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What Do Rats Eat Found in Your Backyard?

Picture of Molly Paws
By Molly Paws on August, 29 2017
A bunch of rats all huddled together

What was that scurrying across the backyard? It almost looked like it could be a kitten or maybe a large bird. Maybe it’s just your imagination running amok? That’s it, your imag—or so you think until you see a kitten sized rodent running across your backyard’s fence. What you thought was your eyes playing tricks on you just became a problem.

When you first see a rat on your property, it may look like nothing much. When rodents first arrive, they’re typically looking for food. If they’re sticking around your property, it means they found it. Within no time that scrawny little rodent has become a fair-sized pest. If left to munch on a good food source, a rat can easily grow to be 20 inches long and weigh two pounds. Imagine that running across your feet at your next barbeque.

Not only are rats disgusting creatures, but they’re also considered one of the world’s deadliest vermin. An infestation of rats can easily wipe out an entire crop within days if not hours. And thanks to the parasites that they carry, they’re also considered one of the worse pests when spreading a disease to humans. But one rat isn’t so bad, right? Wrong! One rat can quickly become many if left unchecked. So how do you stop these vermin from invading your home and property? First, you need to know what attracts them.

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Fruit Trees

Rats are hungry little vermin. They will seek out any kind of food they can find. And since they’re omnivores, eating both meat and vegetables, they really don’t care what they eat. But… if you happen to have a tasty apple tree or a citrus tree they’ll want to stop by for a bite.

Fruit trees attract all sorts of vermin, not just rats. The best way to prevent vermin from having a nice meal of your fruit is to clean up the rotten fruit is picked up off the ground every day. Fruit, especially rotting fruit attracts rats. Once they have the taste of the rotten fruit, they’ll be curious about the fresh fruit. Try using netting for fruit trees. This also helps guard your fruit against birds as well.

Bird Seed

Do you have a bird feeder? It may be a lot of fun to watch birds eat at your feeder, but many birds can be a bit messy. If they don’t like a particular type of seed, off, it’s flung. And that would be fine if rats didn’t love seed just as much as the birds. To avoid rats grabbing a nibble from your bird feeder, try placing the feeder over cement or an area that is easy to sweep. If that’s not possible, use a large container under the bird feeder to pick up any discarded seed such as a trash can lid or a water saucer from a potted plant, which can be purchased separately from your local hardware store.

Also, keep in mind how and where you store your extra bird seed. Never keep bird seed in its original bag. Rats love to chew through bird seed and another food packaging. It makes for excellent bedding for they’re nests as well. It’s always best to store your extra bird seed in a plastic, airtight container so that rats can’t gnaw on it and feast.

Gardens

Are you growing a garden? Good for you. Home grown fruits and vegetables are extremely healthy for you. But did you know rats are health conscious too? Well, not really. They could care less knowing about the nutritional value of your rutabaga. All they really care about is food and that there’s some easy to snatch.

In the case of gardens, it’s best to cover growing plants with the same type of netting used for fruit trees. In this case, you’ll want to secure the netting to the ground to keep any rats from sneaking under the netting.

It’s understandable that rats love to eat everything growing in your garden, but did you also know they’re interested in what’s crawling underneath? If you have excellent soil, or you’re really into composting, then you’ve seen how big earthworms can grow. Large earthworms are a great indication of healthy soil, but it also can be a problem for attracting rats. Rats love to munch on earthworms and have been known to dig up entire gardens to find those little wiggling delights.

Pet Food

Do you feed your pets outside? Being omnivores, rats rather enjoy dog and cat food. Much like bird food, pet food should be taken up every night and the extra stored in air-tight containers to keep rats out.

Garbage Cans

Rats absolutely love to dumpster-dive. Your last night’s meal is what they dream about. And the more potent smelling the trash, the more rats will be attracted to it. Plastic garbage bags won’t help keep them out either. Your garbage cans need to have secure lids to keep rats out.

If rats have taken over your yard and you’ve tried everything to get rid of them, then it’s time to call in the professionals. The professionals at AIPM are trained in eradicating all types of rodents. AIPM’s trained team can eliminate any threats to your property while setting up a custom plan to ensure that you never have to face an infestation by any critter, big or small, again. Contact us for a free consultation today!

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