It’s that time of year for mice, rats, and other rodents to venture out onto the streets, into yards, and in the trash cans for many Western New Yorkers. However, there may be a reason why you will find more rats in some yards rather than others, and you can blame your dog. 

Well, I suppose you can blame yourself too…or whoever is supposed to be responsible for the dog. 

Between the months of April and June, you will see a lot more rats than you would during the rest of the year due to seasonal breeding. The more mild a winter is, the more rats survive the cold months, which leads to an even higher number of rats in the area. 

Rats are pretty common around Buffalo, New York (I tend to call them “Buffalo Rats” for this reason, as they are not the same size as New York City rats). However, there are a few reasons why you might find rats in some places more than others, and one of those big reasons is: dog poop. 

In a poll on Facebook about the streets you will most commonly find rats in Western New York, many people began chiming in with what causes rats to frequent your yard, and one of the biggest reasons is dog poop. 

It’s pretty gross, but yes – rats will eat your dog’s poop. If you don’t pick up your dog’s poop in a relatively timely manner, you will most likely see a rat in your yard sooner rather than later. 

According to Pestcom Pest Management, pests (including rats) are attracted to dogs’ urine as well, because their urine contains ammonia that draws the rats to the areas where the dogs have been. Dogs tend to urinate or go #2 in places that they frequent, like behind a bush or near a fire hydrant, so it is important to pay close attention to those areas. Keep them clear of dog poop and you should be able to avoid the occasional rat in your yard.  

Rats mostly seek out food and shelter, and while they can rely on dog poop as a food source, they may also look for piles of trash and other food wastes to survive. If you don’t clean as much as you generally should, rats may frequent your area more than others. 

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