Do rat repellents work?

Rats are filthy creatures and they’re known to carry plenty of diseases. That’s why when you spot them, you’re going to want to get rid of them as soon as possible. When searching for rat repellents online, you’ll quickly come across a plethora of different products and suggestions, all seemingly guaranteed to get rid of your little rodent problem. But do they all work?


Whether you bought them to get rid of rats or you’ve had them for a while, you’ll likely be tempted to use mothballs to make the rats leave your home after doing some reading online. After all, if they’re so effective against moths, then they’re bound to be effective against rats too, right? As it turns out, they aren’t. 

All About Rat

Mothballs are made using a chemical substance called naphthalene. When this chemical gets into a living thing it harms their red blood cells and stops them from being able to do their primary task – carrying oxygen.

However, as the name implies, these things are designed to repel moths. As a result, they’re going to contain enough naphthalene to cause damage to these winged creatures and make them leave, but nowhere near enough to deter bigger creatures like humans or even rats. That’s why this so-called “rat repellent” fails to repel rats.


Another commonly claimed rat repellent is ammonia. This nitrogen-based compound is a common killer of aquarium fish and amphibians, and similar to naphthalene reduces the blood cell’s ability to carry oxygen. Is this any better?

Unfortunately, it’s not. The reason ammonia can commonly lead to the deaths of fish is that they’re trapped in small aquariums and may not have their water changed. Therefore, the ammonia builds up and builds up until there’s so much of it that it kills these creatures. When it comes to rats, there’s just no way to expose them to enough ammonia for it to be harmful, especially when they have a whole house to move about in. In fact, all living things produce ammonia naturally, and rats are known for having plenty of it in their urine. So adding a bit more ammonia here and there really doesn’t accomplish anything.

Peppermint Oil

Mothballs and ammonia just don’t seem to work, so why not move away from the chemicals and ward off rats by making the smell of your house intolerable to them? Some say that peppermint oil is a great way of getting rid of rats. It smells great to people, but in high concentrations, it’ll irritate the sensitive-nosed rodents that might decide to take up residence in your house. It sounds too perfect to be true!

Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work. While it’s true that rats have a sensitive nose and that peppermint oil can annoy them, it just isn’t enough to get rid of them. This is because rats are already used to living in terrible smelling places like sewers. Not only that but smells and fumes will rise through the air because of their density, so the low-crawling rat won’t be able to smell it.

Ultrasonic Rodent Repellent

We’ve tried chemicals and we’ve tried natural smells, but neither seems to work. Now’s the time to get serious and beat the rats using human ingenuity and sophisticated engineering. The idea behind these devices is to emit a sound at a frequency that’s higher than what people or pets can hear, but which will drive rats and mice nuts and force them to leave. Many note that when they turn the device on, they immediately see an effect.

Unfortunately, this effect doesn’t last long and the pestering rodents will soon return. What went wrong this time?

Rat Repellents

The truth of the matter is that rats need food and shelter to survive, which is why they chose your home in the first place. Sure chemicals, smells, and fancy gizmos annoy them, but when the choice is whether to bear an inconvenience in return for food and shelter or to leave and risk death, the answer seems obvious.

Despite the efforts to create a repellent that’ll get rid of rats once and for all, none are effective. Rats just have too much to lose by leaving on their own. 

That’s why, instead of buying into all these products, you should contact a professional to come and take care of the problem. Because that’s one solution that’s guaranteed to work.


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