While some people keep fancy rats as pets, those are worlds apart from the vermin you might encounter in the wild. Wild rats don’t merely haunt remote areas either. They can appear wherever you live, hunting for food and water sources.

You may think you have no control over whether rats use your garden. You may not entirely be able to prevent them from appearing there, but there are lots of things you can do to minimise the chance of them using your space.

Keep your garden tidy

It might surprise you to learn this is the best thing you can do to minimise the chance of any issues with rats. We all need three things to survive – food and water are obvious, but shelter is important too.

Rats will frequent gardens that are untidy. Make sure nothing is left lying around. Clear any rubbish by bagging it and putting it out for collection. Get rid of any unwanted items by taking them to the local tip.

Make sure your grass is kept short too. If any flower beds or other areas are overgrown, cut them back and keep them that way.

Remove food and/or water sources

If rats know they can find food and water in your garden, they’ll keep coming back for more. If you feed the birds, make sure you do so in an area where you can sweep any dropped seed away each day. Rats come out at night, so you should do this prior to dark.

It’s harder to remove water sources as you may have a water feature or pond in your garden. However, if you make your garden less attractive by following the above steps, this should minimise the chances of your garden being targeted.

You should also seal up any access points they might use to nest in. Areas such as below decking, and underneath sheds are good examples.

Disrupt their lives

This sounds odd, but it works. Rats hate it when things change. If you feed the birds, regularly move the feeders. Move pots around. If you disrupt the way they move around your garden, they’re more likely to go elsewhere.

If you suspect there are rats in your garden, it’s a good idea to get some expert advice on how to repel them. We’re approaching the season where rat activity tends to heighten, so it’s more important now than ever to get rid of rats in your garden.