How To Keep Rats Out Of The Garden Without Killing Them This Spring

Rats in the garden is really unpleasant for some gardeners but there are solutions to humanely deter them from your property.

No offence to the little critters but for many gardeners, rats are really quite unwelcome visitors. Setting up little homes beneath decking, in sheds, greenhouses or even compost heaps means that they infiltrate the nooks and crannies of our gardens.

As they’re nocturnal, and quite skittish anyway, you’re unlikely to see a rat in the garden but signs such as rat tunnels, runs, droppings and even teeth marks can sprinkle throughout your treasured green space, letting you know that rats are living there.

The problem is, for many outdoorsy folk, killing them or poisoning them isn’t an option. I mean, of course. They’re just existing. But then, how do you get rid of them without harming them?

Thankfully, the experts at Gardeners’ World have some ideas to keep the rats at bay.

How to get rid of rats in my garden humanely

Instead of opting for rat traps, put the bird feeders away

If you have bird feeders hanging for local birds, you may be inadvertently attracting rats. This is because bird food being as small and light as it is, often falls to the ground and this attracts rats. For a while, stop filling bird feeders and if you have chickens, secure the run to deter rats.

One of the best rat repellents is simply... keeping your garden tidy

Messy gardens filled with clutter and overgrown areas are more likely to appeal to rats because of how much cover they provide. Give your garden a good tidy, especially near fences, and keep it today to deter rats.

Protect your compost heap and keep it moist

Avoid adding food scraps to your compost heap for a while and, if you can, keep it moist by including lots of greenery and mud. Gardeners’ World added: “Fixing chicken wire around the base of the bin can also help, as it prevents rats from being able to dig beneath the bin to climb inside.”

Block access to sheds and greenhouses

Rats can make their way into many small cracks, so make sure that your buildings are secured and block any gaps.

Move things around the garden to put them off coming back

Rats hate change and specifically change to their own territory. Move furniture, potted plants and anything else around your garden to encourage rats to find somewhere else to call home.

Finally, if you have any water sources such as a dripping tap that can be shut off, turn them off for a short while if you’ve exhausted all other options.