The chances are, if you’re as proud of your garden or farm as you are your house itself, you’ll have put time, dedication and money into ensuring it looks perfect. With that in mind, the last thing you’re likely to want is an infestation of rats, each of them hungrily threatening to trash – and quite literally, too – your hard work.
So, what do you do if you get rats in your garden then? And how do you spot an infestation before the problem becomes too difficult to eradicate? We’ve prepared a handy guide to these pesky garden visitors to ensure you’re ready to take action as and when you need to. Read on…
Of course, a rat infestation won’t always necessarily be confined to the garden. If you’re really unlucky you could spot one or two in your home as well. And we bet that – below nosey Auntie Margaret – rats are even lower down your list of preferred house guests.
Older houses are some of the most prone to rat infestations. That said, rats can rear their furry little heads in just about any home or area. Preventative measures are always best when it comes to rats, but what happens if it’s too late? In that instance, just how do you get rid of rats?
First, you’ll need to determine if you do actually have rats in your home or garden. Perhaps those ‘droppings’ you’ve spotted on the kitchen floor don’t belong to rats after all, but something else?
How do you know if there is rats in the garden or home?
Garden rats can wreak havoc on your outside space – but perhaps, worse still, they might eventually make their way into your home.
What, then, are the warning signs of garden and agricultural rats?
Well, perhaps the first and most obvious one is you’ll have seen them roaming around at night – or if you’re really unfortunate – during the day. You might also have spotted that your plants and bushes feature chew marks, or you may have spotted droppings in or around your garden or farm.
There could be discarded rubbish – taken from bags left outside and not in their designated bins – which is a sure-fire sign that you have a rat problem.
The best way to get rid of rats in the garden is to ensure rubbish bags are tied up and out of the way. It’s always an idea to consider preventative methods, as once you’ve got a rat problem you may find that you struggle to sort it out without professional help.
The good news is, though, professional pest control services don’t have to cost the earth – and trained experts will show you exactly how to get rid of rats in the garden and to protect your vegetables and plants from rats.
Rat Bait: Should You Use One?
There are few better ways to deal with rats outside the home than simply using bait. The question is though, where do you place it? And which is the best rat bait?
Why not make use of a dedicated rat trap bait station? They’re made with one aim in mind: to allow rats to feed but prevent animals like cats from getting hold of the bait, too.
If your neighbours have pets and you’re considering the best bait for rat traps, make sure you let them know what you’re planning to do so they can keep a closer eye on their cat or dog.
For use underneath a shed, rat throw bags are an option as they’ll catch rats as they’re going about their business of grabbing scraps of food from around your garden.
You could also place plastic or metal rat bait stations next to the rat runs like fences or sheds. Generally, rat bait like this is safe and effective – and cheap! Make sure you check out this as an option before you turn to the professionals.
How to Create a Humane Rat Traps and Remedies: A Guide
So you want to get rid of those rats once and for all – but the important bit: you’d like to do it safely and humanely.
Humane rat traps can be created relatively easily – and cheaply – and here’s how:
For humane rat removal, simply grab a toilet paper tube and tape a weight (a couple of coins one on top of the other should do it) to one side. Flatten the other side partially so it doesn’t roll off. Now, simply position the tube halfway extended over a counter top or table – somewhere rats can easily get to.
Put a small raison in front of the tube and place another at the overhanging end of the tube. A rubbish bin underneath the trap will help catch the offending rat once he is enjoying the morsel inside the trap. Of course, the pest will then go for the second morsel of food and fall into the rubbish bin. As far as humane traps for rats goes, this is one of the easiest to put together.
Or how about trying one of these two natural remedies?
Don’t fancy making a rat or mouse trap? Try peppermint oil! It’s a natural rat deterrent and it can be applied to a cotton ball and placed under or near your rubbish bins to prevent rats going near it.
Get a Cat
It may seem quite an ‘out there’ option, but if you’ve been considering getting a pet for some time why not a cat? He or she will help keep rats at bay as well as being lovely company around the house – sold!
Rats: Some Frequently Asked Questions
To help you get a better understanding of how and why rats make it into your home or garden, we’ve answered some of your most-asked questions:
Where do rats live?
Rats will live pretty much anywhere where there is food and shelter. They are, however, mainly found around farm buildings, warehouses and sheds. In towns, you may spot them in rubbish heaps, around industrial-sized bins or in sewers.
What do rats eat?
You might not realise it, but rats actually eat human food like rice, potatoes and veg. That’s why it’s so important not to leave out any untied rubbish bags or remnants of food lying around outside or inside.
How long do rats live?
Rats munching on your vegetables? We’d love to tell you the problem won’t persist for too long – but rats can live up to three years and each baby will reproduce from just four months old. With that in mind, it looks like that infestation could be here to stay – unless, of course, you get it sorted soon.
How many babies do rats have?
The worst thing about a rat infestation? It can quickly escalate. Why? Producing a little of up to eight babies – more than six times a year – a relatively small infestation can quickly require a largescale removal operation.
And guess what? As we’ve already mentioned, each of those rat babies will be starting their very own families by the time they’re four months old – great, eh?
Why do rats come in the house?
This one’s simple! Rats will find their way into your home if you give them reason to head inside. Discarded food, open windows or cat flaps; you name it – rats don’t need much of an invitation to pop in to say hello.
An infestation of rats isn’t an indication that your house is dirty, but simply that you’re offering some means of food, water or shelter. Spilled pet food, bird feeder overspills or even remnants of your evening meal in and around bins can be bait for rats. And while a rat can weigh up to a pound, it’s worth knowing they can flatten and squeeze their bodies through a ½ an inch crack.
When it comes to getting rid of rats in your home, it might be best to first try some home remedies or preventative methods. That way, you won’t need to ask yourself how to get rid of rats at home; you’ll have simply nipped the problem in the bud in the first instance. If you find yourself struggling to deal with a variety of household pests, you may want to try some alternative methods.
Rat Infestation? Natural Methods to Try First
Some of of the best methods of halting a rat infestation are preventative ones. So, what do you do?
Don’t Feed the Birds
We know many of you may enjoy feeding the birds in your garden, but you could just be asking for trouble when it comes to common garden or household pests.
It’s a known fact that rats are attracted to bird food, so unless you want some unwanted guests, try to avoid feeding the birds.
It’s important you don’t leave containers of water lying around, too. Unlike mice, rats need a lot of water and will see stagnant water as a handy invitation to get stuck in.
Don’t Leave Rubbish Lying Around
Just like you wouldn’t leave bird food out on the ground, don’t leave your own leftover food out either. Rats will always pick the easiest place to feed and this could be from your bins or old rubbish bags – don’t give them an invitation.
Clean Up Spillages
Clear up any spillages as soon as possible; anything from that aforementioned bird food to remnants of rubbish can be fair game to rats – even compost heaps aren’t safe! Don’t put palatable food into your compost heap. Instead, make sure you wrap it up and bin it.
Don’t Create a Convenient Shelter
Make sure you clear away any rubbish or weeds lying around your garden. While untidy houses aren’t necessarily a target for rats, it’s true that the tidier the garden, the less likely it’ll become infested.
Got Rats? Why You Should Use a Professional Pest Control Company
So you’ve determined that you’ve got rats, but why and when should you use a pest control company? Here are just a few reasons it’s a great idea:
Experts in Pest Control Will Find Invisible Pests
If you’ve stumbled upon this article, it’s likely you’re already aware of rats in your house or garden, but what about the ‘invisible’ pests; those little critters and creepy crawlies you can’t see?
Seek out the help of a professional pest control company and experts will find pests that are otherwise invisible. With the training and experience to detect any kind of pest, speedy pest control companies will use a host of safe and effective methods to alleviate the problem for you quickly – and in an as pain-free way as possible.
You’ll Benefit from a Bespoke Removal Plan
Custom pest control plans mean pests will always be removed from your home or garden in an effective fashion. Using baits or traps, pest control experts will remove wildlife quickly and efficiently. And if you’re looking for pest control experts in Glasgow or further afield, you’ll have no trouble finding exactly what you’re looking for and getting the issue sorted once and for all.
Future Pest Problems Can Be Easily Prevented
Worried about an infestation of rats, mice or other pests striking a second time? Pest control of these wee critters in Edinburgh, Glasgow or elsewhere in Scotland can be an issue and it’s a result of the area being fairly rural in parts.
During their initial inspections, pest control professionals will note any property damage as well as areas by which mice and other creatures can enter the home. They’ll then seal or repair any of the areas which are attracting pests to give you the peace of mind you’re looking for going forward.