Is it normal to see a rat in your garden? How do I get rid of rats outside and how long does it take?


Have you been seeing some pesky little rats scuttling around in your garden recently? If so, you’ll likely want to know if this is something that could be considered a normal occurrence. But how do you get rid of rats when they are outside your home? How long will pest control in your garden take? In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about dealing with these unwanted garden invaders!  

Is it normal to see a rat in your garden?

Is it normal to see a rat in your garden? In truth, it’s not unusual. You could spot a rat in your garden for any number of reasons and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have an infestation or that there is anything you need to worry about. However, if this is something that has been occurring quite a lot recently, then there’s a good chance that you do have an infestation or nest somewhere in your garden – which is something that you will need to take care of. 

How do I get rid of rats in my garden?

How do you get rid of rats in your garden? There are several ways that you can approach a rat infestation in your garden:

  • Skip this article and call the experts like SWAT Pest Control – let the professionals take care of it for you 
  • Try to tackle the pest problem yourself (which we will cover shortly)  
  • Take pest prevention steps 

Call the experts

The first approach is relatively painless as you can simply outsource your problems to professionals. They will come in to review the pest situation and then prescribe the appropriate treatment to get rid of the rats. 

If you don’t particularly want to waste any time with this and would prefer to swift and effective resolution, then hiring a professional pest control expert is always recommended. 

DIY the pest problem

However, you can try to tackle the pest problem yourself. You can try the following things to get rid of rats in your garden: 

  • Invest in some rat traps
  • Use bait or poison 

Baiting traps and catching all of the rats in your garden isn’t necessarily going to be easy. In addition to that, it will be difficult to tell precisely how many rodents you are dealing with. 

This can also be a problematic approach as rat poison is incredibly dangerous for pets and children.   

Pest prevention 

What you need to know about pest control is that often the best tactic is prevention. This basically means turning your home or garden into an area that is completely unattractive and unsuitable to pests. With regards to rats in your garden, this means identifying the areas that are attracting the rats and eliminating them. Here are some examples of what is likely attracting rats to your garden: 

  • Bird and wild-animal feeders: as wonderful as it is to see the birds feeding in the morning, these treats attract pests as well so you will have to get rid of them 
  • Your garden is untidy: An untidy garden provides plenty of shelter and cover for rats to hide away in – get your grass cut and garden tidy 
  • Your garden is cluttered: Move your garden about a bit; rats are neo-phobic which means they hate new things. A little optimisation means a positive change for you and a frightening change for any rats nesting nearby 
  • There is access to the underside of the decking: Rats will not shy away from nesting under your decking where it will be dark and dry if you make it easy for them. Ensure that your decking is perfectly sealed
  • There is access to garden buildings: Garden sheds are the perfect nesting grounds for rats so make sure you give them a good tidy and ensure that there are no easy means of access for the little pests 
  • Your compost bin is unprotected: Rats love a good compost bin and will take full advantage of the food supply if you do not protect it appropriately 
  • You have attractive crops growing: You should also be mindful of the types of crop that you are growing in your garden as rats love free food – you may wish to consider pesticides but let it be a last resort 
  • There are easy water sources: Dripping taps and stagnant ponds provide free and easy water for rats which could be why you’re currently dealing with these unwanted visitors

Another great prevention tactic is getting yourself a pet! With a cat or a dog tearing around the garden every day your rodent problem won’t persist for very long. 

How long does it take to get rid of rats outside?

How long does it take to get rid of rats outside? This all really depends on the methods you use and the size of your infestation – coupled with some luck. In general, it can take anywhere from a few days to a week to get rid of rats using poison. Certain other traps may take longer. 

Ultimately, if you are dealing with a rat infestation in your garden and you are desperate to get the problem resolved as soon as possible then you should hire experts. At the very least, get advice from a rat control expert so that you know what you’re up against.  

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