Top Odors that Prevent Rat infestations

Rats are interesting creatures: They can swim, have incisors that never stop growing, and can even laugh. But just because they’re interesting doesn’t mean you’d want to come across one out and about—or even worse, in your home.

rat prevention

Rats can be skittish and are not nearly as curious as mice, and they’re much larger. Instead of immediately running away, rats may stand their ground and can sometimes attack and bite when they feel threatened. This, on top of the health risks they pose, is just one more reason why rat prevention is a hot topic. Keep reading to learn about the odors that may attract or repel rats.


What attracts rats?

First, let’s talk about what attracts rats. Unfortunately, rats are hardy rodents. They can survive a variety of conditions and climates. This also applies to their eating habits. Rats eat a variety of things, including normal human food and things humans would not consider food—like garbage. One of the things that attracts rats the most is a steady source of food, which they’re able to sniff out using their strong sense of smell. The very first step in rat prevention is making sure you avoid the things that attract rats in the first place. Always keep these tips in mind for effective rat prevention:

● Keep garbage bins closed

● Seal gaps, cracks, and holes in your house that are larger than a quarter of an inch

● Ensure that vegetation, brick piles, firewood and other materials that would look like a comfortable home to a rat are not near your house

Can odors repel rats?

It’s important to remember that while rats and mice are commonly grouped together, they’re not the same—this also applies to ways to get rid of them. For example, while a house cat or dog could help scare away mice, you wouldn’t want to rely on them for getting rid of mice or rats. As mentioned earlier, rats can be aggressive and could even harm your pet. Instead, consider other methods for rat prevention.

Rats have a strong sense of smell. And it makes sense: They rely on it to search out food and communicate with other rats. With this in mind, it might seem like odors could be an effective way to deter rats. However, there are reasons why relying on odors to prevent rat infestations isn’t realistic. Keep reading to learn about two scents that rats supposedly dislike—and why it may not be worth it to rely on them for preventing a rat infestation.


If you start an online search beginning with “Do mothballs repel…” you’ll likely see a lot of different pests that mothballs supposedly repel—including rats. And though mothballs have a strong, pungent smell, there is not enough strong scientific evidence that they can be used to effectively deter pests including rodents like rats. In fact, the National Pesticide Information Center specifically advises against using moth balls as a DIY repellent. And even if some rats may find the smell of mothballs unpleasant, it doesn’t mean they’ll stay away forever. Rather than rely on potentially dangerous or ineffective methods of rat repellent, it’s best to call in a professional like Terminix to help deal with rodents like rats.

Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil is also a widely talked about method to repel both mice and rats. And you can understand why: it’s natural, non-toxic, and not an offensive smell to humans. However, the downside to peppermint oil is its actual effectiveness can vary. Experts debate whether this method is effective at all, and while it won’t hurt, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to fully support this method.

It’s true that there are certain compounds that rats may find unpleasant. And, with their strong sense of smell it would be ideal to have an olfactory way to help repel rodents. Unfortunately, no method has been proven to be foolproof just yet, and the best way to deal with a rat problem is to hire a professional.

While rats are unpleasant, the good news is you can call someone to help deal with them. If you see a rat or have found signs of a rat infestation (like sounds in the walls), contact Terminix immediately. A Terminix pest professional will be able to help you take the proper steps to rid your home of rats, and assist you in preventing their return in the future.


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