The Complete Guide On How to Get Rid of Rats Outside Your Vancouver Home

The Complete Guide On How to Get Rid of Rats Outside Your Vancouver Home

Rats are a common pest that can invade houses, apartments, yards, and outside of your home in Vancouver. While they may seem harmless, rats can transmit diseases, contaminate food, and cause extensive property damage by chewing and nesting. Getting rid of rats inside your Vancouver property and the yard or the perimeter outdoors is important to protect your home, health, and peace of mind.

This comprehensive guide will provide tips on identifying signs of rats, exclusion techniques to keep them out of your yard, humane trapping methods, and natural repellents to deter rats without toxic chemicals. Follow these steps to successfully get rid of rats from your Vancouver home’s exterior.

Understanding Rats in Your Yard

Several species of rats may take up residence in yards, including:

  • Roof Rats – Agile climbers that nest in trees, dense vegetation, and outdoor structures.
  • Norway Rats – Burrowers that dig complex tunnels and nest underground.
  • Pack Rats – Known for collecting bright, shiny objects and debris.

Rats are persistent and can be difficult to control for several reasons:

  • Rapid Reproduction – Females can give birth to up to 12 pups every 3 weeks.
  • Omnivorous Diet – They’ll eat just about anything, from pet food to garden produce.
  • Burrowing Ability – Rats are excellent diggers and can quickly create new burrow systems.
  • Squeeze Into Tight Spaces – They can flatten their bodies to fit through holes as small as 1/2 inch wide.

Signs of Rats Outside Your Home

The first step is learning how to identify common signs of rats on your Vancouver property. Detecting them early makes prevention and removal much easier before an infestation grows out of control.

Look for these indicators of rat activity:

  • Droppings – Black pellet-shaped feces around 1/2 inch long. Larger than mouse droppings.
  • Burrows – Conical holes 2-4 inches in diameter dug into soil. May see dug up piles of dirt.
  • Runs/Trails – Visible pathways in dirt or vegetation leading to burrows or entry points.
  • Gnaw marks – Teeth marks on wood, pipes, wires, or siding. Especially around foundation.
  • Grease marks – Rub marks along walls from rat’s oily fur brushing surfaces.
  • Urine stains – May glow under UV light.
  • Sounds – Noises like scratching, squeaking, or gnawing in walls or yard.
  • Odors – Distinctive musky “rat urine” smell coming from dens.
  • Damage – Ripped bags, chewed wires, plants, or debris.
  • Rub marks – Rats leave greasy rub marks on surfaces they frequently travel past. Check walls, fences, trees, and utility lines.
  • Chewing damage – Rats gnaw on wood, plastic, and soft metals. Inspect structures for gnaw marks, chewed wiring, and damaged insulation.
  • Sounds – Listen for scurrying in walls and ceilings, especially at night. Rats are most active after dark.
  • Sightings – Seeing live rats, especially during daylight hours, indicates a substantial infestation.

Regularly inspect the exterior of sheds, fences, gardens, and home to spot these signs of rat activity on your property. The sooner you detect them, the faster you can remove rats and prevent worsening destruction.

Get Rid of Rats Outside Permanently: Prevention Tips And Population Control

Key to getting rid of rats outside your home is keeping them out, and prevention is always better than having to re-address infestation again and again. After eliminating rats, continue using preventive measures to discourage re-infestation. Alter the landscape to make your yard less inviting to rats in the future.

Seal Up Entry Points

Once you confirm rats are present outside, take action to exclude them from your yard and prevent entry into your home. Rats can squeeze through holes as small as 1/2 inch wide, so meticulously seal up any gaps and holes in your home’s exterior:

  • Use copper mesh, steel wool, cement, or metal kick plates to fill openings in walls, doors, and around pipes or wires entering your home.
  • Attach rat guards made of sheet metal around pipes, cables, and trees to prevent climbing.
  • Seal cracks wider than 1/4 inch in foundations with cement or urethane foam.
  • Cover vents and chimneys with corrosion-resistant 1/4 inch wire mesh.
  • Install weatherstripping under doors and repair holes in screens.
  • Remove vegetation touching walls, roofs, fences, and trim back overhanging tree branches.
  • Move woodpiles, debris, and clutter away from foundation.
  • Fill holes with dirt and install gravel perimeter around gardens and sheds.

Eliminating all possible entryways will help exclude new rats from invading your home’s exterior. Continue monitoring for new holes or gaps and seal them up before rats can gain access.

Clear Away Food Sources

Rats are attracted to easy food sources. Removing these will make your yard less desirable to foraging rats:

  • Keep pet food inside, or remove after pets finish eating.
  • Clean up fallen bird seed, fruits, and nuts from the ground.
  • Store compost in secure bins, and do not compost meats or oils.
  • Pick up ripe vegetables and fruits from gardens promptly.
  • Ensure trash and recycling bins have tight-fitting lids.
  • Clean grease drips, food spills, or water bowls outside promptly.
  • Pick up dog droppings which can attract rats.

Without ready food sources, rats will be less likely to inhabit your yard and damage your garden.

Set Humane Rat Traps

Trapping is an effective and humane method to capture and remove rats on your property once exclusion methods are in place. Try these types of rat traps:

  • Snap Traps: Quickly kill rats upon triggering the trap. Bait with peanut butter, bacon, or nut butter.
  • Live Cage Traps: Capture rats alive without harming them. Release at least 5 miles away or contact pest control.
  • Glue Boards: Boards coated with non-drying adhesive to catch and hold rats.
  • Electronic Traps: Battery-powered traps deliver lethal shock upon entry.

Place traps along baseboards, against walls, or in active runways where you’ve spotted signs of rats. Check traps daily and release or dispose of trapped rats while wearing gloves. Continue trapping until all signs of rats are eliminated.

Use Natural Repellents

Deter rats humanely using natural scents they dislike without resorting to toxic chemicals:

  • Sprinkle black pepper, red pepper, chili powder, or garlic around affected areas.
  • Soak cotton balls in peppermint, eucalyptus, or lemon oil and place near rat entryways. Reapply oils weekly.
  • Mix castor oil with water in a spray bottle and spray perimeter fences, gardens, and house foundations.
  • Scatter dried bay leaves, coffee grounds, or pipe tobacco around gardens.
  • Place bags of mothballs around affected areas, replacing them monthly.
  • Ammonia-soaked rags can be left near nests or entry points.

Rotate repellents frequently so rats don’t acclimate to certain smells. Never use mothballs or ammonia near plants or gardens.

Eliminate Shelter & Nest Sites

  • Cut back overgrown vegetation and dense ground cover.
  • Move woodpiles and debris up off the ground.
  • Seal openings larger than 1/4 inch on sheds and outbuildings.
  • Repair leaky faucets and eliminate standing water.

Get Rid of Rats Outside While Keeping Your Pets Safe

Getting rid of rats quickly is crucial, but if you have outdoor pets, using traditional rat poisons can be dangerous. Thankfully, there are effective methods for controlling rats in your yard without using toxic chemicals that could potentially harm pets. 

What Not To Use: Dangers of Using Rat Poison Around Pets

Rat poisons, also called rodenticides, are commonly used to control rat infestations. However, these toxic chemicals can be extremely dangerous to pets if consumed.

There are several types of rodenticides, including:

  • Anticoagulants – Disrupt blood clotting leading to internal bleeding. Effects build up over multiple days of feeding
  • Non-anticoagulants – Damage organs and nerves. Work after one feeding.
  • Fumigants – Lethal gases released from bait stations.

All of these poisons pose a significant risk to pets who may eat the bait or consume a poisoned rat. Rodenticide toxicity can cause:

  • Internal Bleeding – Common with anticoagulants. May not show symptoms for days.
  • Organ Failure – Caused by non-anticoagulant poisons damaging vital organs.
  • Respiratory Distress – From inhaling fumigant gases.
  • Neurological Damage – Impaired coordination and seizures.
  • Skin Irritation – Redness, itching, and burning from direct contact.

The effects of rodenticides depend on the specific active ingredient, dose consumed, and size of the pet. Smaller animals like cats are at greater risk. There is no antidote for most rat poisons, so avoiding exposure is key.

Natural, Pet-Safe Rat Control Methods

When pets are present, it’s best to focus on natural, non-toxic approaches to repel rats and make the yard less hospitable. Here are some effective, pet-safe options as already discussed above as well as additional pointers:

Basic pet-safe methods (as already outlined above) are:

  • Remove Food Sources
  • Natural Repellents
  • Find Entry Points & Seal Openings
  • Trapping Rats

Additional Natural Methods You can use are:

Predator Urine – The scent of predators triggers rats’ survival instincts. Look for fox or coyote urine at garden centers. Apply around yards monthly. Ammonia-soaked cotton balls have a similar effect. Place near burrow openings.

Aggressive Landscaping – Altering landscaping makes yards less attractive. Remove ivy, dense ground cover, wood piles, and debris that offer shelter. Prune back overgrown vegetation to eliminate hiding spots and access to roofs. Fill in burrows with dirt and pack down. Install wire mesh to prevent digging. Place gravel, sand, or concrete around structures to discourage burrowing.

Owl Boxes – Encourage natural predation. Install owl nesting boxes on poles 10-15 feet high. Face opening away from prevailing winds. Consider hawk perches and raptor houses to attract other rodent predators.

Prevent Rats from Returning

Getting rid of rats is only half the battle – you need to take ongoing measures to ensure rats don’t re-invade your Vancouver home:

  • Continue using natural repellents around the perimeter.
  • Maintain exclusion techniques by re-sealing holes and keeping vegetation trimmed back.
  • Fix leaky faucets, pipes, or pet water bowls.
  • Keep compost contained and immediately clean fallen fruits/nuts.
  • Remove clutter and debris rats can hide under.
  • Set traps periodically to monitor for new rat activity and remove them before they settle.

With vigilant prevention and removal techniques, you can successfully eliminate rats from your Vancouver property and prevent destructive infestations from developing. Stay persistent and proactive in your approach. Getting rid of rats outside your home is possible with the right knowledge and techniques.

Prevent Rats in Your Yard

If you want to get rid of rats outside in your yard, start by removing any food sources that may attract them. Rats love to eat fallen fruit, pet food, trash, and bird seed. Storing these items properly and cleaning up any spills can help deter rats. You should also prune overgrown vegetation and clear away woodpiles or debris that provide shelter for rats to build nests and burrows. Installing physical barriers like gravel, hardware cloth, or metal flashing around the perimeter of your home can prevent rats from burrowing into your yard from neighboring properties.

For many homeowners, the most effective way to get rid of rats outdoors without harming pets or family is to use natural repellents. Rats don’t like strong smells, so sprinkling the perimeter with peppermint oil, predator urine, garlic powder, or chili powder can deter them from entering your yard. You can also install owl boxes or hawk perches to encourage natural predation. Trapping is another humane option – place multiple catch live traps or electronic traps along walls and in areas with rat activity. With persistence, integrating repellents, exclusion, and trapping can remove rats without risks.

Other Outdoor Rat Infestation Concerns Regarding Rats In Your Yard

Rats Coming From The Neighbor’s Yard

Rats are coming in from a neighbor’s property is sadly common. If your neighbor has a rat problem that is spilling over into your yard, there are some additional steps you can take to deter rats from entering your property. Prune any overhanging trees or bushes at the property line to eliminate aerial access. Install a gravel barrier, concrete curb, or hardware cloth fence along the perimeter to prevent burrowing from neighboring yards. 

Place repellents along the barrier to deter crossing. Motion-activated sprinklers can also effectively scare away rats. Ensure there are no gaps in your home’s exterior foundation or walls that border the affected property. Communicate regularly with your neighbor about rats in your backyard and theirs. Offer assistance sealing up burrows or removing food sources on their side, because you can’t get of rats in your yard if the source of the rats aren’t taken care of– it’s likely that rats will keep coming over to yours. With diligence, you can block wandering rats and prevent sharing an infestation. 

Getting Rid of Rats Under The Shed

Rats may burrow under sheds seeking shelter. Inspect the shed’s perimeter and look for holes or rub marks indicating active burrows. Use a flashlight to see if any openings allow access under the shed. Seal up holes with steel mesh dug at least 1 foot into the ground and attached to the shed’s foundation. 

Place snap traps baited with peanut butter around the interior to catch any rats inside. Sprinkling repellents like peppermint oil or predator urine around the shed’s exterior can also deter rats from approaching. Ensure food sources like birdseed or fallen fruit are not available around the shed. Pruning back vegetation to eliminate hiding spots can also make the area less attractive to rats. With diligence, rats can be evicted from under sheds through exclusion, trapping, and removing elements that attracted them in the first place.

Getting Rid of Rats Under The Deck

Rats may burrow beneath decks if there is access, shelter, and nearby food sources. Inspect around the deck supports and look for rub marks or holes indicating active burrows. Use wire mesh, concrete, or metal flashing to seal up any ground-level openings. Place snap traps baited with peanut butter under the deck to remove rats already present. 

Sprinkling repellents like predator urine, peppermint oil, or cayenne pepper around the deck’s perimeter can deter rats from approaching. Removing vegetation and debris around the deck eliminates hiding spots. Prevent rats from being attracted by cleaning up any spilled food and securing trash. With persistence, rats can be evicted from deck spaces through trapping, exclusion, and removing elements that attracted them initially.

When to Call a Professional Rat Exterminator

In some cases, the most effective way to safely eliminate rats is to hire a professional pest control company. Seek professional help if:

  • You have a large infestation that traps and natural methods cannot resolve quickly.
  • Rats have already gained access inside your home’s walls or attic. This requires internal trapping and exclusion work.
  • Burrows are located right next to your home’s foundation. This risks structural damage.
  • DIY methods have not reduced the rat population after 2-3 weeks.

Look for a company that offers these services:

  • Inspection to identify entry points and assess the extent of the infestation
  • Exterior exclusion work and yard modifications to deter rats
  • Strategic trapping, preferably with pet-safe, nontoxic methods
  • Post-treatment inspection and re-sealing if needed

Avoid companies that rely solely on throwing out toxic bait. Make sure to inform them of outdoor pets on your property.

With patience and persistence, you can solve a rat problem without endangering your furry companions. Integrating multiple techniques like exclusion, removing food sources, owl boxes, repellents, and trapping can drive rats away from your yard for good. Don’t wait to take action at the first sign of rats – with quick intervention, you can prevent a small problem from becoming a large-scale headache.

Need to Get Rids of Rats Outside Your Home? All Green Pest Control Can Help

All Green Pest Control provides compassionate and eco-friendly rodent removal services to homes and businesses across Metro Vancouver. As a trusted pest control company with over 300 5-star reviews, we are committed to using non-toxic, sustainable methods to humanely address rodent problems.

Our experienced team understands rodent behavior allowing us to strategically remove them without harm. We seal entry points, install exclusion devices, and use no-kill traps when necessary. Customers can trust in our humane and thoughtful approach.

We also provide advice to rodent-proof your home and prevent re-infestation because we care about long-term solutions. Our technicians take the time to thoroughly inspect properties and identify solutions tailored to each customer’s needs.

With All Green Pest Control, you can have peace of mind knowing your rodent issues are being resolved in a caring, responsible way without risks to family, pets, wildlife, or the environment. Contact us today for a free inspection and quote.

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