5 Reasons Why You Have Seen A Rat In Your Garden In Daylight

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.

You’ve probably been told that rats are nocturnal, which leads you to wonder why you have seen a rat in your garden in daylight? 

Let’s clear something up right now. Rats are MOSTLY nocturnal.

That does not mean they will spend all day curled up in a ball, asleep, far away from your garden and home, no.

Seeing a rat during daylight hours is still a genuine possibility!

In fact, rats sleep in short bursts and can be active during the day or night.

Are you scared yet? Don’t panic; rats are pretty fearful of humans. It generally happens when you meet something much, much bigger than you.

Rats may be small, but they do carry some very nasty diseases. Always be wary of that when you are tackling a rat problem.

Although there are steps you can take to deter rats from entering your yard, let’s look at why you have seen a rat in your garden in daylight.

Have You Seen A Rat In Your Garden In Daylight

Do Rats Come Out During The Day?

Seeing a rat in the daytime is not uncommon, especially in urban areas where they are regularly disturbed.

Just because you have seen a rat in the day does not mean there is an infestation, but it is a situation that should be monitored, especially if you have seen rats in the garden during the day.

It would help if you made a note, capturing the following details:

  • Place you saw the rat (garden, road, near the house, etc.)
  • The time you saw the rat
  • How many rats you saw

Then you should reach out to your neighbors to see if they have seen rats too. If they have noticed rats in the garden, it could indicate an issue that needs addressing.

Why Is There A Rat In My Garden In Daylight?

It is possible that the rat used your garden to travel from one place to another.

Rats are opportunistic, and although they may have used your garden as a travel zone, they would have been looking for easy access to food (fruit trees, for instance).

Here are the most common reasons you have seen a rat in your garden during the day.

You Have Left Food Out

Leaving food out is the most significant reason you have seen a rat in your garden during daylight hours.

Gardens and yards will have food substances in them. The food substances can be:

  • Fruit trees
  • Nut trees
  • BBQ leftovers
  • Bird food (on a bird table or in a nest)
  • Other pet food (dog or cat)
  • Vegetables

You must clear all food items away when you are finished with them. For example, having rats may be a common occurrence if you have fruit or nut trees.

Consider sealing up any vegetable patch that you may have too.

Many people have a birdhouse, or bird a feeder in their garden or yard. Although this is an excellent way of attracting birds to your home, it is also very attractive to a rat!

Rats have an excellent sense of smell and can sniff food out quickly. Tidy it away and clean all surfaces. This will reduce your chances of seeing a rat in your garden during daylight hours.

Too Much Cover

Your garden or yard may offer the rat a great deal of cover. This is extremely important for rats. They want to remain in relative safety, away from predators.

If a rat is active during the day, it will look to journey through areas that offer as much cover as possible.

You might want to consider removing some objects that a rat can use as cover. Things such as trees, plants, and shrubs.

If the rat has chosen your garden as a travel zone, it is likely because it was one of the safest passages the rat could find. Consider making it ‘unsafe’ for rats.

Mulch also offers cover to rats.

You Haven’t Cleared The Trash Away.

Your trash will have many items that are attractive to a rat.

  • Food
  • Boxes
  • Plastic bottles
  • Tins

These are all things that a rat can either eat, use as bedding, or just something they want to gnaw on to keep their teeth short and sharp.

Rat Is Brave

This rat might be a brave rodent who isn’t scared to strut its stuff through your garden!

If a rat is used to being around humans, it is possible that they are just not scared at all.

I have seen rats in underground stations and even running freely on a sidewalk while people look on in amazement!

Most rats fear human interaction and will do anything to avoid contact with us. However, some rats do not seem to care!

Take a look at these brave rats; some are our during the day too:

Rat Has Been Cornered

If your neighbors have cats or other pets that the rat might be scared of, there is a potential that these animals have forced the rat away from its nest and into your yard.

A cat is an excellent way of keeping rodents away from your yard. If it works for your neighbors, why not give it a go yourself?

If a rat has been scared out of other gardens by animals, loud noises, or humans, it could be why it has found its way into your garden for some peace and protection.

There’s A Rat In My Garden. What Am I Gonna Do?

First things first. You do not, under any circumstances, use rat poison. Using rat poison can harm other wildlife, pets, and even humans. Just do not do it.

Secondary poison is a genuine problem that could kill a family pet.

A much better idea is to use a cage rat trap and load it up with some awesome rat trap bait. This is a very humane way of catching a rat in your yard; you need to get rid of it once it has been caught.

Not only is it a humane way of catching the rat, but it is also a safe way to catch a rat without harming any other animal or pet.

It is also a trap that you can use time and time again. You may consider leaving the trap set up even after you have caught the rat.

You will need to check the trap each day, though, to make sure that you have not caught any other animal!

You should also ensure that you do not give easy access to food, and if you have a dog, you must clean up after it!

As disgusting as it is, rats eat dog poop!

Is It Common To See A Rat In the Garden?

rat during the daytime

Yes, it can be widespread to see a rat in the garden. Don’t panic.

Gardens are host to some delicious food, especially if you grow lots of vegetables or fruit.

Any food in your garden is susceptible to rats or other animals; even if they are root vegetables, a rat will happily dig them out.

Some rats have been known to dig under and eat the root vegetables without the grower knowing! They realize their prize vegetables are being eaten when they pull them up and notice that most of them have been eaten.

What about trees? Let me tell you that rats are very adept at climbing trees and will happily climb up and grab an avocado for lunch.

If you regularly see a rat in your garden, you should look at the surrounding area for rat burrows and destroy any that you do fine.

Should I be worried if I see a rat in my garden?

If you see a rat in your garden, there’s no need to be alarmed straight away. Seeing one rat does not necessarily mean you have an infestation, but it should mean you are looking out for more rats.

If you’re concerned about the presence of rats, you can take steps to deter them from entering your yard by sealing up any potential entry points and keeping food and trash properly stored.

You should also consider contacting a pest control company if you are concerned.

What should you do if you see a rat in your garden?

If you see a rat in your garden, you can do a few things to eliminate it. First, try to figure out where the rat is coming from and block off that entrance.

Do not lay down rat poison under any circumstance! You may kill the rat, but you may also kill other wildlife or pets.

If a child encounters poison and consumes it, they will be very sick.

You should reduce the chances of getting rats in your yard by cleaning up food, removing bird feeders, cleaning up dog poop, and ensuring a lack of cover for rats to travel through (such as overgrown bushes).

Next, set up some rat traps around the perimeter of your garden. Use humane, live-catch traps in your garden or yard, just in case you catch something you didn’t plan on catching! It isn’t just rats that will get caught.

Be sure to check the traps regularly and dispose of any rats properly. Finally, keep your garden clean and free of debris where rats can hide.

What does it mean if you see a rat in your garden?

There are a few things that it could mean if you see a rat in your garden. It could be that the rat is looking for food, or it could be that the rat is looking for shelter.

If you have seen a rat in your garden, it is important to take some precautions.

Make sure that you do not leave any food out that the rat could access, and make sure that you seal any holes or cracks that the rat could use to enter your home.

Why would a rat be out during the day?

The rat will most likely be out looking for food or items to use as a shelter or a nest. When I had a brown rat in my garden, it was because it had found out that my yard had a fruit tree in it!

There are other reasons you have seen a rat during the day, such as overpopulation.

Do rats like daylight?

While rats can travel in daylight, it is not their preferred time of day.

Traveling during daylight will expose the rat to all dangers and will not offer as much protection as traveling when it is dark.

For instance, birds of prey and other predators can easily spot a rat during daylight. It is a genuine reason why rats generally only come out at night.


If you have seen a rat in your garden in daylight, then the first thing you need to do is not panic. Just because rats usually prefer to travel after sundown, it doesn’t mean that you will not see rats during the day.

The second thing you need to do is re-read this post because it gives you some excellent advice on what to do!

Remember, rats can transmit diseases directly and indirectly. For example, having a rat in your garden or yard will expose hidden dangers to those who spend time in it. Children, elderly relatives too.

Get rid of the rat or rats ASAP!

Finally, 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.

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