What Smell Do Rats Hate?

Rats are pests that can pose a variety of threats to homes and businesses. They are attracted to environments that provide them with the necessities for survival—food, water, and shelter. Understanding what entices these rodents and what repels them is crucial for effective rat control. In this article, you will learn about what attracts rats to a home and also what smell rats hate so you can keep them away.

Let’s learn more!

What are Rats Attracted To

Rats have a keen sense of smell which leads them to easily detect food sources. They are primarily attracted to:

  • Leftover food or food waste
  • Pet food left outside
  • Unsealed garbage bins
  • Compost piles
  • Fruit and vegetables in gardens
  • Cluttered areas that provide hiding spots

What Smell Do Rats Hate

Rats detest certain odors that humans find pleasant or neutral.

  • Ammonia, resembling the scent of predators’ urine
  • Peppermint and other strong mint scents
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Citronella
  • Clove oil

What are Some Natural Scents You Can Have Out to Keep Rats Away

To deter rats naturally, consider using these scents around your property:

  • Peppermint Oil: Soak cotton balls and place them in areas where rats frequent.
  • Eucalyptus Oil: Use it as a spray mixed with water around potential entry points.
  • Mothballs: Though not a natural scent, they’re commonly used to repel rats.
  • Cayenne Pepper: Sprinkle this around your home’s foundation or in attic spaces.
  • Ammonia: Small bowls of household ammonia can mimic the smell of predator urine.
  • Citrus Peels: Scatter lemon or orange peels as a fresh-smelling deterrent.

What Natural Deterrent Works the Best

While many natural deterrents can be effective, a combination approach often works best. Peppermint oil is frequently considered one of the most powerful natural rat repellents due to its potency and overwhelming scent for rodents. Consistently applying and refreshing the chosen deterrent is key to maintaining its effectiveness.

Preventative Maintenance In the Home

Now that you know about smells that rats hate, let’s look at other areas of issues that can happen around the home with pests. One of those is rodents chewing wires. If you find wires like this, then a rodent or more can be hiding where the wires are. It is a good idea to keep an eye on wires to see if you have a rodent issue.

Another is roof rats. These pests are destructive and can also chew through any wires in the home. If you see them, it is important to contact a pest control company right away.

Lastly, it is important to know that rats can climb walls, among other things. There are other things they can climb on such as pipes, fences, and of course, wires. Keeping an eye out for them is important so you can keep them out of your home.

When Do I Call a Professional

If you have taken preventative measures and still notice signs of a rat infestation, such as droppings, strange noises, or damage to food packages, it’s time to call a professional. Pest control experts can identify the extent of the problem, eradicate the existing population, and recommend strategies to prevent future infestations.


Preventing and controlling a rat infestation requires vigilance and a proactive approach. By understanding what attracts rats and utilizing natural scents they despise, you can keep these pests at bay. However, if an infestation persists despite your efforts, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance to protect your space from these unwelcome visitors. Reach out to AAA Pest Control to get rats and other pest issues under control in Oakland Park, FL, and the surrounding South Florida areas.

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