Having a rat infestation in your home could be one of your worst nightmares. Unfortunately, it's a fairly common, but unhealthy, fact of life. If you find yourself dealing with rats, or simply want to make sure you don't, you can enlist some home remedies that will help to repel rats without harming people or the environment.
Smell of Natural Predators
Rats are easily repelled by certain smells. Especially effective are the smells of their natural predators, such as bobcats. It's not likely that you have bobcat urine in your home, but it can be purchased at most farm goods stores.
Sprinkle cat litter around your foundation and inside walls and other places that rats like to hide. Rats do not care for the way the cat litter smells and will stay away, at least until the smell fades.
Peppermint oil, wormwood oil and cedar leaf oil have all been shown to deter rats for up to a few days. Frequent heavy application will help to prevent future infestations.
Planting high-alkaloid shrubs, including wormwood, is an effective deterrent to rats. This only works, however, if the entire home is surrounded with wormwood and there are no rats already living inside the home. To increase effectiveness, neighbours should all use this strategy.
Nothing to Eat
While not exactly a repellent, if the food sources that are attracting the rats in the first place are sufficiently removed or sealed, the rats will not hang around. All food and garbage should be stored in airtight containers and in a manner that makes them completely inaccessible to rats.
Chemical Home Remedies
Moth balls, large concentrations of ammonia and toilet bowl cleaner have all been used to repel rats, but they also pose a serious health risk to people and pets. Not only are they poisonous if consumed, but they can release toxic vapours that have been shown to cause cancer and breathing difficulties into the air.
Rodent-repelling ultrasonic sound emitters can effectively prevent new infestations of rats but will do little to keep away those who already call a house their home. They send out a sound that is audible only to rats, mice and other rodents. The sound varies to prevent the rodents from acclimating to it.
Things to Keep in Mind
Try using a combination of these remedies for effective and long-lasting rat repelling. Home remedies can be effective at preventing rats from moving into your home, but they will do little to remove a current rat infestation. The only way to deal with this problem is to call a professional exterminator.