Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Get Rid of Rats in the Garden

Rats often nest in gardens and yards, especially if there is plenty to eat like fruits, vegetables and composted meats. It is essential that you get rid of the rats before they take haven in your home; however, in the meantime, make sure you have covered any holes or possible entrance ways into your home. You can take several courses of action to get rid of the rats yourself before you call in the professionals.

Clean up your garden. Pick up any dropped fruits or rotting vegetables everyday.

Don’t use compost with fish, meat, chicken or anything that rats eat. They basically eat what we eat, so you may want to only compost leaves and other yard debris.

Place sheet metal around isolated trees. It should be a couple feet tall so that rats cannot jump over it. This will help if the rats are eating fruit or nuts right off your trees.

Use a commercial rodent repellent. Several on the market are suitable for your garden and are organic and safe to use around children and pets. Rat repellents are usually shaken around your yard or garden. They use scent, like fox, to deter rats from coming into the area. People can not smell the scent, but the rat’s sensitive olfactory glands can.

Rid Of Rats Organically In The Vegetable Garden?

Planting members of the mint (Mentha spp., hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 8, depending on variety) will make rats think twice about setting up shop. You can get rid of rats in your vegetable garden by making them think that there's a predator nearby. Predator urine, such as that of a fox, according to the National Library of Medicine, is an effective rat aversive. Snap traps are a better option. When a rat goes for the bait, the trap activates and kills him. Minimize possible hiding places and food sources by cleaning up garden debris, thinning heavy vegetation and harvesting or picking up fallen fruit. Use a rodent-proof bird feeder and remove pet food immediately after your pet is done eating, because birdseed and pet food can also attract rats.


If you still can’t get rid of your rats, if applicable, consider taking up your vegetable garden and pruning back your fruit bushes and vines for the remainder of the year.


Traps can catch unsuspecting animals, such as stray animals and pets. Poisons can also harm other animals as well.

Garden Guides