Does Mulch Attract Rats? Here Is Our Guide

There are a large number of things that will attract rats to your yard.

It is a huge challenge to stop rats from getting near your home, but if you learn what they are attracted to, you can remove these attractants to reduce the chances of an infestation.

In this post, we are going to answer the question: Does mulch attract rats?

Before we can understand how to get rid of them, we first ned to understand what rats are attracted to!

First up, let’s find out what mulch is.

Does Mulch Attract Rats

What Is Mulch?

hand full of mulch

Mulch is material that is placed over soil and is used mainly for the following tasks:

  • Keeps soil moist
  • It helps to stop weeds from developing
  • It makes flower beds look good
  • Protects against frost

As it helps keep the soil moist, it helps the environment as you use far less water than you would without mulch.

There are two types of mulch: Organic and inorganic. Let’s take a look at both.


Organic Mulches

Organic mulch, as you would expect, is made up of organic matter. Including:

  • Bark
  • Grass
  • Compost
  • Paper/Card
  • Leaves/Flowers
  • Pine needles
  • Seaweed
  • Wood chips

Inorganic Mulches

Inorganic mulches are made up of inorganic matter. For example:

  • Rubble
  • Slate
  • Shingles
  • Plastic
  • Tires (or other rubber)

Does Mulch Attract Rats

rats in yard

We know that rats are attracted to certain things in and around your home. They are attracted because it offers them something they need to survive. Here is a rundown:

  • Shelter
  • Food
  • Water
  • Bedding

Going back to mulch. Does it offer any of these to rats?

The answer is yes; inorganic and organic mulches do attract rats.

Mulch offers:

  • Water – as it retains moisture, the rats may use it to get liquid.
  • Shelter – a rat can hide in mulch, which means it provides cover from predators.
  • Bedding – Rats may use mulch for bedding if it has a nest or burrow nearby

Prevention

rats in cage

Preventing rats from getting near your mulch is a challenge! The only way you can really do this is by setting some (live catch) rat traps nearby, with some rat bait to entice the rat to the trap.

You could apply the mulch in an area that is frequented by a predator, such as a cat, dog, or owl. Even then, if the rat is desperate, it will go near your mulch.

The good news is that the mulch is unlikely to be the only thing attracting the rat. It could be:

  • Easy access to your home
  • Yard cover from predators (think trees, bushes, etc.)
  • Food from fruit trees or vegetables
  • Bird feeder

Ultimately, if you notice a rat in your yard or garden, take some time to check for other things they may be attracted to.

Please do not consider using rat poison! It doesn’t discriminate, and you may end up killing something other than a rat.


Conclusion

We learned in this post that rats are attracted to mulch. We also learned that it is unlikely to be the mulch that the rat is actually attracted to.

And if you want to get rid of rats, you need to understand what they are attracted to!

You should be looking to protect your home if you notice a rat this close. Start by checking for common rat entry points, and seal them up.

Remove any attractants from your yard, and set some live catch traps in and around your home to catch any that do get close.

It would be best if you also looked around your yard for signs of a rat burrow. These are easy to miss and can lead to an infestation if left.

Good luck.

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