5 Ways You Can Use Vinegar As A Rat Repellent

Rodent Guide
Written By Rodent Guide

I believe in treating all creatures with respect. My mission is to ensure everyone understands how to protect their home from rodents without using cruel methods.

Can you use vinegar to get rid of rats?

There are natural ways that can help you deter rats. Rats do find some odors repulsive (garlic, black pepper, for instance). Which, considering rats are happy living in the sewers, is very strange, right?

In this post, we will look at vinegar rat-repellent ideas.

Does vinegar work as one of the best rat repellents?

Do rats like the smell of vinegar?

How can you use it to deter rats?

Let’s take a look.

Vinegar Rat Repellent How To Use It

Using Vinegar As A Rat Repellant – Does It Work?

Vinegar Rat Repellent - How To Use It

Yes – vinegar does work well as a rat repellant, although you have to keep in mind that the scent needs to be strong enough to deter them.

If you are using a vinegar rat repellent, then you need to consider using it in constricted areas to stop the odor from dissipating too much. As the smell becomes less and less pungent, it is less effective at deterring rats.

I have tested using vinegar, and the rat actively avoided that particular area. Having said that, I was testing in a constricted area. It doesn’t work very well in open areas, such as your yard, or under your deck.

But still, it is a pretty good homemade rat repellent.

Which Vinegar Is Best?

Without a doubt, white vinegar is the best option for deterring rats.

Whichever option you choose from the 5 below, you should use white vinegar for rats.

You can use other vinegar options, but white is the best!

5 Ways You Can Use Vinegar As A Rat Repellent

Here are the 5 best vinegar rat repellent options! Each one of them will help you to deter rats.

Vinegar As A Rat Repellent Infographic

Cotton Balls

This is one of the most effective ways of using vinegar as a rat repellent.

All you need to do is soak a handful of common cotton balls in white vinegar and leave then in areas where you have noticed rat activity.

You can either add them to a dish or leave them to spread the vinegar over the area you have placed them.

Using cotton balls is excellent if you have noticed areas of rat urine that you need to clean. Place these balls over the area where rats have urinated, and the vinegar soaks in and cleans it further.

It’s awesome for wood!


This is even easier! Pour a cup of white vinegar and leave it in an area where you have noticed rat activity.

The scent will be strong enough to deter rats. You can also use dishes scattered in larger areas to ensure they are covered.

Change these weekly if you are doing this in an area where the scent will disperse quickly (a well-ventilated, large area).


Make up a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water. Add in a teaspoon full of salt too.

Mix this spray thoroughly! Then apply it in areas where you have noticed rat activity, such as areas where you have noticed rat urine, feces, or chewed items.

This spray is very effective at deterring rats and cleaning up after them. You probably already have the required ingredients! Please give it a go!

Add To Cleaning Equipment

When using anti-bacterial sprays, or other equipment, you can add white vinegar to these products as a natural rat repellent.

Not only will you be cleaning the area, but you will also be spreading the vinegar rat repellent to help keep them away.

It would be best if you remembered that adding white vinegar to cleaning equipment will reduce the vinegar odor to be less effective than the other options on this page.

When you consider that this concoction will also disinfect the area, it is worth it!

Pour Vinegar In Nests

This is an aggressive tactic, but you should do it if you find a rat nest in your home!

The instructions are pretty clear. Pour white vinegar onto a rat’s nest, leaving it to soak in.

You should think about removing the rat nest too, but I prefer that the area is drenched in white vinegar before removing them. That way, they may be deterred from setting up a nest there again because the vinegar will soak into the local area.

Rats also have burrows, which are underground tunnel systems that rats can live in. You could pour vinegar into the burrow before covering the entrance.

You could also pour gallons of water in there to flush them out! That is my preferred method of dealing with a rat burrow!

Vinegar + Baking Soda = Rat Killer

You can use vinegar and baking soda to kill rats. When combined, vinegar and baking soda create CO2. If used correctly, you can create CO2, which replaces oxygen in the rat’s lungs, putting it to sleep peacefully.

How do you get rid of rats with vinegar?

The 5 main options include soaking cotton balls, creating a vinegar spray, pouring vinegar into rat nests, adding the cleaning products, and leaving the vinegar in a cup near areas where you have noticed rat activity.

What smell will keep rats away?

You can use bleach, tea tree oil, onion, garlic, citronella, or black pepper to keep rats away alongside vinegar. These are the most common smells that rats hate. While these smells will help deter rats, the best thing you can do is seal up the rat entry points around your home.

This will stop rats from getting into your home in the first place.

What is the best thing to keep rats away?

The best thing you can do to keep rats away is to seal entry points that rats use to get into your home!

There are odors that rats dislike, but it is more important to stop them from getting in.


In this post, I have given you 5 vinegar rat repellent options. Each one has a level of success for deterring rats if used correctly.

Vinegar is one of the smells that rats do not like, and as it is a natural repellent, some folks prefer using it instead of attacking the problem with traps or poison.

The best thing you can do to deter rats is to seal up any rat entry points around your home. By stopping rats from entering your home, you reduce the need to deter them once they are in!

Good luck.


About the Rodent Guide

I’m an expert in do-it-yourself rodent control. For more than 20 years, I’ve dedicated my life to helping people live harmoniously alongside these critters by sharing rodent control solutions that are effective and kind.

I believe in treating all creatures with respect. My mission is to ensure everyone understands how to protect their home from rodents without using cruel methods.

5 thoughts on “5 Ways You Can Use Vinegar As A Rat Repellent”

  1. My dad would like to hire a wildlife removal service because he noticed that there are a lot of rats in his attic area. Although, I agree with you that he may use various types of poison that will help kill the pests. I’ll also keep in mind to remind him that it would be a great idea to place the trap in a space that a rat usually stay.

    • Hi

      Thanks for getting in touch! The idea is not for the rat to drink the solution. Vinegar and baking soda can be used to humanely kill rats, a bit like ‘gassing’ them. See here for instructions.

      Kind regards


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