Pest expert shares four methods to ‘deter’ rats from nesting outside

Birmingham: Mum details her issues with rats and mice

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Pest infestations in the garden can be a huge problem when the weather is cold, and Britons are being urged to take steps to prevent rats nesting in their gardens. The animals can carry a range of different diseases as well as parasites so it is important to create unsuitable conditions for them to survive in. Sophie Thorogood from the technical team at Pest-Stop, the UK’s leading manufacturer of high-quality pest control products, has shared advice on how to get rid of rats.

1. Eliminate sources of nutrition

The pest expert said: “Rats are constantly on the lookout for food and water, so eliminating these sources of nutrition for rats is the best way to stop them visiting your garden.

“Firstly, ensure your rubbish and compost is stored in bins with no holes and secure lids as this tends to be a reliable source of food for rats.

“Bird feed is also a favourite for rodents to nibble on. Limit any bird feeders in your garden, as rats have the capability to climb the feeders.”

If feeding birds nuts and seeds, make sure none spill on the floor as they could also attract the pests.

2. Essential oils

The experts at Checkatrade also recommended using essential oils such as peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil.

According to the pros, these scents can be used to “deter rats” from nesting in your garden due to their strong smell. 

It can be placed around plants, around windowsills or in the vegetable patch as well as inside the home.

Other effective oils include lemon and lavender which are great to keep rats away because they “can’t stand the smell”. Scents such as peppermint and lemon tend to be very strong.

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3. Remove any water

Sophie said rats need to drink water every single day in order to survive so it is important to remove water in the garden or around the home.

This includes water which may have built-up in watering cans, buckets, kids swimming pools and leaking taps.

Rats only need a small amount of water to survive but removing these sources will make your garden unattractive for these rodents.

4. Check sheds and exterior buildings

Rats tend to hide where no one is, and can fit into small and tight spaces, meaning areas like the sheds are an ideal spot for them.

The pest expert explained: “If you have any outdoor buildings such as sheds and greenhouses, make sure there is no exterior damage.

“Rats like to hide underneath sheds and decking, so to prevent any building nests or harbourages, fill in any gas you can see so they can’t set up home.”

If no steps work and you do find rats in the garden, Sophie recommended using humane traps which offer a safe solution to getting rid of pests.

The pest expert noted: “What does seem like a terrifying option is to catch the pest yourself whilst not coming directly into contact with it. 

“Trap devices offer a safe and harm-free solution to banishing these unwanted guests from your garden. 

“Humane traps are specially developed to cause the least stress and harm to rats when they are caught.

“Many include an automatic door drop for an easy capture, with clear plastic exterior allowing for easy monitoring, and plentiful ventilation holes to reduce the stress for the rat.”

If a humane trap is used by Britons, it offers them the chance to place the rodents away from their home, making sure they won’t return.

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