How to Get Rid of Rodents Burrows Near Your House

Since rodents are found in great numbers in all continents except Antarctica, it’s no surprise that you may be coming across numerous ‘Rodent Burrows’ around the vicinity of your home.

Rodents do burrow, which is usually a form of adaptation reflex for whatever situation they find themselves in. Rat burrows are found in overgrown areas, alongside foundations, below garbage and woodpiles, in basements, and on the lower levels of a building. 

When I first started dodging rodent burrows around my front yard, I truly believed that there was no stopping these rats from building a maze of tunnels within my home. But to my relief, I did uncover ways to get rid of the rodent dens and even avoid them. 

With 40% of mammals being rodents, there are sure to be multiple tunnels around your home, several rat tunnels even close to each other. Hence, it is only fair that you be armed with the knowledge of dealing with rodent tunnels. Read on!

Here’s a short video of how a rat burrows in your lawn:

What Kind of Rodents Dig Holes?

A list of rodents that undoubtedly dig holes is as follows:

  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Voles
  • Prairie Dogs
  • Gophers
  • Groundhogs,
  • Ground Squirrels
  • Coypu
  • Chipmunks.

However, it may surprise you that rodents are not the only animals who tend to burrow around yards and irk homeowners. The following animals also tend to dig around: moles, skunks, armadillos, rabbits, and foxes.

To locate a rat hole, you must first know what it looks like!

What Does a Rat Hole Look Like?

The entrance of a rat hole is 2-4 inches in diameter will lack objects and obstacles like debris and spider webs. It is also leveled and compressed due to the coming and going of rats. Also, rats scurrying out of the hole will leave fresh dirt around the entrance in a fan-like shape. 

Perhaps you haven’t spotted a rat hole around your house. This does not guarantee the absence of rat holes on the outskirts of your home!

Now, it is time to uncover what a rat hole looks like from the inside! It is very much like a maze with several paths (holes) intersecting and leading to various escape holes to protect themselves from predators.

These escape holes are not always obvious and may be camouflaged by other objects or might be filled with dirt. The holes also lead to the central nest of the rats, which is also underground.

Curious to know what a rat hole looks like from inside? Check out this video:

How Deep Do Rats Burrow?

Rat burrows are usually not more than 3 feet long and 18 inches deep. Deeper rat holes are uncommon as they typically occur when rats attempt to get past an obstacle such as a concrete slab or the foundations of a building.

The rat nests, which are usually found underground in the rat burrows, are typically made of readily available materials. It can include leaves, grass, and pieces of cloth.

10 Quick Ways to Repel Rats From the Burrow

Despite the dangers of rats nesting and rodents roaming around your home, some people are too gentle to try and kill pests. 

If not, kill; I urge you to at least repel the rats from their burrows using these ten quick techniques, of course!

Cloves or Clove Oil

Wrap a bunch of cloves in a muslin cloth or pantyhose and place it near the rodent burrows or holes. The burrow is bound to be rodent-free once they get a whiff of the presence of cloves.

Hot Pepper Flakes

This technique is known for being rigorously used by our ancestors. Spread some hot pepper flakes near plants that need protection from rodents or at the entryways of rodent burrows. 


Yes, that eye-watering smell is a nuisance not only to you- but also to rodents. When onions are placed in the burrows, the smell alone should drive the rodents out of their holes. However, when these onions are eaten, they may be deemed poisonous for the rodents.

For this strategy to be effective, make sure to replace the onions every other day.

Peppermint Oil

Ah, who would despise this Christmassy scent? Rodents!

Dip some cotton balls into peppermint oil and place them in the rat burrows or near the entryways. Repeat this process every few days. Rodents will be scurrying out in no time at all!

Potion of Dehydration

Create a mixture of dry ‘Plaster of Paris’ and a bit of ‘Cocoa Powder.’ Spread this mixture out in all the burrows’ entranceways or any place where rats have been spotted.

The rodents will face dehydration and will rush out to drink water. (However, if they find no water, they will die.)


This blend will power pests to drive out of your home. Mix chopped garlic with water and place it in the habitats of the rodents and the entryways of their burrows. Moreover, you can also place garlic cloves near the entrances of your home- to keep unwanted rodents away.


This is another way to make use of strong scents to drive rats out of their burrows and stop their infestation. Pour ammonia into small containers or bowls and place them near your target entryways.

Instant Potatoes

Sprinkle a bit of instant potato powder in all the favorite places of the rats. If they intake this potato powder, they are bound to fall sick and abandon their now dangerous burrows. 

Owl Feathers

Since rodents are aware that owls prey on them, the mere sight of owl feathers in their burrows will certainly frighten them and send them scrambling to get away.

Bleach and Water

Pour a solution of bleach and water down the burrow to drive rodents away from the holes.

Filling Indoor Rat Burrows

The entrances of small burrows usually found within homes should be thoroughly filled with steel wool or copper mesh wire. Place caulk around the steel wool to keep it in place. Moreover, you should layer chicken wire over the burrow entrance to further deter rodents.

 To deter rats, it is also important to:

  • Seal outbuildings and garages to prevent the entry of rodents. 
  • Trim tree limbs and ivy away from your home.
  • Properly sealing indoor and outdoor trash cans.
  • Fill holes or cracks in your house that are larger than a fourth of an inch.
  • Store all foods in airtight containers that cannot be nibbled by rodents.
  • Seal your doors completely by installing thick weather stripping underneath them.
  • Keep all vegetation near your home trimmed.
  • Keep your toilet seat lids closed- so they don’t shimmy into your house through drainage pipes.

Filling Outdoor Rat Burrows

Stuff the burrow entrances with steel wool and weigh them down with caulk. Then layer the premise with chicken wire to deter rodents. However, since they are larger holes, using metal sheeting, hardware cloth, cement, lath screen, or lath metal to fill them might be more appropriate. 

10 Easy Ways to Kill Rats in Burrows

Sometimes, there is no way to eliminate the heavily growing numbers of rodents except by killing them. With the various problems, often dangerous hindrances that rodents create- this doing can be justified.

The following are the 10 best ways in which you can instantly get rid of your home of rat infestations!

Trick or Trap the Rat

It is perhaps a common way to get rid of pests. A ‘snap trap’ is most heavily recommended as it guarantees an instant kill and thus is an ideal trap.

To lure the rodents into the snap trap, you should use peanut butter as bait! The yummy scent of peanut butter easily attracts rodents and is cheap! 

However, it is essential to consider putting the trap under a box or milk crate to prevent other animals from getting hurt.

Smoke Deployed to Kill Rats

All the Black Ops fans will readily position smoke inside the burrow. ‘Smoking nests’ are yet another way to kill rats quickly.

Once again, be careful! It’s not a thing to be used near flammable objects, trees, or a porch.

Recruit Owls to Snack on Rats

I’m sure the Harry Potter Wizards would agree that Ron would not approve of such a strategy.

Nonetheless, that will not contradict the fact that birds of prey are natural when it comes to fighting the cause of the overpopulation of rats. They are pro rodent eradicators!

Now, many of you may be wondering how exactly you could get an owl to land in your front yard. Placing an owl house on an 8-10 foot long pole is the way to go. Moreover, make sure that the opening of the owl house is large enough for an owl but not large enough for other large birds.

Dry Ice to Anesthetize Rats

This one is appropriate for burrows near urban areas or porches. 

Now you might be wondering how mere dry ice could do enough damage to kill pests. Well, dry ice creates CO2 gas (Carbon Dioxide) which anesthetizes and kills them.

For this reason, you should also be careful when dealing with dry ice- wear gloves to protect yourself from the icy coldness, as well as strictly avoid the usage of dry ice in enclosed areas where humans and animals reside.

Cats Catch Rats

Let’s replay our childhood of Tom & Jerry in real life!

Cat lovers who face the issue of mice breakouts are advised to get a pet cat! (You won’t even have to worry about its dinner arrangements.)

Electrical Boxes to Shock Rodents

This is perhaps a sibling strategy to the snap trap. Both need bait; preferably cheese or peanut butter to lure in the rodent.

As the name ‘Electrical Boxes’ suggests, an electric current will shock the rodent and terminate it.

Much like all high-risk electrical devices, the electrical box, too, should be kept out of reach of children and pets.

Mothballs as a Rodenticide

‘Mothballs’ are small balls or pieces of chemical pesticide and deodorant. 

Mothballs are not to be played around with! They are poisonous not only to rodents but also to humans. Get the job of killing them done, and get rid of the mothballs.

Cow dung as a Rodenticide

Dry cow dung….chocolate cake for rodents?

Well, a poisonous chocolate cake, to be specific. This cake will inflame the tiny bellies of rodents, causing vomiting and later death.

Perhaps, not the cleanest way to kill rodents, but the cheapest.

Bay Leaf for Rodent Killing

Rodents misinterpret these leaves to be food. Once they start choking on them, it’s too late for them to be saved!

Strong Sounds as a Rat Killer

Rodents have sensitive ears, and therefore a heavy metal music session could cause their ears to bleed.

Sharp waves from a soundbox could be enough to guarantee their death.


If you have been a victim of rodent parades around your house, you need not worry! We’ve got covered all from identifying a rodent burrow to repelling the rodents and filling the hole. After utilizing a few techniques to kill the existing rodents, your premises will be rodent-free!

You may now sleep in peace with no disturbance caused by scurrying rodents burrowing your lawn!

Read another article on rodents: ‘do rodents avoid light

How Can Rat Holes Be Proved Dangerous?

Some may be confused as to why it is crucial to keep an eye out for rat burrows and, in many cases- even play detective for them. This is because rat burrows are usually dangerous as well!

Rodent burrows allow other pests to enter your home but what’s more threatening is that rats can nibble on electrical wires and cause short-fire circuits. Moreover, they often carry fleas that can spread diseases like- Hantavirus, Tularemia, Plague, and Lymphocytic choriomeningitis. 

How to Determine Whether a Rat Hole Is Active?

Fill the opening with newspapers or leaves. Rats do not like obstacles in their holes, and, therefore, they will get rid of them in a day or two. With a newly cleared opening, you will know that the rat hole is active.

Faizan Khan

Hey! This is Faizan. I love to explore different ways to control pests. PestCircle is where I share my knowledge by writing articles on different pest control techniques. I always enjoy giving out my knowledge and experience with people to help people deal with pests effectively.

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