5 Homemade Rat Repellent Options That Work

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.

Sure, you can buy traps or use poison to get rid of rats. But what if there was another way?

What if you could use a homemade rat repellent to keep rats away?

Surely that is a much more humane way of dealing with the problem.

After all, rat poison can be dangerous! But not as dangerous as rats.

There are many reasons why people are turning to making or sourcing their homemade rat repellent for their DIY pest control needs, from animal welfare reasons to eco-friendly purposes. This ensures that damaging chemicals are not released into the area around the home and the environment. Getting rid of rats can be challenging, and you can also look after the local environment while doing it!

Cost may be another reason. Even if you don’t object to poison, you may not want to spend a fortune on dangerous poisons or traps.

Whatever the reason for making or sourcing homemade rat repellents, there is no doubt that rats spread disease, and even keen animal lovers will not want a rodent problem in their vicinity.

This guide looks at how you can prepare or source your homemade rat repellent, all by using these tried and tested techniques to help you in your quest to get rid of rats!

Do Homemade Rat Repellents Work?

Many people swear by some natural or cheap remedies for DIY pest control. However, as with many problems, nature has provided an answer if you know which substances to use.

By following the instructions for these homemade, natural rat repellent mixtures or solutions, you can utilize them in the correct proportions. This will be conducive to eliminating your rat problem for good.

5 Awesome Homemade Rat Repellents

5 Awesome Homemade Rat Repellents Infographic


Most people are familiar with ammonia as a cleaning substance around the house.

Luckily rats also detest the smell, and if mixed in the following way, this will deter pesky rodents.

Items you need

Water; ammonia, bowl, and detergent.


Ammonia and detergent.


Mix 2 cups of ammonia and 2 spoons of detergent into 1/2 cup water. Pour the mixture into a bowl and place a bowl or bowls into the places where the rats are most evident.

Using the homemade repellent

Place one or more bowls in strategic positions where you know there may be rats.

Rats are very intelligent and will remember this as a place to avoid in the future!

Black Pepper

Another easily accessible ingredient is black pepper which is found in most homes. As far as a rat is concerned, this is another hated substance with rats scurrying away in the opposite direction.

Items you will need

Black pepper is the same pepper that you may use for your food.


Enough pepper to sprinkle around critical areas.


Sprinkle small amounts of ground black pepper around corners and holes where you know rats hide in your home.

Using the homemade repellent

Repeat this process for several months to stop rats from visiting your house.

Peppermint Oil

peppermint oil

Another strong smell that rats hate is peppermint oil which has a particularly pungent aroma. Rats are very averse to this scent!

This is another natural rat repellent that works and is not harmful to pets.

Items you will need

Peppermint oil.


A bottle of peppermint oil from health stores or other suppliers.


Place a few drops of peppermint oil around the potential sources of rats, any holes, or other places where you think they may congregate. You can also soak cotton balls in peppermint oil to deter rats.

Using the homemade repellent

Refresh with more oil every few weeks until the problem is eradicated.

In addition to peppermint oil, you could also try growing mint around your property. This will consolidate your attempts to keep rats away and can be a permanent feature.


Rats seem to dislike certain powerful smells, and onions are one such odor. Onions are renowned for their powerful smell and antiseptic properties.

They are completely natural and easily bought as part of any shopping run.

Items needed

You need as many onions as you feel to cover each area where rats may hang out! So don’t forget to buy some to eat too.


Slice an onion for each location and place a few slices in or near their burrow, hole, or rat’s nest.

Hopefully, they will quickly remember this and start avoiding your house.

Using the homemade repellent

Replace the onion slices every week until you see results.


Although mothballs aren’t homemade, they are often found around the home or are easily obtainable, and they also repel rats.

You don’t have to do anything in particular; obtain them and put them in the required places.

However, although they may repel rats they are also poisonous to humans and rodents. If you use mothballs, please wear gloves.

If you have children or other pets, you may not want to use this method.

Items and ingredients

Mothballs can be purchased from many stores and DIY suppliers, but the cost is meager!


Place the mothballs around your house near holes or places that you know rats frequent. They can also be placed in attics and basements. If exposed to the elements, mothballs have around 4 to 6 weeks.

Make sure to replace them regularly to retain good results.

What gets rid of rats fast?

There are several homemade rat repellents that you can use to get rid of rats fast. Some of these include peppermint oil, cayenne pepper, and even garlic. You can also use ultrasonic sound devices to deter rats.

Outside of repellents, I have successfully eliminated rats using rat traps and excellent rat bait. Alternatively, you can contact a pest control company. Pest control companies have the experience and tools to get rid of rats quickly!

Frequently Asked Questions

frequently asked questions

What is a natural rat repellent?

A natural homemade rat repellent is a non-toxic substance or readily available item found around the home or commonly available from retailers and acts as a deterrent. It is an excellent pest control strategy that helps get rid of rats.

What smell will keep rats away?

There are a few scents that rats find offensive and will stay away from. These include peppermint, spearmint, cloves, cinnamon, and citrus.
You can use any of these essential oils in a homemade rat repellent. Combine 1 teaspoon of the oil with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle and shake well.
Then, spray any areas where you think rats may enter your home. You can also use these oils in a diffuser to help keep rats away.

Will vinegar repel rats?

Yes, vinegar is an effective rat repellent. You can use it to keep rats away from your home or garden.
Soak some cotton balls in vinegar and place them around where you think rats might be present. The strong smell of vinegar will deter rats from entering the area.
A vinegar rat repellent will work but needs to be kept fresh.


If you don’t like the thought of killing rats or don’t want strong poisons and toxins, there are a whole host of smells they hate. These are used as homemade rat repellents successfully.

With persistence, the rats should begin to disappear by checking and replacing the chosen items often enough. Then, they will associate your house with the smells they detest the most!

These are excellent ways of getting rid of rats without killing them.

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.

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