Rats are most commonly known for infesting homes and businesses, yet the rodents can also be just as much of a problem in gardens. Gardens provide rats with shelter, food, moisture, and most of all, close proximity to your home. The first instinct you may have is to block up a rat hole, but this is not always a good idea.
With this in mind, what should you do if you found rat holes in your garden?
Rats do not always infest homes, gardens are also attractive to rats. To keep rats out of a garden, get rid of food sources near a garden that is keeping the rats nearby. Traps and bait can also help to eliminate the rats, but hiring a pest control professional is the safest way to remove rats from a garden.
This article will address if you have found rat holes in the ground in a garden and the steps you can take to eliminate rat burrows with professional pest services. Additionally, this guide will cover the steps you can take to prevent unsightly rat holes in your garden in the future.
How Do I Get Rid of Rat Holes in My Garden?
For outdoor rodents, shelter is the number one priority apart from food. If you have a vegetable or fruit garden nearby, this can be an additional problem since rats will eat plants for survival. If you just have a flower garden or shrubbery, rats will not typically eat these plants, but the rodents will make holes to shelter underground in these gardens.
It is first important to know if the holes in your garden are indeed rats and not some other type of animal. If the holes are medium-sized or large, this is a good indicator that rats are the culprit of the holes. Smaller holes that do not add up to the size of rats are most likely caused by insects or some other type of pest.
To get rid of rats in your garden, you first have to address matters related to food and shelter for the rats. This is the only way to effectively keep rats away from a garden and on the move for another location. You will also want to make sure you use methods that will repel the rats outright and keep them from not moving into your home.
Here is a step-by-step guide to getting rid of rat holes in your garden:
Flush Out the Hole
This is a good method to consider, and can also be humane if done correctly. Take your garden hose and apply water into the burrows. If a rat is present in the hole, the rodent will likely scurry out of the hole and abandon it for good. Here in the UK, there are two types of rats, the black rat, and the Norway rat; these rats strongly dislike disruptions and change to their surrounding environment, therefore, this shock will send the rat(s) fleeing to secure a new home.
You can utilise this method for any and all burrows that you notice around your garden. However, you may need to take additional measures to ensure that the rodents do not simply find a new hole to dig in the garden.
Apply Deterrents Around the Hole
It is strongly advised not to use rodent poisons in your garden or home. You should always consult with a pest professional before placing down toxins, especially if you have pets or small children. We recommend deterrents of a non-toxic variety to deter the rodents from the holes, and this method will also prevent the rodents from digging fresh holes.
Spicy, powdered pepper of any variety is an excellent rodent deterrent to consider. You can apply pepper near the rim of the hole and even inside of the hole, which will send any nesting rodents fleeing, so be aware of this! This is an excellent method to use against a large rat infestation as well.
This can also prevent any damage to plants or fruits and vegetables in your garden and will not harm the foliage if applied to the outer skin or leaves of a plant.
Keep Your Garden Well Maintained
It is true that rodents will wander around well-maintained outdoor areas and homes, but clutter and overgrown areas are two attractants that will draw rats to your garden quickly. It is important to keep all grass and bushes trimmed and well-maintained.
Be sure to remove all compost reserves in the garden until the problem has been resolved. Piles of wood, easy-access to bins and pet food, water reserves, and debris should all be cleaned and removed until you can clear the garden of all rats.
Compost heaps are an important nutrient for foliage, but be sure to find alternative methods until the rodents have been cleared out of the garden. You will have to do your part to keep a clean and tidy garden to keep the rats away.
Additionally, it will help to seal all holes in garden sheds and the house to make sure that rats who are nesting inside of these structures and feeding in the garden are also trapped or blocked. Also, consider putting weights on rubbish bins as rats are expert climbers and could be feeding on waste in bins that you store outdoors.
It cannot be stressed enough that pet food and water or any food source that rats eat should be removed and kept away when you are trying to remove rats. If food and water are left behind, the rats will find a way to get through any traps or blockages that you have set in place.
Note: If you wish to kill the rats to address the rat problem, you may use traps with bait like peanut butter in your garden, but be advised that rats are not as dumb as some people assume, and you may need to place the traps near food sources to eliminate the rat problem.
Block the Holes With Mesh or Chicken Wire
Try to avoid using caulk or plastic or paper to block rat holes; the rats will easily chew through these types of barriers. You can use wire mesh or even chicken wire to block the holes and this will prevent the rats from re-entering the hole.
If you do not wish to kill the rodents, be sure to flush the rat burrow first and then proceed to block the rat burrow once you are sure there are no rats inside. This is also a good method to utilise inside of your home if you notice burrows along walls.
What Do Rat Holes Look Like in the Garden?
Rat holes in garden areas will usually be larger than what you would classify an insect hole as. The holes will typically measure about two to four inches in diameter. You will likely also notice a great deal of loose dirt outside the hole which is caused by the rodents kicking out all of the soil during the digging process.
Types of insects that make holes will not be anywhere near this large and will not have loose accumulations of dirt outside the entrance areas to the hole. Rats are primarily nocturnal creatures, therefore, if you are trying to identify the hole that belongs to a rat, you can inspect the burrows at night to find the rodents entering or exiting the holes.
Should I Block Up a Rat Hole?
Rat burrows should be blocked for a few different reasons. First, this will disrupt the rodent’s normal pattern of daily activities. Rodents hate change and this will cause them to find new areas to make their nest.
But this can also be detrimental since the rodents will simply seek new places to nest and the next nest could easily be inside of the house if the garden has become too disruptive for the rodents. Also, you may not want to kill the rodents, which is a possibility if you block up burrows that may have rats inside during the sealing process.
The best method to take is to block up the holes and allow a pest control professional to eliminate the rats from your garden.
Is it Dangerous to Have a Rat in Your Garden?
Rats can carry disease and can even become aggressive if provoked. This can be a problem if you have pets or small children. Additionally, somebody could trip and fall if they step into a rat hole in the ground.
Rats are not really beneficial, therefore, it is beneficial to remove the rats if you notice holes littered across a garden. If for any other reason, it is likely only a matter of time before the rats find their way inside of the home and cause more damage.
In summary, it is important to know what rat holes look like and the steps you can take to close the holes and prevent the rats from creating more holes in your garden. Rats dislike change, all it takes is a disruption to the hole to send the rodents looking for other places to nest.
You may follow these steps to address rat holes in your grade, but pest control is the best way to completely eliminate the problem. Contact us today for a free quote to ask about services to eliminate rats from your garden and keep them away for good.