Q:

How do you kill rats in the garden?

A:

Quick Answer

Traps and poison baits effectively kill garden rats. Removing debris, such as leaf piles, and food and water sources reduces rat populations by eliminating their habitats and food sources.

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Full Answer

Traps with snapping mechanisms, placed every 10 to 20 feet along the hidden or out-of-the-way pathways typically used by rats, help to eliminate them. Effective baits include peanut butter, bacon or nuts. Tying the food near the trap's trigger helps to ensure the rat sets off the trap when it takes the bait. Trapped rats should be removed each day, so the trap can be reset.

Poison baits should only be used in areas where pets or children can't reach the substance. The baits should be positioned near areas where rats are frequently observed, and replaced as needed.

Rats leave an area if food, water and shelter aren't readily available. Homeowners should clear away debris such as yard waste, wood piles and household objects from the garden; thin overgrown vegetation; and remove pet food and water sources. If rats are eating vegetables growing in the garden, the homeowner should consider planting mint around the garden's perimeter as a deterrent. Removing food, water and shelter is the most effective long-term solution to eliminating rats.

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