Gardens can often be a fun place for us to spend time with friends and family, especially in the summer months.
This applies especially to those of you who have a strong case of green fingers and take pride in the way your garden looks, particularly if you have invested a lot of time planting an array of flowers, fruits and vegetables.
Unfortunately, our gardens, no matter how big or small can be a prime location for rodents to inhabit. The downside to this is that rodents can inflict an array of destruction and damages to your backyard.
This is down to your garden not only providing rodents with shelter in bushes, sheds and green houses but also an array of food for them to get their teeth stuck into.
Types of garden rodents
There are a handful of different types of rodents that can commonly be found inhabiting your garden, they are:
- Brown rat
- House mouse
- Wood mouse
- Field vole
- Bank vole
Signs of rodents in the garden
Spotting the signs of rodents in your garden can not only be an easy task (if you know what to look for), but also a great way to proactively respond to any potential rodent infestations.
The signs of rodents in your garden can differ depending on which species has started to move into your backyard. However, generally, the common signs of rodents in your garden are nesting areas under rubbish, timber, drain pipes and in around sheds and greenhouses. Rodents usually feed during the night time, but if you happen to spot them during the day it means that food is in short supply, which could suggest a large infestation.
Signs of rats in the garden
- Burrows around 6-9 cm in diameter and can be located anywhere that is relatively undisturbed and near to food.
- Track marks covering walls, banks, hedges and through vegetation. Rats memorise pathways and use the same routes to and from their shelter.
- Smear marks along stone, wood or metal, such as on steps, fencing and gate posts.
- Droppings between 15 and 20 mm long, cylindrical, flat at one end and often pointed at the other. They are moist when fresh, but dry within hours.
- Damage to packaging and barriers, such as doors and fences.
Signs of mice and voles in the garden
- System of tunnels which can have several chambers and exits. Voles can make a system of shallow tunnels that give a soft and uneven surface to lawns and soils.
- Small gnaw marks on fruits or stored seeds.
- Small fruit, such as berries may be left scattered on the ground under the plants.
- Torn paper in garden sheds shows mice are gathering nesting material.
Damage caused by rodents in the garden
Rodents can cause a variety of damages to your garden that can range anywhere from feasting on fruits and vegetables to gnawing on shed doors and wires.
Types of damages caused by rodents in your garden
The types of damages caused by rodents in your garden can vary depending on the species of rodent. However, generally speaking, rodents cause the following damage:
- Eating fruit and vegetables growing in your garden, as well as seeds, bulbs, food stored in your shed and greenhouse and scrapes found in compost bins.
- Gnaw on containers and packaging materials in which foods, seeds and animal feed is stored in.
- Gnaw on fences and shed doors as well as electrical wires and water pipes.
- Dig holes and shallow tunnels which disturb lawns and create uneven surfaces.
How to get rid of rodents in your garden
There are a range of options you can enlist to help get rid of rodents in your garden, ranging from DIY solutions to professional rodent control options.
No matter which option you choose, it is important to pay attention to your country’s rules and regulations regarding exterior rodent control, as some solutions can have an impact on other wildlife that could be inhabiting your backyard.
How to keep rodents out of a garden
The best option to keep rodents out of your garden is through proactively preventing them from entering your backyard in the first place. This can be done through a range of simple techniques.
Rodent prevention in your garden
- Eliminate any harbourage points around buildings and sheds. Seal any small gaps that allow them access. Rats need only a height gap of around 15mm to gain entry and mice need 6mm, though normally mice access holes around 20-20mm in diameter.
- Remove potential nesting places by keeping gardens clean and tidy. Remove piles of wood, garden clippings etc and cut back overgrown areas.
- Cover any household food waste such as in compost heaps and garbage bins. Make sure lids are closed and garbage bags containing food are not left outside for long periods.
- Do not scatter bird feed on the ground. Use a bird table or feeder basket to feed birds.
Professional rodent control
Rodents are very cunning and opportunistic creatures so sometimes, although all the necessary prevention techniques are used, they still find a way to inhabit your garden.
In these instances, your best option is to contact a rodent control professional to help deal with your situation. A professional pest control technician has a wide range of skills, knowledge and expertise at their disposal allowing them to successfully remove any type of rodent from your garden.
Have a rodent problem in your garden? Contact the experts at Rentokil today.