How to Get Rid of Rats in Yard Without Harming Pets

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Rats are pretty annoying, and having them in your yard and garden can be quite frustrating, so getting rid of them is a must-do but minding your pets’ safety is also paramount. Rats can damage your property, house, gardens, and even car.

Besides being very destructive, rats can also spread diseases to pets and humans.

These intelligent rodents can devise ingenious ways of getting into your home, so you must do everything to keep them away, but not at the expense of your pets’ safety.

Act swiftly the moment you realize you have a rat infestation. To help you, we’ve compiled the best ways to get rid of rats in yard without harming your pets.

11 Ways to Get Rid of Rats in Yard Without Harming Pets

how to get rid of rats in yard without poison


Here are ways you can use to get rid of rats without harming your pets or other wildlife in your yard or garden. 

1. Use Harmless Rat Poison

Instead of killing rats with traditional poison that can harm your pets, consider using homemade rat poison, such as Jiffy honey corn muffin mix and baking soda.

Homemade rat poisons are proven to eliminate rats without harming pets, other wildlife, and humans.

To make homemade rat poison:

Mix four teaspoons of Jiffy corn muffin mix and four teaspoons of baking soda.

Put the poison in tiny containers and place them in various locations throughout the lawn for the fastest way to get rid of rats in the yard.

2. Use Natural Deterrent Methods

Some natural ingredients are quite effective at deterring rats. The options include peppermint oil, crushed pepper, and neem oil.

To create a neem oil solution to repel rats,  mix a liter of water with 10ml of neem oil and spray the mixture all over your backyard.

Also Read: How to get rid of ground moles with vinegar

3. Keep Cats and a Jack Russell Terrier in Your Home

Cats and dogs are pretty amazing animals who also make excellent pets, but that is not all; they can also help keep rats and other unwanted animals away.

For the longest time, cats have been known as enemies of rats; there’s even a whole show about it- “Tom and Jerry.”

Also Read: How to Get Rid of Voles in your Yard

However, not every domesticated cat has an instinct and skill for killing and hunting rodents.

Also, kittens learn to hunt by watching their mothers do it, so your cat may never learn to do so if they don’t spend enough time with their mother.

Also read: How to get rid of cats in your yard

Nonetheless, if you have a good mouser, they can help scare away rats and even kill them. Moreover, cat smell helps keep rats away.

Jack Russell Terriers are also excellent at catching rats. These dogs trace their origins to a fox-hunting breed; therefore, they naturally catch tiny animals like mice and rats.

If you consider getting a pet that can help keep rats at away, then a Jack Russell Terrier and a cat are excellent choices.

Other dog breeds that hunt rodents include:

  • Rat Terrier
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Norfolk Terrier
  • West Highland White Terrier
  • Lakeland Terrier
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Dachshund
  • German Pinscher

4. Recruit Owls to Eat the Rats

Homeowners and farmers can benefit from attracting owls to their properties because these predators hunt rodents like rats, mice, and voles.

Therefore, consider recruiting them to help get rid of rats in backyard. They use their stealth and impeccable night vision for hunting, killing up to 12 rats and mice in a night.

owls natural rat repellent

If you can attract several owls to your property, they can eliminate hundreds of rodents.

The best part is you don’t have to live in the countryside to use owls to kill rats because these birds live anywhere, including cities and suburbs.

You can attract owls to your property by providing food, a nesting location, and shelter. While bird feeders don’t attract owls, they attract mice, so leave some for them, and owls will come around.

In addition, build nest boxes or leave hollow trees for owls to nest.

The owls will also need a secluded, safe, shaded area like a nesting box or large tree to sleep during the day. Moreover, provide deep and large bird baths.

5. Use Some Plants to Repel Rats in Your Yard

While some fruit and vegetable-producing plants attract rats to your yard, others are excellent at keeping them away.

These plants include mints, Balsam Fir, Sagebrush, and herbs. Rats are known to keep off mint and herbal smells; mint also repels ants, ticks, and fleas.

The Balsam Fir needles contain oils that emit smell that rodents hate, so you can extract them. In addition, the Sagebrush has a pungent scent that repels rats.

Therefore, planting these trees on your property will fill your yard with scents that will keep rats away.

6. Remove Potential Food Sources

Rats will make your property their home if they can find something to eat; they will dig burrows in your lawn to find sources of food.

Therefore, you can make your home unattractive to rats by removing potential sources of food.

Some of the things you can do to achieve this include:

  • Keeping pet and livestock food indoors, ensuring they are in sealed packages.
  • Removing bird feeders.
  • Cleaning up after your pets.
  • Disposing of fallen vegetables and fruits from the garden.
  • Cleaning barbeques or outdoor grills and keeping them indoors.
  • Investing in rodent-proof trash bins.

7.  Use Snap Traps

Snap traps are highly effective in killing rats quickly, but you must be strategic in how you use them because your pets can trigger them and get hurt.

To avoid this, put the traps under milk crates or inside boxes. You will need to bait the rats with treats like peanut butter or other foods rats like eating in your home.

Make sure the things you use to bait the rats are not harmful to your pets, so avoid using poison.

Alternatively, you can use items like nesting materials, twigs, leaves, and cotton balls besides food.

Don’t be in a rush to remove your rat traps once they catch a few rats because there might be more.

For this reason, leave them out for as long as possible until you can no longer see rats or traces of their activities on your property.

Additionally, set up multiple snap traps to optimize their effectiveness.

8. Pest Control Service

Consider hiring a reliable pest control service, especially if you have a major rat infestation.

A professional company will help eliminate rats inside your house and also manage the populations of these rodents outdoors.

Ensure the company you hire uses pet-friendly, humane, and eco-friendly methods of getting rid of rats, such as using deterrents and traps.

A pest control company will know how to drive away rats from your property and prevent an infestation, ensuring your home stays rat-free.

Seeking the services of professionals is also a great idea if you would rather not kill the rats yourself.

9. Pellet gun

People commonly use pellet guns to kill pests like rats, and the best thing about them is that your pets will stay safe since it allows you to target only pesky rodents.

It’s worth knowing that not every airgun packs enough power to let you kill rats ethically, but there are plenty of viable options.

The goal is to kill rats as fast as possible to avoid making them suffer. Therefore, ensure your gun produces more power than a Red Ryder BB gun.

A .22 caliber airgun is a suitable choice because the .22 weighs more and has a more extensive surface area, thus delivering more energy swiftly.

Accuracy is of utmost importance when picking pellets because that will increase your chances of hitting the target.

Pellets made to deform or flat-head pellets are excellent since they help hit the rat with sufficient energy to kill them.

10. Dry Ice

Dry ice is one of the most humane ways of killing rats because they simply drift off to sleep because of the carbon dioxide produced when dry ice turns into gas when exposed to air.

This method is entirely safe for pets and humans if used correctly.

To kill rats with dry ice, place a bag of ice in the burrows or nests of these rodents, and they will suffocate.

Since dry ice can burn your skin, put on protective gloves when handling it. Remember, this method might not be 100 percent effective because all the rats have to come into direct contact with the carbon dioxide produced.

11. Smoke bombs

Smoke bombs designed for killing rodents function the same as mole and gopher smoke bombs. You just need to insert the smoke bomb at the burrows’ entrances, light the bomb and seal the entry.

After that, give the fumes time to travel throughout the tunnel network, suffocating the rats or driving them into a cage you created at a different burrow entrance.

Deploy this method in the morning before the rats leave the burrows. The downside is that smoke bombs are a short-term solution, and using them is prohibited in some jurisdictions.

Therefore, make sure you are not breaking any laws before smoking the rats living on your property.

Final Remarks

The rat population can increase exponentially within a short period because these rodents multiply fast. Therefore, acting early makes eliminating them more manageable.

The methods above effectively get rid of rats in yard without harming your pets. In addition, ensure you handle rats humanely because despite being pretty annoying, they are also living things.

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2 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Rats in Yard Without Harming Pets”

  1. Will it harm Chipmunks if I use the baking soda & corn bread mix? I have a rat where it comes from is a side field is bothering me….it’s not in the house or garage but I do have a family of chipmunks I don’t want to hurt…..thank you…..


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