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Getting Rid of Rats and Mice in Your Yard

By: Rita Stadler

How do you know if your yard has become a hideaway for mice?

Rats and mice in your yard are a nuisance and a health threat. Mice need to hide from predators. They need sheltered places to build nests, and secluded locations to store caches of food. Stealth is a key component to the success of any rodent. A crowded storage shed or garage, a yard filled with children’s toys, or a cluttered home can provide everything rats and mice are looking for in a place to live.

If piles of leaves, debris, or fire wood have claimed your yard, you’ve created the perfect home for a mouse.

There is nothing mice love more than a big pile of something that they can hide under. It provides the perfect shelter from predators and cold weather. They can also use the materials to build a nest.

Outside areas that stay dry and warm (like in an unused dog house) are an awesome find for a rodent.

Piles of dirt, a dog bed and especially a dog house provide the perfect shelter. They’re not only cozy, but they’re just feet away from your front door. It’s just a matter of time before uninvited guests discover that the accommodations inside are even more comfortable than the nest they’ve built outside.

Garbage cans tend to overflow just before trash pick-up.

Your tasty leftovers make a great late night meal and talk about convenient — a mouse hardly has to leave his cozy nest!


What’s the problem if there’s a mouse outside? That’s where they live, right?

You want to be really careful when it comes to a mouse or rat anywhere near your house, shed or garage. Mice do not have the best eye sight and rely heavily on their sense of smell. Sure, the outside dumpster smells pretty good, but nothing beats the scent of your home cooking in the house. Not only are the inside smells inviting, the warmth and safety are unbeatable. You won’t even notice him sneak in when you open the door to haul in the groceries.

Once inside, a rodent is not easy to get rid of, much less a family of rodents. Ensuring that mice don’t find their way into your yard is key to avoiding an infestation in your home.

What can you do to avoid a rodent run-in?

Maintaining a clutter free yard takes a little extra effort, but freedom from pests is a worthy reward (plus, no more worries about nagging neighbors!).

Rake up leaves and sticks often. Bring bigger children’s toys like battery powered vehicles inside. Keep your grass mowed and weed out any overflowing vegetation.

Seal up any openings into the house, garage and shed, or any other buildings you want to protect from rodents. Use steel wool or caulking to fill holes and gaps.

Remove any food that mice may be after. Whether it’s a garbage bin, pet food, or dropped bird seed–mice will sniff it out and be at your doorstep in no time at all.

Try using natural solutions in your garden. Daffodils, alliums, garlic, lavender and mint are known to be scents that repel rodents. Try planting them in your garden to keep pests out.

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