How to Get Rid of Rats in the Yard

Close up of Wild Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) feeding on stones in water of river

It’s a common story. One day you are out in your backyard, maybe you’re doing some maintenance on a tool shed or tending to your garden. As you go about your business, you maybe notice a streak of motion whiz by. Then you manage just enough time to process that blurred image and realize that you have a backyard rat problem. Considering the likelihood that one visible rat may only represent a small portion of the population of your rats in the yard, how can you possibly get rid of the entire problem? This article has been written to give you some useful advice regarding how to get rid of large rats outside.

Remove Potential Nests

One of the first steps when it comes to ridding your yard of outdoor rats is to do your best to “evict” them. This means clearing any spots that a rat might consider to be excellent spots to start a colony. Some of the more basic examples of a potential rat’s nest spot include:

  • Piles of wood or sticks
    • Especially if they are quite sizable. The deeper into the center you would have to go, the more likely your rat problem is to have used the pile as a nest.
  • Pipe storage
    • Considering that rats can squeeze through spaces no wider than their heads, all of those long, narrow pipes give rats plenty of hiding space.
  • Tools
    • It is best to store all of your tools in an orderly way that will not serve double duty as the roof or a breaching point for a rat nest.

There are four things rats consider when choosing a nesting spot: warmth, security, privacy, and proximity to food and water. Look through your property for any spots where a rat might be able to hide.

Remove All Potential Food Sources

Since food is one of the determining factors in a rat’s choice of hiding spots, you should make it as hard as possible for rats to sense your yard has food. This is best accomplished by immediately emptying, and potentially cleaning, pet bowls after they finish eating, and sealing away pet food in secured containers (rather than in the bags they came in). Because rats are not picky eaters, you should seal up your trash cans and also position them far away from any suspected rat nest location. One potential issue for Las Vegas residents is those who have Mesquite trees. These popular trees drop their pods and this is yummy food for rats. Remove these pods quickly as they are like ringing the dinner bell for rats. 

Remove All Potential Water Sources

Rats also need to hydrate regularly and will even drink more water than normal when deprived of food long enough to become hungry. For a better idea of common water sources found in the backyard, consider the following points.

  • A rat’s need for water means that you should clear away any areas of standing water, whether it comes from the rain or simply what pools near where your hose is stored. Removing standing water is also a good tip for minimizing mosquito populations.
  • Get rid of places where rainwater can collect, like a bucket or bird bath.
  • Turn off and drain any artificial streams you may have had installed until u have gotten rid of the rats. You can bring it back to function once you are certain that the rats are gone

Rats are a problem for a number of reasons. While you can isolate their nests and maybe lay out some traps, rely upon a cat, but odds are likely that something could go wrong by handling their extermination on your own. While a layperson might be able to handle a small number of rats on their own, situations where you are dealing with more rats than fingers are situations best left to professionals like Dr. Death Pest Control. Professionals know how to stop rats without bringing undue harm to themselves or your property.

Currently only servicing Henderson and Boulder City.

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