What Smell Do Rats Hate The Most & How To Use Them

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. 

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.

How to use rat repellent scents

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.

 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. 


Myths About Rats and What Smell Rats Hate

Rats are ingenious and skilled creatures, which is why they’ve been unwelcome guests in many homes. Besides their intelligence, they were known for being a speedy pest with some useful abilities like jump, hike and swim.

It’s hardly surprising that rats have poor vision when they have such a powerful sense of smell. It’s this sense that helps them detect potential food sources from a distance and also one they use to communicate with other rats.

One thing is certain, there’s no easy way to get rid of rats just using certain smells.

So what smell do rats hate the most?

Rats, mice and other rodents are repelled by many different smells.

 Here is a list of the most common ones that rats don’t like:

  • Peppermint oil
  • Garlic
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Cedar chips
  • Ammonia
  • Pine-sol
  • Oranges
  • Onion

See, there are many different scents rats don’t like. You just have to find the right one for your specific situation. If you’re looking for a natural way to keep rats away, using essential oils is a great option. Peppermint oil, in particular, is very effective at repelling rats. You can either buy an essential oil or make your own by following these instructions.

The best and cost effective way to repel rats is to contact your local, trusted pest control company. Experienced pest controllers will be able to repel rats from your garden and protect it from rats for long.

Here’s how to use essential oils for rat control:

Mix 3 cups of water with 30 drops of peppermint oil in a spray bottle. Shakewell and spray around the areas you want to keep rats away from.

Mix one part water with 1-3 parts of oil in a small bowl. Then, dip cotton balls into the solution and place them in areas where you don’t want rats to go.

How to keep rats away?

Rats are a common pest in many areas of the world. They can cause a lot of damage to your property and they can also carry diseases. Rats are attracted to food, water, and shelter. So if you want to keep rats away from your home, you need to make sure that you don’t provide them with any of these things.

  • Keep all food in sealed containers or in the fridge
  • Don’t leave dirty dishes out on the counter or sink
  • Don’t leave pet food out where it can be accessed by rats
  • Keep garbage cans closed and covered at all time
What Smell Do Rats Hate The Most
What Smell Do Rats Hate The Most

Rats in Garden

Rats are unwelcome guests in any garden, and proper pest control measures should be taken to ensure that their presence is minimised.

If you’re having issues with rats in your garden, this article on “Rats in Garden: How to Get Rid of Them” provides helpful tips and advice on how to effectively rid your garden of these pests.

Our rat pest control experts are experienced in providing effective treatments for rat infestations, including the use of specialised traps and bait to eliminate the pests from your property. If you are looking to learn more about the cost of pest control, check out this article on How Much do Mice or Rat Control Cost?.


No one wants to deal with bugs, rats, micecockroaches, flies, textile pests, insects, wasps, hornets, or bee control and ants in their house or business.

Pest infestations should be addressed as soon as possible, since if left unchecked, they might spread rapidly and cause structural damage to your house, health risks, lots of stress or even a fire danger.

At Bon Accord, we provide a full range of home pest control services as well as the Bon Accord Helpline, which allows us to deliver our clients with the level of service they require when dealing with rodents, ants, cockroaches and other infestations.

We offer a full range of services from basic to expert, ranging from a self-service solution with all the tools you’ll need to DIY treatments, supported remotely by one of our technicians to our premium service in which one of the specialists performs the whole treatment

Get rid of mice and rats fast

This article, How Long Can Mice Live Without Food, provides readers with insight into the potential length of time that mice can survive without food, as well as the health effects of prolonged starvation. Read more about pest control services for rats in London. Get in touch with Bon Accord your local pest control expert.

Pest advice for controlling Rats from BPCA

Karin HarndenKarin Harnden
17:14 05 May 24
We thought we had bedbugs but could find no evidence apart from what we thought were bites. I called Bon Accord and Gabriel was there within a couple of hours. He told us we had carpet beetle. Finding the evidence and showing us photos of the skin reaction which was exactly what we had. He advised and returned at a time to suit us to spray which was done thoroughly and efficiently. No sign of the little critters returning. Thank you Gabriel.
Luiza LoboLuiza Lobo
21:02 11 Apr 24
Gabriel went above and beyond. He is extremely knowledgable and very efficient at what he does. The results were outstanding. Nothing is too much for him. Delighted with his professionalism and work.
sam zsam z
19:11 03 Apr 24
Top-notched pest control service!! Went above and beyond to eradicate the rats from our property. Gabriel even offered to further investigate the infestation issues for our neighbours. We found him to be extremely professional and easy to work with. We highly recommend Gabriel to anyone in need of pest control.
23:29 02 Apr 24
Gabriel provided great service , responded quickly on an emergency for pest infestation, professional and friendly. No more pests at home.
Felicity GrayFelicity Gray
21:53 02 Apr 24
Gabriel was absolutely wonderful, a real life saver when I found a mouse by my bed at 10pm. He came in less than an hour and was able to catch the mouse and put my mind at rest so I could go to sleep! Highly recommend, fab service and lovely people.
Med KashaniMed Kashani
10:54 24 Feb 24
Gabriel turned up with an hours notice one evening and immediately identified the issued. He works efficiently and professionally throughout with timely follow-ups to ensure the problem was resolved. Once completed he was kind enough to continue to check in to see that the issue had gone. Having had Rentokil previously that spent two years doing very little this was a complete breathe of fresh air and solved the problem in less than two weeks. We are grateful and would highly recommend his services.
Nesma TalaatNesma Talaat
20:26 20 Feb 24
We were lucky to have found Bon Accord, they responded very fast to our request and Gabriel was very helpful and informative. He made several visits and did his absolute best until the mice problem we had was gone. Highly recommended.

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