How to Get Rid of Rats Outside

If you’re wondering how to get rid of rats outside, you probably have a rat infestation in your yard and need to act fast.

Whether inside or outside, rats are a real nuisance. They can carry disease and other parasites, and they care very little for hygiene. Rats breed quickly, so the sooner you can get rid of them, the better. 

In some cases, getting rid of rats can be a serious challenge, so you may want to consider hiring a pest control professional who offers rodent control services.

In this article, you will learn how to get rid of rats outside.

How to Get Rid of Rats Outside?

The good news is that there are plenty of solutions to get rid of rats outside. Here are our best suggestions: –

Spring Traps

This one might seem a little obvious, but it is a really effective way to kill rats outside. The trap is baited and left. The rat steps on a weight activated pad, and a heavy spring snaps shut on the rat. Here are some of the best baits to use: –

  • Fruit
  • Nut butter
  • Dog food
  • Chicken livers

These traps can be a little messy and are best avoided if your kids or pets frequently use the yard.

Poisoned Bait Boxes

These boxes are placed in thoroughfares where rats walk. They run through, take a little bite, and are then poisoned as a result. They may also feed their young with the poison too. 

There are a few downsides. You can’t use this method if you have pets in the yard. Furthermore, rats tend to die in hard-to-reach places. When they decompose, they can really stink! Over time rats can also become acclimatized to the poison, so it needs to be changed regularly. 

Electric Traps

This is one of the most humane ways to kill rats. They enter the trap to eat bait left inside. Once they step on the metal grill within, they complete a circuit and are instantly electrocuted. While it sounds brutal, they die instantly.

These traps tend to be battery-powered, making them a good option for outdoor use.

Catch and Release

If electrocuting, poisoning, or snap trapping rats, turn your stomach, there is a humane alternative. Live catch rat traps imprison the rat. You can then carry it, alive and well, to a different location away from your home before releasing the rat.

While humane, some might argue that you are just pushing the problem further along the road… Literally.

Smells to Deter Rats

You can try going a little more holistic and au naturel if you prefer. There are certain scents that rats tend to avoid. They can sometimes be effective if you only have an isolated rat problem. Try spraying any of the following scents around your yard: –

  • Balsam fir or pine scent
  • Mint, such as spearmint.
  • Citronella
  • Sagebrush oil
  • Any perennial herb such as sage, rosemary, oregano.
  • Black pepper can work well too! 

What Attracts Rats to Your Yard?

A potential answer to the question of how to get rid of rats outside is to address what brought them to you in the first place. 

After all, rats don’t just magically appear for no reason.

However, don’t worry, it might not be anything that you have done. Several things can act like a rat magnet outside your home…


If there’s one thing that drives a rodent, it’s the promise of food. When fall approaches, trees can begin dropping vast quantities of fruit and seeds. This collects on the ground and is like a buffet for vermin. 

The answer?

Try and gather up as much as you can. If it isn’t there, they can’t eat it!


Rats have a superb sense of smell. They are naturally drawn to anything that is a little ‘ripe’. This can include pet food, scraps from a barbecue grill, rotting fruit and vegetation, and even open drains. 

Removing these sources of odor will discourage rats from sniffing around to investigate.


You don’t often see rats out in the open, do you? They love dark, secluded areas. Piles of wood, junk, trash, and even unkempt bushes all provide rats with a place to call home. Remove items such as the above to make your yard less inviting. 


Rats love to keep hydrated and won’t stray far from a water source. Open pools, leaky faucets, and other areas of standing water are appealing. Remove them to discourage rats from stopping for a quick drink.

Getting Rid of Rats Using Professional Help

While the above can be effective, rats have an attribute that can make getting rid of them from your yard difficult…

They breed alarmingly quickly. While the average female rat only gives birth to six litters a year, rats reach sexual maturity after only 9 weeks. 

In simple terms, we are talking about exponential growth. Without the math? A pair of rats left uncontrolled could, in theory, lead to a pack of rats numbering… 

Wait for it… 

1,250 rats in a single year! 

Might it be time to call in a professional pest control service?

A trained professional will quickly and easily curtail and completely get rid of rats outside your home. Companies, such as facility pest control, are experts in removing rats, mice, and other vermin. They will also be able to advise you on what has brought the rats to your yard in the first place. This will prevent a repeat occurrence. Why not check and see if they are available in your area today?