How to Get Rid of Rats in Your Garden or Ornamental Landscape

Quick Information

How to Get Rid of Rats in Your Garden or Ornamental Landscape

Most Effective Products

Eratication Rodent Bait
Wax Block
As low as $32.99
Stuf-Fit Copper Mesh Exclusion
As low as $10.99
Keith's Pro Tips

"Rats are fearful of new things meaning they do not like things to be constantly moved or added in their environment. Once your rat infestation is controlled, it would be best to regularly move outdoor furniture, flower pots, equipment, and yard décor around or place new things in the rats runways."

How to Get Rid of Rats in Your Garden or Ornamental Landscape

This page is a general article for any type of rats infesting your homes garden or ornamental landscape. Throughout this page you will find professional products and tips to guarantee complete rat control in your homes garden or ornamental landscape.

Spotting a rat in your home is unpleasant for any homeowner, but seeing them outside in your garden and flower beds is just as bad. From the loose soil, available food sources, and plentiful hiding places makes gardens an ideal location for any rat species.

With their sharp teeth and claws, rats can gnaw through anything in your garden and cause devastation to it with frequent burrowing and climbing activities. In addition to eating and tearing down foliage, they will also spread infectious diseases through their prolific urine and waste activities.

When it comes to dealing with rats in and around your cared for garden and ornamental landscape, using both preventative and control strategies together with our professional quality products will help to quickly get rid of these rodents.

Signs of Rats in Garden and Landscapes

Brown Rat Burrow

To keep your garden free of rats, it is important to recognize signs of their damage and activity. The different variety of rodents that invade gardens or ornamental landscapes are the roof rat, and Norway rat. The biggest difference between these two pests in damages is that the Norway rat makes their burrows on the ground whereas roof rats cause significant damages to plants when they travel and make nests in tree and shrub branches.

Holes and Burrows: Norway Rats will burrow in soft soils near reliable food sources such as gardens. Often they are found underneath bushes, and other types of dense vegetation. These smooth burrows or holes range between 1 to 6 feet deep, 2 to 4 inches in diameter across the entrance, and loose dirt around the outside from their digging activities. Each burrow will have an entrance, exit, and possibly an escape hole.

Runways: Rats are shy, blind pests that travel along the sides of a structure to hide and remain safe from predators. Smear marks from the pests oily, greasy body can be visible on gate posts, fences, steps to garden, or on the exterior of building walls adjacent to garden or ornamental landscape. In grassy areas, the vegetation will be pushed down until flattened, worn, or dead creating a noticeable path.

Droppings: Droppings are the easiest identifier of the presence of rats. Rat droppings look like black colored grains of rice, but more larger in length and broader in width. Norway rat feces will have blunt ends measuring to 3/4 inches while roof rat waste is more pointed on the ends and measure 1/2 inches long. Most likely high concentrations of their droppings can be found on their runways, along fencing, hidden areas, around plants, or around where they are feeding and nesting.

Plant Disappear Completely or Partially Overnight: Rats are most active at night where they will dig underneath the plants in your garden or your ornamental landscape to create their burrows. During their digging activities the roots and the base of the plant becomes loose giving it a slanted or loose appearance, or it will be completely fallen over and dislodged from the roots.

Plants that grow fruit, vegetables, or are near the foundation of your home can attract rats. These pests deem these plants as a reliable food source and possible new nest sites. Rats such as the roof rats are the most common pests to climb tree and shrub branches, and other types of plants to reach these sites. Due to their climbing activities or hopping to other parts of the plant causes leaves, stems, and branches to become loose, torn, or completely destroyed.

Gnawing: Rats tend to gnaw on various surfaces to help maintain the health and size of their teeth. These gnaw marks can be seen on garden doors, fences, garden hoses, fruits, vegetables, plastic plant containers, fallen leaves, and other hard materials made out of wood, rubber, vinyl, and low-grade concrete present in or near these sites.

How to Keep Rats Out of Your Garden or Landscape

Rats are smell dependent pests that will scurry away from the smallest hint of your odor on any type of products used. For this reason, you will need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves before handling or applying any type of rodent control products.

Rats are most active at night, and during dawn and dusk so you will need to implement these practices before these time frames to prevent them from avoiding treated areas.

Keep in mind that rodent control in gardens and ornamental landscapes can only be done with snap traps such as the Easy Set Rat Trap. All other form of rodenticide products will need to be done outside of these areas.

Keep Garden and Landscape Clean

Mowing Grass

The first line in defense against rats is to create an unsuitable environment in your garden and ornamental landscape. Rats favor travelling through long, dense grassy areas and alongside structures, such as fences or buildings adjacent to these sites since they feel more protected and hidden from predators.

Keep your garden and ornamental landscape tidy by using a lawn mower around these sites or hand-pulling unwanted vegetation between plants to reduce places for rats to hide or burrow. Your turfgrass around these areas may be mowed when it reaches a height of at least 3 inches. Just be careful to not cut desired foliage with the mower blades.

All fallen plant debris will need to be picked up to eliminate sheltered areas for the rat to travel underneath or through.

Plants that are overgrown in your garden and ornamental landscape can be trimmed to prevent rats from climbing and settling in these areas. If fruits and vegetables are ready to be eaten then it would be beneficial to pick them as soon as possible to deter rats and reduce their food sources.

Cover Waste and Remove Food Source

Sealed Trash Cans

All outdoor garbage cans should secured with a lid and stored away from your homes foundation, garden, and landscape areas. Dispose of fallen fruits, nuts, and rotten fruits regularly in your yard and garden as any food odors encourages rats to visit your property.

In most landscape areas, homeowners install a bird feeder to draw attention to wild birds. However, the spilled seeds encourages rats and other pests like squirrels to visit these areas and make it their home. Promptly clean up any spilled seeds around the bird feeder and on it to take away the pests food source.

Take care of any open compost bins used in your yard, which can be a delightful food source for rats. A sealed compost bin is an ideal method to break down waste faster without attracting the attention of pests like rats. Ensure the compost bin has no gaps between the sides and lid, and in open spaces away from other structures so rats do not establish runways near them.

Do not put any strong-smelling items such as greasy foods, fatty foods, dairy like cheese, eggs, or meat to the compost. Install a heavy mesh screen between the soil and the compost bin to prevent rats from burrowing underneath to get into the bin.

If you have outdoor pets then it would be a good idea to dispose of any uneaten cat or dog food in a outdoor sealed trash can. Rats are not fussy eaters that will turn their heads away from a free, easy to access meal in your pets food dish.

Set Snap-Traps Within Tamper-Proof Bait Stations

Bait Station With Snap Trap Inside Near Rat Burrow

Once you have carried out these cleanup measures and eliminated competing food sources, you should find that rats are more likely to visit other products being used. If you do find rat burrows in your garden then you will need to use a snap-trap within a rodent bait station.

We recommend using the Easy Set Rat Trap placed inside of a Solutions Rat and Mouse Bait Station, this reusable snap trap is a durable plastic and steel constructed rat snap trap designed with 90-degree angle to quickly capture the rat. This product also features an easy release metal bar to avoid touching the rodent and making unnecessary contact with your fingers.

By setting these traps inside of a tamper-proof bait station, you will avoid contact with people, animals, or non-target animals.

To set and bait this product, you will need to place bait such as peanut butter mixed with seeds inside the reservoir in the center of the trap while wearing gloves.

Press down the upright metal bar until it clicks into place. Once it clicks your Easy Set Rat Trap will be set and ready to use. Place loaded bait stations with the baited snap traps along any structures the rat would travel along to reach the garden or landscape area, areas where rats have been noticed to visit, and near burrows. Place each station with snap traps at least 15 to 20 feet apart. Do not set any stations in the garden.

Before activating the Easy Set Rat Traps, set them out with bait for 2-3 days in the Solutions Rat and Mouse Bait Station to allow the rats to become comfortable enough to visit the snap trap. Once this time has passed you can then set the snap traps and check on them on a daily basis to replenish bait and remove deceased rodents.

Use Baits Near Outdoor Structures

Bait Station Against Wall

In addition to snap traps, you will want to use a rodenticide bait like Eratication Rodent Bait. Eratication Rodent Bait is a pre-drilled bait block formulated with peanut butter, seeds, and the active ingredient diphacinone .005% to entice and eliminate rats and mice who consume this bait within 2 to 4 days.

As with most baits this product will need to be placed in a tamper-proof bait station such as the Solutions Rat and Mouse Bait Station.

With a glove covered hand, unlock the Solutions Rat and Mouse Bait Station with the included key. Place 4 to 6 Eratication Rodent Bait blocks on the rods inside the station. Shut the stations lid until it snaps into place then place loaded bait stations along walls such as sheds or exterior of your homes foundation.

Rats will never go more than 20 feet from their burrow so place the loaded bait stations with a distance of 20 to 40 feet between each station used. We recommend you use multiple stations to increase the chances of these pests approaching baits.

Replace the Eratication Rodent Bait at least once a day to promote strong odors for rats and remove any deceased pests. After setting up traps and baits, it may take up to 2 weeks to see a noticeable reduction in pest activity. Continue replacing the bait until rat activity has stopped.

Key Takeaways

How to Tell if Rat Burrow is Still Active

  • An inactive rat burrow will often have leaves, spider webs, or other debris covering or surrounding the entrance. If you find are uncertain if a tunnel is still active then barely cover it with plant debris then check the next day to see if it has moved. If so, then this may indicate a rat is actively visiting this site. These burrows are not active should be filled in with soil and flattened with your hand or a shovel so rats cannot reuse them.

Where Do Rats Nests in Gardens and Ornamental Landscapes

  • Norway rats prefer to burrow or dig holes on the ground near shrubs, and underneath dense vegetation. Roof rats rarely burrow and typically build their nests aboveground in trees, and areas overgrown with vines, foliage, and shrubbery.

How to Prevent Rats in Gardens and Ornamental Landscapes

  • Once rats have been eliminated from your garden and ornamental landscape you will need to continue with various preventative methods to ensure they do not return. Fill inactive burrows and holes with soil so other rodents cannot reuse these areas. Take bird feeders down or replace them a rodent proof one to reduce spillage of birds seeds. You will also need to throw away uneaten pet food, fallen fruits and vegetables, and rotten fruit and vegetables in a sealable outdoor trash can. If there is no food then rats will not have a reason to stay in your garden or ornamental landscape. Improve the exterior walls of buildings such as sheds by sealing crack, crevices, and voids with caulk and Copper Mesh to prevent rats from nesting and foraging in these areas near your garden and ornamental landscape. Keep the grass short at 3 inches, hand-pull small weeds between plants, and remove fallen or piled up plant matter near or in these areas. Periodically move woodpiles, and outdoor furniture in your yard to help keep rats away.
Questions and Answers
No Question Found
  1. Size:
    Eratication Rodent Bait
    $32.99 - $32.99
  2. Size:
    Stuf-Fit Copper Mesh Exclusion
    $10.99 - $39.99
  3. Size:
    Solutions Easy Set Rat Trap
    $3.99 - $3.99
© 2024 Solutions Pest & Lawn. All Rights Reserved