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Rat Repellent - What deterrent works?

Rat Repellent - There are many different ways that people can use if they are looking to get rid of rats that have invaded an attic, shed, yard or other part of a property, but one of the most commonly available products is a rat repellent. The promise that you will find on the packaging is that each product will be able to drive away the animal by making it so unpleasant for the rat to continue to live in the area, that it will have to leave to find a new home. A problem for those who want to use a repellent as the first method of getting rid of the rat issue is that if it doesn't work, then you have given the rat time to get settled in, and maybe invite a few more of the family to join him.


The Unpleasant Effects Of Rat Repellents On Rats

The key theory behind most rat repellent products is that it will fill the air in and around where the rats are causing the problem, and make them so uncomfortable that they will want to go somewhere else. These scents can range from actual predator urine to chemicals that mimic predator urine scent, through to products that simply smell very strongly and are even unpleasant to the human nose. Beyond possibly raising the fear of a predator, or making the animal uncomfortable, repellents are not usually poisonous and cannot have a more serious impact than that, which is why many people don't have great success using these kinds of products.

Chemical Rat Repellents

Some of the most common repellents on the market are chemicals, and one of the most popular base substances for these repellents are mothballs, or naphthalene, which is the chemical name for mothballs. The problem with this is that naphthalene is toxic, and fumes can give some people headaches, but there is no evidence, even on a small scale, that mothballs can be effective. Ammonia is another toxic chemical with a strong scent that is said to be a repellent, while many more modern products do not want to repel humans along with the rats, so there are plenty of products based on a peppermint oil base too.

Audio And Ultrasonic Devices

While chemicals usually affect the noses of the rats, the audio devices are said to be so unpleasant for rats that they will immediately leave the area to get out of range of the high pitched squeal which is outside the hearing range of people. These are said to cause a painful noise in the rat's ears, which then drives them away. There are plenty of different types of audio devices available, and these range from relatively cheap devices that are battery powered through to more complicated systems that can in some cases cost several thousand dollars.

Home Remedies

While chemical and audio repellents may struggle to get rid of the rats for you, there are also home remedies that are said to do the job, but in many cases, these will have a similar success rate. Human hair is said to be one thing that the rats really cannot stand, while mothballs is also a common repellent, and even the disinfectant toilet cakes are said to drive the animals away. The reality is that they are cheaper than the audio devices and chemicals, but have similar results and really just need to be forgotten so that the rat problem can be appropriately dealt with.

Why Don't Rat Repellents Work?

In order for a rat repellent to be truly effective and to get rid of these pest animals, there is a simple equation that needs to be met. The key to a good repellent is that it needs to be too painful or uncomfortable for the rat to stay in the area, despite all of the positive features such as food sources and nesting sites. In most cases, the positive features are more important to the rat than the repellent, meaning that it won't want to leave and is likely to stay around to enjoy the features on offer from your property.

How To Deal With A Rat Problem Properly

The reality is that using a rat repellent to get rid of rats is a pipe-dream, and it is simply wishful thinking for most people that repellents actually will solve the issue. The best thing to do when trying to combat rat issues is to catch all of the problem animals in lethal traps, and then to look at the area critically to see how you can prevent the rats from coming back and causing more problems in the future. Locating a rat trap is very important, and sites such as entry and exit points or areas of high traffic are the best possible locations for these traps.


Go back to the main Rat Removal page for more information about rat repellent such as bleach, ammonia, mothballs. Can you buy something at Home Depot to repel rat?
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