Home » What To Do If You See A Rat In Your Backyard A 2024 Guide

What To Do If You See A Rat In Your Backyard A 2024 Guide

Rat infestation has been a nuisance to the human population from time immemorial. These rodents spread various diseases, destroy crops, reproduce exponentially and can even damage your property.

If you find a rat in your backyard, it is most definitely a reason for concern. Rats can be very difficult to catch as they are pretty quick on their feet and can fit into small crevices and hiding spots. You can also purchase effective solutions like rodent control to get rid of rats. This article intends to provide you with information regarding ways to deal  with a rat in your backyard and rodent control.

Signs Of Rat Infestation

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Rats are rodents that typically travel in packs. So if you spot one in your backyard, chances are there is a colony somewhere nearby. There are various signs you can look out for that points to the fact that there is a rat colony nearby.

  • Chew marks on soft metals or wires
  • Rodent footprints
  • Rat droppings or excretion
  • Scurrying sounds in attic, air vents etc
  • Musky odour in unused rooms
  • Damage to plants and gardens

Dangers Of Rat Infestation

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Rats are notorious in posing health threats to humans and the other animals they come in contact with. Rats and their droppings coming in contact with humans can cause a whole variety to diseases including but not limited to:

  • Salmonellosis
  • Leptospirosis
  • Pneumonic plague
  • Lassa fever
  • Wells syndrome
  • Rat bite fever
  • Typhus
  • Bubonic plague
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis
  • Hantavirus
  • Typhoid

How To Get Rid Of Rats In Your Backyard

Sealing entryways

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Prevention is better than cure. Before you eradicate the existing rats in  your backyard, make sure that no more rodents are getting in and out of your space.

The best way to ensure this is by sealing entryways and doors. All entries to your home, garage, outhouses and sheds should all be covered.

Make sure to close and seal even the smallest openings and crevices as mice can move through small spaces with ease. Door seals, mesh, wiring and even weather stripping can be used to seal the entryways.

Keep an eye on garbage

Recycle bins and garbage cans should always be shut, closed and sealed. Ensure that all your garbage bins have tight lids. RAts are known to live off of just garbage.

Hence it is imperative that all the garbage cans should be tightly closed and rats do not get food from them.

Clean up after your pets

Letting your pets run around the backyard to do their business is not just unsanitary but will attract mice and other rodents. This may sound disgusting, but pack rats can actually get nutrition from animal excretion lying around. The odour will also act as an incentive to attract rats to your property.

Trim your bushes

Rats are always looking for places to build nests. They tend to colonise areas which are relatively unseen.

Places like attics, sheds are all spots where mice tend to colonise. Take care of overgrown bushes, ivies, tall grass etc as these will become hiding places for the rats.

Getting Rid Of Rats

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Here are a few methods that will indeed be helpful in getting rid of rats.


Using traps to lure in and kill cats is a technique as old as time. A snap trap which is easily available is a very easy and humane way of killing a rat.

You can use fruit pieces, peanut butter or any other food items like cheese as bait to lure in the rats. Just make sure to keep the trap under a milk carton or box so that other animals like raccoons  or cats cannot attack the trapped rats.

Smoke bombs

If there are rat nests or colonies around your backyard, smoke bombs are a great way to eradicate the problem. You can make use of smoke bombs by making small pits in an angle near the rat burrows.

Before using smoke bombs one should make sure that the bombs are not made near fruiting trees or other flammable articles.


Rodenticides are a very effective way for long term rodent eradication and population control. A rodenticide that is poisoned when ingested is used as bait for luring in the rats. The boxes used for rodenticide baits are called bait stations. These stations allow the rodents to come in and out of the box and eat the rodenticide in forms of paste.

Most rodenticide doesn’t generally kill off the rats immediately but rather are slow acting and kills the rat in a week or so. Always make sure to keep the rodent stations out of the reach of children and elderly.

Using dry ice

If your home is somewhere more urban, dry ice is a great option for eradication. Dry ice gives off carbon dioxide which will act as an anaesthesia and kills off the rat slowly.

It is claimed to be a very efficient, quick and humane way of dealing with rat infestation.

Always be cautious while dealing with dry ice as it releases carbon dioxide. Do not use them in close quarters and always wear a glove while handling dry ice.

Get professional help

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There are a lot of ways where you can prevent and eradicate rats in your backyard by yourself. But if things are getting out of hand, you can always opt for professional help.

The professionals will help you to monitor and inspect your surroundings and manage rat infestations.

They will implement various ways like baiting, trapping, exclusion mesh, sealing entry points and more to ensure the rat infestation stays under control and doesn’t happen again.


Rat overpopulation has been a problem since so long. If you have a rat infestation concern, it is nothing to be worried about. It does not necessarily mean your home is unclean or unsanitary. You are not alone in trying to control these stubborn rodents. That is why we have compiled a list of things you can do to get the rodent situation under control.

We hope this article has provided you with an insight on how to eradicate the rat infestation problem you might be having. There are a number of ways that you can implement yourself or if nothing works out, professional help is the way to go.