How To Get Rid Of Rats Outside – 5 Proven Tips

Rodent Guide
Written By Rodent Guide

I believe in treating all creatures with respect. My mission is to ensure everyone understands how to protect their home from rodents without using cruel methods.

There is no doubt that the living spaces of humans and rats have merged! Wherever you are, there is probably a rat close by, including your home. I know, bad news, right?

Well, there is good news too. Just because rats are outside doesn’t mean you have to accept it! It simply means you have to fight back!

This post will look at how to get rid of rats outside. Because rats can be dangerous, we don’t want them to live too close!

What you will learn in this post:

  1. How to get rid of rats outside
  2. 5 Reasons why you have rats outside your house
  3. Frequently asked questions

How To Get Rid Of Rats Outside

How To Get Rid Of Rats Outside

Ok, let’s begin with the obvious. Wild rats live outside. A rat’s breeding habits and the fact that humans are an excellent source of free food and protection (in our buildings) means that our habits have moved closer and closer over time.

Now, humans and rats are living on top of each other!

It means rats will be near us at all times. It makes it challenging to decide what to do about rats outside. You can, however, take steps to control the rats outside your house and ensure they only make rare and brief appearances.

How To Get Rid Of Rats Outside

1. Store Food Correctly

If you want to know how to get rid of rats outside naturally, this is one of the biggest and best ways to achieve it! By storing food correctly, rats will not access it, and you have removed a big attraction!

When I say store food correctly, I mean do not store it in containers that rats can easily chew through. Instead, you should keep food in round glass containers, especially if the food is being stored outside.

Seeing a rat in the daytime is expected if you give them access to free food!

2. Humane Traps

The best way of getting rid of rats outside without harming dogs and other pets is by using humane traps designed to fit rats in.

When setting rat traps outside, you risk catching an animal you are not targeting. Especially as other animals often seek after rat bait, you should regularly check these traps to ensure that you have not caught anything other than a rat. Check the humane traps once per day, at least.

If you want to know how to control rats outside, then humane traps are one of my top tips!

Want to know what food is irresistible to rats? I would begin with meat! Load your humane traps up with that, and a rat will be attracted to it.

3. Seal Entry Points

Rats will be looking for a way into your home. You can only stop them from entering by sealing any rat entry points!

Rats are opportunistic, and one of the best things you can do to get rid of rats outside your house is to remove the opportunity for them to enter it in the first place!

4. Remove Animal Feeders

Some folks like to put animal feeders outside their homes for other wildlife, such as birds and hedgehogs. This food will attract rats outside your home!

If you want to know how to get rid of rats outside your house, I will begin by removing all other animal food you place out there.

That also means removing any pet food that you may store outside too.

5. Clear The Cover

If you notice rats outside your home, it could be because you have given them plenty of undergrowth to travel through.

I am talking about trees, bushes, flowers, and anything else that will allow a rat to travel underneath. This could be why you have seen rats in your yard during the day.

You should also ensure that the area around your house is free from junk or debris. Rats use these places to travel through because it offers protection from predators in the sky (birds of prey).

Why Do I Get Rats Outside?

To better understand how to get rid of rats outside, you need to know why rats are there in the first place.

Let’s take a look at the 5 common reasons.

1. Looking For Food

Rats are around your home because they are looking for food.

One of the biggest reasons you are looking at getting rid of outdoor rats is that you store this food in areas where rats can easily access or smell food.

If you have fruit or vegetables growing outside your home, this will attract rats!

2. Looking For Water

Water is another huge attraction for rats! Most outdoor rat nests are built close to a water supply.

If you have a water supply near your home, this could be one of the key reasons you have rats outside your property.

3. Looking For A Way Into Your Home

As I mentioned above, rats are opportunistic creatures. They will investigate your house to see if they can identify any entry points that you can use to get in.

It is your job to find the entry points before the rats do!

4. Lack Of Predators

Did you know that cats eat rats? If you want to know how to eliminate rats outside, some have achieved this by getting a cat to stalk the perimeter. Unfortunately, there is no stronger deterrent than a natural predator!

You may find that the rat population outside your house has increased due to a lack of natural predators.

I had a friend who noticed a boom in the population of rats outside his home. When he spoke with other folks in his neighborhood, he was told that the local cat had died. It was since the cat died that the rat population exploded!

5 Rat Nest Or Burrow Outside

You may have seen an increase in rats outside your home because they have set up a nest in the local area, or you may be unfortunate enough to have a rat burrow nearby!

One of the best ways to repel rats outside is to destroy the rat burrow or nest!

Frequently Asked Questions

frequently asked questions

How do you repel rats outside?

The best way to repel rats outside is by removing everything they are looking for around your home. Food, water, and protection attract rats to the area outside your home. Either that or get a cat! Having a natural predator around your home will repel rats.

What attracts rats to your yard?

Many things in your yard attract rats, such as food, cover, and the fact that it is close to your home!

Do rats go outside during the day?

Yes. Although nocturnal, it is not uncommon to see a rat outside during the day.


The 5 tips on this page will help you understand how to get rid of rats outside! We have also identified 5 common reasons why they are outside your home.

These tips will help you understand how to eliminate rats outside, so you can live without worrying that rats may bring diseases to your neighborhood and home.

Getting rid of outdoor rats is a challenge but not impossible. Usually, the best you can hope for is that you have limited why they are outside your home. Any rat that strolls too close will not be there for long.

Good luck!


About the Rodent Guide

I’m an expert in do-it-yourself rodent control. For more than 20 years, I’ve dedicated my life to helping people live harmoniously alongside these critters by sharing rodent control solutions that are effective and kind.

I believe in treating all creatures with respect. My mission is to ensure everyone understands how to protect their home from rodents without using cruel methods.

4 thoughts on “How To Get Rid Of Rats Outside – 5 Proven Tips”

  1. I had a rat chew through a wire from a solar light I had outside. After I fixed the wire I put apple cider vinegar and mixed it with black pepper in a small bowl and put it near the solar light and sprinkled black pepper on the ground along the wire. I also sprayed apple cider vinegar on the wire so the smell would keep them away. Do you think this would keep them from chewing through the thin wire? It was hell to fix. It was a clean cut so I hope some idiot didn’t come in the yard and cut the wire with wire cutters and I blamed it on rats. I never saw rats there before so it could be some jerk that trespassed on my property.

    • Hey Walter, thanks for getting in touch!

      I have had some success using vinegar to get rid of rats, but I’ve not tried apple cider vinegar. It should work though, especially when mixed with black pepper.

      A clean cut through a cable doesn’t sound like it was made by a rat, I have to be honest. Usually, there would be some chew markets around the break, I’ve never seen a cable or wire cut cleanly by a rat.

  2. My next door neighbor loves to feed the squirrels.
    Now I have, so far, a rat…maybe more.
    My dog passed away two months ago and never saw a rat before. I’m living here 22 years.
    Is the squirrel feeders giving me a rat problem?

    • Hi Bonnie

      I am sorry to hear about your dog – if you had not seen a rat before, it is likely that your dog was doing an excellent job at keeping them away!

      There is a chance the Squirrel feeder is attracting the rats. Rats are generally attracted to places with easy access to food and shelter.



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