Rats in the garden – let’s find out how to get rid of rats from your garden

Brown rat in the garden hiding in grass

Most of gardeners think of insects when it comes to garden pests, however problem with rats in the garden is very common problem. In fact rats are one of the most difficult pests to deal with. This article will show you how to deal with rats that got familiar with your garden.

Signs of rats in the garden

To be honest there is nothing hard in finding signs of rats in the garden. You will need less than 20 minutes to check whole property. Here goes full list of signs that you have rats in the garden:

  • rat droppings,
  • bite marks on garden hose,
  • rat nests,
  • footprints in the dirt,
  • burrows,
  • rat adour,
  • rat pathways,
  • increased pet activity.

Rat droppings

Rat droppings are distinct and are all in different shapes (you can look for oval shaped and resemble a large rice grain) and sizes not like mice droppings. Rats are able to produce up to 40 droppings durning one night because they defecate very often. So if you notice something like that you may be quite sure that you are dealing with rats.

Bite marks

Rats are able to chew through things even like:

  • plastic,
  • brick,
  • wood,
  • aluminium,
  • cider blocks,
  • asbestos,
  • lead.

If you notice any kind of bites on such things as well as seeing torn food packaging there is almost 100% that you are having rats in the garden.

Rat nests

Rats do make nests when they multiply. Their favourite places to make nests and take care of their little ones are dry places and those which are hidden from predators. Rats love clutter which is made of fabrics like cloth or paper.

Another very good place for nest is in a close area to the food. That’s why they will like to be close to the bird feeders.

Footprints in the dirt

Rats are the animals which moves a lot and they are very active pets. Their inhabitant is dusty or they lives in contaminated areas. So while rodent walks on such a surfaces their feet and tails leave distinct footprints. If you aren’t sure if those footprints are fresh you can simply place some flour there and wait for about 2 days then check it out.


Brow rat is known for his amazing abilities to dig way faster and efficiently. Why does rat burrows? Well they do so to make shelters and secure a proper food shelter and also nesting environment for the future little ones.

Most common places in the garden where rats like to be are:

  • compost pile/bins,
  • close areas to garden sheds,
  • in the garages,
  • under deckings or shelters,
  • other food storage places.

Rat Adour

There is a very typical smell when there is a big number of rats in one place, and can be sensed from a decent distance. The smell which we were talking about is very similar to smell of ammonia. So if you can’t see any signs you may be able to feel them with your nose.

Rat Pathways

Very often those rat pathways are their path from the shelter to the food source. Those runways are made by those little creatures to ensure the rodents way easier access to food.

Increased Pet Activity

Why increased pet activity? Well because pets like cats and dogs have way better hearing than us people. Thanks to this better hearing they are able to detect sounds with very low frequency. When pet once detects the activity of the rats it will become very active and will start looking for them and their hiding places.

Reasons of rats in your garden

If your garden offers rats a good sourse of hiding places and food don’t be surprised if it will become a good home for them. Here goes the things that can attract rats to your garden:

  • pet food left outside,
  • fallen fruit or nuts from trees,
  • clutter in sheds or garages,
  • food waists.

How to deter rats?

Rat with food in his paws

There is something very interesting about rats. Rats in fact doesn’t like changes. Why? Well because they know their ways if you will move objects around our garden they will simpluy hate it. However there are also other things that you can do to deter rats:

  • trim bushes,
  • remove weeds regularly,
  • mow grass,
  • planting natural rat repellents which means herbs like garlic, black pepper, oregano or cayenne,
  • if you have compost pile you should storage it in metal containers with tight lids,
  • remove regularly fallen fruits and nuts,
  • store bird feeder full of bird seed into rodent-proof cans.

How to catch rats and get rid of a rat infestation?

There are few things which can be done to catch rats and get rid of them. To get rid of rats you can do things like:

  • rat poison,
  • glue traps,
  • natural alternatives,
  • live traps with food bait,
  • snap traps,
  • Electrocution traps.

Rat poison

Rodent posion has got ingredients like:

  • disphacinone,
  • brodifacoum,
  • brodifacoum.

Rat poison can be found in few forms. It can be in blocks, pellets, chunks, granuls or bars. There are two types of rat poison. First one kills rats slowly they will eat it for few times before it will work. Second kind kills them after a single feedings.

Glue traps

This trap shouldn’t be used by untrained individuals. When rats gets into those traps they will very likely chew through or tear off a limb or tail to escape.

Natural alternatives

If you are looking for natural ways to get rid of rats. Those things are:

  • peppermint oil,
  • ammonia/ammonia based products,
  • mix garlic cloves, castor oil, soap, tabasco, and water.

Live traps with food bait

Do not use cheese as a bite this is a myth. Instead of cheese go for salty or sweet foods like for example peanut butter. Animal food is also a good idea, so if you have cat or a dog use their food as a bait.

Snap traps

Those traps has to be installed in boxes, why? To prevent birds, dogs, cats and sometimes even kids from encountering them. Those traps should be checked out everyday because they are designed for killing rats right away.

Electrocution traps

This kind of trap is very effective however also it is very expensive. Those traps are just boxes which produce a high voltage shock which kills rat instantly.

Are rats dangerous?

Rats are known as transmitters of different diseases. Rats often has rodent-borne viruses at one time. Those viruses include leptospirosis. They can cause kidney and liver failure. There is also a possibility of getting rat bite fever which is caused by two bacterias which are:

  • streptobacillus moniliformis,
  • spirillum minus.


  • it is very important to get in touch with licensed pest control expert and not someone who thinks can deal with rat infestation,
  • to get rid of rats you can use cotton balls soaked in the urine and place them next to the rats nest,
  • to prevent rats from eating tender seedlings place plastic mesh tubes,
  • trash bags and compost bins can attract rodents and be a perfect dinner place for rats so avoid giving them such a oppurtinity,
  • rats live for even up to 4 years.


Now you know that there are few ways of preventing and getting rid of rats. However if you will test all of them but nothing will work you can also contact pest control services. Pest control services will get under control rats from your property with help of professional pest controller.

We hope that our article were very helpful with your rat problem and that now you know how to eliminate rats from your place.