Do rats avoid homes with dogs?
How to get rid of rats from your yard and prevent them from coming back
Rats are a problem the instant they take up residence in your yard, garden, or house. Rats can cause a surprising amount of damage to property in a short amount of time. Homes, vehicles, and gardens are not safe when rats are around. Rats also pose a health risk because they spread infectious diseases to humans and pets. Once a rat problem has been discovered it is imperative to act quickly to remove the rats and ensure they do not return. There are also steps you can take to prevent rats from appearing in the first place.
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Understand what attracts rats to your yard
If you are going to get rid of rats, you need to understand what attracts rats to gardens. You could be enticing rats without knowing it as there are plants that attract rats. For rat traps to be effective, you first must understand why the rats are there. Whatever is attracting the rats needs to be removed if traps are going to work.
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Plants that attract rats
Plants that grow fruit and vegetables will attract rats since they provide an excellent source of food for them. Typically, rats and mice feed on a variety of fruits; for example, oranges, avocados, peaches, lemons, and figs. They are also very fond of walnuts and almonds. So, it’s vital that all fallen fruit and nuts should be regulated removed, and discarded as soon as possible.
Smells and Odors that attract rats
Odors and smells that come from pet waste, pet food, garbage containers, barbecue grills, birdfeeders, and even from unharvested fruit and nuts from plants can attract rats and mice. Good sanitation habits can effectively improve the prevention of attracting rodents in your yard.
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Overgrown and stationary areas that attract rats
Rats do not prefer open spaces but rather overgrown areas, as they provide cover from predators and it’s also an ideal place for them to build their nests. To prevent rats from living in your yard, you must deny them access to shelter. Keep your yard nicely trimmed and remove any piles of wood, brush, debris, compost piles, dense shrubbery, ground covers, and ivy as this will attract rats over time. Also, keep storage shelters properly sealed – repair or seal all openings with durable materials, such as concrete, metal flashing, steel wool, or heavy welded wire.
Water sources that attract rats
Most rats require a constant water source and they tend to stay around these sources. It’s necessary to remove, cover, or repair any sources that provide a water source for these rodents. This includes swimming pools, leaky faucets, irrigation lines, water bowls for pets and other sources of standing water.
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Set Outdoor Traps for Rats
There are several different kinds of rat traps. Each type of trap uses a different method of catching a rat, but all can be effective. Consider the pros and cons of each trap type to select the best trap for your situation.
Snap Rat Traps
With the right bait and location setup, the traditional snap traps are still the most common and effective way of catching rats. These rodents are primarily nut and seed eaters, so using a small amount of peanut butter or hazelnut spread works best. When temperatures drop outside, rodents tend to slow down and focus on building nests, so you can also lure them by using materials such as cotton balls, dental floss, yarn, or twine. Additionally, make sure you use gloves while setting up – rodents can detect your scent on traps you’ve handled and can potentially deter them from reaching your trap.
Be very careful when setting rat traps. You need to be mindful of where they are and what else may be able to reach them.
Are Mice Afraid of Dogs?
Mice may be menacing when in your home, but they’re not always mighty. When it comes to predators, mice may avoid potential dangers. Some examples of potential predators of mice include foxes, weasels, lizards, snakes, owls and cats. So, if mice avoid household predators such as cats, are they afraid of dogs, too? Here is some information to consider about the predator-prey relationships of dogs and mice.
The Myth about Dogs and Mice
So, are mice afraid of dogs? Although a popular myth, there may not be much truth to the tale. Researchers from the University of Florida investigated and examined the relationship between household pets and rodents in several African villages. In particular, they wanted to test the potential repellent effects of dogs on mice. Researchers found that mice activity decreased in the presence of any household pets (e.g., dogs, cats). That said, there was a difference in mouse activity in the presence of only dogs – more mice returned after dogs had been present. Scientists concluded that the test did not prove the presence of dogs as the sole method for mice repellent. Instead, they found that the combination of both dogs and cats could be efficient in deterring mice. Scientists added that, “when different types of predators are present together they likely create a heightened landscape of fear for foraging rodents.” Further research is needed in order to determine the extent to which this pattern occurs in urban/suburban landscapes of the United States.
A combination of methods can be used to prevent or exclude mice in conjunction with predators (i.e., pets) or traps. Prevention methods like regular cleaning, vacuuming, and inspecting as well as sealing potential entryway can be beneficial. This can help keep your house clear of attractions (e.g., food, water) that may be luring mice in from the outside. Many people also ask, “Do dogs attract mice?” While there is no evidence to prove this true, it is known that dog food can attract mice. As a precaution, uneaten pet food should be put away and stored. Sources of pet food should be stored in sealed containers. Considering that protein sources such as cheese, meat, and even cockroaches may also attract mice, routine pest inspections and targeted control and exclusion methods can also be helpful in keeping mice out of your home.
Potential Dangers of Rodenticides and Alternatives
In some cases, rodenticides are used to control rodents, such as mice. Veterinarians at the University of California Davis Division of Agriculture and Resources explain that, “dogs can be affected by rodenticides two ways: by eating the poisoned bait or by eating an animal that was poisoned.” Instead of rodenticides, mouse traps can be placed strategically around your home in areas not accessed by pets. Mice can also be excluded from your home by sealing potential points of entry.For proper protection, it’s always recommended to contact a wildlife professional to help determine the best solution for your home.
To help get rid of mice infestations on your property, schedule an appointment with Terminix®. Our trained technicians are well-educated on species of mice, as well as methods for exclusion and control. Upon visiting your home, technicians can assess potential issues, help determine how to best eliminate infestations and create a customized removal and prevention plan.