the oil a few times a week.
#2: Use Catnip
The plant has been shown to work like a charm at keeping rats away.
All you need to do is to visit your local garden center and buy the plant. You should then plant it in strategic areas of your garden.
#3: Undertake soil netting
If your garden is new, you can protect it from rats by laying a piece of netting under the soil.
The purpose of doing this is to prevent the rodents from burrowing and eating plant roots and bulbs.
While the netting is highly effective, determined rats tend to chew through it; therefore, in addition to adding the net, also undertake regular garden inspections.
#4: Get a pet
Did you know that pets are highly effective at getting rid of the annoying rodents? If you don’t have a cat or dog in your home, now it’s an excellent time to get one.
#5: Keep food off the lawn
As mentioned here, one of the things that attract rats to the garden is the presence of food.
This means for you to keep off the rodents, you should avoid having food on your lawn. Avoid having bird feeders and other food containing containers in your yard.
If you are fond of taking your lunches on the lawn, get rid of all spills before leaving the area.
#6: Get rid of water sources
Rats can’t survive without water; hence if you don’t have any water sources in your garden, there is no reason for the rats to be there.
To keep your garden water-free, get rid of sprinklers and birdbaths.
#7: Clean your garden
Rats like dirty areas so they can hide in the dirt. This means that the less clutter you have in your yard, the less inhospitable your garden will be.
In addition to mowing the lawn using a reel mower or any other machine, you also should get rid of tires, pots, and other items lying around.
#8: Block access to the garden shed
Do you have a gazebo or any other type of garden shed? Block all holes in the wall and door. Also, ensure there are no hollow areas under the shed that rats can use as hiding spots.
If there are no places for the rats to hide, they will go away.
#9: Keep the rubbish bin shut
The smells coming from the rubbish bin can attract rats to your garden. Since the bins are dirty and dark, they serve as hospitable areas for the rodents to hide.
To keep the rodents off, keep the bin shut all the time. If your bin doesn’t have a cover, get one.
Most of the bins don’t close as well as they should. If this is the case with yours, get the lid to lock. You can do the work or hire a professional to help you out.
How do you get rid of rats from your garden? It starts with you.
Keeping rats from your garden isn’t all about capturing them. You also should take measures to prevent them from coming to your yard in the first place.
Keep your yard clean, get rid of food sources, and you will be on your way to a rodent-free garden.