Pest Control

Rat Holes In Garden (A Solution To Nightmare)

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I was so annoyed when I found rat holes in garden. That means I have a rat problem on my premises. I know rats can dig holes, hide in those holes and sneak into your garden and into your house when they like. It made me uneasy. So I was determined to get rid of them from my home and garden. 

I need to learn their behavior to get rid of them. So I did my research and talk to experts in the field to gather as much information as I can. As you may already know rats are intelligent animals that are renowned for their great skills in survival. I first thought closing the hole would be the best thing to do, but it is not. So, when you come across these rat holes you need to first understand what those burrows are and how the rats use them.  

Rat Holes In Garden

However, before you act, you need to first identify whether the holes made were by a rat or by a rodent. If the rats burrow under your home chances are that it may even badly impact the foundation of your house as well as the layout of the garden too. As I learn, they would be attracted to the gardens as they can have shelter, food, and water. With proper guidance and step-by-step procedure, I was able to get rid of rats on my premises. In this article, I am going to share the method with you. Hope this will help you to get rid of rats in your garden.

What are rat holes or rat nets?

Usually, Rats make their rat nets to keep their food and babies safe. Usually, the net comprises one main entrance and a couple of other entrances which are not that significant or which could be even concealed. Generally, they use those entrances to flee if they are threatened. It is noteworthy that one rat burrow would comprise more than one rat family. So once they expand their burrows would also enlarge whilst making more tunnels as well as rooms.

Generally speaking, rats would tend to make nests where they can get sandy soil. In addition to that, they mainly look at how easily they can access both food and water. Besides, they would go for concealed spots too. So you could commonly spot these burrows under your plant bed.

If you come across a hole and if you are doubtful whether it is a rat burrow or any other hole made by an animal you could simply check the diameter of the opening. Generally, a rat burrow is about 2 to 4 inches in diameter. Further, you will spot some freshly evacuated dirt strews around the outside of the opening.  That debris would take a fan shape.

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However, the debris shape may vary depending on where you live.   If there are active burrows, you could see their walls are usually smooth and the dirt is hard-packed. Besides those, the rat tunnel’s depth would not exceed 18 inches generally. In addition to that those tunnels would be about 3 feet in length.  

Further, you also spot grease marks around the rat nests as well. Rats would usually take the same route over and over again and ultimately it would leave grease marks on the grass in your yard. Apart from that, you could spot the rats’ fecal droppings around the rat nests too.  Those fecal feces are capsule shaped shiny and black in color. However, that color would vary depending on the meals those rats had. Lastly, they may release a strong unpleasant smell too.

Rat Holes In Garden

How do you differentiate  Rat Holes Look in the Garden from the insect holes?

It is important that you are well aware of how to identify the rat holes in the garden along with other insect holes. Usually, the rat holes are somewhat large compared to the insect holes. In fact, Those holes would be as large as two to four inches in diameter. As aforesaid, you could spot some loose dirt around the rat holes as the rats would usually kick out the soil when they do the digging. On the other hand, the insects’ holes would not contain any dirt outside the entrance. Rats are nocturnal animal species. Hence I suggest that you inspect their burrows at night and then identify the entrance points and the exit points.

How Do I Get Rid of Rat Holes in My Garden?

Rats may infest your garden when they go in search of shelter. Additionally, rats are quite fond of feeding on vegetables and fruits. So if there are vegetable and fruit plants in your garden it would be a real menace to deal with. That said, if you have just a flower garden, it is unlikely that rats would end up infesting them. However, they would still tend to make holes in those gardens to provide shelter for them.

Once you are absolutely sure that those holes are caused by the rats, you need to remove all the food sources which are closer to your garden and try to remove the potential shelters as well. Once you remove these two, it would be difficult for the rats to survive there. In addition to that try out some ways of repelling the rats coming into your garden. Here are some tips to get rid of rats. 

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Flush Out the Hole

If you are looking for a humane way of overcoming this issue, I suggest you flush out the hole. All you need to do is simply take a garden hose and then apply water to those burrows. Suppose that there is a rat in the hole, then it would make the rats leave the holes. Usually, rats don’t like to be disturbed. Ultimately it would make them flee their usual spots and look for new homes. This is a fine method of attending to this issue. However, make sure that you don’t let them dig into any other place in the garden.

Apply Deterrents Around the Hole

If you like you could use rodent poison in your garden. However, I don’t recommend doing this in your garden or in the home. However, if you really wish to do this, ensure that you do it only after getting instructions from a pest control professional. Further, You need to be very careful if you have kids and pets at home when you apply this method. Ideally, you need to go ahead with a deterrent that doesn’t contain any toxic compounds. What is best about using this method is that it would not allow the rats to dig new holes.

I encourage you to use powdered pepper and that would act as an excellent rodent deterrent to replace them. you could simply add pepper near the hole rim and inside the hole as well. That will make the rats flee from them. This would be a fine way of overcoming a large infestation of rats too. Additionally, it would not be harmful to any of your fruits or to the vegetable plants in the house

Rat Holes In Garden

Keep Your Garden Well Maintained.

Rats would roam around the gardens even if you clean them and keep them well maintained. However, if you keep clutter and debris in the garden it would attract the rats to your garden and make it more attractive to them. So, make sure that you always clean the garden and trim the overgrown plant parts in your garden. keep in mind that you need to remove all the compost reserves in the garden until you get rid of this menace entirely. You should clean all the debris be it a pile of wood, pet food, or any other dirt which would draw the rats to the garden.

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Seal all the holes in the garden sheds as well as in the house so that it would be difficult for the rats to enter their nesting. Further, try to block the food sources of the garden. If there are dustbins, I suggest you place some weights on those unless the cats can climb onto them and feed on the waste in the bins.

Needless to say that you need to remove both food sources as well as water sources unless it would be really challenging to overcome this menace. If there are any of these sources available, they will somehow make it to the garden.

Block the Holes With Mesh or Chicken Wire

You can use wire mesh as well as chicken wire to block the holes so that they will struggle to live there. Never use caulk or plastic to block the holes as they can chew them. If you are looking for a more humane way of overcoming this problem, first you can flush the rat burrow and next block it with these elements. Once you block it would interrupt their normal routine and force them to flee that spot. However, you need to watch out for whether they will make their way to the house after that. Some people opt to first block these holes and then get a pest control professional’s service after that.

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Related questions

Is it Dangerous to Have a Rat in Your Garden?

Yes, it would be dangerous to have rats in your garden. In fact, they can carry diseases. Further, if you provoke them they can even become aggressive too. So, if you have pets or kids at home it could be really troublesome as they may experience attacks from those rats. Furthermore, chances are that you may even fall in one of those rat holes as well. Rats are not beneficial at all. So, you need to try all the precautionary methods to keep these nasty creatures far from your garden.

Final Thoughts on rat holes in garden

To conclude, I hope now you are well aware of how to identify the rat holes properly. further trust now you know how to close the rat holes and avoid this issue reoccurring too. Rats prefer to have consistent environmental conditions and whenever you do disruptions it would make them feel uncomfortable and leave the holes. Having said that when they flee the rat holes, make sure that you don’t let them sneak into your houses.

Credit to : The Survival Gardening Channel with David The Good

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I'm Dr. Chamika and I'm a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. Our highly qualified team is trying to educate you in various aspects of the day to day life in many ways. Their mission is to help others to enjoy their life to the fullest.