Did you hear that squeak? Did you see a lot of small black litter all around your camp? This signals the presence of rats around you. It is not tough to spot rats, they are medium-sized, long-tailed critters. Also, they make their presence obvious by their poop dropping everywhere.
FUN FACT: They can drop 75 droppings per day.
Rats are very capable of ruining your camping experience, as they are extremely destructive creatures and create a huge ruckus overnight. They can easily find hiding spots and also reproduce rapidly.
According to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), there are more than 60 species of rats in America. All the species tend to avoid humans, but the irony is around 15,000 rat bites are reported in America every year.
They can be responsible for food poisoning and destroying your utilities and can be a barrier in our process of soaking into the serene beauty of nature.
It is very necessary to get rid of them as soon as possible, but it is not very difficult with these simple methods.
Let’s get started to know How To Keep Rats Away When Camping. Shall we?
How To Keep Rats Away From Camps?
When we go outdoors in nature, there is a lot to take care of but basic knowledge of our surroundings and basic facts can get us through it.
Once rats enter your tent or your Camper they can create a huge mess overnight by biting through everything that comes in their way. Ignoring them will do you more harm.
FUN FACT: They can eat a third of their body weight.
These are food-driven animals and will only visit you in search of food. You might encounter them less in the daytime since they are mostly nocturnal.
This is the primary reason why they bite everything. They need to chew on something all the time to keep their incisors in controlled growth.
Otherwise, it will grow continuously, making them unable to close their mouth or eat eventually resulting in death. Seems like they can’t be blamed for the destruction.
Keeping these facts point in mind let’s see 9 easy methods to avoid them while camping.
1. Always Leave Prepared For Camp
Preparing means checking your camping gear for Previously damaged campers or tents. Ensure to do a deep clean of your camper or tent before leaving for the camp that would help you to know if there are any rats present already in your camps.
Important to check for any holes because they are capable of sliding through the smallest holes possible.
Making a checklist of all the important things you might require for the camp always proves to be a good decision. Getting mentally prepared to encounter wildlife is also very necessary.
2. Don’t Leave Food Baits Around
As mentioned earlier rodents are food-driven and only visit your area in search of food. You might accidentally live food baits all-around your campsite while eating.
Eating inside your sleeping area. Ensure to clean your camp side. Check if your pets have left any food baits.
Just because you did not dispose of your trash on time might invite rats to your campsite and they might end up destroying everything. Never keep your trash bags open and always away from your campsite.
3. Keep Your Food At A Distance And Secured
Popular camp sides are the favorite areas to hunt food for rats. It is proven that rats have a good memory and memorize routes easily. It is important to clean your campsite before and after camping.
Rats are in a continuous search of food. They will build their nests around the areas where food is available. They will vacate the area if there is no food available.
Store your food in a freezer for a camping basket. make sure to store your food in airtight containers and again in an insulated basket/ freezer with thick walls.
Since rats are most active at night you can have your basket of food to a branch of a tree.
4. Use Rodent Repellants
There are many rodent repellent sprays are available in the market and they easily can be found in any store with camping supplies. Some of them are proven to be effective. Investing in a good rodent repeller will save you from the troubles later.
You can also make homemade rodent repellants, and these are very easy and convenient to make. There are various cheaper and less harmful alternatives as well.
- Dipping cotton balls in peppermint. Rats hate the smell of peppermint oil and avoid entering the area with the smell. Keeping these balls around your Campsite will surely keep the rats away.
- Irish Spring soap is another alternative for rodent repellent. The Perfume from the soap signals the products and critters to stay clear.
- Using dryer sheets is also proven effective. Placing a simple Bounce dryer sheet is enough. but this method is not the solution to a long-term problem.
- Mothballs are meant to be preventing pests and rodents. placing mothballs in small holes in the ground can be effective.
These were some of the tried and tested less harmful rodent repellent for camping.
5. Lights Keep Them Away
Rats prefer to wander around in dark due to their nocturnal nature. That is why keeping your campsite well-lit can help you in avoiding rats.
Avoid flashing lights. Some companies specially design some lights to deter rats.
6. Use Smells Dispised By Rats
Rats are specifically sensitive to various kinds of smells, they will avoid entering the area with the smell they despise. The smell of peppermint oil, castor oil, and citronella oil will drive away rats.
Keeping cotton balls dipped into these coils around the campsite or spreading these oil directly on the ground around your tent is proven to be effective in keeping away rats.
Mixing white vinegar with water and spraying is also helpful. White vinegar is one of the most aggressive vinegar and has the strongest pungent smell.
The smell will force the rats to move to some other area where they cannot send the smell.
7. Use Mouse Traps
Using a mouse or rat trap is one of the most effective and traditional methods to avoid rats from creating too much destruction.
This method never fails because it uses food as its bait to catch rats, and they are easily attracted to food.
8. Furry Friends Help
Having a pet around while camping is both fun and proven to be fruitful in tackling various wildlife. Cats are natural predators of rats. They will always stay away from cats.
Some species of dogs also seem to chase away the cats.
9. Make Random Noise
Rats are easily frightened by strange or unfamiliar noises, but they adjust to repeated sounds. Therefore noises from a device fail to warn them of your presence.
If you find them in your tent/camper, clap vigorously and stomp heavily on the ground to scare them away.
What Can Happen After A Rat Bite?
Rats do not attack humans, they will avoid you as much as possible. They will only bite when they feel cornered. Every rat-bite should be treated medically. No rat bite can be treated at home.
If treated well, it can be curable and might not be a threat at all.
Without treatment, rat-bite fever can lead to severe complications like pneumonia, meningitis, infection of the heart(myocarditis, endocarditis), and sepsis. Only 7-10% of rat-bite cases lead to death.
First-aid for rat-bite
- Wash with warm water and mild soap as soon as possible.
- Dry the bite area with a clean towel.
- Apply antibiotic ointment on the bite.
- Report for medical help as soon as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Tackling encounters with rats might sound like a mammoth task but with these simple ways, you can easily avoid them. Your panic will make them panic even more and it is scientifically proven that rats can sense fear.
What do you think is the most effective way to avoid rats? I think using smells that are despised by them is the most effective way.
Encounter with rats can be funny as well. Share your funny anecdotes of rat encounters in the comment section.
Until then happy camping!