Outdoor PestsRodents

How To Keep Rats Away From Outdoor Furniture


No one likes to see a rat roaming around while enjoying the sun on the deck or doing BBQ in the garden, do they?

Besides being a not-so-good company, rats can ruin your outdoor furniture. A chip on the wood here, a tear on the fabric there, and there are rat droppings- ugh!

So, how to keep rats away from outdoor furniture? Whether you have spotted these nasty rodents or want to be proactive against them, we have the answer to your question.

While it is challenging to eliminate a large population of rats, you can nip the evil in the bud at the early stages!

  • Take precautionary measures to prevent them from reaching your outdoor furniture.
  • Natural deterrents like peppermint oil and clove work great if you don’t want to use lethal methods.
  • Use conventional ways like trapping, poisoning, or killing the rats

If rats are living out of your outdoor furniture, you might be providing (unknowingly, we believe) them three things: food, water, and warmth.

Rats can make the most of the resources, from eating plants and cushions to having warm beds. If you are not feeling hospitable for these rodents guest anymore, use the following methods to kick them out!

10 Ways To Protect Your Outdoor Furniture From the Rats

Outdoor Furniture

Rats can cause severe damage to your outdoor furniture, affecting the functionality and decoration of your porch, deck, patio, balcony, or garden. But worry no more! We have compiled the best ways to get rid of these nasty animals.

1. Clean Up the Area

Cleaned Up Outdoor Furniture Area

One thing rats don’t like is a clean and decluttered area. Give a good clean to your yard, garden, or deck- wherever the rats reside. Cluttered objects provide an excellent place for rats to live and hide from your eyes.

Remove all the clutter- wood piles, storage boxes, trash cans, or plants- from the site. Your trash can be a feast for these tiny rodents. If you have a trash can near your outdoor furniture, empty it regularly.

Moreover, use a lidded can so the rats cannot go there searching for food.

Fallen leaves, sticks, and debris can also be hiding spots for rodent guests. Brush away the leaves often to keep the area clean and decluttered.

If you have large planters or bushes in your yard, place them away from the walls. Also, trim your garden’s grass regularly to avoid rodents hiding in them.

2. Eliminate Food Sources

Outdoor Food Sources

Remove anything that can be a source of food for rodent residents, such as meal crumbs, trash, or plants. Animal feed, pet waste, or garden compost can also be a good feast for rats.

If you eat your meals outdoors, clean them properly after every meal. Little crumbs always fall while eating; thus, they can be a calling for rats to infest your surroundings.

It would help if you also clean the residue of animal feed from your gardens, such as pet food or bird feed. Keep them tightly closed and store them where rats cannot reach them.

Be cautious about pet waste as well. Clean the outdoors from your pet’s poop to avoid rat infestation.

If you have a vegetable garden, move it away from where your furniture is present. Moreover, eliminate all the water sources, such as your pet’s water bowl, water bucket, or leaking pipes.

If rats get food from your outdoor area, they may never leave the place, damaging your furniture. So, keep your outdoors as food-free as possible.

3. Cover Your Furniture

Cover Outdoor Furniture

Covering up your outdoor furniture when it is not in use helps greatly against rat infestation. Rats can bite into wood, metal (some types), and fabric. You can store the furniture elsewhere if you are not using it for a long time.

If that’s not the case, at least cover them up nicely. Get the furniture cover fabric from the local market and wrap your furniture in it. We suggest doubling it up with more cover and plastic wraps for increased protection against rats’ teeth.

Also, keep checking the furniture often, even if it is covered.

Soft, padded cushions on your patio chairs help in enjoying a good time outside. But they are equally remarkable for rats to sit and enjoy the sun.

Remove the cushions from the furniture when not in use. We suggest keeping them inside, but an outdoor cabinet unreachable to rats will work too.

4. Use Peppermint/ Eucalyptus Oil

Peppermint/ Eucalyptus Oil

Rats have an acute sense of smell; thus dislike strong scents like peppermint, clove, eucalyptus, or pepper.

They do not live in an area having strong fragrances since it tapers their ability to sniff food or predators. Using it to your advantage, you can keep the rats away from your furniture.

Spray the oil around the furniture, targeting the nesting areas, such as the dog house or underside of the patio table.

Another way is to put oil on a cloth and wipe your furniture with it. Or, soak cotton balls in the oil and place them around the area.

5. Plant the Rat- Repellent Plants

Rat- Repellent Plants

While rats often eat plants, there are some plants that the rats don’t come near. Such plants include lavender, rosemary, basil, mint, garlic, and alliums.

Growing these plants in the area is excellent if you want to make rats not want to go near your outdoor furniture. Place them around the yard or under the deck.

Also, you can spread some lavender, mint, or rosemary leaves under your furniture covers for an added guard. This way, you don’t have to worry about rats chewing through the fabric and getting to your furniture.

6. Use Scented Dryer Sheets

Scented Dryer Sheets

Scented dryer sheets work in the same way as peppermint, clove, or eucalyptus. They interfere with the rats’ sense of smell; thus, you can use them to ward off the rats.

Place them around the deck, under the furniture, or inside the dog house. Wherever a rat infestation is possible, place these sheets to kick them out.


Scented dryer sheets or cotton balls soaked in oil can harm animals. So, if you have pets, ensure they stay away from them.

7. Keep Your Outdoors Well-Lit

Well-Lit Outdoors

While rats function fine in the light, they feel more secure when it’s dark. Light makes them anxious that their predator is around.

Keep your outdoor living area’s light on at night so the rats don’t roam freely. It makes them stay away from your furniture.

8. Use Ammonia


Pet urine is a natural rat repellent. So you can get your dog or cat to urinate all over the area. Some people might find it gross and dirty, so here’s an alternative: ammonia.

Animal urine has its signature smell due to ammonia, so you can use it as a rat repellent.

The rats feel like it’s their predator’s urine, so they don’t come into the area. Place small cotton balls soaked in ammonia around the furniture to keep the rats away.


Ammonia can be poisonous, so avoid using it near children or pets.

9. Ultrasonic Pest Repellent

Ultrasonic Pest Repellent

Using an ultrasonic pest repellent is the safest and easiest way to keep the rats away from your outdoor furniture. It is plugged into an electrical outlet and can be used both indoors and outdoors.

It is free from any harsh chemicals or odors, so it does not irritate children or pets.

10. Set Up Live Traps

Live Traps

Live traps catch rats in a way that doesn’t kill them and release them somewhere else. You can place these traps near the nest or where you often find the rodent.

You can also put a food item near the live trap as bait for rats. Keep checking the trap and dispose of the rats regularly to avoid getting them to die in the trap.


Rats are not only gross and unhygienic, but they can also be harmful. They bring diseases into your home as well as ruin your furniture. Use the methods mentioned above to get rats away from the furniture.

Make sure to close all the entries to the house’s insides so that they don’t end up inside once you get them away from the outdoor area.

If the rat infestation persists even after all these measures, call a professional pest control to get rats to evacuate your house or outdoor area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Signs of a Rat Infestation in My Outdoor Furniture?

If you suspect a rat infestation in your outdoor furniture, there are a few things to check. Check if there are footprints on the floor or your furniture. See if your furniture or its fabric is bitten, chewed, or torn from somewhere.

The most visible sign of rats is their dropping: check for them around and on your furniture.

Why Are Rats Attracted to My Outdoor Furniture?

There are several reasons why rats like to invade your outdoor furniture:

They get warmth and sunlight in your outdoor furniture in the cold season. Rats chew on wood (mostly furniture) to keep their growing teeth filed. Moreover, furniture pieces provide them with a great place to nest and store food. 

Does Dry Ice Work Against Rats?

Yes, it does. Dry ice releases carbon dioxide, a natural anesthesia for rats. Placing dry ice near your furniture can keep the rats away from them.

What Diseases Are Spread by Rats?

Rats spread several diseases, including Salmonella, hepatitis E, typhus, hantavirus, hemorrhagic fever, and tularemia.

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