Rats, mice and other rodents can cause large amounts of damage to homes and outdoor properties, contaminate food and water sources and spread disease, according to the CDC. Once a colony of rats has established itself in a particular area, they are unlikely to leave unless forced out through trapping or natural disaster. Getting rid of rats naturally can be a challenge. Keeping your home and yard clean and in good repair can be a natural deterrent for rats.
Get rid of a rat infestation by making your home and yard less desirable to the rodents. Gather loose branches, leaves and other plant life that may serve as a nesting area for roof rats. Keep garbage cans covered at all times to eliminate the scent and availability of food for neighbourhood rats.
Repair any cracks or holes in your garage or house that may be a way in for rats. Close off openings so that rats who enter your dwellings will be permanently left outside. The University of California Integrated Pest Management Program explains that caulk and plywood may not be strong enough to deter some rats and suggests using wiring netting or metal sheets to block entry to rodents.
Flush out Norway rats, a type of rodent that likes to burrow underground or in dark, wet areas, with a garden hose. If the nests are created in a wood pile or trash heap, clean up the areas before you spray with water. Flood the rats' in-ground burrows, and fill in the holes with soil.
Consider using no-kill traps if other natural methods of rat control are not sufficient. One disadvantage of using natural, no-kill traps to get rid of rats is that disposal of the live animals can be difficult.