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No one wants to have rats in their garden. These rodents destroy fixtures and furnishings in the garden and also wreck havoc to whatever food crops you might have growing in the garden.
Furthermore rats are known carriers of diseases and nobody wants a flea infestation in their house.
Finally, rats pose the risk of decreasing your property value significantly once their presence is deemed an infestation by property realtors.
It is worth noting that a garden can be invaded by either rats or mice but not usually both at the same time.
Most people tend to find the presence of mice less repugnant than that of their much larger and destructive cousins, the rats.
However, this does not mean that one should tolerate the presence of mice in their gardens.
Mice also carry antibiotic resistant viral strains, some even more dangerous than the disease causing viruses found in their rat cousins.
Neither rodent species should be allowed to become a part of your garden
There and are three main ways of approaching a rat problem in your garden.
The techniques discussed below should also apply to mice with almost equal degree of success.
Use of Deterrent & Preventative Measures
As the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure. There are a number of things you can do to keep rats out of your garden.
Most of these are easy and straightforward.
Eliminating any access points to hidden and inaccessible areas
If you have a deck in your garden, then you can use chicken meshing around its perimeter to make the area below the deck inaccessible to rats.
The spacing on the mesh should be small enough to keep out the much smaller mice.
By blocking access to inaccessible spaces, rats and mice are denied of a place to hide during the day or when someone is in the garden.
Removing potential nesting places
Remove any open discarded containers in the garden such as barrels, old tires and such.
This is because once rats enter your garden, they immediately start looking for places to make their nests.
Such empty containers and vessels would almost certainly provide the invading vermin with a place to live.
Rats or mice should not find a place to nest in your garden.
Covering food waste
Always keep the bins used for organic waste covered as this can be a potential food source for rats.
The smell of waste food is an instant lure to rats and keeping the bin closed would go a long way in keeping your garden free from rats.
Keep the garden tidy
Keeping your garden tidy will make it easier for you to notice the signs of a rat invasion.
It should be much easier to notice signs such as tiny dark brown rat droppings on recently mowed grass, paper and other soft material stuffed into hollows to make nests, narrow tracks to potential food sources and hiding spaces, bits of food and organic waste left along trails on the ground and so forth
Move things around
Moving fixtures in your garden from place to place makes any rats in it uncomfortable and therefore unlikely to take up permanent residence.
This is because rats are creatures of habit and tend to memorize the placement of items within space.
Use of a squirrel proof fenders on bird feeders
As long as rats can’t get access to food in your garden they are not likely to stay for long.
Block access to garden buildings
The tool shed is an ideal place for rats to hide out in your garden during the day as they wait to come out to wreck havoc at night. So it’s prudent to keep it closed at all times.
Get a pet
A pet such as a dog can be a great deterrent to rats. The scent of another potentially dangerous animal in the garden will make rats think twice about settling.
Store bird and animal food in secure containers
The goal is to deny rats in your garden access to food thereby shortening their stay.
Do-It-Yourself Proactive Measures
These are some of the top DIY methods to get rid of rats.
Use of traps
There are numerous offerings in the market that make use of innovative technologies to catch rats. However you should give such traps time to work as rats will immediately notice anything new in the garden.
Use of poisoned bait
You should be very careful when making use of poisoned bait as pets and children can also easily come into contact with them.
Place such baits at locations only frequented by rats.
Use of professional rodent control services
There are many advantages of using a professional pest control service because you can very often get rid of your pest problem quickly.
You can spend time and money trying to fix it yourself but it is generally best to leave it to pro.
However after the pest controller has gone, you should continue to use preventative measures as they are a long term solution to keep the pest away once they are gone.