The past few years, Cape Cod has seen more rat activity than ever. Here's how to keep your yard from becoming a rat magnet.
Rats tend to be considered a city problem. It makes sense: cities offer plenty of hiding places, food sources, and modes of transportation like subways, sewer systems, and telephone lines. But given the right conditions, even small towns can suffer a rat infestation, and the Cape is no exception. Read on for tips to prevent your own problem with rats on Cape Cod.
In recent years there’s been a dramatic uptick of rat activity which has come as a shock to Cape Cod residents. It’s really not much of a mystery, though: the Cape is no longer the same sleepy community it was decades ago. Population grows year to year, and in summer months can more than double as seasonal visitors filter in. Where there’s people, there’s food. Where there’s food, there’s rats.
Rats multiply quickly, can carry diseases, and are capable of structural damage and insulation contamination. They are also extremely intelligent, making them tricky to get rid of once they’ve chosen to inhabit your home. Knowing this, it’s no question that you don’t want them in or on your property. Here are some tips to make your yard less appealing:
Remove outdoor food sources. Many Cape Codders enjoy feeding and observing our local avian friends, but bird feeders can also be rat feeders. If sacrificing your feeding stations is non-negotiable, consider switching to a low-mess feed such as suet, or keep feeders as far from your home as possible to help keep rats outside. Secure your garden areas (some gardeners swear by planting mint as a deterrent as well) and regularly pick up any fruit or nuts dropped from trees.
Keep the yard clean. Piles of debris or clutter such as fallen limbs, leaf litter, or firewood provide shelter for scouting rats. Keep trees and bushes trimmed. If you compost, invest in a rat-proof compost bin. Be sure to clean up thoroughly after any outdoor dining.
Secure your trash. Tie your bags tightly and make sure your trash can lids fit snugly. Metal trash cans are often the best option. If possible, keep trash bins in a garage or shed as opposed to out in the open.
Limit water sources. Bird baths, ponds, pools, and pet water dishes provide rats with a reliable source of water. Repair any leaking spigots or irrigation lines to avoid offering a beverage close to your house.
These tips can help to keep rats uninterested in your property, but they are not foolproof. If you have neighbors or businesses nearby that aren’t taking their own preventive action, there’s no guarantee that rats won’t come calling at your house eventually. A professional can evaluate your home and yard to recommend the most effective strategy for you. Call or email Burgess Pest for a free estimate – we can make sure your home doesn’t turn into a scene from Ratatouille.