Top 9 Natural Rat Deterrents That Actually Work

Date Published: February 15th, 2019

A lot of people would rather solve their rat problem in a more natural way than rat poisoning, whether it is due to moral beliefs or due to the cost of the alternatives. Below we have compiled a list of the top ten natural rat deterrents that will actually work to get rid of your rat infestation.

How do I get rid of rats outside naturally?

1. Plant mint, lavender, daffodils, wormwood and catnip plants around your garden. These are natural rat repellent plants which could aid in getting those pesky rats away from your garden and further away from your home.

2. Get rid of your compost bin. Compost bins are like heaven to rats as they’re perfect to nest in and have a constant flow of rotting foodstuffs for them to eat.

3. Store patio cushions and furniture properly when not in use. It is best to store them inside or in an outside building that is completely secure from rats. This will stop rodents from nesting in your furniture.

4. Block off entries below decking, sheds or other outdoor structures.

When rat traps don’t work

5. If you have been thinking about getting a cat maybe now is the right time as long as you don’t mind the risk of receiving a few rat shaped presents on your doorstep every now and again. Most if not all cats will act as a rat deterrent and scare them away even if they don’t actually hunt them. Cat’s urine is also said to deter rats.

6. Try using an ultrasonic rodent repellent machine[1]. These machines plug into your wall and release sound none detectable for humans and pets but will get on rats nerves and cause them to flee.

7. Make household repairs. If you make it more difficult for rats to enter your home it is less likely they will become a problem. Go around the perimeter of your house, then check around doors, windows and cupboards, close off the holes you find with sheet metal as this is one material they can’t bite through or climb up. If the sheet metal won’t fill the hole properly try steel wool as they also can’t bite through this.

8. Keep food in airtight containers[2]. Keeping food in airtight containers will not only make it harder for rats to sniff it out but will also add another barrier for them to bite through when trying to get to the food if they do find it. Also, think about thoroughly cleaning your home especially in the kitchen and where you eat food as this will help to get rid of any tasty smells.

9. Don’t leave ‘nesting’ material around your home. This includes loose cardboard, paper and even lightweight plastics as these will be chewed and made into a nest by your resident rats.

Does garlic keep rats away?

Garlic is said to be a smell that naturally deters rats. If you plan on using this method we would recommend getting garlic oil instead of using cloves as cloves are edible and will most likely be eaten by rodents instead of deterring them.

Does vinegar keep rats away?

Vinegar is another one of the smells that are said to deter rats from staying in your home. Vinegar has an acidic pH level[3] which is good as a rat prevention method as cat urine also has an acidic pH level[4] and rats definitely do not like cats[5].

What smell will keep rats away?

There are many ‘old wives tales’ about different smells that can deter rats from entering and staying in your home. A lot of these such as peppermint oil, cayenne pepper, pepper, garlic cloves and catnip do actually work. They are only a few of many smells that are believed to work as a natural rat deterrent. You can get liquid versions of a lot of these smells and just drip a few drops around your home. The smell won’t be overpowering for humans and will keep those persistent rodents away. Another smell that is said to deter rats is cat urine, as this is not a pleasant smell we would not recommend this.

 

References:

  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3797976?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1750-3841.12861
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/ph-of-vinegar
  4. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1748-5827.1992.tb01135.x
  5. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1005432322861