Where Do Rats Live Outside?

Rats are not only pesky creatures that destroy things in our homes, lawns, barns, and gardens, but they can also cause serious diseases like the black plague.

Apart from that, rats can also cause fires as they like to chew on anything, including electric wires.

Where do rats live outside

But where do rats live outside? Most rats love to live inside the house, more so during the colder months.

But when it’s dry, rats can be found in various places outside our homes.

Popular Places Where Rats Live Outside:


The first place that you’re likely to find rats outside is on lawns.

This is because it forms a perfect hiding and nesting area for these troublesome creatures.

Lawns with tall grass or weeds are suitable nesting areas for rats. They love such an environment because they will remain stealthy and undetectable in these conditions.

On top of that, lawns provide cover from predators, which is vital for their survival.

If you want to prevent rats from living on your lawn, ensure that all grass is trimmed and get rid of piles, ground cover, brush, compost piles, and any piles of wood.


Aside from lawns, rats also love fields. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a cane field, open forest, cultivated pasture, or pine plantation; rats will create a home in such places.

Like lawns, fields are a perfect place to hide and raise their babies.

Thanks to the dense grass and vegetation that helps to hide the rats from our predators.

If you suspect that you have a rat invasion in your field, make sure to get rid of them as quickly as possible.

This is because rats can multiply quickly, having an average of a dozen offspring each month.

Ensure to deny them food, shelter, and water. Keep the grass, shrubs, bushes, and vegetation on the field trimmed.


A garden is a perfect place outside for rats to make a home to find food, water, and shelter easily.

Unlike fields and lawns, gardens are much easier to burrow as the soil is fertile, fresh, and smooth.

Therefore, they can make their home easily. On top of that, the plants in the garden hide them from predators, which is a perfect refuge.

Rats love to build homes in overgrown areas of the garden and form burrows.

What’s more, they can create a shelter under the foundations of greenhouses or sheds.

A garden also provides them with a lot of food from the compost, rubbish bins, and plants and seeds.

Since you cannot cut down plants, you need to devise proper ways of getting rid of rats from your garden.

But first, you need to deny them food and water as these creatures can feed on anything.

Other strategies that you can apply include soil netting, using peppermint oil, and keeping your garden clean.


Not all rats love to burrow into the ground. Some prefer creating their homes in elevated places such as cliffs.

Wood and black rats love to live in such places. So, if you discover a rat nesting on a cliff, know that it is a black or wood rat.

Unlike brown rats, wood rats prefer cliffs where they build a homemade up of sticks and debris.

Besides, these rats don’t live many, and you may never notice them if you have a cliff in your compound or garden.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that they prefer cliffs with narrow caves.

Depending on the type of wood rat, you may find that some prefer rocks instead of cliffs.

For instance, the Desert Woodrat and Mexican Woodrat love creating their home on rocky slopes.


Last but not least, rats can also be found in sewers outside your home.

Sewers not only provide food and water, but it’s the perfect place for hiding from their prey.

Places where rats live outside

Besides, sewers keep them cozy as they are warmer in cold months and cooler in hot months.

So, sewers form a perfect breeding area for rats.

Where Do Rats Live Outside During Winter?

Some people think that rats hibernate during winter.

They are very wrong; rats don’t hibernate but become less active.

What’s more, most of them tend to hide inside our homes, and you may go unnoticed until it’s late.

Nonetheless, where do rats hide outside during winter?

Here are the places where rats hide during winter:


Most rats create burrows to hide during the colder months, and it is frequently done by Norway rats.

And since it’s cold outside, most of them will not build burrows in the garden or fields but close to our homes.

They construct their nests in various vegetation clumps or outside the walls of houses.

The edges of patios or sidewalks can serve as the foundation for Norway rat nests.

In most cases, they create burrows near electrical and natural gas lines that go through your home.

When the situation gets worse, that’s when they burrow through your home.


Another favorite place that rats like to hide during winter is in barns or around barns.

Similarly, they will create burrows on the wall of the barn. Rats love barns because they are very warm and have food.

So, if you notice a rat infestation in your barn, you should deny them food and water.

Without these two, rats won’t be able to survive and they will leave the place.

What Things Determine Where Rats Live Outside?

When looking for a place to make a home, rats consider several things for their own being. Some of these things include:

  • Access to food – the first thing that rats look for is a good food reserve. Rats will build a nest close to a food source. Besides, rats have poor eyesight; therefore, they don’t want to wander a lot looking for food. That’s why you need to keep your home clean and the dustbin closed to prevent attracting rats near or inside your home.
  • Warmth – another thing that rats look for is warmth. Rats want a comfortable place that will keep them and their babies warm. That’s why they tend to come indoors when it’s raining heavily or when the weather is very cold.
  • Nest-building materials – rats will also prefer to create a nest with newspapers, old sheets, garbage, grass, paper towel, leaves, insulation, or even vegetation. These bothersome creatures will live in a place where they can create a cozy home to sleep, live, give birth, and raise their young ones.
  • Type of rat – the major types of rats are Norway or brown rats, black or ship rats, wood rats, and marsh rice rats. Different types of rats prefer to build their homes in different places. For instance, Norway rats love building their homes in lawns, gardens, and fields. On the contrary, Black rats love living in elevated places, cliffs, or even rocks.

Where Do Rats Live Outside? – Conclusion

Now that you know where rats live outside the house, it’s much easier to trace them and get rid of these bothersome creatures.

If left unattended, rats can be a serious problem to you, your plants, and your home.

Besides, you should use the best methods to get rid of the rats depending on where they live and the type of rat.

So, check your lawns, fields, gardens, cliffs, and rocks around the house.

These are all possible hideouts for rats, and they can quickly get into your home if not eliminated from your environment.

If you’re unable to stop them, call a professional rat exterminator to help you out.