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What Smells Do Rats Hate?

If you do not like killing rats, there are other alternatives you can use to keep them away. Did you know that there are natural smells that can keep rats and mice away? Below is a table with a list of natural rat deterrents and how to use them.

10 Smells that rats hate and how to use them

Smells that rats ate can be used as deterrents to keep them away without the need to kill them. Rats hate any strong smell that irritates their eyes and nose. Here is a list of 10 smells that rats hate the most and how they work:

No. Smells rats hate how to use them
1. Bleach Mix a glass of bleach with 2 glasses of water and spray this directly on their hideouts.
2. Peppermint Soak cotton balls in natural peppermint essential oil and place this where the rats are hiding.
3. Vinegar Soak cotton balls in vinegar and place them where the rats like to visit. You can also use this to wipe areas that they like visiting.
4. Onions Cut a fresh onion into pieces and place this in the rat’s hideouts. This is one of the best natural rat deterrents.
5. Baby Powder Simply sprinkle some baby powder in the rat holes and any place that they like to walk on. baby powder is poisonous to rats and they will keep away from it.
6. Citronella Soak some cotton balls in natural citronella essential oil and place them where you always see the rats.
7. Garlic Cut some fresh garlic and spread them where you always see the rats. This will naturally deter and keep them away.
8. Pepper Cut some fresh pepper and spread them in the rat’s hideouts. The strong smell will choke them and they will keep off that area.
9. Eucalyptus Soak some cotton balls in pure eucalyptus oil and place this in strategic areas in your house to keep rats and mice away.
10. Predators You can keep cats and dogs at home to keep rats and mice away. Rats consider them to be predators and they will stay away.
Natural Rat Deterrents: Smells That Rats Hate The Most

1. Bleach

Bleach is among the smells that rats hate most because of the strong concentrated chemical scent that it emits. Rats behave like humans when it comes to their sense of smell.

They do not really like anything that emits a strong scent. Things that irritate their nose trills will keep them off. Here is how to keep rats away from your home using bleach:

  1. Find a clean basin and add like 2 glasses of water
  2. Add a glass of bleach into the basin and mix to make a solution
  3. Use a clean hand sprayer to spread the solution at the rat’s entry points
  4. The smell that is produced by the bleach will keep the rats away from your home

2. Peppermint

Rats cannot stand the smell of peppermint and they hate it because of its strong antiseptic properties that it has.

peppermint will only ward off rats but it is not deadly to them. So it is just a way of keeping them away temporarily because it does not kill them.

Peppermint will only keep rats away when the smell is still strong and fresh and here is how to use it at home:

  1. Mix some peppermint with water in a ratio of 2:1
  2. Spay this on the rat’s hideout
  3. You can also take a piece of cotton wool
  4. Soak it in peppermint drops
  5. Keep this in places where the rats like to visit

3. Vinegar

Rodents do not like the strong smell of fresh white vinegar. This is a very efficient way of naturally keeping rats away without killing them, especially if you have pet rats.

White vinegar is one of the best rat repellants because it is considered to have a very strong smell that rats don’t like. Here is how to use vinegar to chase rodents away:

  1. Cut some pieces of cotton and soak them in white vinegar
  2. Place this at the entrance that rats use in your house
  3. You can also get some drops of white vinegar on a piece of cloth
  4. Use this to wipe the kitchen counter
  5. You can also add some white vinegar to the water that you use to mop the kitchen
  6. Then mop the floor using this

4. Onions

If rats eat onions, they will definitely die. Rodents also hate the smell of onions and they will always run away from it. This is should help you get rid of rats around the house without much effort.

  1. Cut one fresh onion into pieces
  2. Drop the pieces in the rat’s hideout and they will run off if they do not die
  3. You can also cover this with the floor and let them eat it
  4. You can also blend some onions with water
  5. Spray the solution in the rat’s hideout

5. Baby Powder

Rats do not like the smell of baby powder and if they eat it, it becomes lethal in their system thus killing them very fast. Baby powder is known to be an efficient rat intoxicant and it is a sure way of eliminating them.

Simple spread some baby powder in the rat’s hideout and let them get into contact with it. Some will run away because of the smell while those that eat it will die.

It is also a good idea to mix the baby powder with baking soda to make an efficient rat intoxicant at home. Simply sprinkle the mixture in their hideouts and the rats will definitely die.

6. Citronella

Rats hate the citronella smell and this is one of the natural scents that you can easily use to keep rats away from your home or kitchen in general.

You can drop some citronella oil in the rat’s hideout and this will definitely make them move out of your house.

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You can also soak some cotton but in citronella out and place them where the rats use to gain access into your home.

7. Garlic Smell

Garlic has a strong concentrated smell and rats do not like it. In fact, it has been observed that if you mix garlic with flour, it can even kill rats if they eat it.

Just like onions, the strong smell of garlic will affect the rat’s sense of smell negatively and this is one advantage you can take to chase rats out of your home.

You can cut some fresh garlic into small pieces and spread the pieces where the rats are hiding. You can also drop the pieces around your fence if you have a rat infestation in your compound.

When looking for smells that rats hate the most, always know that the smell of garlic will repel them. They will tend to move out of any area that has garlic especially when the garlic is fresh and cut into pieces.

8. Pepper

A strong pepper smell is one natural sure way of keeping rats away from home. Simply cut some pieces of fresh pepper and sprinkle the pieces where the rats like to hide.

Consider randomly throwing pepper along the fence so that rats do not enter your home in general. You can also grow pepper along the fence if you have a serious rodent problem in your area.

This is a good way of keeping rats away because when pepper is growing, the strong fresh scent will repel rats and they will keep off your compound. Just like salt can kill rats, pepper can also work in the same way ut only if it is mixed with bait in large quantities.

 9. Eucalyptus

Rats do not like the scent that is produced by eucalyptus oil. To humans, the smell is good and this is why you should never mind using eucalyptus smell to ward off mice and house rats.

You can simply drop some eucalyptus oil in places where you always see the rats. However, you should know that this is a temporary way of keeping rats off because if the smell becomes weak, it will not be effective.

You will then need to use this very frequently for it to work. It is also a fact that the eucalyptus aroma will fade within the house. Therefore the best way to use this is to drop the oil directly into the rat’s hideout.

10. Predators

When rats come across the smell of anything that can feed on them, they naturally have a way of keeping off.

Cats are one of the best predators to keep at home because rats hate the smell of cats and they will keep off. This is a natural way of survival for rodents because once they sense danger, they tend to avoid it.

The predator’s scent has been proven to stress rats and they do not thrive when stressed. When they feel like there is danger around them, they just have to relocate to avoid it. Rodents will also keep you away from your home when you have dogs.

This is because when a dog urinates in your compound as they mark their territory, there is a compound in its urine that will keep away rats.

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It is obvious that rats will always avoid the smell of urine from any meat-eating animal. Naturally, any animal that feeds on meat like dogs or cats will have a compound known as phenyl-ethylamine. This is one smell that will keep rats away.


What Smells Do Rats Hate
What Smells Do Rats Hate


  1. Farmers Almanac: Eucalyptus Oil Pest Control 
  2. ResearchGate: The Efficacy of Pure Natural Repellents on Rat Responses Using Circular Open Field
  3. Department of Pharmacy, Health Sciences Sector, Federal University of Paran: Behavioral effects of essential oil of Citrus aurantium L. inhalation in rats
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