How to Eliminate Rats Outdoors: A Comprehensive Guide

You have put in a lot of effort to create an amazing and welcoming outside area. The last thing you want is to share it with rodents.

Sadly, rats, including the Norway rat, are common pests outdoors. They cause damage by chewing on plants, trees, and buildings. Moreover, they can spread illnesses that harm people and animals.

Luckily, there’s no reason to put up with rats forever.

At On Demand Pest Control, we specialize in rodent control and removing rats from outdoor areas. We have the knowledge and skills required to tackle even the toughest infestations.

Here are some helpful tips to trap rats and get rid of them outside, so you can relax in your peaceful sanctuary again!

What Attracts Rats to My Yard?

Rats mainly come to your yard due to these factors:

1. Food

Rats, as omnivores, eat a wide variety of foods. Outside, they enjoy birdseed, pet food, fruits and vegetables from gardens, garbage, compost, and small animals like birds and lizards. They especially love snails, so it’s a good idea to get professional snail control for your yard.

2. Shelter

Rats need a safe place to raise their babies. They usually hide in stacks of wood, clutter, tall plants, and landscape structures like stone heaps and brick walls.

3. Water

Rats require water to live, but they can manage without it for a while by getting moisture from their food. When they look for water, they can use things like birdbaths, dripping faucets, or animal dishes for their needs.

How to Detect the Presence of Rats in Your Yard

To determine whether you have signs of rat infestation in your outdoor space, look for these indicators:

  • Rat feces (usually shiny, black, and about ½” – ¾” long)
  • Footprints and tail imprints in dusty or damp ground
  • Chewed structures, especially big, irregular holes, possibly over 2″ wide
  • Rat burrows close to walkways and brick foundations on the ground and walls
  • Frequently used paths, and free of plants
  • Stains from the greasy fur of rats
  • Spotting of live or deceased rodents

How to Eradicate Rats Outdoors

Rat problems outside can cause damage to your yard and plants, and might even find their way into your house.

It is crucial to take quick action to remove rats living outdoors. Here are the methods we recommend:

1. Seal Outdoor Entry Points

To eliminate outdoor rats, locate potential nesting spots and close them off, reducing the places rats can hide near your home.

Here’s our suggestion:

  • Use steel wool to fill small holes and secure it with caulking or spray foam.
  • To cover large holes in outdoor structures such as sheds and greenhouses, choose rat-proof and weather-resistant materials like metal sheets, cement, or hardware cloth. Cut these materials to fit around pipes and utility lines.
  • Close gaps in your trailer skirting and make sure outbuildings and garages are sealed to keep rats out.
  • Add flashing around your home’s foundation and fix any rat damage.
  • Strengthen vents with copper wire or stainless steel mesh with 1mm holes, which rats can’t chew through.
  • Prevent rodents from climbing outdoor pipes by attaching metal pipe guards made of 26-gauge sheet metal.
  • If there are bare patches of soil in your garden or planter boxes where rats may dig in, use steel screen or mesh to deter them. This will prevent rats from reaching the ground in these areas.

Do you have a serious rat problem outside? You should contact an expert pest control service for assistance. Skilled pest control experts can tackle your rat issue effectively, stopping diseases, harm, and future pest troubles.

If you’re located in Broward, Collier, or Lee County and need assistance, reach out to On Demand Pest Control at (954) 947-0805.

2. Remove Nesting Sites and Debris Piles

Keep rats away from your home by:

  • Clearing out potential outdoor hiding places and piles of debris. Make sure the area around your house is free of trash and mess.
  • Store garbage in strong plastic or metal cans with secure lids.
  • Remove unused vehicles from your property or park them at least 100 feet away from your house.
  • To ensure safety, place your firewood and wood sheds at least 100 feet away from your home. Additionally, use risers to elevate the wood one foot from the ground.
  • To store old equipment or building materials outside, keep them 18 inches above the ground and 12 inches away from walls and fences.
  • Clean up any brush, weeds, organic materials, and debris on your property.
  • Make sure all outdoor buildings, like sheds or greenhouses, are properly sealed.
  • Frequently mow your lawn and trim tall plants and bushes.
  • Trim tree branches so they are at least three feet away from your roof. (See Image Below)

3. Remove Food Sources

  • Remove the food rats love, like fallen fruits, garden vegetables, nuts, acorns, and eliminate snails as well.
  • This is essential to note since rats enjoy snail consumption and rapidly invade places with abundant snail presence.
  • Here are some tips to get rid of the food sources for rats:
  • Keep pet and bird food in containers that can’t be chewed and make sure they’re airtight.
  • Clean up any spilled food from outdoor eating or barbecues.
  • Make sure outdoors cooking areas, like grills, are clean and free of grease and leftover food.
  • Quickly remove any fallen fruits or vegetables.
  • Maintain a secure compost bin at least 100 feet away from your home.
  • Keep bird feeders away from the house, placing them on poles with squirrel guards to prevent rodents from accessing the food.
  • If you have a garden or fruit trees, collect produce as soon as it’s ready.

4. Use Dry Ice

An alternative method to eliminate rats outside without using poison involves the use of dry ice. By creating carbon dioxide, dry ice has the ability to numb and ultimately, kill the rats.

To get the best outcome, put the dry ice near the opening of rat holes. Remember to wear gloves and safety gear as dry ice can harm your skin.

5. Set Traps

One of the quickest methods to eliminate rats is by using traps. Snap traps, in particular, are highly efficient rat catchers, as they offer a way to kill the rodents instantly.

To keep other creatures out of the traps, put them in a box or beneath a milk crate. Use peanut butter as bait since it is affordable and appeals to rats.

When setting the trap, make sure to put it close to spots where you’ve discovered rat droppings or observed their activity.

Which bait works best for trapping rats?

When looking for the best bait for rat traps, keep in mind that rats usually prefer foods rich in protein. To catch rats, choose bait like peanut butter, hazelnut spread, bacon, dried fruit, or cereal.

What is the best location to set up my mouse trap?

Place snap traps at a right angle next to the wall where you see evidence of rodents. This way, as rats move along the wall, they will engage with the trigger, no matter which side they approach from. Let the traps stay unactivated for several days, allowing the rodents to get used to them.

6. Use Baits & Poisons

If traps aren’t working well enough, you can use baits and poisons as an alternative.

The majority of current rat traps and toxins utilize substances that prevent blood clotting.

When rats eat these substances, their blood’s clotting ability decreases, causing them to die in about 4 to 6 days.

The baits are designed to be effective so that rats only need to consume the poison once to receive a lethal dose.

You can find one-time-use rat poison in different forms such as nuggets, blocks, or bars in household or hardware shops nearby. To attract rats, these products have a pleasant scent or taste.

7. Use Fumigants

Fumigants are toxic gases that help in managing rodent problems. Common choices are aluminum phosphide, carbon dioxide, and gas cartridges, which eliminate rodents rapidly.

Many current fumigants use aluminum phosphide and come in tablet form. These tablets can be put into rodent holes, where they let out gas over time.

Gas canisters and smoke devices are common pest control methods, but they work best for minor rat problems. For bigger infestations, these methods can be too much work and not very efficient.

Similar to rodent-killing chemicals, fumigants are strictly regulated in numerous locations. In fact, it might be against the law for individuals without professional qualifications to acquire these substances.

Caution: Aluminum phosphide is extremely hazardous and lethal. Though it works well for pest control, incorrect usage can lead to death. Be extremely careful when using it, and be sure to follow the included instructions strictly.

8. Try Repellents

Rat repellents are great for keeping rats away from certain places. You can find ready-made ones at nearby hardware or home supply stores.

Rats have a strong sense of smell. Because of this, some repellents use essential oils that rats dislike.

Rats do not like changes. If they are irritated or find the environment uncomfortable, they will leave.

For optimal results, we suggest applying deterrents close to the repaired entrance spots and former rat nesting areas.

9. File an Official Complaint With Your Local Health Department

If you notice rats near your yard or garden, reach out to the local health department in your area.

Rats are often viewed as a simple annoyance; however, they can also transmit illnesses and cause damage to property.

Rat infestations pose a genuine threat to public health, and informing the local health department about such a situation is vital.

If you have a problem with rats, you can inform your local health department via their website.

After you file a complaint, a health inspector from the local department will assess the severity of the issue and determine the necessary actions.

10. Contact A Professional Pest Management Company

Pest control services not only work well inside the house but can also assist in controlling rat numbers outdoors.

On Demand Pest Control applies environment-friendly techniques to manage outdoor rat groups, such as using traps and preventive measures.

Get in touch with us now, and find out the ways we can support you in preventing rats.

Essential Rat Control Safety Tips

1. Adhere to label directions for all baits and poisons

Make sure to keep rat poison safely inside a closed bait box, out of reach from kids, animals, and wild creatures.

Make sure to label the bait station properly and check it often for any interference.

2. Maintain a safe distance for children and pets

To keep children and animals safe, it’s critical to secure any bait or poison used in treating a space in a container that is tamper-proof and placed in a high location that is out of reach. It’s important to keep them away until this has been completed.

When using traps, choose designs that protect kids, pets, and innocent animals from harm.

Rodent Bait Station

3. Comply with local regulations

Knowing and following the rules in your area about using baits and poisons is essential because they can be complicated and have restrictions.

4. Employ Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Always wear gloves, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants when working with rat poison or bait.

It is recommended to wear a mask when working in a place with rat nests, urine, or droppings.

5. Safely Dispose of Dead Rodents

If you find dead rodents outside, it’s important to dispose of them correctly. Follow these tips:

  • Don’t touch dead rodents without protection.
  • Use plastic gloves and a shovel, two sticks, long tongs, or a gloved hand inside a plastic bag to remove them.
  • Double-bag the dead rodents before throwing them away.
  • After you handle anything, wash your hands carefully and watch for any signs of sickness, like fever, over the next few days.

Is Your South Florida Yard or Garden Besieged by Rats? We’re Here To Assist!

Stop sharing your outdoor space with rats! On Demand Pest Control is an expert in helping both homes and businesses in Southeast & Southwest Florida. We control and prevent rat problems effectively.

Our rat removal service does not use chemicals, making it safe for you and your loved ones. We swiftly and effectively regain control of your yard or garden.

Moreover, On Demand Pest Control works together with businesses to get rid of rats in a responsible and eco-friendly manner.

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