Rats in Gardens | Prevention and Deterrent Methods for Gardens

Brown and black rats inhabit both domestic and commercial gardens, given the conditions are suited to their needs. They can cause several problems, from eating your garden vegetables and gnawing through wiring and electrics, to burrowing underground causing rat hills and even infiltrating your home.

Rats are notorious carriers of deadly bacteria and disease, which is why it is essential that you set traps or contact AMES Group for fast and efficient removal.

At AMES Group we understand the frustrations and inconveniences that come with rat infestations, which is why we have created a DIY guide to getting rid of rats from your garden.

Please remember, that if you have a severe rat infestation in your garden, it is likely to be far cheaper and cost you less time and stress calling our certified rat control team to take care of the problem. We can work around your requirements to provide a fast and effective rat removal solution that fits into your daily routine.

For severe garden infestations, please call our emergency rat control team.

Alternatively, if you have one or a few rats in your garden and are looking for DIY prevention and deterrent methods, please continue reading.

Why having rats in your garden becomes a problem

While one rat in your garden may not pose much of a threat, when left, it becomes comfortable and does not see your property as a risk to its life. This means it is more likely to breed, resulting in more rats and therefore more problems.

One or a few rats in a garden can be removed in a number of cost-effective ways before they begin multiplying and causing further damage. Below, we have outlined the best traps, deterrents and prevention methods to keep rats out of your garden. We have separated the categories into:

  • Traps
  • Deterrents
  • Prevention

Continue reading to learn the best ways to get rid of rats from your garden

Rat Traps for Your Garden

There are a number of trapping solutions to consider when catching rats in your garden. Below, we have detailed the most effective rat traps for catching a small number of rats. 

*All methods below are humane

Rat snap traps 

Snap traps are one of the most common rat traps on the market and are still effective. Snap traps work by luring the rat into the trap with bait (usually peanut butter or something sweet-smelling) and once the rat applies pressure to the snap mechanism, it clamps shut, killing the rat instantly. 

It’s important that you research snap traps to ensure you are buying a snap trap capable of killing a rat. Some people buy snap traps believing they are all capable of killing rats, when they are actually only capable of killing mice.

Mouse snap traps will only injure and cause severe distress to rats, so be sure you purchase the correct snap trap.

Food & bait traps

This type of trap, as the name suggests, uses food and bait to lure the rat into a cage-like trap. The cage uses a lever mechanism that activates when the rat enters the cage and closes shut, trapping the rat inside. The rat is in no discomfort in this cage, but it is important that you regularly checkup on the trap to ensure the rat has been safely caught and you can relocate it away from your garden. 

If you have any small pets (guinea-pigs, hamsters, tortoise etc) be sure to keep them inside to ensure they do not get trapped within the bait trap.

​​Live Traps 

In a similar format to food and bait traps, live traps work by luring a rat into a cage-based mechanism but do not need bait. Instead, these traps are designed to encourage the rat to enter the trap because it’s shaped like an area they enjoy to nest in. 

Live traps can resemble dark, cubby hole-like contraptions that rats love to explore. Once inside, the rat will need to be safely and humanely relocated.


Rodenticides should only really be used for larger garden infestations as a bait or snap trap would be cheaper and less labour-intensive than using rodenticides. They are small pills that poison and kill the rat when consumed. 

It is absolutwely essential that rodneticdes are only used by experienced pest control technicians to ensure the safety of the surrounding area. Rodenticides can be very harmful for pets and small children if consumed. 

If you do have a larger garden infestation, please do not hesitate to give AMES Group a call today for fast and efficient rat control solutions.

Deterrents for Rats in Gardens

Below are some cost-effective tried and tested rat removal methods you may want to consider:

Peppermint oil

There have been cases of people reporting that peppermint oil disturbs the senses of rats, causing them to leave the area. Applying peppermint to the nest site or areas where the rat has been is simple and can be done in multiple ways. 

The easiest is by soaking some cotton balls or pads in peppermint oil and placing them around the nest site and other areas the rat(s) have travelled through. Be sure to reapply the oil to the balls once a week to ensure the small is still potent to the rats. 

Soil netting

If you have recently refurbished your garden or have planted new beds for spring/summer, then be sure to protect your land with soil netting. Rats will have no trouble burying underneath your freshly planted flowers and vegetables, causing damage to both your food and the aesthetics of your garden.

The soil netting is laid just underneath the soil to bar any and all rats from tunnelling above and below. 


Like peppermint, catnip holds a certain scent that is problematic for rats. We’d advise planting catnip around rat site spots to ensure they do not nest or return to these areas.

Removing bird feeders and food sources

Rats are often able to reach low-hanging bird feeders, so be sure that you either remove these bird feeders or place them high up in an area out of reach to rats. Other food sources such as rubbish bins, BBQs and open animal foods, should be sealed or removed to ensure rats have no access to them.

Prevention Methods

Below are some of the most common prevention methods, all of which are easy and cheap to perform.

Fixing and filling any fissures, gaps and cracks

It’s widely-understood that rats are able to find their way into cracks and holes that are far smaller than their body mass. If your garden has any cracks in the walls, within the patio or anything fissures that lead into your property, it is essential you have them covered. Rats can make nests in these cracks and once they begin multiping, it becomes more expensive and laboursome to draw them out. 

Filling the gaps is easy and can be done with a filler bought over the counter.

Ensuring your garden is kept clean and well-maintained

If you have areas of your garden that have been left baron for some time, rats may nest here as they deem it safe to do so. Overgrown shrubbery provides the perfect hideout for rat nests, this is because it provides shelter as well as safety (because you do not venture into this side of the garden).

By simply keeping your garden cleaned and maintained, you can alleviate the threat of rats infiltrating your garden and property. With nowhere safe to build their nests, they will find another area.

Removing any leftover food

As stated previously, removing pet food and leftover foods will discourage rats from entering your garden as they will not be able to find a constant supply of food.

Cleaning out any pet cages/homes

If you have any pets that live outside, such as guinea pigs, hamsters, tortoises, ensure that their cages are routinely cleaned. Additionally, if you are using traps, be sure that these are well away from the pets’ enclosures.

Telltale Signs of Rats in Your Garden

Knowing where the rats are nesting or where they have been will greatly increase the success of your traps. Rats are very rarely seen in the daytime, this is because they are predominantly nocturnal creatures. However, there are some key signs to look out for when it comes to tracking down rats, which we have outlined below. 

  • Dead rats
  • Rat droppings (usually found around litter and dark, secluded areas)
  • Scratch marks on walls or skirting boards
  • Gawn marks on electronics, elads, furniture etc
  • Burrows (when outside) 
  • Nests
  • Dug up carpet 
  • Smudge and smear marks of droppings 

If you have discovered any of the above in your garden, place the selected trap in and around these areas to ensure a higher trapping success rate.

Rats will attract other pests if not removed

Although one or two rats may not seem like a big problem, eventually, they will multiply and this can happen in as quickly as two weeks. Additionally, not only will the rats multiply, but their presence will alert other pests and they will deem your garden to be a safe place to nest. 

Other problem pests include:

  • Birds (seagulls, pigeons, sparrows, starlings etc)
  • Insects
  • Wasps 

Why should you alleviate this problem?

As more pests enter your garden, the more complex it becomes to get rid of them. Not only that, but more pests in the garden raise health and safety concerns as well as increase the price of the pest control measures. 

Overall, one rat could lead to a nest of rats and the introduction of other pests in the space of a few weeks. Prevention is better than a cure, be sure to lay traps or call AMES Group if the infestation is severe.

When You Require Professional Intervention

In some cases, rat infestations cannot be alleviated through home remedies and standard traps. This is where we come in, to provide a fast, safe and humane rat removal solution. 

Solutions to commercial rat problems

If you are responsible for a heritage garden site, such as Winterbourne House and Garden or The Birmingham Botanical Gardens and have discovered an infestation of rats, this is where we can help. Through us, you can save time, stress and money on your pest control requirements and we service everywhere in Birmingham and through the Midlands.

Our services include:

  • Identifying rats in and around your commercial garden area/heritage site
  • Identifying areas where rats may infiltrate and providing advice and prevention methods to alleviate the threat of rats
  • Preventative rat control measures if sewer pipes have been breached
  • Hygiene advice to deter rats from entering your property
  • How to keep your business premises rat-free
  • Rat nest removal
  • Essential rat prevention measures
  • A guide to the most useful rat prevention products

For major infestations on large garden sites, please do not hesitate to call our rat and pest control team today. We make light work of rat removal and will ensure to arrange a time and date that is convenient for you and/or your business.

How We Remove Rats from Commercial Gardens

Each job starts with a professional survey of your garden site. This involves sending one of our BCPA-certified technicians out to inspect the severity of the infestation. Then, they will be able to devise a plan to effectively remove the rats from your garden area.

*You will be able to choose the time and date in which we visit your garden. Times are flexible and we always work within your allocated time requirements to ensure our service is swift, efficient and non-invasive. 

The next step is devising a targeted rat control treatment specific to your needs. As each garden and rat problem is different, they will require bespoke treatments to ensure the full and safe eradication of the pest. We will work alongside you to ensure that you are happy with the treatments we use. In some cases, we may be able to start treatment upon arrival, but this will depend on the severity of the infestation. 

Treatments may include:

  • Rodenticides – a type of rat poison that kills the rat once consumed. We will also take care of removing the dead rats once the rodenticides have taken effect.
  • Bait traps – we use bait traps to lure a small to medium amount of rats into cages for relocation. 
  • Rodent Odour Control – typically used inside commercial properties but can be applied outdoors, odour control removes the smell of rats. When dead or alive, large numbers of rats can leave terrible smells in the area.
  • Proofing and prevention – at AMES Group, we always say that prevention is better than a cure, which is why we educate all customers on the best ways to prevent the return of rats. We will also proof your garden once we have treated the rat infestation. This may involve filling cracks and fissures as well as securing any loose fitted doors and/or entrances.

If you have a rat problem in a heritage garden site or a commercial property with a garden, we can provide fast, expert solutions at very affordable prices.

We Are BCPA-Certified

When you arrange rat treatment with AMES Group, you can rest assured that all technicians are BCPA-certified, meaning we are qualified to handle any and all rat-related problems with professionalism and expertise. We have carried out hundreds of rat removal tasks in Birmingham and beyond for over 35 years, so you can rest assured your gardens are in safe hands with our team.

*We also ensure that all rat and pest removal treatments adhere to and comply with standard British health and safety regulations. This ensures the safety of your business and your staff.

Why AMES Group?

Making AMES Group your choice for all rat-related problems grants you a number of benefits that save you money, time and stress. Take a look below at a few of the reasons why we’re Birmingham’s trusted pest control company:

  • Bespoke rat control solutions for all gardens
  • Over 35 years’ experience
  • Post-removal hygiene cleanses
  • Emergency call-outs

For Expert Rat Solutions for Your Garden

While we do not regularly perform domestic rat removal, if you own or are in charge of looking after a large commercial garden or heritage site, we can help. Our services cater to larger rat infestations and we are able to discreetly and effectively remove the presence of rats and restore your garden to its former beauty. 

After your call with our team, you can rest assured that your rat problems will be dealt with as soon as possible. Additionally, please see below the areas we cover across the Midlands: