If you have a rat issue but do not want to use poison or other lethal measures to eradicate the population, you need a natural outdoor rat repellent. Or, to be more specific, you are going to need a combination of tactics to repel or prevent a backyard rat colony.
Killing them off is, of course, the fastest and surest method for getting rid of outdoor rats, but there are several reasons you may not want to go this route. One of the main reasons folks do not want to resort to lethal methods is because they want the rats gone, but that does not necessarily mean that they want them dead. They simply want them to move on and live somewhere farther away from the outdoor living areas where their children play and they entertain guests.
Another reason to not use lethal methods is that they may affect other animals that are welcome in your yard. For example, squirrels or chipmunks may be killed by baited traps or may consume the rat poison and die. It is also possible that your dog, your cat or a raptor might catch a poisoned rat and become ill or die.
Then, of course, there are the dead rats to deal with when you use lethal methods. At the very least, this likely means that you will have to endure horrible smells coming from under your deck until the bodies decompose. In other cases, this could mean fishing dead rats out of your swimming pool or hot tub, or it could mean collecting rat carcasses littering your yard.
While you may not want to use lethal methods to rid your yard of rats, there are reasons to take steps to ensure that a rat colony does not become established in your backyard. For example, rats carry fleas that can transfer to your dogs or cats and that sometimes carry diseases (does bubonic plague ring a bell?). Plus, the rats, themselves, carry a handful of diseases that can be transferred to humans or other animals.
There is also the fact that most folks just do not like the idea of rats running across their outdoor dining tables or the counters in their outdoor kitchen, pooping on their patio cushions or racing across the yard in the middle of a dinner party.
So, here’s the deal: rats are pretty simple (but rather smart) creatures that mostly want food, water and shelter. If they are hanging out in your backyard, that is because you are unwittingly providing them with these basic needs.
In order to reclaim your outdoor living areas, you need to encourage your current rodent residents to move on to more hospital accommodations and to discourage new rats and mice from making themselves at home in your yard.
The key to doing this is making your backyard less appealing by removing those cozy spots to sleep and readily available food sources. Prevention is definitely best, but if you are reading this, it is pretty safe to bet that you already have a rat problem and are looking for some tips on eradicating it. So let’s get right down to it and go over some of the most popular natural, non-lethal rat repellent and prevention options available to you.
Recap: Natural Rate Repellent Methods
- Inspect Structure Interiors
- Fortify Your Structures
- Clean Your Yard
- Secure or Replace Your Garbage Bins
- Move, Replace or Get Rid of Your Compost Bin
- Move Your Wood Pile
- Clear the Perimeter of Your House and Other Structures
- Prune Trees and Shrubs
- Remove Animal Food
- Fortify Your Chicken Coop or Aviary
- Get Rid of Ivy and Other Ground Covers that Provide Cover for Rats
- Move or Remove Bird Feeders
- Move Your Vegetable Garden Far from Your House
- Keep an Eye on Your Trees
- Secure Barbecue Grills and Outdoor Kitchens
- Let Your Dogs or Cats Spend More Time in Your Yard
- Keep Your Yard Free of Pet Waste
- Store Patio Cushions When Not in Use
- Block Passage Beneath Decks, Gazebos, Sheds and Other Structures
- Remove Water Sources
- Plant Lavender and Mint
- Stock Up on Scented Dryer Sheets
- Spray Your Yard with Peppermint Oil or Eucalyptus Oil
- Douse Your Yard in Predator Urine
- Spread Pellet Rat Repellents Throughout Your Yard
- Set Out Pouch Rat Repellents
- Install an Outdoor Electronic Rat Repeller
- Employ Live Traps
The Damage Caused by Rats and Mice
Rats spread diseases through their skin, their bite and their droppings, as well as through the food they eat. They eat and contaminate stored meats, fruits, crackers, nuts, and grains and can transmit murine typhus, leptospirosis, ratbite fever, and salmonellosis (food poisoning).
The plague is also a disease that both the Roof and the Norway rats carry. During the last years, the Center for Disease Control has spotted scattered cases in rural areas from Seattle, California, New Mexico, Southern Colorado, Northern Arizona, Southern Oregon, and Far Western Nevada.
What is Rat Control?
Rat extermination strategies go along with three different strategies: sanitation measures, population control, and rodent proofing.
First of all, though, you’ll need to learn to recognize the signs of an infestation. Those are:
- Burrows around plants or damaged vegetables in the garden
- Burrows beneath garbage cans
- Evidence of a rat nest inside your chimney or firewood stack
- Evidence of rat nest behind drawers or boxes, in the garage, or on the basement
- Rat droppings around your pet’s dishes or pet food containers
- Dead rat carcasses around the house (your dog or cat might bring them to you)
- Drowned rats on your hot tub or swimming pool
- Noises coming from the attic during the evening
- Fruits and nuts falling from the trees around the house or found bitten indoors
- Stain marks along fences and utility lines
- Smudge marks on rafters, walls, and pipes (rats cause them when they rub their fur against beams)
- Mouse droppings around the house, especially around or inside your garbage cans and recycle bins
Building a Rodent Proof House
The second step is for the long-term. You’ll need to seal cracks and openings in the foundations of your house, pipes, doors, windows, drain spouts, electric wires, and vents.
There should be no hole larger than ¼’ if you want to keep rats and mice outside. Your doors, windows, screens, and chimneys should also be sealed, with the edges covered with sheet metal.
Materials like wire screen, coarse steel wool, and lightweight sheet metal can plug gaps and holes very efficiently. Both Norway and Roof rats will gnaw away wood, plastic sheeting,
What damage can rats do?
- Scratching walls and floors
- Leaving droppings everywhere- not only is this unsanitary, it’s also a breeding ground for bacteria and mold
- Rats carry diseases- putting you and your family’s health at risk
- Rats can contaminate your food
- They can endanger your pets by bringing in fleas, ticks and mites
- They are prolific chewers and can be very destructive, gnawing on pipe insulation, wood and electric wires- which can be a fire hazard
Find the entry points of the rats
This is easy if there are actual signs of any rat activity such as droppings, holes and the most obvious one – living rats walking around the property. A hole with a diameter of about 7cm is more than enough to allow rodents access to your house. Seal off any of these with a rodent-resistant foam which can also be used as a form of insulation. When seeking for the entry points, be constantly aware of the danger of getting a rat bite.
Potential entry points of rats:
- Through open doors or windows
- Holes under floarboard, walls, roof, or doors
- Through flap doors for pets
- Through drains and pipes
- Through air vents
Use Traps As a Form of Pest Control
Although being kind of an old-fashioned way to deal with rodents, traps are still a very effective and smart solution for any rat infestation. To get themost of it, however, you need to know some additional tricks about it.
- Feed the rats for a period of few days or up to 1 week, before setting the traps. This will make them less suspicious and when planned, the traps will give much better results as the rats will not be scared or suspecting any danger.
- Use food such as peanut butter as bait or anything else that spoils slowly.
- After the rats’ pathways have already been located, place the traps there.
Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Rats
When the rodent infiltrators have breached the walls of your lovely home, it’s about time to get serious. The truth is, it’s not really necessary to spend a lot of cash on poison, traps and any special treatment if you spot the rats on time. Plenty of home remedies for rat control have proven as useful over the years and will share most of them with you. Pepper Ammonia Sharp noise Cat litter Bay leaves
Crush it to dust and spread it at the rats’ pathways. It will harden their breathing to an extent which makes it unbearable and they will flee away from it.
This remedy is easy to make, mix it with some water and regular ammonia and spill all over the place. Rats can’t stand the smell and will keep a long distance from it.
A loud sharp noise coming out from any homemade device will make rats to literally bleed out of their ears – what would stand such a torture ? Rats, definitely would not.
Cats and snakes are rats’ natural predators. Therefore, the scent of their litter terrifies rats heavily. If you manage to find any cat or snake excrement, place it at the entry points the rats have made and they will run back trembling in fear.
At first look, seeing as something rats would munch with pleasure, bay leaves actually have the potential to kill any moderately small rodent. Buy some and use it as a bait for the rats’ doom.
In case all you try fails, you should contact alocal rat exterminator company and get your home treated by professionals before the rats do any damages to your home.
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