Rats have a highly-developed sense of smell. It is this finely-tuned nose that enables them to seek out nearby food and water sources. If you have rats in your home, chances are they’ve been led there, at least in part, by their noses. But that powerful sense of smell can also work against them. Some people have found that they can deter rats from coming onto their property by using certain smells and aromas. If the idea of disposing of dead rats or releasing captured animals makes you squeamish, using pungent aromas as a rodent repellant provides a more palatable alternative. However, there are specific scents you should use; you can’t just use any old smell to keep rats away. You will also need to find a suitable way of deploying these odours without them interfering with your own health and wellbeing.The most effective smells are essential oils, specifically; peppermint, castor, and citronella. These are good choices because while their smell is powerful, many people also find the aromas pleasant. Another common choice is vinegar, but a strong vinegar smell in your home isn’t ideal and is too much for some people.As for how you deploy the smell, the simplest and most effective method is to soak cotton balls in your chosen scent and position these strategically around your property. If you know where rats are nesting and how they’re getting into your home, leaving soaked cotton balls next to the entry points they use should keep them away. After a while, the balls will dry out, so you’ll need to check them regularly and reapply your oils and vinegar as necessary. If the smell from a soaked cotton ball is too powerful, you can use a paintbrush to apply a coating instead of soaking them.