A surprising percentage of people keep rats as pets. We’re guessing you don’t belong to that percentage. Why else would you be reading this? Rats are no respecters of privacy since they seem to meander their ways into even the most expensive properties. They share your food, shower, bed, couch, and just about any of your belongings without your permission.  Rats are a pain in the behind.

Rats are such a significant problem that professional exterminators charge a handsome sum of your hard-earned cash to rid them from your home. Is there anything in your home that can be used to deter rats? We already know that bleach repels mice, but does bleach keep rats away too? Let’s take a look…

What you will learn in this post:

  • Does bleach keep rats away?
  • Does bleach kill rats?
  • How to use bleach to keep rats away

does bleach keep rats away

How Does Bleach Keep Rats Away?

Bleach is the generic name for any chemical that removes stains. Bleach could be solid or liquid and is majorly used in dry-cleaning white garments. In the same vein, it is also used in textile industries, to whiten otherwise colored fabrics.

If you’ve handled bleach before, you’d know that it has a characteristically irritable odor. Humans have a degree of tolerance to this odor (it’s the only reason we can use it). Rats simply do not like the odor of bleach.

Rats make up for poor eyesight with their impeccable sense of smell. Now, it makes sense that you bait rats with cheese and other foods with pleasant smells. Bleach, meanwhile, has a strong, undesirable smell. If you can bait rats with pleasant scents, you can repel them with unpleasant smells, such as bleach!

To recap: does bleach keep rats away… yes it does!

Can Bleach Kill Rats, Or Just Deter Them?

Bleach is a caustic agent with such a pungent smell. Prolonged exposure to the bleach stench could be harmful even to the strongest humans. If ordinary exposure could cause such harm as internal bleeding and decreased oxygen consumption, be sure that direct contact will cause much more damage. Hence, depending on what you want to achieve, you can use bleach as both a repellant and as poison.

Bleach makes an excellent rat repellant because of its smell. When used in particular ways, however, it can equally act as a deadly poison to rats. It can kill them! A rat cannot simply ingest bleach and live to tell the story.

5 Ways To Use Bleach To Keep Rats Away

Since bleach has a strong odor, it is usually tricky to get rats close enough to harm them. There are several ways to mask the smell and get the rats to ingest it.  Whether it’s about repelling rats or killing them, the idea is to keep them away from your home!

Bleach won’t keep rats away when it’s sitting pretty on top of your shelf. There are several ways to use bleach in chasing rats away from your home. These five ways are the most common and have proven to be the most effective.

5 Ways To Use Bleach To Keep Rats Away Infographic

1. Generously Spray Rats Hubs in your Home

Homeowners plagued by rat infestation usually know the areas in their homes where rats have a field day. Focus your attention on these areas, and spare no cost in spraying them. Keep the exits to these areas open.

Allow the rats to escape once they’ve sniffed in enough bleach. Since it’s not like you’d be passing the night with your family at hotels during this period, we suggest that you dilute the bleach solution very well.

Locate the areas within your home that continuously buzz with rat’s activity. When you think you’ve sprayed enough bleach in these areas, we advise you to sprinkle some more! Spray so much that they escape only to go and breathe their last breaths. Remember to leave the exits open.

2. Disinfect The Rat Nest

Bleach is an equally strong disinfectant. Once applied to surfaces, it kills all present bacteria and viruses. Beyond the nuisance they cause, rats are also vectors for diseases like hantavirus and leptospirosis. Even the rat urine and droppings are heavily infested with disease-causing organisms.

Use bleach to clean out any rat nests to prevent contracting any diseases they may be carrying. This is particularly important if you have babies around.

Do not sweep or vacuum these areas, as this only spreads these organisms around your home. Carefully clean with dilute bleach, using protective gear like gloves and a respirator. Mop your floors, and every suspected area rats may have contacted.

Whilst we are on the subject of rat’s nests, you will also need to check your yard for rat burrows. If you find any, then you should pour bleach down the rat hole entrances to the burrows.

3. Peanut-Butter It

If you want to harness the power of bleach in rat control ingeniously, be prepared to waste some peanut butter. Remember how pungent the smell of bleach is? It is impossible to get the rats close enough to the bleach to kill them if they can smell it from a mile away. All they’ll do is avoid that part of your house.

Mixing bleach with one or two spoons of peanut butter (an equally strong, but pleasant scent) can help to mask the scent of the bleach. And rats love their peanut butter! The smell of the peanut butter baits the rat, and the ingested bleach mixture kills it.

Once in contact with the rat’s stomach, it burns its walls even as it causes its epithelial cells to disintegrate. Once extensive damage has been wrought on the stomach, related tissues and organs are also affected. The rat dies in about 1-2 days.

4. Bleach Cotton Balls

Peradventure rats have a haphazard distribution around your home, with no centralized areas of activity, bleach-soaked cotton balls will come in handy. Upon soaking cotton balls in bleach, distribute them all about your home, in no organized manner.

The goal is to bathe your home in bleach smell and make everywhere inhabitable for a rat. Place the balls along the confirmed rat routes. Slowing them down will increase your chances of catching and killing them in rat traps.

Decorate your home in cotton balls soaked in bleach, and observe the occurrence of encounter with rat plummet in around only a week.

Does bleach keep rats away? Yes – when you soak cotton balls in it!

5. Sprinkle Entry Points

It is common knowledge that a space that can fit the head of a rat is all the space it needs to gain entrance to your home. Common entry points include cable holes, air conditioning vents, door gaps, and windows, to name a few.  Painstakingly find the rat entry points, and sprinkle them with bleach. If they can’t enter, they won’t constitute a nuisance.

Physically seal the rat’s entry point. Double the resistance by generously sprinkling dilute bleach around these areas.

Will Bleach Get Rid Of Rats?

Ok, so we have answered the questions ‘Does bleach keep rats away?’ and the answer is yes, it will definitely help!

Is it the only thing you need to use to rid your home of rats? Personally, I would use more tools too!

The biggest and best thing that you can do to keep rats away from your home is to seal up those entry points. If a rat cannot get in, then you will not get any rats in your home! Simple.


Does bleach keep rats away? Yes – it does keep rats away! Does bleach kill rats? Only if you can get them to consume it, which is no easy task due to the strong scent that bleach gives out.

Why call an exterminator when you have something in your laundry room that you can use?

Follow the five methods we have outlined, and use bleach to keep rats away from your home, or at least help to keep them away!

A quick word just before you go… I mentioned at the beginning of this post that bleach is an agent used to make clothes white again. That means bleach strips color from material and other substances. Keep that in mind as you go through your house spraying bleach to deter rats! Read the instructions on the bleach and do not spray it on materials that it shouldn’t be sprayed on.

Good luck!

About the Author

Rodent Guide

Man v Rodent! I've been tackling Rodent infestation issues for over 20 years. Now I want to use this website to pass over the tips that I have learned over that time to help you take these Rodents out DIY style!

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