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What Smells Do Rats Hate?

When it comes to rats, it seems that there is almost nothing that rats don’t like. How come? Rats are known to be attracted to a wide variety of things, from human food to foods we don’t think of as food at all.



What smells do rats not like?

Rats may have poor vision, but they have a very sensitive sense of smell and will use it for many benefits, one of which is to detect potential food sources remotely and communicate with other rats.

With that fact in mind, many people are starting to think of using certain odours or fragrances as a way to repel rampant rats at home. But then this raises a new question: “Is there a fragrance that rats don’t like?”.

Read this article in full to find out some of the odours rats don't like that many people believe can interfere with their sensitive sense of smell.

Also, get the facts and answers on why repelling rats using a particular odour is not a reasonable solution and why you need to try it at home.

What smells do rats not like?

Even though its efficacy is often debated, there are still many people who believe that there are several types of fragrances that rats don’t like.

Here are three fragrance lists that rats don’t like:

  1. Camphor
  2. Garlic
  3. Peppermint oil

If you have been using any of the above ingredients, this is a good time to find out the truth about whether the way to repel rats is to use odours from plants and other substances that are really powerful and effective, or if this is just a myth?


Repel rats with camphor
Repel rats with camphor

Do rats not like the smell of camphor?

The main reason why many people try to use camphor to repel rats is because it contains an active ingredient called naphthalene. The naphthalene in camphor has been widely used for many years as a deterrent to clothing-damaging insect pests such as moths.

However, can camphor repel rats? We can assure you that the rat’s statement that they do not like the smell of camphor is a big mistake.

Many people believe that placing a few pellets of camphor near the entrance to a rat’s nest is a powerful rat repellent method. In fact, the level of naphthalene in camphor has been too small to effectively repel rats.

Also, you should keep in mind that rats are smart, meaning if they are bothered by the smell of camphor at their nest entrance, they will immediately seek other new access by digging or biting into other parts to get in.


Repel rats with garlic
Repel rats with garlic

Are rats afraid of the smell of garlic?

Garlic is one of the popular natural ingredients that many people use to repel pests of all kinds, like mosquitoes or flies, but unfortunately, not rats.

The reason why many people try to repel rats with garlic is actually similar to the reason they use garlic for mosquitoes or flies: garlic has a strong odour and is believed to prevent rats from approaching.

You can simply sprinkle garlic powder or place sliced garlic cloves in the paths of rats or near products that you want to keep out of reach of rats. But can garlic repel rats? Of course not.

First, there was no scientific evidence that rats were afraid of garlic. Second, although rats will temporarily move away from an area or object with an odour of garlic, they will return once they are used to the pungent smell. And last but not least, no one wants to live in a house with a strong smell of garlic all day!

Peppermint oil

Repel rats with peppermint oil
Repel rats with peppermint oil

Do rats not like the smell of peppermint oil?

If you think a rat does not like the smell of peppermint, you’re wrong! Peppermint oil will make your whole house smell nice, but that doesn’t mean it can help you keep rats away forever.

The reason why many people use peppermint oil as a rat repellent is because, in high concentrations, the peppermint can be very powerful and interfere with the sensitive sense of smell of rats.

But you should keep in mind that rats live and nest in many places around your home, with the exception of odorous sewage. So, it makes no sense that you can make a drain have a peppermint oil smell that rats don’t like all the time.

In addition, like other types of essential oils, peppermint oil will eventually evaporate in contact with air. Therefore, while it is possible to keep rats away with peppermint oil for a while, the strong scent of peppermint oil will slowly disappear over time. Once the smell is gone, the rats will return to your home as usual.

How do I repel rats?

Many natural ways of repelling rats at home look good to try, especially as they sound easy and cost less. However, how to repel rats by using a fragrance that rats dislike is certainly not a long-term solution, especially if you have a lot of rats in your home.

Beyond all else, the most powerful way to repel rats at home is to prevent them before they become bigger or even present.

There are two simple ways you can secure your home from this one unwanted guest.

1. Regular home improvements and maintenance

The best way to protect your home or business from a rat attack is to make regular repairs to the exterior and interior damage of the building.

By keeping your home’s structure in good condition, you will also prevent rats from finding easy access to your home.

Regular improvements and maintenance include sealing any holes, crevices, or cracks that are often the primary way rats get into your home.

2. Keeping homes clean

Homes clean should always be kept because rats are attracted to poor sanitation and unhygienic living conditions.

As we mentioned earlier, rats have a good sense of smell, so keeping your food in a sealed container and not leaving trash in your house overnight is a simple thing you can do to make your home less attractive to rats.

How to repel rampant rats with the help of Rentokil

If there is no rat-hated smell as described above, then how do I repel the rampant rats in my home?

The most effective long-term solution to prevent and repel the rampant rats in your home is to turn your rat problem over to a professional rat removal service company that has the skills and knowledge needed to do so.

Rentokil, a rat remover
Rentokil, a professional rat remover

Rentokil is the trusted rat removal service in Indonesia that knows exactly how to control rat problems efficiently. We use tried-and-tested techniques and special products to permanently repel rats from your home.

Contact Rentokil to schedule a free rat survey at your site tod

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  • A broad range of rat control options to suit your home and business needs
  • With over 2,800 local, accredited pest controllers, we provide a fast-response service across Indonesia
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