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How can I get rid of rats under my deck?

Updated April 17, 2017

Rats damage property and spread disease. Take immediate action once they are discovered. Some rat species travel above ground through trees and over fences and rooftops, other rats scurry across the ground. Rats that are living under a deck are probably ground dwelling, common brown rats, also known as Norway rats. They weigh about 312 g (11 oz) and are about 32.5 to 45 cm (13 to 18 inches)long including the 15 to 21.2 cm (6 to 8 1/2 inch) tail. Getting rid of rats does not require extermination or poison pellets, but you will need to clean up and do some landscaping.

Clean up

Proper sanitation methods are an essential part of getting rid of rats. If rats are living under your deck, the area is probably full of clutter. They are attracted to areas with places to hide. By nature rats are not attracted to open spaces because it makes them more vulnerable to predators. They are nocturnal, clandestine creatures that feel comfortable in the dark.

To get rid of the rats under your deck, start cleaning. Haul away any old rubbish, recyclables, appliances, cardboard boxes and timber piles. The area under your deck should be completely empty. In the future do not place things in the open area under your deck. Construct a rat-proof storage space or consider buying a storage shed for the items you wish to keep.

Rats live close to their food supplies. Open dustbins and compost piles are food supplies for rats. To get rid of the rats under your deck, remove this cache of rat sustenance. Place all rubbish in sealed bags and then into proper containers with tightly fitting lids. Compost piles should be moved off the ground and into sealed bins that also have secure lids.

Trim the hedges

Modifying the landscaping around your deck will help you get rid of the rats that are living under there. The overgrown and mature landscaping around your deck are the perfect place for brown rats to thrive. Prune back and up root plant growth until there is a 60 cm (2 foot) perimeter vegetation-free zone around the bottom of the deck. The remainder of the landscaping in the deck area should be pruned so that there is a 30 cm (1 foot) clearance from the ground. Rats love ripe fruit. Daily, pick up any fruit that is on the ground from surrounding trees.

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About the Author

Victoria Weinblatt began writing articles in 2007, contributing to The Huffington Post and other websites. She is a certified yoga instructor, group fitness instructor and massage therapist. Weinblatt received her B.S. in natural resources from Michigan State University and an M.Ed. from Shenandoah University.