14 Effective Home Remedies to Get Rid of Rats

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Rats
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Rats are horrible, dirty rodents that can be found in and outside the house. For survival, rats require shelter, water, and enough food. And if your home provides these three things, it is a tough task to get rid of them. Rats as well as their smaller relatives, mice, are attracted to garbage, pet food, compost bins or food droppings. In addition, they carry more than 20 diseases, and can be really dangerous. Though you keep your home clean, these furry interlopers always find a way to enter. Everyone worries about how to get rid of rats when they find them in their kitchen, yard, shed or house. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Our home remedies for rats will keep them away from the house and out of sight.

Home remedies to get rid of ratsHow to Get Rid of Rats

1. Moth Balls

Moth balls tend to repel the rats. These are readily available in the market and are easy-to-use. Place a few in your attic to keep the rats away.

Note: Avoid placing these mothballs inside the house as its smell is harmful to humans. Take proper care that you do not touch it with bare hands.

2. Ammonia

Mix 2 spoons of detergent, a quarter glass of water and 2 cups of regular ammonia in a bowl. Place it where rats appear frequently. Since rats can’t stand the smell of ammonia; hence, this remedy will do the job.

3. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil can be used to prevent rats as they can’t stand its pungent smell. All you have to do is dip some cotton balls in the peppermint oil and place them in the rat-prone area.  It will surely give satisfactory results.

  • Alternatively, citronella and castor oil can also be used.
  • Or else, grow mint plants around the boundaries of your home.

4. Owl’s Feather

Owl’s feather will scare the rats and force them to run away. Try placing some owl’s feather inside the holes of these intruders.

  • Alternatively, if you can’t find one, keep some plastic snakes in your garden to get rid of rats in the yard.

5. Pepper

The pungent smell of pepper makes it hard for the rats to breathe and threat their survival. Simply sprinkle some crushed pepper around the corners and the holes where they reside. You will notice positive results. Repeat the process if necessary.

6. Bay Leaf

Rats think of bay leaf as their food and tend to eat it. But, it actually kills them. Put some bay leaves in the rat-prone area. Keep repeating the process until all of them are gone.

7. Onions

It is a very effective remedy to get rid of rats naturally. The smell of onions is odious to these nasty rodents. Just slice an onion and keep it inside or near their holes.

8. Make Your Own Trap

Trapping is one of the best ways to get rid of rats fast. You can take a humane trap and put bait in it to attract the rat. Peanut butter and cheese are the rat’s favorite. As the rat tries to eat this, it will be caught in the trap. After this, you can leave it in the woods or far away from your home so that it never comes back.

Note: You can add boric acid in the peanut butter to make it more effective.

Note:  Wear latex gloves while using this remedy.

9. Dried Snake Litter/ Cat Litter

Buy some of the dried snake litter from a pet store or zoo and keep it near the places where rats are more likely to visit. Rats will not come there again because of the fear of snake.

  • Alternatively, you can also use cat’s litter. However, if the rat is infected with toxoplasmosis, it strangely may actually be attracted to cats and cat litter (a very weird side effect of the disease)

Note: Keep it out of the reach of pets and children.

10. Human Hair

It may sound weird, but rats can’t bear the sight of the human hair. This can be an effective way to repel rats. Clip a few strands and throw them inside the holes of rats, or at the places they tend to visit the most. As the rats will eat the hair, they will die.

11. Cow Dung

It is a stinky process but one of the best ways to prevent these rodents. Take some cow dung cakes and spread them in your attic or garden. When rats eat the cow dung, it will inflame their stomach and lead them to die. Thus, helps get rid of rats outside the house.

12. Sound

Sound not only hurts them, but also makes their ears bleed. A sharp noise-making sound box is all you need to make them run away.

13. Baby Powder

Although this method is not that effective; however, you may try it once. Sprinkle the baby powder on the corners and around the rat-prone area. This powder intoxicates the rodents and helps you get rid of them to some extent.

14. Steel Wool

Want to get rid of rats in the walls? Create barriers using steel wool. It is harder for rats to nibble the steel wool. So, find out their access point and block the way.


  • Always keep the home and attic clean.
  • Seal all the possible entries of the rats using caulk.
  • Keep your garbage cans neat and cover them with a lid.
  • You can also own a cat.
  • Remove all the food leftovers and grease from BBQ Grills.
  • When you experience the presence of these rodents, do clean the floor with a solution of bleach and water (equal proportion) to safeguard your family from any disease.
  • Clean the standing water from flower pots and other sources.
  • Cut down tall shrubs and weeds from your garden.


  • Do not spill food here and there.
  • Do not leave the food uncovered.


  1. I didn’t know that pepper made it hard for rats to breath. When I was getting rid of my rat problem I contacted a professional to help me. Maybe I should remember the pepper trick if I find someone that needs it.

    • I am having a big, fat rat climbing onto my balcony, 1st floor. Put black pepper and cayena all over the balcony floor. Rat comes back ever night and does not care. Thinking of getting an ultrasound device

  2. Cat litter doesn’t work. The rats use the litter for the same purpose as the cats, and actually become territorial with the litter. The rats see it as a pooping/peeing war, taking place in the litter box, between them and the cat.

    • The rats are probably suffering from toxoplasmosis. There have been plenty of research conducted that shows that the parasite affects the brain chemistry and behavior of rodents. Rats and mice react very differently to the smell of cats if they are suffering from this parasite. They actually find the scent of cats urine sexually attractive rather than fearful which is just weird. The rodent’s natural instinct to fear cats is severely reduced, making the rat less cautious and so allowing the cat to catch more prey. The parasites the real winner as it ends up in its preferred breeding ground – the cat’s gut.

  3. I’ve seen great results with this easy homemade trap: cut 20 inches of drain pipe, in the middle cut a hole about 4 inches square and place the bait inside. Now cut 18 inch larger pipe and copy first, place this over smaller pipe and turn the smaller inside pipe inside so the cut hole can’t be seen. by turning the inside pipe so both holes are seen you can refill the inside small pipe. There’s no harm to larger animals as they can’t get inside the smaller pipe to eat, works better weighted down with a stone or something.

    I can’t upload a pic, but it does work and also by pulling the smaller pipe out you can discard without touching, then just re-bait.
    An exterminator is not always needed, there are things we can try first.

  4. Just do what I did
    Cup of oatmeal
    Cup of sugar
    Cup of plaster of Paris
    Add water
    Make little balls they eat it stomach turn to plaster
    They die

  5. Wow..My daughter found her container of baby powder with a chewed hole and powder everywhere.. There we’re little paw prints too. Why would a mouse or rat chew on that?

    • They see it so they chew it. Simple as that. If it is in their path of safety marked by their continual travels they will act like kids and play (chew) with it.

  6. Keeping rats out of our corn garden. Planted 2 rounds 1 month apart. First batch rats came in when corn was peak and got about 1/3 of the cobs. Decimated over a couple nights. Second planting – every 3 days scattered cut onions among the stalks, hung peppermint tea bags from stalks, spray misted the stalks and ears with a mixture of 2 teaspoons peppermint oil to 1 cup water with 2 drops of dish soap detergent, and hung 5 rubber snakes ($1 each at Toys R Us), and hung one moth cake (hockey puck style moth balls) on the upwind side of the corn plot – so the smell wafted through the corn. Also put traps out. First night caught a rat in the traps but no more for weeks after – wife said I made it so nasty in the plot that no rat wanted to visit. Corn untouched. Multi-pronged approach works.

    • Thanks Patrick for info. I agree a multi-pronged approach will never hurt. Never heard of anyone doing everything at the same time so thanks for letting us know. Its always great to get feedback.

  7. I didn’t know that peppermint oil can keep rats away because they don’t like the smell. I think I have rats in my attic, and I want to find some affordable way to get rid of them. The peppermint oil is a good idea, but I think I’ll research pest control services to find the cheapest option instead.

  8. I’m not sure about the mint. My small garden has a ton of wild mint growing, that was there when I moved in. Each year, it grows. The rat I have walks right through the mint plants and onto my patio. There are several good suggestions here, and I will start working on them.
    Thanks for all of the tips.

  9. I don’t know how effective bay leaves are. Pack Rats are not intrusive to people’s homes. They live in the wild and build their own mounds for a home and are kind of neat. They eat bay leaves regularly as part of their diet. We put bay leaves in our own food so what makes them think it’s dangerous to rats?

  10. It was really amazing to know that I can actually use my own hair to get rid of rats. You mentioned here in this article that these critters can’t bear the sight of human hair and that throwing them inside rat holes and the places they frequent is effective in getting rid of them. That might be worth a shot because my sibling won’t even step foot the front door out of fear for those things. If this doesn’t work then I’ll call professionals. Thanks!

  11. Onions don’t work either. They actually eat the tops of them and their holes are around the bulb itself. I have tried cayenne pepper and even expensive repellents with clove, garlic and castor oil.
    Nothing has worked. I can’t poison them for fear of poisoning the whole food chain. Snap traps do not work either. They just avoid them.

  12. My neighbour has piles of wooden palates around their garden. Could this be where the brown rat could be living. Would bleach deter the rat .?

  13. The human hair is most definitely NOT EFFECTIVE!!! The rats I have steal my hair from the trash to use it for their nesting…

  14. i have tried all of the tips but nothing has worked i tried onion garlic chilli pepper peppermint oil then i put a bait station out but that has not worked either they started to nibble bait but still coming into my garden

    • You could try using tobacco in small pouces. They are a natural repellant. You would need to change them every 15 -20 days. Do try & give your feedback.


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