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How To Keep Rats Out of Basement

How To Keep Rats Out Of Basement

Rats nest in the areas like basements and garages to protect themselves from extreme climatic conditions.

Improperly sealed doors, cracks, and crevices make it easy for them to infiltrate such areas. Once they enter, they can easily find their nesting material through papers and debris.

The availability of food nearby, shelter, warmth, and the materials available for nesting make the basement the best choice for their hideout for a longer period.

As rats bring a lot of problems, from chewing food and other materials to spreading various diseases, it’s necessary to keep them away from houses.

Various approaches could be practiced to keep rats away from homes and basements. Keep reading for brief knowledge about these approaches and opt for what can be most fruitful for you.


As the basements serve as storage places for many household items. Rats can cause huge damage to all the equipment and materials available there.

Thus, to avoid any mishap, it’s crucial to get rid of these rodents as soon as possible. Many effective ways and remedies are available to keep the rats out of the basements.

Maintaining the cleanliness of the area, filling up voids and crevices, sealing the doors properly, removing all food and water resources, and setting up the trap can be some of the best ways to prevent rats from entering the basement.

The next section will briefly explain various effective approaches to keep rats out of the basement. Then there will be a detailed conclusion followed by frequently asked questions about rats.

6 Ways To Prevent Rats From Entering the Basement

Ways To Prevent Rats From Entering The Basement

Among other rodents and pests, rats are the most common ones that like to nest in storage units and safe places. Once they enter the basement, they can easily damage household items.

Rats have various destructive habits and can also threaten health by causing and spreading various diseases. That is why it is necessary to keep them out of the basements.

Here are some tips that can be adopted to protect the rats from entering the house’s basement:

1. Mouse Repelling Scents

Mouse Repelling Scents

Rats have a great sense of smell which not only assists them in finding their food but can also be useful for us to catch or trap them.

The following scents could effectively repel rats and ban their entry into the home and basement:



Vinegar could be an effective remedy against rats to keep them at a distance from your basement. Rats have a great sense of the pungent smell. Thus, they cannot stand the sharp smell of vinegar.

White and apple cider vinegar are common household items, so practicing this approach is easy.

Soak the cotton balls in vinegar and then place them in the areas from where they can enter the basement.

Mopping the floor with equal portions of white vinegar and water could also serve the purpose.

Caution About Vinegar Spray

Vinegar contains acetic acid, which, when mixed with water, can cause corrosion in stainless steel and rubber surface.

Thus, avoiding spraying vinegar on stainless steel and rubber surfaces is recommended, as this leads to corrosion.



Bleach, a commonly available household item, is effective in controlling rats. Bleach has a pungent odor, and rats hate this smell. Thus, it can effectively serve the purpose of repelling rats.

It can be mixed with water and sprayed around the basement. This practice, however, requires two to three days to show its results.

Caution About Bleach Use

Bleach is toxic when inhaled or ingested and can lead to severe health consequences.

Thus it’s recommended to use minute quantities of bleach when sprayed or mopped on floors.

Also, Wear gloves or a mask to avoid any skin irritation and to prevent breathing its fumes.



Rats hate the strong smell of ammonia as this is pungent and sharp.

To apply this strategy, soak cotton balls in ammonia and place them where the rats are present.

Caution About Ammonia Use

Ammonia can be harmful to the skin and lungs.

When it comes into contact with skin, it causes allergic reactions, and when inhaled, its impact could be dangerous to the lungs.

Keep away from the reach of the children, and make sure to wear gloves and a mask while using this product.

2. Mothballs


Mothballs could be an effective treatment against rats. They have naphthalene as their active ingredient, which has a strong, pungent smell. Thus, they deter the rats and mice.

The mothballs are also toxic to other animals if ingested, so they must be handled and disposed of properly to avoid harming others.

Avoid using mothballs when children are around, as they are like bubbles, and kids can ingest them.

Also, mothballs are combustible, so you should use them cautiously.

3. Setting the Traps

Setting The Traps

Traps are effective in stopping rats from entering your basements.

They could be set by placing any food item soaked with any oil that has a pleasant smell towards the rat. Due to their sense of smell, rats are attracted and, in return, get entrapped.

Various types of traps in the market can effectively trap the mouse, but the most commonly used are glue, snap, and bait traps. Their application is simple, place the trap in an area infested with rats, and it will start working.

However, safely removing the entrapped rats from the traps is mandatory. Ensure that they must be released from the traps in areas away from the human population.

After their release, make sure to wash your hands and equipment.

4. Proper Cleaning of the Basement

Proper Cleaning Of The Basement

If you want to keep the rats out of your basement, clean it properly. Here are a few pro tips on how to do that:

  • Sweep and mop the floor regularly. The dirt and debris will provide a place for rats to hide and multiply, so ensure it’s always clean.
  • Use a deodorizer or insecticide if you have pets or children. This will deter the rats from coming down into the basement in search of food or shelter.
  • Seal cracks or openings around pipes, wires, and ducts with caulk or silicone sealant. Rats can squeeze through very small holes, so make sure they’re inaccessible!
  • Empty and scrub trash cans frequently, especially if they’re next to a rat-infested area.

5. Sealing of Rat Entry Points

Sealing Of Rat Entry Points

Effective rat control is essential to any homeowner’s prevention plan against rats.

One popular way of prevention is sealing off entry points into your homes, such as the basement and attics. Rats will not enter a seal area, making it an effective means of rat control.

Duct tape is a great way to seal the crevices and voids in your home’s ductwork. It can’t be chewed by pets and won’t rust or corrode.

However, steel wool is also a good option for sealing ductwork. It doesn’t leave residue behind, and it can be easily cleaned.

These procedures could be a little expensive, but finishing them will prove to be of significant benefit to you.

6. Remove All the Sources of Food Items and Water

Remove All The Sources Of Food Items And Water

Rats are primarily drawn to edible foodstuff. Removing food from the basement areas will greatly reduce rat traffic throughout your house.

To keep our basement safe from rats, we must avoid placing food anywhere in the area.

Rats are mainly attracted to a certain location when they smell any food item, so to avoid attracting them, we must prevent any smells that could lure them.

Familiar smells that attract rats include spoiled food and garbage. We can ensure they will not come down and live, keeping our basement clean and free of any odors that could tempt them.


Nobody wants their houses and basements to be invaded by pests and rodents. Hence, direct measures are needed to protect our basements and stored items.

Rats are always attracted to crowded places because of the easy availability of food, and they are suitable to make their nest. Thus to prevent them from entering the basements and damaging the materials and items placed, several techniques could be fruitful.

Although repelling the rats from entering your house is difficult. Thus, a combination of different methods can result effectively.

The methods mentioned above are commonly used to prevent rodents. You can find the best suitable method according to your needs and accessibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Household Remedy To Repel Rats?

The best household remedy to repel the rats is using repelling scents. Various repelling scents are available for everyday use and can effectively repel rats.

These repellents include vinegar and bleach. Mixing bleach, apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar with water and then mopping the floor can serve the purpose.

How Can We Prevent Rats From Entering Our Basements Permanently?

Proper cleaning of the basement, removal of all types of food sources, trapping of rats, and constant mopping of the floor with mouse-repellants will certainly assist you in keeping the rats away from entering your basement.

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