Rats are attracted to gardens in many environments because the gardens provide food, water and safety for the rodents. For gardeners who want to avoid using pesticides, other techniques are available to keeps rats out of the garden.
Store potential rat food in airtight containers
Store compost in airtight containers to keep rats away from it. Keep seeds and any pet foods in airtight containers as well.
Remove potential rat food from the environment.
Remove any fallen fruits and nuts as quickly as possible to keep them from being attractive to rats. Remove all animal fecal matter as well.
Remove standing water
Improve drainage so water does not settle or pool, attracting rats. Eliminate any other sources of standing water, including leaks and hose drips.
Trim plants and ground cover
Keep plants well trimmed, especially near buildings. Remove heavy ground cover such as ivy, where rats love to nest.
Plant mint or citronella
Plant mint, spearmint or citronella plants throughout your garden. Rats hate the smell of these plants.
Call an exterminator if needed
Call a professional pest controller if none of the other steps keep the rats out of the garden or if they only work temporarily. Exterminators can set tamper-resistant bait stations and traps that are effective at killing rats.