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Rat Repellents

OK, here are a few ways to repel rats. Let’s start with the basics.

Clutter free home

It doesn’t require a PHD to realize that rats will probably avoid living, breeding, building their nests and searching for food on a sparkling clean property. So keep your house clean (and that includes your basement, garage and barn too), get rid of your garbage in time, etc. This way, even if you’re dealing with a few rodents here and there, there is a good chance to stop a bigger infestation from taking place. The cleaner your house, the better. And you’ll be a happier home-owner this way – guaranteed!

Counter-Argument: Quite often, rats tend to infest walls and the attic of your house, so even though you do everything possible to keep your property clean, take out the trash in time, etc, a clutter-less property is still no big reason for these rodents to stay away. Sometimes they tend not to give a damn and will simply create the mess themselves first, then start breeding. Sorry, it is the way it works ;-)


Yep, growing mint in your garden is probably the most cost effective way to repel rats naturally since it’s ‘almost’ free and these are known to hate the smell, the plant and everything in between associated with peppermint. Rats hate mint and any other herbal aromas. Period. They cannot stand it. Thousands of home-owners claim to have personally tested this multiple times. They say it works. So, plant either mint, spearmint or citronella plants in your garden. Not only it’s nice to always have some fresh mint to use when cooking and brewing tea maybe, but it may indeed repel rats away from your house. So if you’re looking for a truly natural DIY rat control option, check mint.

Counter-Argument: You may be able to keep certain rodents like mice and maybe even a few bigger rats away from your property if you have mint planted in your garden, but chances are quite big this WON’T HELP at all when dealing with a serious rat infestation.

‘But I don’t want to grow mint in my garden Jeff! Is there another option? Does peppermint oil repel rats?’ Yes, there is.

Peppermint oil

The lazy method for homeowners who don’t want to plant and grow mint in their garden, a.k.a peppermint oil also works fine. Don’t plant mint, repel rats naturally by simply spending less than $10 USD on peppermint oil. You can buy it online, via Amazon. Drip up to to 4-5 drops on a cotton ball, then place it in those spots where rats appear more often. By the way, castor and citronella oils are good alternative options as well.

Here are our recommended top 5 rat repelling products either 100% or partially based on peppermint oil and their producers, currently available on Amazon. You may want to check them out:

1. Peppermint Oil (by Now Foods)
2. Vitacost 100% Pure Peppermint Oil (by Vitacost Brand)
3. Mouse Away Concentrate (by SomaTherapy)
4. Bonide 12-Pack Mouse Magic Pest Repellents (by Bonide)
5. Critter Out Mouse & Rat Repellent (by Critter Out)

Counter-Argument: Some rat control experts are totally against using peppermint oil as a do it yourself rat control solution, claiming they’ve been able to use this particular scent as bait for their traps, LOL! I don’t know if this claim is false, or, once again, these guys are trying to sell their pest control services, but one thing is for sure: you won’t be able to stop a hungry pack of several hundred rats with just peppermint oil, no matter how pure or strong its scent is, how cool the brand of the company that produces it is, or how expensive the product is.

Naphthalene (moth) balls

People may argue if these can be regarded as a natural way to deter rats, but we decided to include them here. Naphthalene is created from an organic compound anyway. Using naphthalene balls is quite simple. Place and keep them in places like sewage lines, toilets, sinks and cupboards. The aroma emitted by naphthalene balls will make rats go away. As with mint, they hate it. Some homeowners report rats have suddenly disappeared after using moth balls. So don’t be afraid to use (or at least try) naphthalene balls to repel rats.

Counter-Argument: has classified naphthalene as a group C, possible human carcinogen (means people may actually get cancer when dealing too much with it). Also, studies show that moth balls have quite a high level of toxicity and therefore poison the environment.

Liquid rat repellents

These type of repellents are designed to scare rats, and consist of scents spread by the most fearful rodent’s predator ever, the cat. And we all know rats hate cats, right? ;-) Another interesting thing about good quality liquid rat repellents (which can be easily purchased on Amazon nowadays) is the fact that their smell usually don’t bother us, humans, meaning that you can basically spray them all over the infested areas, even inside your house and not worry about dealing with any unpleasant scent yourself. Please note, most liquid deterrents of this kind are based on predator urine (bobcat, coyote, etc). Some people even tend to use kitty/cat liter to deter rats.

Counter-Argument: It is said that rats have been living in their natural habitat since the beginning of times and therefore, got used to searching for food, existing and breeding in the close proximity of a deadly predator. Nevertheless, we are once again dealing with the endless debate between professional pest removal companies and firms who produce such liquid rat repellents.

Ultrasonic/electronic devices

Ultrasonic rat repellents or electronic rat repellents (electronic – since they need batteries to be powered on) a.k.a high pitched sound machines work by emitting a high frequency sound which rats hear (and supposedly cannot stand), but humans don’t. Their main goal is to keep rats away.

Counter-Argument: On May 3rd, 2001, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) warned manufacturers and retailers of ultrasonic pest control devices to abstain themselves from falsely advertising their products as extremely efficient against rats and other pest, taking into consideration the real effect of these devices has been slowly diminishing through out out the years; rats simply got used to it already, heh.

Here are the top 5 ultrasonic rat deterrents, currently available on Amazon, that I recommend:

1. Black & Decker EP1100-A Ultrasonic Pest Repeller (by Black & Decker)
2. Ultrasonic Electronic High Power Pest Repeller (by DTMCare)
3. Home Sentinel 5 in 1 Indoor Home Pest Control Repeller (by Aspectek)
4. Victor M792 Heavy-Duty Sonic PestChaser (by Victor)
5. Garden Creations JB5028 Ultrasonic Cordless Pest Repeller (by Garden Creations)

Now moving forward to rat repelling methods that involve blood, tears and death:

Boric acid + peanut butter

This is yet another good option to repel rats, not very expensive, doesn’t require a lot of resources. Here is what you do: mix ¼ cup Boric acid and ½ cup peanut butter. Now create a bunch of marble sized balls and dump them near any rat infested areas in your house or on your property. This particular mixture has been proven to actually kill rats for good, once they ingest your mixture.

Counter-Argument: This may stop one or two rats, but how much Boric acid and peanut butter one needs in order to stop a REALLY BAD rat invasion?

Raw sweet potato

This is yet another good rat repellent solution if you are OKAY with killing rats. The way raw sweet potato works as a natural deterrent is quite simple. Once consumed (and rats love it!) a cyanide reaction takes place in the rodent’s stomach, thus causing death. With that being said, it is always a good idea to apply a little bit of paleo diet hacks in your daily meals ;-)

Counter-Argument: A home-owner dealing with a serious rat infestation may need a ridiculous quantity of raw sweet potato in order to kill a pack of rats. Funny. Will it work against several hundreds rats?

Raw dry beans and peanuts

Multiple studies and tests have proven that pest rats die once certain nutrients contained in raw dry beans and peanuts reach the rodent’s organism. The way it works is quite simple: It blocks the rat’s digestive system by aborting vitamin A and all those enzymes necessary to digest both protein and starches. Due to this, the red blood cells tend to cluster and the rat eventually dies.

Counter-Argument: You will probably go bankrupt buying large quantities of raw dry beans and peanuts in order to successfully apply this particular do it yourself rat control method.

A live cat!

No one can debate cats are great rat predators, and they indeed are. These felines have adapted, evolved and can bravely fight rats of basically any size. I’ve seen this with my own eyes. So if you ‘know/feel/hear’ to have several rats, giving you a terrible headache during the night, while you sleep (due to gnawing, scratching, etc) you may of course consider adopting a cat. You don’t need a ‘fancy’ one, just adopt any cat from your local veterinary and it should do the job.

Counter-Argument: No matter how good your cat is, there are certain spots in your house (like the attic and inside walls), where it is going to be physically impossible for the cat to reach in order to hunt for, kill those rats (and maybe eat them :P). Also, cats sometimes tend to become discouraged when dealing with a very serious rat infestation so you want to consider several, just to avoid it getting injured during those fight with rats (some hunt attempts end up being quite bloody, even for the cat).


You’ll find testimonials all over the place, especially online, on various forums, coming from people who claim ammonia is yet another top-notch liquid rat deterrent. Most home-owners tend to prefer this particular repellent because it is considered 100% non-harmful to pets and humans. In other words, it’s natural. The way ammonia works in order to get rid of rats is quite simple. You just soak some parts of the rugs on the perimeter of your house with mixture of ammonia and distilled water and it should do the job – they say. Another option would be to put the same liquid in a bowl in those rooms where rats tend to appear more often.

Counter-Argument: While ammonia typically falls in the category of powerfully scented products, plants and liquids (like mint, peppermint oil, naphthalene balls, etc) that supposedly SHOULD help to get rid of rats , will it really work during winter, when there is a -30 degrees Celsius temperature outside, and rats feel the probability of death is certain if they leave your house? Probably not.

Human hair

Some people swear rats dislike the presence of humans and will run away the moment they feel you are messing too much with their ‘privacy’. Using human hair to to repel rats is yet another rodent eradication option that you may find around the web. Just clip some hair and throw it near the spots where you last saw a rat, they say. Rats will go away, they say…

Counter-Argument: If you’ve carefully read this article from the very beginning till this moment, you probably know that we’ve started to preach about diy rat control option with this quotation: ‘Where humans live, the rat lives; what humans eat, the rat eats’. Guess what? It’s really how it works for rats. These rodents love humans, they cannot live without humans. No humans usually means no shelter and very little food. Think about it before using human hair as way to deter rats from the walls of your house.

Strobing light machines

These devices have become quite popular lately and one can easily purchase them for less than $50 USD on Amazon. Home-owners invest in high intensity strobing light machines not only to deter rats, but other rodents as well, like squirrels. Apparently, pest creatures residing in your walls and attic will become ‘intimidated’ by the powerful lights and will be forced to leave. You will find a lot of videos showing how these devices work on YouTube.

Counter-Argument: High intensity strobing light machines may provide a temporary solution when dealing with a few rats here and there. However, most professional pest control companies out there claim this is just fancy looking solution and claim it won’t work in the long run, especially when dealing with a large rat infestation. Apparently rats tend to get accustomed to these lights and tend not to care anymore.

Toilet cakes

Using toilet cakes to repel rats may seem funny from the very beginning, but rest assured you will find plenty of testimonies it works. Home-owners claim rats hate the smell, so fixing these in your attic or walls may do the job, temporarily.

Counter-Argument: Rats simply don’t care. When hungry, they will not pay attention to unpleasant smell and will do everything possible to get their food. There has been numerous cases of bigger rats attacking humans in their search for nutrition. So do you really believe they will become ‘intimidated’ by your toilet cake rat repeller in your garage, attic, walls, or basement?

72 Responses to Rat Repellents

  1. Katherine says:

    Thank you for this – have never been comfortable with poisons but didn’t know there were so many easy, natural and effective ways to get rid of rats.

  2. sherri says:

    I live in NYC. We lucky live right in the middle of 2 junk yards and the rats are unreal, also old abandon home near us that people squat at. We have tried it all from oil to bucket tricks….they are destroying our home, we have “rat proofed” clean any possible food etc. So lost. Scared to put posion out because of dogs. We have them blocked out but they are none stop trying to get in.

  3. Patty says:

    I have a rat in my small garden it looks very old as its fur is patchy . It lives behind some rocks at the back of our pond. I have put sweet potato out for 3 nights and hoping it works. Will let you know.


    Patty …………..Yorkshire UK

  4. Kathy says:

    I live in Florida and a neighbor had them in his attic and had lots of tress. They come down to my pool, chew the screen and end up dying in the pool. I have traps out and I have put bowls of water outside the pool cage so they can get water without destroying my screens. I am going to put metal screens around the pool cage.

    I will try the ammonia and mint. What else can I do?

  5. heidi says:

    Thanks for the tips, we have one rat, and he has been on the loose for about 3 months…he was purchased as snake food and escaped the tank we had them in….he was treated like a pet and I just can’t catch him….he even got one of my candy bars, and only ate half…as if to share it with me. I haven’t found a nest yet, but he likes hanging out in our dresser drawers….I have a lot of essential oils, I just don’t want him dying in my house. I had that happen once, it was under the floor, and it stunk horribly for a very long time. I do have the electronic plug ins, they ran off the mice that we discovered, but not this rat. Have a great day!

  6. Mary says:

    i live in nyc and the rats seem to be having a banner year. what about about buying black rat snakes from a distributor? can i just release the snakes near the rat holes? and hope that they will make a home for themselves?

  7. Barb says:

    Our neighbor left tons of garbage on the porch. She passed and the owner has the problem of dealing with the rats. I’m worried they will leave that house and come to mine. They are only about 100 feet away.

  8. Zoey says:

    My friend would leave paper plates with peanut butter crackers laced with boric acid, they would be gone in the morning. He was able to keep them away for sometime. Problem was it wasn’t his place, and the other people living there were very unsanitary. You can’t leave other competing food around or they’ll eat that first. But it does work and never did one die in the house.

  9. Nancy says:

    I have a mouse problem, it’s not my house but I am house sitting. I found many pellets while sweeping a few days ago and some more while cleaning out an open cabinet in the kitchen. I think last week even seen one or two scooting under furniture. The home owner is into natural pest control and doesn’t want to have to deal with a dead rat. I would like to follow that plan of action. Mint already grows in the yard (could that be sending them into the house?), when I put a sprig in the cabinet and maybe one under the furniture won’t they then just find some other furniture to live under? There are two small dogs and a cat who have thus far not been good mousers; I have SEVERAL KITTENS. I am currently relocating my kitten infestation and will spread some mint trimmings around the house. If you have any better ideas let me know but this web page has told me everything I was looking for and more so let me get to ridding rats!!! Thanks and thanks in advance from the home owner!!!
    feeling like
    Nancy Drew with a clue now!!!

  10. Teresa says:

    I live in South TMpa and keep having problems with what I believe is fruit rats. Rhanks

  11. Julia says:

    Hi, I’m living in Vancouver BC and the house I rent backs onto a trail system so I have all sorts of critters coming into my yard and house. I don’t mind the raccoons who are well behaved and don’t get into my garbage or house, same for the squirrels. I do however take exception to the rats and mice who started off by occupying the basement but are now in and in between the walls.

    I bought a few rat zappers and they worked well until word got around the rat neighborhood what they really are for. I went from having 2-3 “clients” a day to a week of nothing. I also discovered a skunk was getting in as one of the zappers was blinking but empty and the house stunk of skunk esp the basement. I removed the zappers but will put them back in a few days. The thing is, I don’t want to just be killing rats one after another; I want them gone! I don’t want to go into my basement to do laundry and see a couple of huge rats running on the rafters over my head. This is an old house I’m renting with a lot of character but also a lot of holes for the rats to go thru to get into the house. I bought the peppermint oil, the Rodent Defense spray, some gravel like product that you spread around the baseboards and a couple more products based on smell.

    My only concern is that I have 2 small dogs, Chihuahuas, who are about the size of the rats. Of the products you listed, which could be harmful to the dogs?? Do little dogs have the same reaction to these products that the rats do? The worst area is the basement but my concern is once I’ve sprayed, powdered and left cotton balls of peppermint in the basement , the rats are just going to move into other areas of the house! I did see one run in to the living room and head up the fireplace and my sister saw one behind her toilet. I would like to address the areas we are in most first so they won’t head from the basement into those areas. Which products do you think are the most effective and safest for the humans and dogs in our living areas?? Thanks for your help! Julia

    • San says:

      I read on a site that, although there are several examples such as these to try to help with the removal of rat, the only sure fire way to keep them from getting into your areas such as your house is to get some steel wool as plug up ever hole that exist!

      Also, although the big wooden rat traps may be thought of as cruel, or inhumane… you can see and have access to the rat to remove it from your home as opposed to the rat dying somewhere in a wall and you can not get to it (you have to deal with the awful smell)!

      Something to think about!

  12. SHARON says:

    HEY THANKS I WILL TRY THIS HAVE NO QUAMS WITH KILLING RATS BUT WANT TO NOT KILL A CAT OR DOG OR INJURE THEM or other benign animals. Rats are a problem in desert areas that are populated with kids, babies, and pets. I SAW THESE ELECTRONTIC DEVICES THAT ELECTRIC SHOCK THE RAT BUT FEARED IT MIGHT KILL CAT — BATE IS PEANUT OR PEANUT BUTTER– I could put Rue on the entrance to deter a cat, but would it also deter rat??? Rats don’t like mint– Do you know about rue????? What do you know about these electronic electric traps that electrocute rats??

    • Debora says:

      Hi Sharon,

      I have been fighting juveniles rats in my villa in South Florida for the past 6 weeks. I got 4 of them being 3 in an electric trap. I have a dog so I set the trap “on” just at night and keep my dog looked in my bedroom with me. In the morning, I turn it off and release my dog. I find this trap an easy, clean and very effective way of catching the rats.

  13. leng says:

    We have just moved to Bali.
    Was told not to live by paddy fields as paddy rats and snakes comes over for visits everynight.
    So took that advice, avoided places by paddy fields…but no, they are just about everywhere. just found out what those smell is from my kitchen drawers and those little black pellets that were left behind. Have been cleaning drawers out every 2 weeks. Thought they were geckos/lizards and have been trying it with eucalyptus oil in soda bicarbonate in a jar. That does not work.
    So will try the mint method, otherwise it will be the bait if it does not work.
    But thank you for putting this up. Appreciated it.

  14. STEVE in WA state says:

    I use VITAMIN D3 5000IU CAPSULES (NOT D2- too weak).

    CHEAP at most pharmacies. Find a dog kibble that Rats LOVE. I use ATTA BOY dog kibble and put in various rooms(NOT OUTDOORS) 20-30 poisoned kibbles a nite total- till most RATS are gone or entrance gets plugged. .. Using a syringeneedle- Carefully push needle into a room temperature capsule and withdraw Vit D3 oil and put ONE(1)DROP onto each kibble. Wait till absorbed(10 minutes) and put another drop on kibble(2 total)and let soak into kibble.. Spread poisoned kibble around on Plastic or glass saucers or Cottage cheese tops -wherever rats are(NOT OUTSIDE). (WASH HANDS throughly, as VIT D3 is absorbed into the skin)

    All other creatures( ALL MAMMALS- Dogs, Cats, squirrels, chipmunks,weasels,birds OR PETS that eat more than 2-6 of this poisoned kibble will DIE). ANY animals that eat more than 1-3 POISONED rats or mice will die too.. Kills by HYPERCALCEMIA..(Excess calcium in blood and kidney. Jams up Kidneys and screws up Heart Rhythm). ALL animals, mammals and RODENTS who eat this Kibble will DIE in about 2-6 days depending on animals weight and amount eaten. Veternarians can ‘bring back’ some pets like dogscatsPETS – if ‘caught’ in time.. ‘MOST’ of the Rodents I poisoned seem to go outside to die, maybe for water. I live in a forest and my WILD Rodent supply is endless.. Each day NEW rats appear and will ,UNTIL I can repairplug the holes under the house. I Had at least a hundred Mice and RATS when I first discovered their damage ,now have about 3-5 NEW rats daily.


  15. John says:

    I live in the inland empire in California. A lot of home & apartments have been built over once empty dirt lots. The rodents have obviously fled to nearby surrounding homes and gardens like mine. I see their droppings quite frequently around outside my home. I was able to use a rat zapper to dispose of about 13 rodents. I am desperate for free help and advise to dispose of rodents and keep my outside home and garden free of infestation. Please provide any and all suggestions, your help is greatly appreciated – thank you!!

  16. dawn says:

    Thanks for this wealth of information. I am presently encouraging the joy of eating off the traps Having caught one under our deck and maimed something ,as there was blood everywhere ,but no one in the trap. After the catching no more in the trap So we have moved them .Filled up holes each time they appeared around the deck and yard. they seem to be not under the deck anymore well so it seems The y are still comming through the fence from the next door neighbours yard.Which has shed surrounded with debris Tyres, wood leaves etc not to mention the copious amount of dog poop . we pick ours up daily .. almost as soon its dropped we scoop. HAve discussed with the neighbour but what can you do . so we are trying to trap . i shall try the raw sweet potatoe grated and see if it disappears. If so then that would be best to kill them As its no us trapping one . they breed so fast. I have seen foot prints all winter and took a while to track the intruder/ any other advise would be greatly appreciated We live in Ontario Canada. we have blocked as mny hole with netting etc and large stones So we have then coming in the one area. is this best as we have a dog I do not want tolay poison bait ..Thanks

  17. Pamelaav says:

    I have been feeding the birds and squirrels on our patio outside. we have gotten lucky not to have any inside our place. Would peppermint work outside? I bought some Ratx that I thought was a repellent but I think it kills them and dehydrates them. I do not want torture them just have them go away. How should I use the peppermint oil? Thank you in advance.

  18. Jeff says:

    I have a summer home in the mountains of Wyoming where I have had ongoing problems with pack rats chewing up my patio furniture, entryway rugs, urine and feces left on deck and furniture. I have poisoned them and it has helped but I am looking for a spray or something I can put on the rugs and cushions to stop them from ruining my patio furniture cushions. Is there such a thing? Thank you!

  19. simon says:

    My shotgun works!

  20. Peter says:

    Hi from New Zealand yes we have rats down here too they where getting into my hot water cupboard I got rid of them with a new type of poison(Warfrin didnt touch them) They are now gone and I will try some of your suggestions to keep them away thankyou.

  21. Wits End says:

    We have rats under our 12 x 12 addition on pilings about six inches off a cement slab which cannot be sealed off without great expense We have a large dog, so I’m hesitant to use poisons. Dog does chase rats, which I’m hoping will cause they to vacate the premises. We have taken down all bird feeders. Sweet potato may work, but I fear the STENCH OF A DEAD RAT, INACCESSIBLE TO REMOVE UNDER THE ADDITION. Aren’t they apt to die within or near their primary shelter? Or are they more apt to wander off? I bought peppermint teabags to drop additional peppermint oil on to repel them out of there, but they are still present. Perhaps it is too large a space outdoors for this to be effective once animals take up residence.

  22. Karen says:

    I have filled and destroyed holes and put gopher/mole pellets down hole 1st. Also tried D-con pellets but holes cam back in another place. Tried traps but they were always undone probably by raccoons, Then tried spreading a repellent in flowerbed after making sure no more holes. With a couple of hours my dog went under my wire fence that was around the flower bed and killed the rat. So far no more holes and have put out a rat bait station and does not look like it had been eaten.

  23. Karen says:

    I have a veggie patch which the rats are eating – they are consuming everything in there this includes a large crop of Sweet Potato – they consumed 22 sweet potato’s in one night so I would have to strongly disagree that this is a repellent!! They continue to eat through different veggies each night – spring onions, leeks, green tomato’s, beans, sweet peas, broccoli. I have a dog so am unable to bait. Rats are territorial and will not move home just because of a bad smell. Moths balls do not work, not does mint, human hair or toilet cakes??

  24. Julia says:

    Would anyone know if the raw sweet potato is dangerous for any other animals such as small dogs, raccoons and squirrels?? I only want to get of the rats and mice, nothing else but I am frightened if I leave the raw potato outside, several animals would have access to it and possibly die as well. Another issue: it says the raw potato converts into cyanide in their stomachs and other animals could die from eating a dead rat. I know my Chihuahuas are unlikely to eat one nor our little squirrels but what about raccoons, do they eat dead rats? What animals would eat dead rats?? Thanks everyone!

  25. Lynda says:

    Hello, we have rats in our backyard. We have put the bird feeder away, we have dug up and covered the area they mostly ate at with gravol..and they still are here. Neighbours had garbage at one time along the fence, also animal feces from dog they never cleaned up. Due to us feeding birds and squirrels for over 20 years, never seen rats before, neighbours are blaming us. The rats are everywhere. Neighbours down the street have them, a friend on the other side of town just found some in her yard. What is a natural way to rid of the rats wtihout setting down poison of any kind due to other animals that visit our yard?

    • Kim says:

      Ok so your neighbors are very wrong. Rats are attracted to dog poo. My parents neighbors have always fed birds and squirrels and I never once saw a rat growing up. I had rats about 8 years ago in a townhouse in Hawaii. My next door neighbors were un intentionally feeding them milk bon dog treats by not sealing them up and not cleaning up their pet waste. So I got rats because they were not diligent to keep all food stuff sealed and they were drawn in do to the poo in their yard that they never cleaned up. They had 2 large Labradors. My husband and I called a pest control expert and had him plug all the holes or potential holes in our home and theirs with steel wool and brillo pads. We baited traps behind our fridge with dried shrimp from the Asian mart and dog treats. We had the pest control man tell our neighbors about the dog poo and how that was what caused the rats to move into the area. They shaped up really fast. For yard purposes I would buy traps and put them in places that pets don’t go like a shed. For indoor problems we used 409 to clean everything because it doesn’t show under black light and then every morning I tracked them with the light. Found out where they were going because their urine and glands leave a white trail to follow. Then I set traps only where they went. they seemed to follow the same patterns night after night. I kept our dog in our bedroom with closed door while we slept so we could put a few open area traps out at night. Within 5 months we were rat free. There were a lot of rats we caught 6 and our attached neighbors a lot more than that. We never saw another rat. I highly recommend the dry shrimp, carrot peelings and dog treats as bait. Some cities and housing communities have dog waste clean up laws. If your area does you might be able to call the city and let them know about the rats and the dog poo.

  26. Frank (Northridge CA) says:

    Not only am I strapped for cash but I worry about using poison around my dogs. I cant bring them in because of my cats. Great to know there are other remedies.

  27. Sandra says:

    Our neighborhood is being overrun because of “development” barn rats that lived for decades in some old abandoned barns are now homeless, and their “territory” disturbed by housing developments.

    This is the FIRST time anyone in the neighborhood has had problems with them. Our usual pests are rabbits, not rats.

    And most of us have pets, so using poisons are not really an option either.

    I will be sharing this site and trying some of the methods. We had rabbits in previous years, I will take rabbits over rats.

  28. Bobby Jo says:

    I have Pack Rats in the home. I have asthma so even though I have
    chased them around with PineSol I may have to flee as my lungs shut down! Have fought them for 2 months. Locals try to help but no success. We have 2 indoor cats who can’t get behind walls. There isn’t any ProPest help here but an Owner of one told me I’m doing
    all he would. I just moved in a year ago. The cabin is on 3 levels.
    I am now sleeping on couch. These tend to like light,noise,activity. I am very
    stressed & spent $400 for my food to buy traps,bait,poison..They have destroyed insulation,metal on new furnace,ate Cherry Tree,built nest in Ford,chewed wires.My daughter wanted to visit but now can’t park her car overnight! They were not here during Home Inspection.I was careful not to chase them inside but they still did. We do not have Livestock in barn. Appreciate any help!Disabled widow…SOS!

  29. bill says:

    Really only method is traps and block station that keep then in check

  30. Silvia says:

    Hi there,
    My problem is not the house (which is thankfully clean, decluttered are free of any rats) but my food garden…I’ve been growing food for many years and never experienced any problem. Bu recently they have cut a nearby forest and rats, raccoons and all kind of critters are looking for new habitat and eating my tomatoes, peppers and blueberries…
    I have mint planted and also two (old) cats and one dog but this doesn’t seem to bother these rodents…I don’t want to use toxic stuff, any ideas?

  31. Kiu says:

    Hi all, I’m from Hong Kong and live in a village off a beach. Locals visit and leave food and garbage behind that attracts rats and all small animals. They run through the beach and through the village regardless of the time of the day. We have rat baits, traps, and many homeless cats but it still dosent stop these rats coming back. I trap rats everyday and deliberately scare them to make them pee to scare off other rats. But it dosent seem to work. We normally let one go free out of ten captured after being mentally frightened. By doing so I hope they will communicate back to avoid coming back. Don’t know if it works or not but it’s worth a try.



  32. caroline das says:

    will sweet potatoe kill my rabbit

  33. Carolyn says:

    We live in Kansas. When workers tore down our outdoor deck last week they discovered a pack rat on the deck in a small left over pile of wood from last winter. We have house cats and cannot use poisons. We also hate rate traps. The construction worker said to purchase sweet potatoes in one inch cubes as you mentioned. We did this and placed them around the house. How often do we replace them? Are we attracting mice and rats by placing the potatoes around the house? Can we have a wood stack on our new deck and not have to worry about pack rats? What is your advice for the faint of heart like us who do not want to maintain traps or use poison?

  34. Cody says:

    i have a horrible RAT problem… please help my family and i recently moved to Bakersfield CA. we have recently noticed rats demolishing my moms garden we have tried mint. they ate it!!!! we tried moth balls and even snap traps with no success… wee have noticed they leave aloe alone and cactus but we would love some color any advice at all???

  35. Terry says:

    I recently had a rat in my house. I have lived here 7 years, and this is the first. I have 4 indoor cats – they do not go after it. I would love to try essential oils as a deterrent, but, am concerned about the oils effect on my pet cats.
    Do you know of any that can be used as rat deterrent that are safe for felines?

  36. Debbie says:

    Rats have eaten my carpet by my stairs and room doors. trails of rat poop everywhere. tried glue traps and caught a couple of small mice

  37. E.D. says:

    we used these glue traps we found online somewhere, they are peanut butter scented, and we have caught rats outside, more than 5 times. This is an awful situation, but the peanut butter traps help.
    I am going to try the NOW company mint on cotton balls too.

  38. Ross says:

    I like Mary’s idea of putting the rat snakes to work !

  39. Norma says:

    Rats have suddenly started running across the fence in our garden day and night
    There are pigs and hens in the garden next door is this the cause and what can Ido
    To keep them awat.

  40. Kate says:

    We have rented a farm to keep our horses. The old barn, which we need to keep hay in, is full of pack rats. They have chewed the strings on the previous tenant’s hay bales and there are droppings everywhere. I would prefer not to poison them but I am encouraged to be using many other strategies, some of which I am reading about here, to help keep the rodents away.

  41. Shawn says:

    We had a problem that seemed larger at first and caught several with traps and killed some with the bb gun. We were able to locate to holes in the perimeter of our home which we patched up. There are no other means of entry to our home. there does however to be one left trapped inside. We have the bait stations and the green poison cubes which appear to have been partially consumed. there is much less activity, but this one is still hanging on.

  42. Terra says:

    Rats, mice, rabbits or something keeps chewing the wires in my car. I just installed the Rid-A-Rat product but wasn’t that long ago so don’t know if that will work. I want to put some kind of smell they don’t like on my motor. Any recommendations for that?

    • Carolyn says:

      Me too. Had to buy a whole new set of battery cables. Chewed the next night too. My mechanic said they hate tdiesel fuel. He spray some around the engine compartment and they never came back. Just wish it worked on my shed.

  43. Jerry says:

    Found droppings under an outdoor BBQ assembly. Went and got Rat and Mouse Poison. Worst mistake I ever made. Day after food was placed under the BBQ a dead rat was found about 20 feet away. I figured it did the trick. The next day I actually scared a rat who was coming out from the behind the BBQ. He did not die because I saw him again the next day when my dog went after him. The rat got away to my neighbors ward. Word to the wise. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES USE A POISENED FOOD LURE. I had an issue with one rat previously, now dead, but now the food has advertised itself to the whole neighborhood. I have since sealed the openings to the BBQ assembly and removed the toxic food.

  44. Dale says:

    IThis is the first time I heard about the sweet potatoe being poison,I’d really like to try it but like others are conserned about my pets and other little critters I enjoy having around,ie chipmonks.I haven’t heard anyone mention the old cement in the grain and leave some water by so when they drink the cement exspanes or other internal distress.Also alkazelzer tabs and they drink and have inernal hemroage.Maybe that sounds inhumane but I HATE RATS.I’d like to hear about any ones success with the sweet potatoe.I notice there were a few that didn’t have any.

  45. Angie says:

    We had a rat who burrowed below our front garden fence to take up residence below our back garden decking. Called out the pest control, then cemented all along the front garden fence. I have noticed that the rat has been back because there are scratch marks in the cement. How do I deter the rat?

  46. Amber says:

    I live on 5 acres of land, with an old unused barn. My infestation started in I believe 2012 when our neighbors to the left of of bought the property. They never burnt the gigantic burn pile of trash filled with babu diapers ect. Their father decided to put chickens in the old coop! The infestation slowly started I didn’t realize it up until last fall I hear chewing in my crawl space, I trapped 2! Of course I didn’t think of their’s more!After the back half was mowed down for hay all hell broke loose. I finally just a week ago got one out it chewed holes I blocked them. Under a week later I have another it is very destructive! Snap traps 10 plus glue traps nothing. As of right now I can hear it or the ones from outside in my walls & up in the ceilings. I live in a remaufactured home made by Redman alone with a new addition with garage. An access point with a attic opening I taped shut.That’s how one got in the other I think squeezed through the door from house to garage. That is also infested I’m using assault & 2 bait stations outside. I’m trying peppermint inside as of last night I pray it works. I am disabled with lupus & lymes disease,seizures I have Cadsill a genetic disease that comes along with blood clotting disorder/strokes to much stress can cause strokes,& my immune system is very compromised, I’m only 35 yrs old.I can’t handle this health wise nor afford any repercussions & illnesses & stress ect, This has been an on going ordeal for a damn month my body can’t take it anymore! Also 2 pest control idiots came out to say there’s not a bad infestation & your house is sealed up tight dumbass’s it’s not rats chewed ways into the siding ect. Really their on my roof,climbing siding living in it ect & eating it.You can visibly see their slides, poo ,urine that’s crystalized white or burnt amber orange color & turns grass white & kills it right away so my lawn looks horrible. I have a dog 2 cats their itching from its fleas from it being inside & mites too. I have to police my poor dog not to go here n there don’t eat the grass when I take him outside to eliminate.I don’t understand y these rats aren’t dying? At first I used decon a joke then Tomcat, now I’m using Assault this stuff kills after 1 feeding! The ones that have eaten these & the Assault aren’t pooping normally or pissing it’s like the squirts with nothing but a lot of piss! But seem to be living, found 1 dead rat Juvenile 10 days ago.Oh mind u pest guys said that rats won’t piss those colors or move away from walls due to predators, car inside is filled with urination,poo on the outside! Pavement looks like crystallized swirly marks & rusty color with black slildes n swirls from rats,when cement was flat n smooth.Also my garage is destroyed with urine & poo squirts all over the doors walls, floors, anything stored in there & in their path! I’ve gone mad I don’t know what else to do my lord help me please. I just want my life, home & car back. I can’t even park it inside the garage it’s not safe anywhere I put it! I do apologize for being so long. I need advice asap please this house is beautiful & was going onto the market for sale, not now these rats have destroyed & damaged it, to where I have to spend alot of $$$$’s out to fix the siding ect I’m on a fixed in come! 1 more thing I have found the rats nesting areas there are several of them! I’m dropping gigantic explosive in their nesting holes in the barn today except for in the wood pile & under the front porch unless I start pulling boards of cause I belive their burrowing under to crawlspace. Please help me! Peppermint oil, moth balls ect something has to work. I can’t even use my stove I have to buy new, which I can’t afford at this time. It’s gotten into fridge n freeze pissed n the ice cube bin ect & deep freezer n knawed on $20 of meat! With my serious health conditions,I can’t b around this & not being able 2 eat right I’ve dropped under 3 wks. So any advice would so help me!! Be so much appreciated as well. What will work before this breaks the bank.please help!

  47. Larry says:

    At the moment our area in Berkeley California seems to have a rat infestation. Everyone has a rat problem of some degree. We have a fountain outside the house that seems to be a magnet for a pack of 5 to 10 rats that are borrowing under the house from the neighbors. I have a gallon ammonia to the fountain water ( it’s about 100 gallons so I’m not sure if I need to add more). I’ve also placed mothballs around the area where I see the rats coming from. None of this has worked. Now I’m thinking of adding cotton balls laced with peppermint oil or citronella all around the fountain. Do you think this is a waste of time and I should just drain the fountain until they disappear or keep trying something else?

    • Pauline says:

      Location is Nassau Bahamas. Have rats that enter my yard through the fence from one yard and runs across my yard to the nest yard. How do I stom them from passing across my yard?

  48. cody says:

    This is just a theory, I havent tried it yet for rats, but I’m about to at a ranch that I’m moving out to, which is infested with rats. Get a steel drum or something that you don’t believe the rats will chew through, put peanut butter on crackers, pet kibble or something similar, put it on the bottum of the barrel and place it somewhere that they can fall into and can’t climb out, it works with mice by taking a shop vac filled with some type of bait, they’ll go up the hose and fall inside, as long as the shopvac has a deep, smooth interior they can’t get out, then kill as humanely, co2 works great to gas them, but a bit pricey.

  49. Erica says:

    Thank you thank you thank you! I live on 15 acres on the southern suburbs of Melbourne and although we don’t have chickens (to encourage rodents) I do have hay and a 10m x 10m veg patch which currently is home to at least two rodent colonies (have tunnels under my berries and also the strawberries). I really don’t want to use a poison which will then Kill any wildlife investing deceased rodents so I’m going out tomorrow to buy sweet potato and some mint plants! And plugging in the recently purchased electronic deterrent! Hopefully I have some success.

  50. sheila says:

    I have had a problem with rats and mice dying under my floor boards for years. I live at the end of a terrace where they come to die. Can you help.

  51. Linda says:

    My husband and I just purchased a home in Oregon.We discovered we have a rat problem.
    I really enjoyed reading everyone’s issues.
    It helps to get some perspective on the problem. I laughed when I read Codys creative idea. My thought is how does one dispose of dead rats? I have no qualms about killing the nasty vermin. Its them or us and it will definitely be them !!! I will probably use traps w/peanut butter. Ours are in the walls and are accessing them from the outside walls from under the foundation. I will let you know how it goes.

  52. Derek says:

    Rats, help… I had someone come out before, they said it was good and any problem they would be back… Just heard the noise tonight, want them gone!!!!! I need them gone for my wife and my two year old son… Please please…..

  53. khordz says:

    thanks a lot, you’ve really helped me a lot

  54. Precious?,Tulsa, OK says:

    I live in an apartment comex where i just found out my neighbor had a rat farm in her house… For months ive been seeing an increase in rats so now im needing to het rid of the problem… Please HELP!!!!

  55. Janey says:

    Like so many of your commenters, we have a problem with rats – electronic rat deterrents on a plug work well in the house – they don’t stay long in the roof space, because the electronic deterrent sends a pulse up the wires which connect in the loft (you don’t mention this particular type, but I’ve found it the most effective one and we’ve used it for several years successfully). However, outside is a different matter. We keep guinea pigs, who live outside on the lawn in the summer, and have had the problem of the rats eating through the bottom of the guinea pig hutch to get at the dry food. At the moment I’m bringing the guinea pigs in at night, so as to feed them dry food only then, and they eat grass in the day. This makes it difficult, however, to use electronic deterrents, as guinea pigs are rodents, except well away from where their hutch/run is. The same would be true for peppermint. A friend’s terrier, well known for ratting, killed one of the guinea pigs one day so that is a bit perilous too!

  56. Maria says:

    When blocking a rat
    hole with cement, mix the cement with tiny pieces of broken glass. This will dissuade rats from digging.

  57. jeanette says:

    Cannot seem to get rid of the Rays they keep coming and giving me grief. What can I do? I cannot even leave food or or ina type they whom find a way to get to it?

  58. Jailbird says:

    I hate snitches who cooperate with the police especially if their affiliated with a gang. If you want to be in the “game”, you gotta play by the rules.

  59. gail says:

    Do you mean sweet potatoes or yams? They are both called sweet potatoes in the store…yellow or orange flesh?

  60. Gary says:

    In Naples, Florida. A rat ate the wires in my poor heater. I do not, as yet have them in my home. What can I do

  61. Julia says:

    Gail, they mean true sweet potatoes, not yams! Be sure to research this carefully because many grocery stores call yams, sweet potatoes, and vice versa. There’s more confusion as some sweet potatoes can be the orange color of yams. I stared forever at images of yams and SP’s to try to get it right but even some of the images were labelled incorrectly! I buy the tubular sweet potatoes that are whitish inside like a regular potato. Fortunately my grocery store labels them correctly.

    Having said that, I have thrown diced cubes of SP’s outside where I know the rats are getting in and exiting about four times and I haven’t noticed a difference. With the cold snap they just want in the house. I rent the house and have asked the owner to have someone fix the holes but a) he hasn’t sent anyone over yet b) this is an old authentic loghouse and there are holes and spaces all over for them to enter c) I stopped the SP’s as he was concerned his cat might eat the dead rats and be poisoned so I haven’t been able to give it a fair shake. I’m now starting on the electromagnetic units that repel rats supposedly but do not hold on to much hope as the sound can’t go through the walls. I’ll report back on my progress!

  62. Lizzie says:

    We have a rat in our utility room. I am 100% terrified of Rats. My bedroom is right to the utility room. I have been using putting 5 drops each of Pepermint oil on several cotton balls & been putting extra drops behind the washer & dryer & on the rugs in the utility room. I do this three times a day. The utility room wreaks of Peppermint Oil & we have now seen the rat twice now & one time was at 8:30pm last Saturday & today at twilight at 4:26pm. It doesn’t seem to be bothered by the smell. Peppermint oil has worked before in the past in our kitchen cabinets, but not this time in the utility room. This rat is clearly not bothered by the peppermint oil smell. We hired an exterminator & hopefully he will be able to resolve the rat problem. Rules of advice, try to find where the rats are coming in at & have it fixed & have an exterminator trap them. I’m not much for traps, but like I said earlier. I’m terrified of rats & I just want them gone before Christmas gets here. You can have the cleanest house in the world & they still get in.

  63. Mary says:

    I have been fighting a recent infestation of rats in my rather countrified/suburban neighborhood on a lake. I have been successful at dropping poison down rat holes on string, and then covering the hole over with a paving stone so my dog cannot get to the poison. I check the holes and find the poison gone after a day or two. But, the best method to date has been my very brave Mini Schnauzer “Willie” who has killed off several over the last few weeks. However, I am going to try a few of the natural alternatives around my birdfeeders which seem to attract the rats. Perhaps mothballs or ammonia.

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