How to Get Rid of Rat Burrows {Why You Shouldn’t Flush A Burrow}

Are you certain that you are looking at a rat burrow? Do you want to know how to get rid of rat burrows?

What does a rat burrow look like? How many rats can live inside a burrow and how deep will they make it?

There are so many options of items or liquids that people wish to pour down a burrow to kill rats, but are they effective and safe? In this article. we will find out how to get rid of rat burrows.

How to Get Rid of Rat Burrows

Make sure you have identified that the burrow indeed belongs to rat. They are on the ground with pathways that can lead to their food sources or into your home.

Look for these burrows under bushes or dense vegetation. There could be in one or two exit holes and a main entrance to the burrow. Check along the walls of your house as well. Look for rat paths that have been worn down in the grass leaving greasy track marks around your walls.

You may also see fecal droppings around their pathways. Instead of using chemicals and pouring them down rat holes, you should follow safer methods such as removing food sources, trimming, pruning and maintaining vegetation around your home and sealing cracks or holes.

Bait traps alongside the entrances and exits of rat burrows can help you trap and release these animals away from your property. A pest control expert is probably your your best bet at tackling an issue of multiple rat burrows around your property.

What Does a Rat Burrow Look Like?

A rat burrow can be a small hole in the ground around 2-3 inches wide. There are larger burrows that indicate a main entry and smaller ones as exits.

The more burrows you see, the more intricate the tunnels under the ground could be to escape predators, store food or enter your home.

Look underneath or around:

  • Shrubbery
  • Lawn waste
  • Along foundations
  • Cluttered or discarded items
  • Under trees

If you see cleared vegetation around the burrow, rats are keeping the area open and maintaining the active burrow. You may see their greasy track marks or droppings along the runway leading into these burrows.

How Deep Do Rats Burrow?

Rats burrows are usually 12-18 inches in depth. Burrows that are near or against the foundation of a building could get much deeper. There are burrows that rats have dug extending to 4-5 feet.

They do this under the foundation and enter the warmth of a building. Rats are highly motivated to dig burrows small enough to fit themselves through where larger predators will not be able to stick a paw or limb in deep enough to reach or pull them out.

How Many Rats Live in a Burrow?

There can be hundreds of rats in deep tunnel passageways that lead to multiple burrows openings and exits. Normally, a typical rat burrow can indicate that there are a family of rats in the area.

This can range from 6-8 rats or even more. Some burrows can be dug 16-18 inches deep while other mammoth rat burrows around infested properties have been found to be 4-5 feet deep.

YouTube video

Can Rats Burrow through Gravel?

It is not likely that a rat is burrowing through gravel. They will look for an easier site to do so. Rats don’t prefer gravel as it becomes denser the deeper they go. It will be hard to build multiple entries or tunnels underneath.

Rats wish to burrow to move around easily and not draw the attention of predators. Gravel doesn’t hide a rat who struggles to dig deep enough into it. They want to dig deeper around 12-18 inches or even down to 4-5 feet. Gravel is not going to cut it.

How to Get Rid of Burrowing Rats

Rats can come back and build more burrows after you have gotten rid of the first ones you have identified. This is not enough. You have to trap rats in modern traps and release mechanisms to keep them from returning to a place they have identified as a safe and comfortable spot to build another nest if necessary.

  1. Remove clutter and anything rats can use as cover
  2. Trim, prune and cut bushes or branches. There should be no excess shrubbery
  3. Do not keep any outdoor food sources such as kitten bowls or easy access trash bin that rats can climb into
  4. Close the rat burrow by filling it up and sealing it. Packing steel wool balls are an easy way to fill the holes before you seal them

How to Fill Rat Burrows

If you see dropping, greasy track marks, footpaths leading to the burrow, then it is active and needs to be filled.

  1. Stuff the burrow with steel wool or mesh wire.
  2. Fill up the rest of the hoe with dirt.
  3. Stomp and pat it down with a shovel.

Inactive burrows will not be cleared of weeds and vegetation. There will not be droppings to grease mars. The burrows can simply be filled up with soil, dirt and stomped on with a shovel.

Should I Flush A Rat Burrow?

Be careful when flushing a rat burrow with any liquids. You could use a hose, but if you’re doing so near a building, you can greatly affect the integrity of the foundation. Other attempts of using bleach, dry ice or poison could lead to indirect illness and risk to other animals, children and even yourself. Professionals may do so, but they will take every precaution and use this option as a last resort.

How to Get Rid of Rat Burrows in Gardens

Gardens are tempting places for rats to call home. They are full of vegetation., food and water sources. Gardens are close to compost or other trash.

  1. Make sure there is a mesh wire to block the entrance for rodents who want to mess with your garden.
  2. Keep the compost and trash as far away as possible in tight fitting lids.
  3. Trimming plants, shrubs and tree branches will go a long way to prevent rats from burrowing.
  4. Rats burrow under clutter so keep the area clean and clear.

Dry Ice For Rat Burrows

Dry ice has been used by professionals in urban locations as an effective means of getting rid of rats inside burrows. The dry ice releases carbon dioxide as it melts and chokes rats inside. They die in a way that is more humane than traditional traps.

This way, the rat population suffocates and burrows are filled up once again. Problems with rotting rat carcasses or inhaling the dry ice yourself leads professionals with convincing arguments to not use dry ice and leave it to more experienced experts instead.

Should I Put Rat Traps Next To Burrows?

Yes. A contemporary rat trap that is placed near an active burrow will work effectively. A rat will enter the plastic box bait station and consume the bait that consists of slow acting poison. The internal bleeding will kill a rat in the box and a pest control expert will remove it.

Handling bait traps on your own comes with risks. Rats are dangerously exposed to harmful parasites and diseases. Keeping your distance from wild rats is the best opinion we can give. You can set the traps, but call a pest removal or animal control expert to help remove it.

How Do You Get Rid of a Rats Nest?

The nest should be thrown away in a huge, thick garbage bag or contractor bag. The thicker the bag, the better. Tie that bag down with gloves, goggles and a mask. You do not want to inhale any dust from the nest as it could contain viruses or parasites.

Place the bag in a waste bin or take it to a landfill. Use a powerful cleaner to sanitize the area where the nest was located.

Can You Pour Bleach Down a Rat Hole?

Pouring bleach down a rat burrow comes with added risks. You may not be able to spot all the entry and exit points. You can fill one area with bleach, but rats will find another way out.

Bleach can damage your property and surrounding vegetation. Bleach in small amounts could do the trick for a small burrow that doesn’t contain multiple exit points. Sealing the burrow with steel wool and filling it up with dirt might be a better option.

How to Get Rid of Rats Outside

Overall, the best method of getting rid of rats outside is to use baiting techniques. It is the most preferred method of long-term control for outdoor rats and reduces their population.

Rodenticide baits while using contemporary rat traps that involve plastic boxes where they enter and cannot get out make it tamper-proof and easy for you to get rid of rats outside compared to poisons and other types of harmful chemicals.

These chemicals may pose more harms and risks than the benefit of being able to get rid of rats.


Thanks for visiting for the best information to help you to make the pest control process easy, safe & affordable.