Are you looking for all-natural rat repellents that work? You’re not going to be in for a pleasant ride, sadly, with many repellents for rodents and other wild critters proving worthless and ineffective more often than they’re deemed successful.
With years of experience behind us, we’ve seen pretty much every rodent repellent used known to man. Here’s the truth behind a few of them:
Cartoons like ‘Tom & Jerry’ have made us believe that cats (and dogs) are the perfect household friend to bring home when you have a rat infestation. This might have been the case once upon a time, but it’s certainly not the case now. Rats can transmit the rabies virus, which can be passed on to both your household pets as well as your entire family. It doesn’t even take a bite in some instances for the virus to be passed along, and if your pets haven’t been vaccinated against the deadly virus, the outcome will almost certainly be death.
Rabies aside, physical wounds can be inflicted on cats that get too brave around rats, especially cats that aren’t exactly known for their “wild” nature. House cats are generally quite lazy and have lost a little (although not all) of their hunting ability. It’s not uncommon for cats to fight rats and come off worse, resulting in costly vet bills and a few stitches.
Please do not use dirty/used cat litter to get rid of rats from your property or home. There is a very high risk of disease associated with cat litter, especially when it is left lying around. It attracts other animals, and probably won’t have the repelling-rats action that you hoped it would have. It might attract insects, though. In fact, it more than likely will, and it’ll smell horrible too.
The cat litter ideas is based on the high ammonia content of cat urine and the nasty smell that comes with it. Ammonia is suggested as a method of wild critter repellent on the internet, but shouldn’t be used under any circumstances. In some states, it is illegal to use ammonia in this manner.
Ammonia gases are toxic. Unless you know the specific amounts you should use, there’s a chance you’ll get it wrong. You could cause harm to everyone who lives in that building, pets, other wild animals, and the rats that you’re trying to repel.
Finding 100 dead rats is going to be a lot harder than snap-trapping 100 live ones.
There are actually a number of food items put forward as potential rat repellents, and bay leaves is just one of them. These leaves actually don’t repel the rats at all; they attract them. The reason they are suggested as rat control is because there is a naturally occurring poisonous effect when rats eat them. They are lured in by the scent and, if they eat enough of them, will start to become unwell. Eventually and with enough consumption, the rats will die.
We would like to refer you back to our earlier point — finding 100 dead rats is going to be a lot harder than snap-trapping 100 live ones.
Chili peppers and other hot/spicy foods actually can repel a few animals, but you would need to buy quite a lot of it for it to do the job. The idea is that the chili powder or peppers taste or smell bad to rats, forcing them to find somewhere else to feed or nest. They don’t seem to have that much of an aversion to it, however, even seen eating from the same garbage bags that has had chili powder sprinkled all over it.
You must also take into consideration the amount that you would buy and how much it would all cost you. What’s the point in spending fifty dollars on chili powder over a four-week span when you could just hand over the cash to a professional rat removal specialist who will have a much better way of dealing with the problem?
The good news is that these plants smell lovely when they’re dotted around your garden, and it’s not a bad smell to have around the home, either, just in case you were considering going a little crazy with the essential oils.
People like the smell of mint but rodents are said to really hate it. In theory, you could plant spearmint and peppermint plants in the back garden to keep rats out of your home, and also use home fragrance products or candles to make the inside of your home smell like mint. You could use a more concentrated burst of essential oils in the really hard-hit areas, such as those where you have seen lots of rat droppings and around rodent holes.
The bad side with using essential oils, of course, is that they aren’t safe to randomly spray or sprinkle around your home when you have other animals, such as cats and dogs, as well as kids. You know how they love to lick and get their fingers in absolutely everything.
Do you have a pet snake? Snakes are natural predators of rats, so if the rat colony senses that snakes are about, they are likely to flee the nest. That’s the idea in theory, but the reality is usually a bit different. Rats are no longer as fearful as they once would have been a few years ago. They aren’t even that scared of people anymore, and we were once their biggest contenders.
If the rats smell or sense snakes but don’t actually see a snake, they’ll cotton on to the fact that there isn’t actually a snake around and just come right back. They’re much smarter animals than many of us give them credit for.
Should you use your snake to get rid of rats in the home? Absolutely not. Many rats have been poisoned and are immune to the harmful properties it would once have had on them. A rat can have ten times the “regular” dosage of rat poison inside them when they are then snapped up by a predator, such as a snake. Letting snakes eat wild rats could result in death for your exotic pet.
Water systems and sprinklers have been advised to keep out wild critters for a long time, but if you’ve ever spent any amount of time watching cute animal videos on social media, you’ll know that these critters are now having a whale of a time playing around in the water, rather than being repelled by it. We’ve seen videos of raccoons prancing around in sprinkler systems, rats chilling out in the swimming pool, and even bears having a good ol’ dip in the kids’ paddling pool.
These creatures aren’t that fearful of humans or human areas now, and they’re definitely not intimidated by a bit of water.
Moving on from that point for just a moment, it is wise to remember that rats can not only swim, they can spend their entire life living in a sewer system. Relying on water to get rid of rats is not the wisest decision.
These machines give off sounds that are too high for humans to ear, but can be hard by rats — and are quite annoying to them, too. There are pros and cons for these devices, with each home/property owner having their own unique experiences with them, but they can be very expensive for something that isn’t guaranteed to work … and usually doesn’t work at all.
Rats are not put off by sounds and lights in the same way as they would have been a few decades ago. They aren’t as scared off by people, either. Although there are some who swear by using ultrasonic rodent repellents, they’re not an approach we would recommend to someone who doesn’t want to waste money.
In the same way that noises don’t scare rats off, lights don’t scare them off either. Rats are nocturnal animals, but they are more and more frequently seen out and about during the daylight. How many times have you seen rats scampering around a dumpster in the middle of the day? Or running across the grass in a local park?
If lights were that worrying to rats, they wouldn’t be seen out during the day at all.
In reality, there are so many more rat repellents that you could look at to try and rid your building or them, but they don’t work well. Without sealing the building and removing food sources/making other modifications, those rats are free to come back whenever you stop using the repellent, if that repellent even worked in the first place.