How to Get Rid of Rats in the Garden Without Poison?

Your garden is the front where many animals and pest species metaphorically speaking fight for a better place to live, breed and find food supplies. This is the place where you can intersect them and prevent them from approaching, attacking and entering your home. Most often you are forced to fight off and get rid of rodents like mice and rats.

We all know how creative and stubborn they can be. Once they’ve infested your home, you are better off calling a pest controller who can eradicate the problem and save you the headache and sleepless nights.

However, if you live in a home with a garden, you know that this area is the weak point of entry in your property for rats and mice. That’s why it is a good idea to try to reinforce the place against the rodents who can ruin it. There are a few ways to do it by using organic methods and taking advantage of the natural resources in your garden. 
Here is your strategic plan on how to prepare and win the battle of rodents vs humans.

How to Get Rid of Burrowing Rats?

Rats are one very clever species. They are very good at concealing their presence until it’s too late. They catch all activity around them and are experts in hiding, waiting for you to go to bed at night so they can come out of their burrows and wreck havoc on your property. 

Rats usually get in your garden because it is a constant source of food and a great place for hiding. Once they settle there you need to exercise some serious rat control methods or seek the services of professionals to get rid of the rodents. Believe it, it’s a difficult and not very pleasant task. What’s crucial is to direct your attention to catching the rats rather than trying to deter them. 

Rats love close dark spaces. They can find and create a home even underground which comes with all sorts of problems for you. The rodents prefer ground that has been cultivated because it’s easier to dig into it. These creatures love their anonymity which means they will conceal really well the entrance to any burrow. So when inspecting your garden look for holes about 8 cm in diameter. You may find a small heap of excavated soil and possibly regular path tracks next to the hole. 

Usually, rats burrow down 45 cm to 60 cm but they are capable of digging even deeper. The length of the burrow may reach no further than a meter. However, bear in mind that they are capable of digging their way down underneath the foundations of a house to gain access inside.

Repelling Rats From the Burrow

Before filling the burrow, you need to drive the rat out. Here are some methods to get rid of the intruders:

  • Mothballs: the smell emitted of this chemical compound is potent and will chase away the rodent, giving you a chance to close the hole.
  • Ammonia: it is very similar to the pungent smell of urine. It will confuse the rats and it’ll make them think there are foxes nearby which scream danger all around. The strong odour will keep the rats away for long because they don’t like the idea of becoming a prey to foxes.
  • Peppermint: rats just can’t stand this aroma. What you can do is dip cotton in peppermint and place it in the burrow. You will need to change the cotton every 3-4 days, but you won’t way too long before the rats scurry away from the smelly hole.
  • Bay leaves: they are deadly to rats. They think it’s food and eat it. However, it’s poisonous for them and they will die. 

How to Fill a Rat Burrow

First, make sure if the burrow is occupied or not. During the day when rats are usually hidden inside, you can block the hole entrance. If there are occupants, during the night they will dig their way out past the obstruction. Come in the morning and you will find out for sure if something is living there. If the obstruction you’ve created hasn’t been meddled with for a couple of days, then safely assume that the burrow is uninhabited. The best thing would be to fill it. Otherwise, sooner or later a snooping rat will come across it and would gladly take residence in a perfect ready-made home.

What you need to do is to fill the entrance to make a permanent seal. Use soil, mix it with a few stones and push it into the hole. Make sure to ram it in tight to make it difficult for other rodents to dig into it. Apply some strong disinfectant around the burrow to eradicate any remaining smells of rats which may attract new visitors.

In case you want to protect a new garden or if you are not growing any plants, you can lay a piece of netting just under the soil. It will prevent rats from burrowing or eating roots and bulbs. However, pay close attention because there are some persistent rats that will chew through the netting.

How to Get Rid of Rats in the Garden Naturally? 

After the rat infestation is dealt with, you may consider planning on how to utilize your garden and prevent rats from getting cosy around your flower beds and kids’ playground.

Poison and traps usually come first to mind. As good as a pest control method these can be, they are useful once we ascertain the constant presence of rodents on the property. It’s not very convenient to surround your garden with traps and poisonous elements all the time if you are cultivating it, have pets and children around. If the place is not infested what you can do is try to preserve it from rats invasions. You can help yourself by utilising some organic pest control methods. 

For quite some time people have determined that there are some plants that are successful in deterring rodents. Pay attention that this method is only effective during the spring and summer months when you can cultivate plants. During the winter months, you will need to keep the garden clean, your garbage under lock and constantly check your shed if you have one. Don’t give time to these creatures to burrow and infest your place.  

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What Kind of Plants Keep Rats Away?


Rats very much dislike the smell of mint. Growing beds with mint at different places around the garden is a good way to cut off some access points for the rodents. The other benefit of growing mint is using it fresh in your food and beverages. 


Again, the smell is repulsive to the creatures. Once they come in close distance with it they will think twice before getting close to it. You can experiment with garlic water and squirt it down a rat burrow. The smell will make it uncomfortable for the rats to live there and they will leave the place for a more comfortable one. The other perk for you is growing fresh garlic and cooking some tasty meals.


Rats rely on their sense of smell to find food and avoid dangerous situations like coming in close proximity with predators or with something repulsive for their senses. Imagine that one of the most preferable smells for humans – the one of lavender, can have quite the opposite effect for the rats. Because of its potent smell, it can deflect them from finding food. So they try to avoid plants like this one. It may be helpful to plant it around areas where rats may be attracted to, around decks, garden structures and around the perimeter of the yard.


Creating a border of herbs like basil, thyme and echinacea around the outside of your garden is a great control method. Once the rats smell them, they will consider that your place has nothing to offer and they better run to the neighbour who probably doesn’t have a “repulsive” border around the garden. It’s a kind of win-win situation. You will keep the rodents away, as well as the mosquitoes in the summer, and have some fresh herbs and a pleasant scent in the garden.


On one hand, you can go for growing onion in your garden or just place onion at the most common points of entry for the rats. After taking one smell at it, they will run. Just make sure to put new onion every few days otherwise it will rot. And instead of repelling the rodents, it will become their food. However, onions can be dangerous if you have pets. It is especially poisonous for dogs. Growing beds with onion, garlic and leeks is a pretty effective way of creating a natural border for keeping not only rodents but several other pests at bay as well.


Keeping rats away from your garden using natural and humane methods may take time and consistent efforts. However, it is very important to follow the basic rules. Once you have established rats infestation, you need to call pest control specialists or consult how best to tackle the problem. You need to get rid of the rodents completely. Only after your property is cleared of all traces of infestation, you can think about how to prevent rats from coming into your garden and home again. One way of doing this is by trying the methods listed in this blog post. 
Do not forget that it is essential to make your garden unattractive for the rats. Grow the plants they stay away from, keep the area clean and seal all burrow holes for lasting rat control.

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