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9 Ways To Repel Rats For A Rodent-Free Home



Featured | Closeup of rat on a sewer could bee seen from drain grate | Ways To Repel Rats For A Rodent-Free Home

Check out the post below to learn tips and tricks to repel rats and enjoy a happy and healthy home.

RELATED: Plants That Repel Insects And Pests You Can Grow

In this article:

  1. Rat Repellent Home Remedy
    1. Remedy #1: Mothballs
    2. Remedy #2: Ammonia
    3. Remedy #3: Peppermint Oil
    4. Remedy #4: Owl Feathers
    5. Remedy #5: Black Pepper
    6. Remedy #6: Bay Leaves
    7. Remedy #7: Onions
    8. Remedy #8: Cow Dung
    9. Remedy #9: Traps and Cats
  2. Other Tips to Repel Rats

Repel Rats | 9 Remedies for a Rodent-Free Home

Rat Repellent Home Remedy

RATS! A very common pest for both urban and rural areas. In the fall, they start looking for shelter due to the much cooler temperatures.

Repelling these nasty rodents is imperative and here’s why: Rats carry more than 20 diseases, and this poses a potentially very dangerous threat. They can also bring fleas and ticks into your home which can be hazardous to your pets.

So, learn these tips and tricks on how to keep rats away naturally.

Here are the most common places where they find shelter in the fall and winter months:

  • Attics
  • Basements
  • Porches
  • Under concrete
  • Behind Walls
  • Pipelines
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Grounds near trees
  • Shrubs
  • Sheds

Here’s another unsettling fact—a pair of brown rats can produce as many as 2,000 descendants in a year if left to breed unchecked.

Let’s talk rat repellent! These are the natural repellents we will cover in this article:

  • Mothballs
  • Ammonia
  • Peppermint oil
  • Owl feathers
  • Black pepper
  • Bay leaves
  • Onions
  • Cow dung
  • Get a cat

We will also cover other tips on how to keep these nasty pests at bay. Let’s get started!

Remedy #1: Mothballs


Mothballs are known to successfully repel rats. These are readily available in your supermarket and are easy to use.

Place a few in your attic, basement, under your porch, or any of their entry points to keep the rats at bay.

Note: Avoid placing mothballs inside the main part of your home as they are harmful to humans and pets. Take proper care and you do not handle them with bare hands.

Remedy #2: Ammonia


Mix 2 tbsp of liquid dish detergent (Dawn soap works best), a ½ cup of water, and 2 cups of regular ammonia in a bowl. Place it where rats appear frequently.

Since rats can’t stand the smell of ammonia, this remedy will do the trick.

Remedy #3: Peppermint Oil


Peppermint oil can be used to repel rats as they can’t stand its pungent smell. All you have to do is dip a few cotton balls in the peppermint oil and place them in the rat-prone areas and entry points.

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A rat repellent peppermint oil is great because it is totally natural and doesn’t harm humans.

Alternatively, citronella and castor oil can also be used. Also, you can place mint plants around the boundaries of your home to keep them from entering.

Remedy #4: Owl Feathers


Let nature and the natural order play in your favor here. Owls are a common predator to rats so an owl’s feathers will scare the rats and force them to run away.

Place owl feathers inside the known entry points and rat-prone areas in and around your home. This is another face and natural option.

Remedy #5: Black Pepper


The pungent smell of black pepper makes it hard for the rats to breathe and they will avoid it. Simply sprinkle some crushed black pepper around the rat-prone areas and entry points.

You will notice positive results. Repeat this process when necessary.

RELATED: How To Deter Skunks With These 7 Reliable Steps

Remedy #6: Bay Leaves


Rats will see the bay leaves as a food source and will eat them. However, bay leaves act as a natural poison to rats, and it actually kills them.

Place some bay leaves in the rat-prone areas and entry points. Repeat this process when necessary.

Note: Keep out of reach from your pets.

Remedy #7: Onions


This is a very effective remedy to get rid of rats naturally. They hate the smell of onions.

Place onion slices in all rat-prone areas and entry points.

Remedy #8: Cow Dung


It is a stinky process but one of the best ways to repel these rodents. Spread the cow dung in your attic and the entry points on the outside of your home.

When rats eat the cow dung, it will inflame their stomach and cause them to die.

Remedy #9: Traps and Cats


Place a rat trap in the rat-prone areas and entry points. Placing peanut butter and soft cheese on these traps are the most successful lures.

Rat traps can be found at your local hardware store and some grocery stores.

Important note: Keep all rat traps out of reach from children and pets.

Cats are great hunters and natural rat predators. A good cat will clean up your rat infestation in just a few weeks.

Just remember, a cat will not be able to catch a rat in the attic or behind a wall so other methods should be used for those areas of your home.

Other Tips to Repel Rats

  • Always keep your home and attic clean.
  • Seal all the possible entries of the rats using caulk.
  • Keep your garbage cans neat and cover them with a lid.
  • Remove all the food leftovers and grease from BBQ grills.
  • When you experience the presence of these rodents, clean the floor with a solution of bleach and water (equal proportion) to safeguard your family from any disease.
  • Make sure there is no standing water in your flower pots. Pick up your pet’s water bowl at night.
  • Cut down tall shrubs and weeds from your garden beds.

Check out this video by Natural Cures about hacks that keep rats away:

The potential dangers rats bring to a healthy home make them one of the most unwanted pests in every household. They’re very stealthy which is why it’s quite troublesome to think of ways to get rid of them — unless of course, you have the useful tips we have above.

Have you tried any of these ways to repel rats at home? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!


Check out my favorite knife the Reaper, grab it while we have some in stock

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Ways To Repel Rats For A Rodent-Free Home |

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 7, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  1. Brad Speck

    November 15, 2016 at 10:10 AM

    In some states the possession of owl feathers or other body parts is illegal & can get you arrested.

    • left coast chuck

      November 15, 2016 at 12:48 PM

      That was my first thought on reading about owl feathers. Check with your state wildlife officer before acquiring owl parts.

  2. Jeff Latham

    November 15, 2016 at 10:27 AM

    Sorry cats may help with mice but not rats. Rats will attack a house cat.

    • left coast chuck

      November 15, 2016 at 12:51 PM

      Currently reading about about the homicide division of the Baltimore Police Dept. Yeah, they really do have one or at least did back in the early 90s. Cops are in an alley in one of the gamier parts of town. An animal comes out and hisses at them. They shine a light on it. It’s a rat the size of a medium size dog.
      They beat a hasty retreat. Yeah, I can see Fluffy taking on a rat like that.

      • John Callender

        November 15, 2016 at 2:00 PM

        Apparently you folks have never seen a full grown tom cat (male), attack a dog! It takes a large dog, with a lot of heart, to fight a big tom cat. I had a 90 lb. Weimeraner that killed a big tomcat, but the cat cut my dog up really bad. Never underestimate a big male housecat! I can assure you there isn’t a rat made that a big tom can’t handle!!

  3. Tammy

    November 15, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    Would all this help with mice too?

    • left coast chuck

      November 15, 2016 at 12:54 PM

      I like traps for both mice and rats. Then I know I have gotten them. When they get too smart for traps I put out poison. Have to be careful there though, if they eat it and get into the walls and die you are in for a stinky time until they desiccate.

      • terry

        September 16, 2017 at 8:33 AM

        How do I get rid of rats under my building. covered all the holes, their back again.
        Will bay leaves work? I am picking up poison to put under the building, have sealed all openings on the exterior of building, they were gone for a while, now their back,
        can somone please help with great advice. caught 2 with large rat traps, and these darn things are not small, so sick. Hired a pest control, that was worthless, i should have thrown my money out the door instead. I am on a quest to get rid of this vermin.
        Hs anyone used “Just one bite” poison, HELP

  4. Curry

    November 15, 2016 at 12:25 PM

    The first step in controlling rats is to control their access to water. Mice do not need water; rats, and their look-alike relative, the Nutria, require a water source. Like mice, the entry points for rats can be seen in the amount of feces left behind. This is where to put not only steel wool but expanding foam.
    Second point, do not put any source of food outside, for example to attract raccoons and feed feral animals.
    Set traps with the bait end touching the wall. Rats are very, very wary of anything new in their territory and it may take as much s a week before they will approach the trap. Don’t be surprised if in that week you are required to reset the trap for having dispatched a few mice.
    Put steel mesh over soffit openings and other places of entry at the foundation of your house.
    Keep a very tight lid on your garbage cans. Coons and dogs love to knock these over. If there are feral animals about, there is a water source and there will be rats. The question becomes, “How close do you want them to come to your dwelling?”

    • terry

      September 16, 2017 at 8:42 AM

      Used Steel Wool, they shoved it over and out. OMG what is one to do.

  5. Paul

    November 19, 2016 at 2:25 PM

    I’ve seen nibbles on my mothballs in the past, rats are way to adaptable and determined to be detered by something like peppermint oil, where would one even get owl feathers and in answer to the person who says cats can’t kill rats I would say only sissy cats. My cat Peanut regularly was seen dragging the corpse of some behemoth of a rat around our yard. I don’t think he ate them but rather just ennoyed killing things. Further more he also hated other cats and would bully them just for the fun of it. I’m not really a cat person and neither is he. I think that’s why we get along so well. Lol.

  6. Michael Asare

    February 3, 2017 at 9:47 AM

    Black pepper for repelling mice is out.I tried it and it didn’t work.

  7. terry

    September 16, 2017 at 8:45 AM

    Has anyone used Bay Leaves? Any Advice witll Help

    • Tim

      October 8, 2017 at 1:09 AM

      Take a small bottle cap off of a water bottle. Put peanut butter mixed with baking soda in the cap. Place a Bay leaf sticking straight up. One of these two will kill them. Might take sometime for them to eat it. Put baby powder around the cap. U will see there tracking in the powder. Hope this helps, signed The Rat Man!

  8. Katherine

    May 12, 2021 at 3:15 PM

    Sorry but the rats I’m dealing with eat Onions so that wouldn’t help me. Every poison/trap I use, I kill 2 – 3 rats & then they avoid it. I need help getting these things gone from my home~!!!

  9. Katherine

    May 12, 2021 at 3:22 PM

    In the video they suggest soap, the rats in my home have eaten 6 bars of Irish Spring, 2 bars of Dial, & 1 bar of the laundry soap Zote. They have put holes in near all my cleaning product bottles as well as my bottles of rubbing alcohol. What kind of rats do I have???

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