Rats love gardens. You might find one or two scurrying around while reading a book on your swing, scaring the crap out of you.
They love to hide in plain sight and are scared of you as much as you are of them! If you have a balcony above your garden, chances are that this rodent will make its way up there to torment you.
It’s not their fault, though. They have sweet access to food, the perfect hiding spots, and the freedom to come and go as they please.
You need to get rid of rats from your balcony because not only do they destroy your beautiful flowers and eat fruit plants, but they also leave a nasty, smelly mess behind.
The aftermath of their chaos can be heartbreaking, especially when they leave your garden patch barren.
So, are you ready to make these unwanted visitors leave your balcony? The good news is that the process is pretty simple.
You will find most of the items we are about to mention in your pantry and garden. These DIY tricks will not only kill rats but keep them away from your balcony for good.
The Basics of Keeping Your Balcony Rat-Free
The first thing you need to do is clean your balcony. Pick up all the fallen leaves and sweep the floor. Rats are attracted to dirty places, and the more trash there is on your balcony floor, the faster they will make a home in a corner.
Get rid of all the unwanted stuff, from clothes to cardboard and food. Remove everything the rats might eat and create a mess.
Are Rats Harmful?
No, rats are not harmful. However, they do carry many diseases. After all, they come from sewers, garbage bins, and other equally dirty places.
One of the most common diseases they cause is Leptospirosis. It’s a bacterial infection that most animals spread through their urine.
They are carriers but don’t show any symptoms. Leptospirosis is not life-threatening but can cause the flu.
Imagine walking out on your balcony and resting your hands on the railing. There’s a high possibility that rats have urinated on it.
You might use your filthy hands to touch other things or even eat food.
Rats also cause destruction everywhere. They can chew just about everything and leave it all damaged without even making a sound.
Last but not least, once rats enter your balcony, they will gain entry into your house and invade the pantry sooner or later. If you have kids and pets, this can be a huge problem.
Tips and Tricks to Keep Rats Away from Your Balcony
Cleanup Animal Feces
Do you have pets? Are they potty-trained? If not, their poop may attract the rats.
Some people believe that dog poop attracts rats the most, and others don’t.
Either way, you will find mischief around it. If you ask us, it’s probably the undigested food that turns the poop into a gourmet meal.
So, if there’s any animal poop lying on the balcony, clean it up and disinfect the place.
You can use a strong bathroom cleaner with disinfectant to mop the area.
This will keep rats away and stop your pet from pooping on the balcony.
Clear Up the Garbage Bags
Your balcony is no place to store your garbage bags. We understand ― it’s not collection day, and you are too tired to take out the trash, so you place it in the balcony area.
Though your balcony is way up high, the juicy smell of the trash will beckon rats to take the risk.
If your balcony is a convenient place to store the trash bags, we suggest you buy a large can with a heavy lid so the rats can’t get in.
If you have pets, make sure the lid has lockable handles. You don’t want your cat or dog rummaging in the trash and making a bigger mess.
Remove Bird Feeders
If you have decorated your balcony with cute bird feeders with food and water, we suggest you remove them immediately!
They send a direct invite to rats to come and dine with you. They won’t say no to a free meal for sure!
If you want the bird feeder to stay on the balcony, we suggest suspending it high and squirrel-proofing it. This will keep the rats away too.
Declutter Your Balcony
Rats are always on the lookout for shelter. You will mostly find them hiding underneath clutter.
So, your old boxes, broken furniture, disused grills, and stacks of newspapers create the perfect conditions for rats to make a home.
Once you have swept your balcony, look at all your clutter.
Donate what you can and box the rest of it up in plastic containers and store them in your garage.
Use Peppermint Oil
Peppermint has a sharp smell that rats don’t like. You don’t need to mop the balcony with a diluted peppermint oil solution because that will be too much even for you.
Fill a bowl with water and add a few drops of peppermint oil.
Dip at least a dozen cotton balls and place them in all corners, between the railings and any place that can be a hiding spot for rats.
Use Hot Pepper Flakes
If you don’t have peppermint oil, you can use pepper flakes instead.
It’s not something that rats eat. Sprinkle it on the edge of the balcony and in any nook and crannies; rats won’t even come near your house.
Like peppermint, rats hate the smell of onion too. All you need to do is cut an onion in half and place it in the corner of your corner.
Remember that onions turn bad fast and can be toxic for pets. You will have to replace them after every two days.
The smell of some plants keeps rats away from your balcony. The strong aroma overpowers their senses and makes it difficult for them to stay in one place.
Plants that help you with this include:
If a potted plant dies, remove it immediately from the balcony. Make sure no tree branch bends over and into your balcony.
Rats can climb and make their way into your balcony through the nearest tree or climbing shrub.
Mix Chocolate Powder and Plaster of Paris
Rats go crazy over the sweet smell of chocolate. You can use this to your advantage to kill them.
This may sound drastic since, up till now, we have only been talking about keeping them away.
When push comes to shove, you need to do what’s necessary.
Mix an equal amount of chocolate powder and plaster of Paris in a bowl. The rats will eat this mixture and die after a while due to the powder hardening in their stomach.
Use Instant Potato Powder
Instant potato powder contains potato flakes that rats love eating. They don’t know that these flakes kill them instantly when they swell up in their little intestine.
Use Bleach or Mothballs
Bleach and mothballs are pretty effective in keeping rats away. Their smell is long-lasting, which makes using them the ideal solution.
Dilute the bleach with water, soak it up with cotton balls, and place them in every corner of your balcony.
As for mothballs, they contain naphthalene, which is a smelly chemical and toxic to rats.
While both these tips are great, we recommend not using them if you have pets or children for obvious reasons.
Ammonia also has a strong smell that rats don’t like.
Fill a bowl with this solution and place it in the corner of your balcony. Again, don’t use it if you have pets or children at home.
Lay Rat Traps
Rat traps have come a long way from the ones we used to see in the 60s sitcoms. They are powerful and come with a mechanism that securely catches a rat.
Place a block of cheese or a piece of chocolate on the trap to lure the rats.
Rats are nasty little rodents. They are like uninvited guests who come to your party, eat your food, trash the place, and leave without a word.
Start with a mouse trap because it is quite effective in capturing them if you are squeamish about killing them. You can then release the captured rat on the side of the road.
Make sure there’s no clutter on your balcony.
Use one of the DIY methods to create an invisible shield and stop them from making a mess on your balcony and entering the house.
If your kids have been bugging you for a pet, now would be a great time to get a cat.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How effective is rat poison?
Rat poison can be effective in killing rats, but it should be used with caution. Poison can be harmful to other animals and children, and it can take several days for the rat to die after ingesting the poison.
Additionally, rats can become resistant to poison over time, making it less effective.
Does peppermint oil repel rats?
Peppermint oil is often touted as a natural rat repellent. While some people swear by it, there is little scientific evidence to support its effectiveness.
It may work for some people, but it is not a guaranteed solution.
What is the best pest barrier for balconies?
The best pest barrier for balconies will depend on the specific situation. Some options include wire mesh, hardware cloth, or metal flashing.
It is important to ensure that any barrier is securely attached and does not have any gaps or holes that rats can enter through.
How can I rat-proof my balcony?
To rat-proof your balcony, start by removing any potential sources of food or water. This includes cleaning up crumbs, securing garbage cans, and fixing any leaks or standing water.
You can also install barriers or use natural deterrents like peppermint oil or mothballs.
What are the most effective rat deterrents?
The most effective rat deterrents will vary depending on the situation. Some options include traps, poison, barriers, and natural deterrents like peppermint oil or mothballs.
It is important to use caution when using any method and to consider the potential risks and benefits.
What are some natural ways to keep rats away?
Some natural ways to keep rats away include using peppermint oil, mothballs, or predator urine. You can also try planting certain herbs or flowers that rats are known to dislike, such as mints or marigolds.
Additionally, removing potential sources of food or water can help deter rats from your balcony.