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What keeps rats away naturally?

How to get rid of rats from your yard and prevent them from coming back

Rats are a problem the instant they take up residence in your yard, garden, or house. Rats can cause a surprising amount of damage to property in a short amount of time. Homes, vehicles, and gardens are not safe when rats are around. Rats also pose a health risk because they spread infectious diseases to humans and pets. Once a rat problem has been discovered it is imperative to act quickly to remove the rats and ensure they do not return. There are also steps you can take to prevent rats from appearing in the first place.

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Understand what attracts rats to your yard

If you are going to get rid of rats, you need to understand what attracts rats to gardens. You could be enticing rats without knowing it as there are plants that attract rats. For rat traps to be effective, you first must understand why the rats are there. Whatever is attracting the rats needs to be removed if traps are going to work.

How to get rid of rats from your yard and keep them from coming back

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plants that attract rats

Plants that attract rats

Plants that grow fruit and vegetables will attract rats since they provide an excellent source of food for them. Typically, rats and mice feed on a variety of fruits; for example, oranges, avocados, peaches, lemons, and figs. They are also very fond of walnuts and almonds. So, it’s vital that all fallen fruit and nuts should be regulated removed, and discarded as soon as possible.

Smells and Odors that attract rats

Odors and smells that come from pet waste, pet food, garbage containers, barbecue grills, birdfeeders, and even from unharvested fruit and nuts from plants can attract rats and mice. Good sanitation habits can effectively improve the prevention of attracting rodents in your yard.

smells and order that attract rats

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overgrown areas that attract rats

Overgrown and stationary areas that attract rats

Rats do not prefer open spaces but rather overgrown areas, as they provide cover from predators and it’s also an ideal place for them to build their nests. To prevent rats from living in your yard, you must deny them access to shelter. Keep your yard nicely trimmed and remove any piles of wood, brush, debris, compost piles, dense shrubbery, ground covers, and ivy as this will attract rats over time. Also, keep storage shelters properly sealed – repair or seal all openings with durable materials, such as concrete, metal flashing, steel wool, or heavy welded wire.

Water sources that attract rats

Most rats require a constant water source and they tend to stay around these sources. It’s necessary to remove, cover, or repair any sources that provide a water source for these rodents. This includes swimming pools, leaky faucets, irrigation lines, water bowls for pets and other sources of standing water.

water sources that attract rats

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How To Set A Rat Trap

Set Outdoor Traps for Rats

There are several different kinds of rat traps. Each type of trap uses a different method of catching a rat, but all can be effective. Consider the pros and cons of each trap type to select the best trap for your situation.

Snap Rat Traps

With the right bait and location setup, the traditional snap traps are still the most common and effective way of catching rats. These rodents are primarily nut and seed eaters, so using a small amount of peanut butter or hazelnut spread works best. When temperatures drop outside, rodents tend to slow down and focus on building nests, so you can also lure them by using materials such as cotton balls, dental floss, yarn, or twine. Additionally, make sure you use gloves while setting up – rodents can detect your scent on traps you’ve handled and can potentially deter them from reaching your trap.

Be very careful when setting rat traps. You need to be mindful of where they are and what else may be able to reach them.

Four ‘effective’ ways to deter rats from your garden ‘forever’ — ‘they can’t stand it!’

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Rats are usually unwelcome visitors in gardens – they are generally considered vermin and can spread potentially serious diseases, including Leptospirosis, which can lead to Weil’s disease. They can set up home beneath decking, in sheds or greenhouses, and compost heaps. Rats are mostly nocturnal so gardeners may not see them, but there are other tell-tale signs to look out for. There may be tunnels, tracks alongside walls, fences or buildings that are up to 10cm wide. Gardeners might also notice their cylindrical droppings, gnawed wood, or parallel teeth marks in crops. But how can gardeners say goodbye to these pests for good?

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While the most common way to get rid of rats from gardens is the use of rat poison and traps, they are toxic and may pose danger to wildlife, pets and humans.

Instead gardening experts at Primrose have shared four natural, yet “effective” ways to get rid of rats in gardens for good.

Essential oils

Rats have “one of the best senses of smell in the animal kingdom”, trumping that of dogs, according to the experts.

They explained: “When used in concentration, essential oils can do wonders to effectively deter rats from your garden due to their potency.

Rats in gardens

Four ‘effective’ ways to deter rats from your garden ‘forever’ — ‘they can’t stand it!’ (Image: GETTY)

‘Avoid’ using tap water with ‘sensitive’ peace lilies — what to water houseplant instead

Peace lilies are popular houseplants, known for their glossy green leaves and white flowers.

According to one expert, owners should steer away from using tap water when watering this indoor plant.

“Peppermint oil, citronella and eucalyptus essential oils in their pure form are all smells that rats will dislike. “

A few drops of these oils in their pure form around the areas you know the rats have been should do the trick.

Alternatively, soak cotton wool in essential oil and place in rat traffic areas.

Hot pepper

Rats are repelled by spicy seasonings such as hot pepper.



The gardening pros noted: “Similarly to essential oils, rats’ high sense of smells means they can’t stand hot pepper or anything very spicy so it will deter them forever.

“You can make your own homemade natural rat repellent spray with cayenne pepper or chilli flakes.”

To make this repellent spray mix cayenne pepper or chilli flakes with water and heat the mixture vigorously to infuse the chilli.

Then allow it to cool — the longer you leave it, the more potent the chilli will be. If gardeners have used chilli flakes, sieve them out.

After, add a little castile soap and pour into a spray bottle. The solution can then be applied liberally to areas where there is evidence of rats.

A rat sniffing for food

Rats have “one of the best senses of smell in the animal kingdom” (Image: GETTY)

Block off potential shelter

Rats make home under existing structures, such as garden buildings and decking.

To prevent this, block entry to areas beneath these — no matter how narrow the space.

The experts cautioned: “Before you do this, ensure there are no rats living underneath the structure you are blocking off, as they will die an unpleasant death.

“Have a general clear up in your garden, getting rid of any debris and cutting back overgrown vegetation. This will provide rats with less cover.

Gardeners can also take this opportunity to move things around in their garden.

The gardening gurus explained: “Rats are neophobic, and this disruption of their territory will confuse them and encourage them to make home elsewhere.”

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When different pests are most active

Pests: When different pests are most active (Image: EXPRESS)

Remove food sources

Rats are attracted to gardens because they contain bountiful food sources.

There are a number of steps you can take to ensure your garden doesn’t become, or stops being, so attractive to rats.

The experts said: “Compost bins are a treasure trove to rats. Ensure your compost bin is secure and move it away from possible routes of access, such as fences and walls.”

If gardeners love feeding the birds, there’s a good chance rats may be getting into their bird sees and nuts.

The pros suggested: “A squirrel-proof bird feeder will block off rats, and using no-mess seed mix will ensure there is no discarded food left on the floor that may attract rats.”

Gardeners should also ensure they collect fallen fruit from their fruit trees soon after it falls, otherwise rats may start to feast on the harvest.

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