If you are looking for the best ways to get rid of garden rats, this guide offers practical control solutions.
Rats are unwanted pests, especially in the garden, due to the amount of damage they can cause to a wide variety of foods, for example, vegetables, plants, fruits, seeds, bulbs, etc.
They easily expose people and pets to parasites.
How To Get Rid Of Rats In Your Garden
Rats have been known to be silent terrorists to humans and the way they live for as long as when time first began to crawl.
A group of rats is known as a ‘mischief.’ They have teeth that never stop growing. They are mostly nocturnal and live underground, in sheds, compost heaps, drains, cracks in walls. Rats have sharp teeth that never stop growing, bummer! Eating would be nearly impossible, so they have to keep on nibbling to wear the teeth down.
Rats rummage in gardens. Dense ground covers and hedges with branches close to the ground provide great places for rats to hide.
They clean themselves by constantly licking their fur and sometimes ‘comb’ it into place with their teeth. Their whiskers, which are far more sensitive than human fingernails, are used to build a picture of the environment around them.
A rat’s ability to learn quickly and adapt to change turns, finding deterrents for them very challenging and discouraging most times.
The most common types of rats found in gardens are the Brown Rats, the scientific name being (Rattus norvegicus).
How To Control Garden Rats Completely
There are numerous ways to get rid of rats that damage crops and plants in gardens. If you want to get rid of garden rats effectively, here are some steps to take:
Move objects around. Being neo-phobic (fear of new things), rats detest when their territory is being invaded or simply disrupted. So, obstruct their movements by placing obstacles and moving things frequently around the garden.
Pay close attention to your crops. Rats will always eat squash, tomatoes, sweetcorn, pumpkins, root vegetables, apples, etc. Immediately after harvesting the crops, store them in safe spaces and even seeds too. If you notice that rats might have, by chance, snacked a bit on your crops, make sure not to eat those crops.
Get a pet. You can also get a pet, although they can be very vulnerable to various diseases that the Rats carry. Pets can also be excellent disruptive forces in the garden, which eventually discourages the rat’s interest to stay.
Make your heaps or trash bins solely uninviting. If Rats have made your bin a home, don’t use the compost on edible crops, eating them is a silent killer which is one of the many consequences. Put chicken wire underneath to restrict access. Reduce the addition of scraps of food and include green or brown materials to keep moist.
Tidy up your garden; when a garden is tidy, it is less likely to attract rats as hiding places have now been reduced to the barest minimum. Messy storage areas should be cleared out. Remove refuse and cut overgrown areas, most especially near gardens, buildings, and fences.
Get rid of water sources; rats, unlike mice, can’t survive without water. If possible, remove water sources from your garden, including dripping taps.
Peppermint oil; Rats detest the scent of peppermint oil, so it is a very effective way to drive them nuts and drive them out. The trick is simply to moisten cotton balls with 100% bodacious peppermint oil and place them in different spots around the garden. This process should be reapplied a couple more times a week to get the best effect.
Get you some Catnip. Getting catnip from the garden shops and planting them in several spots around the garden is a great idea. The planting process must be strategic even as you watch out for signs of rat activity, for example, their droppings.
Seal the gaps. Rats will always try to enter your garden or home through any cracks or gaps in the walls. Use durable sealants to block off the walls. Get some cement and learn a little bricklaying, which means you’re learning new skills while trying to rid your vicinity of rodents.
Use smoke bombs. This is a sure-fire solution if you see tunnels created by rats in your garden. Although, you can’t use smoke bombs if the burrow is near a tree, porch, or other flammable structures.
Get dry ice. Dry ice produces carbon dioxide, and these anesthetizes rats, and then kills them. And because dry ice gives off CO2 gas, you should not use it in tightly enclosed human or pet inhabited spaces as it is incredibly cold and can do damage to human skin, so you must have heavy gloves on for handling.
Get Owl recruits to eat rats. Owls and other birds of prey are natural eradicators of rats. You can get an owl’s attention by building an owl house in your yard. Put the house on an 8-10 foot pole, so squirrels do not feel welcome and move in. The house opening needs to be big enough for an owl to fit in, but not too big that other big birds fit in the house too.
Regulate them by first identifying where the rats are living and the feeding routes they take between them in other gardens close by too. Due to their fast ability to breed, rats are wary of new objects, and regulating them may prove difficult.
Garden shops sell poisons and traps, and when purchased, they must be correctly used. Seek advice from a professional on how to use poison. The methods can lead to unwanted dangerous circumstances if not correctly used.
Why Rat Poison Might Not Work
Poison is not a bad idea but not a good idea either. Not that poison does not get the job done but, loads of side effects come with it. Poison kills rats slowly, during which time they will be in pain, which most times are inhumane.
Assuming they are successfully killed with poison, another issue will arise. Because the poison doesn’t take effect instantly, the rats have a chance to go back to their nesting areas and die there.
Unfortunately for you, this means that the rats will eventually die in places that are very hard to reach. For example, the gaps between the walls and little tunnel-like holes dug underground.
Then you have another task of finding the rodents before they start to decompose and produce horrific odors and attract flies and maggots. In other cases, you may have to break the cracks in the walls even more just to get them out.
Besides poisoning, some have opted to shoot which is impractical as the rats are small targets that move fast, and this can do some more damage to your garden. There would be holes in places where holes are not supposed to be.
Even the crops can be affected.
How To Check Your Garden For Rats
It would certainly be disgusting to hear someone else say, “think like a rat”! But that might be true. Thoughts like, what am I eating? Where can I get food to nibble on? What pathways can I take without getting spotted? Where do I like to live?
In the early spring, before planting is the best time to start scanning for rats, because they may have started lurking around. Gardeners should cautiously check garden areas before planting seeds as well as when fruits and vegetables have started growing actively.
Search for smudge marks, signs of gnawing, burrow holes, worn pathways, and rat droppings. All of these indicate that your ‘unwanted neighbors’ are around.
Check various perimeters of the garden to confirm that there hasn’t been any sort of infestation yet.
Rats are high experts in staying incognito, which means they are rare to come by in the garden of the house. They vastly outnumber humans, and yet we still rarely see them. They scurry around so quickly; one barely has the time to think up what to do in the heat of the moment.
They feed on the food we throw away and spread diseases. They are known all through human history. Rats have always journeyed with humans, stowing away on boats, in cargoes, and settling wherever humans live.
It has been proven that a single rat can leave 25,000 droppings or more in a year. So you don’t even want them around for any reason.
Their long tails are used to keep them cool and also for balance. They are great swimmers and can hold their breaths for several minutes.
The best way to keep them out of your garden is to keep your garden tidy and clean regularly and acting quickly when you spot a rat or notice any sign of them around is the best way to fight an infestation of their lot.
Always remember to get rid of the trash so as not to worry about getting rid of the rats. Rats need food and shelter to survive. It very important that while you keep your garden clean, also make sure that your trash can is tightly fitted and neat as well.
Remember that these creatures are nocturnal, and if you see them during the day, this only means that the infestation is severe. So the best solution is to call a licensed pest exterminator to help out with the estimate.