Do Backyard Ponds Attract Rats?

  • By: CarlBroadbent
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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A pond alone cannot attract rodents into your home.

However, when you add in some fish or leave out food outside, you will attract all sorts of wildlife into your backyard.

Rats, fish-eating birds, and animals are just a few examples of what your backyard pond may attract.

Do Backyard Ponds Attract Rats?
Backyard ponds attract rats

Rats are scavengers. They can eat anything available, from hot to cold, cooked and uncooked food.

Fish is also a personal favorite to rats and mice. They are also very good at swimming.

Therefore, when you provide an unobstructed pathway to the pond where you are rearing some fish, rats will find their way to your backyard.

Now, rats pose a few risks to you and your pond. Keep reading to learn about these risks and how you can stop rodents from visiting your ponds.

Why Would Your Backyard Pond Attract Rats?

First, rodents will go anywhere there is food.

Backyard ponds attract rats since they are excellent food sources, from the fish chilling out in the pond to the fish feed spilling over the grass.

Reasons on why backyard pond attract rats
The main reasons why backyard ponds attract rats

Rats also enjoy catching and eating small birds and their eggs that may be lying around your backyard.

If you have a pile of junk sitting around in your backyard, wood, or debris where rats can seek shelter, you are laying a red carpet for the rats to walk into your home.

Rats could get into your backyard while escaping predators.

If you have tall vegetation around your pond, these rodents may escape their predators by hiding behind the bushes or tall grass.

What Are The Risks Of Having Rats In Your Backyard Pond?

Rats directly impact the pond and any life in it.

For instance, you may notice the water levels in your pond suddenly dropping with no explanation.

backyard pond and rats
The risks of having rats in a backyard pond

Since rats are quite an intelligent species, they find ways to get into your pond. Some burrow their way through the bottom, while others climb over fences to the pond.

The rats that burrow reach the pond liner and start chewing through it.

With time, it breaks, causing water to leak into the ground. After some time, you notice the pond losing water, and if you had fish in the pond, they start dying.

Other risks you face by attracting rats into your pond include:

Rats can transmit diseases      

Rats go through all sorts of places and collect hundreds of bacteria.

It is no wonder they are infamous for spreading some deadly human diseases.

One of the most common diseases humans can contract from rats is the Weils disease. The infection manifests as fever, muscle aches, and headache, accompanied by nausea.

Dealing with rats
How to deal with rats

Since pond rats are likely to find their way into your home, you are not safe with any rodents around your home.

Rats are also very notorious for spreading:

  • Hantavirus (which causes febrile hemorrhaging and kidney damage)
  • Salmonella (a bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract)
  • and leptospirosis (a blood infection caused by bacteria)

Rats and mice carry most of these bacteria in their urine.

Therefore, if they are regulars in your backyard, they will urinate somewhere in the grass, on your clothes, or in the pond.

The bacteria in their urine can remain active for over a month.

Therefore, anyone who plays in the grass touches the affected clothes or the pool they carry the bacteria with them.

How do garden shredders work? x
How do garden shredders work?

Children are the most likely victims, but even adults lying on the grass are at risk of contracting the bacteria.

Rats eat fish and their food

Rats and mice go anywhere they can find food.

So, if you happen to leave your fish food outside, you will attract some rodents.

There is a lot of food for the rats to eat in your backyard. The most tempting delicacy will be the fish swimming in the pond.

Since these rodents are excellent swimmers, they can willingly hop into the pond in an attempt to catch a small fish for dinner.

However, they do not even have to try getting wet when you leave excess fish food by the pond. If the feed is already in the pond, they can jump in to harvest the feed.

One plausible solution you can employ to discourage the rats attracted to your backyard pond is to feed your fish just enough food.

Rats are problem for your garden and pets

Without the excess floating around, rats may have to think twice before jumping into your pond to catch some fish, especially if the pond is deep.

Rats could poison your fish

As you may have guessed by now, rodents are not good.

They are harmful to animals and humans alike.

When rats urinate in your pond, they are likely to poison the water, posing a life-threatening risk to the fish living in your pond.

Rodents destroy property

If you have cables running across your backyard, say a conductor powering the pump that circulates water in your pond, rats may gnaw at it, resulting in electrical shorts or total breakdown.

The rats and mice in your backyard might also eat away your maintenance equipment, which is expensive to repair or replace.

How Do You Stop Rats From Getting To Your Pond?

If your backyard pond is already infested with rats you might want to find a solution.

One approach is to deal with why they keep coming back into your pond–food.

When you want to get rid of rats, eliminating their food source is the best attack.

That means you have to avoid overfeeding your fish or spilling any fish food outside the pond.

Also, if you have any bird feeders outside, hang them or remove them from your backyard.

Other solutions you can try include the following.

Bring in a cat

A cat is a natural predator of rats.

Cat in backyard

Therefore, you can get a pet cat into your backyard and wait to see the improvement. However, only use the cat to scare away the rats.

Do not allow your pets to feed on rats.

This is because rats are usually disease-infested, contain many parasites, and can pass on bacterial infections.

Some of the dangers include intestinal worms or even suffer from secondary rat bait poisoning.

Set up traps

Traps may not work for clever rodents, but some will work.

You can set traps at different entry locations.

Heads Up! Pouring rat poison in your backyard is not the solution you should willingly explore. The poison could harm your kids and pets who play in the backyard.

Clean up

Rodents will stay if they find food and shelter.

If you remove the food, they may come back for the shelter.

Therefore, it is crucial that you also remove any debris and waste that could host these rodents when you tidy up your backyard.

Trim any tall grass in your backyard and clear any thickets that could offer shelter to these pests.

Final Thoughts

Ponds attract rats. There are many reasons why you may encounter vermin in your home, and a pond might be one.

Rats are particularly unpleasant because they cause damage and could transmit diseases.

The first chance you get, you should get rid of the rodents.

Avoid spilling if they are after the fish food spilled over the pond. If they want to eat the fish, bring in a cat to chase them away.

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