Home PestsRats

8 Ways To Repel Pack Rats Naturally

Pack Rat Sitting By Stainless Steel Food Tray

Rats carry diseases and could pass these on to you or any living creature in your home, including your pets. If one rat is dangerous to your health, imagine how much havoc a pack of rats would do.

Instead of waiting for them to gain entry into your home, you should put in place measures that would repel them from coming close. More importantly, it would help if you explored natural ways to repel these pack rats.


The most effective way to repel pack rats is to keep food out of their reach. Rats have a strong sense of smell and are often drawn by the prospect of a healthy diet.

  • Keep your yard neatly trimmed and organized. This keeps your view of your yard undisturbed, and you can easily detect rogue rats.
  • Rats thrive in dirty, cluttered environments. Get rid of the clutter, and they will have nowhere to hide.
  • Getting rid of one rat is easier than a pack of rats. However, your safest option is to ensure that they are not attracted to your home in the first place.

Just as rats are attracted to dirty environments, clean spaces repel them. So your best shot at keeping them away is to maintain good sanitation in your home.

This article discusses various ways to naturally repel pack rats and keep your home free of these vermin. You may also find some of your other questions answered in the FAQ Section.

8 Ways To Repel Pack Rats Naturally

The best way to repel pack rats naturally is to keep them from entering your home. That means keeping your doors and windows well sealed and blocking off holes.

If you have thoughts of feeding rats or leaving out leftovers for them, now is the time to banish them. That rat would bring another, and another, until your home is overrun with rats.

Here are eight easy ways to prevent pack rats from disturbing your building.

1. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint Oil In Small Jar

Peppermint oil has proven quite effective against rats. Luckily, it can be readily found around you and is as natural as it gets.

Rats have a strong sense of smell that prevents them from going near areas doused with scents that repel them. So, putting a heavy dose of peppermint oil sprays or drops around sensitive areas in your home would be effective in repelling rats.

You could put drops around entrances or where cracks are pending a permanent. Bear in mind. However, that peppermint oil will not be as effective over a pack of rats as it would over one rat.

So if you aim to repel rats that have already infested your home, you may be able to keep them away from certain areas, but not for long. You need more concentrated effort if the rats have already invaded your home.

When using peppermint oil, remember to use generous amounts. If the oil smell is pungent enough, it will prevent rats from sniffing out actual food or any tempting items.

2. Mothball

Mothballs In The Glass Over The Sackcloth

Mothballs contain Naphthalene which can repel rats when exposed to large quantities. However, the number of mothballs required to repel pack rats effectively is relatively high.

So this method may not be as effective as the others on this list. However, it is worth considering if mothballs are all you have at hand.

Mothballs are dangerous to mice and rats and are particularly deadly to small insects. If you want to discourage rats from sticking their nose around your home, you will need many mothballs.

3. Seal Potential Entry Ways

Rat Climbing Up The Window To Enter

This is perhaps the best way to keep rats from entering your home. Unlike insects and flies, which can squeeze through almost invisible holes, rats need a bit more width.

That is not to say that a hungry or curious rat will not wiggle its body through if it catches the scent of food. To prevent them from getting into your house, you need to examine all holes, cracks, and gaps that they could squeeze through.

This includes your attic and loose roof shingles. If the hole is big enough for your eye to catch, a rat can squeeze it, although getting put would be an entirely different matter.

It is also important to close doors firmly behind you. Rats can be pretty good sprinters when they need to be.

So, keep your doors and windows firmly shut as strictly as possible.

4. Pepper Flakes

Red Pepper Flakes In A Bowl

Any combination ranging from chili to black or cayenne pepper is effective at repelling rats. They give off a strong spicy scent that rats dislike entirely.

This makes them effective at discouraging rats from going through any areas you put the pepper flakes in. Again, this method works better at repelling rather than dealing with several rats.

It is unlikely that a pack of rats would try to infest your home all at once. So this method would keep each one running away.

Be careful, however, so you do not encounter the harshness of these flakes by spilling some on your skin.

5. Keep Rat Predators As Pests

Cat Carrying Small Rodent Rat In House

Another effective way of keeping rats far from your doorstep is getting rat predators as pests. Animals like cats, dogs, and ferrets are good at instilling fear into rats.

Rats sense danger when they sniff the presence of these predators and typically keep their distance. If you have rats in your yard, your pets would catch or chase them at least.

What better way to repel rats than to make them afraid of scampering into your yard?

Cats are famous rat hunters, but any listed pets would do a good job keeping rats at bay.

6. Keep Food Tightly Locked Away

Food Grains, Nuts, Cereals In Glass Jars In Kitchen Cupboard

Rats eat almost anything we eat and can be enticed by sweet smells, just like us. So, keeping food items open while repelling rats would be counterproductive.

And no, you do not have to lock your food in vaults or hide them in the ceiling. Instead, you should place them in airtight containers and cover them. That way, straying rats would scarcely get a whiff of it, nor would they be able to access your food.

Apart from kitchen food, rats could also be drawn to your trash. Unlike us, they aren’t such picky eaters.

The trick to repelling rats in this situation would be keeping your garbage can sealed. Tying it in a waste bag will not do much since they can chew through it.

So, get a garbage can with a tight cover. When rats discover that they cannot access your bins or your kitchens, they will move on to greener pastures.

7. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus Essential Oil And Fresh Eucalyptus Leaves

Eucalyptus oil is an equally effective remedy against rats. Rats find its strong smell irritating, alongside lemon oil and citronella.

You could sprinkle some on cotton balls and make your rat-repellent balls. Please place them in corners around your home, or sprinkle oil around your entrances.

It would deter rats from trying to gain access to your home. Plus, your home would smell good too.

8. Garlic

Fresh Garlics In Wooden Basket

Rats hate the pungent smell of garlic, perhaps more than humans do. When crushed garlic releases a smell that pests generally like to avoid.

This may not be ideal if you do not want your home smelling like garlic. But you could use it in your yards, around your trash cans, or in wall corners.

Either powdered garlic or crushed garlic works fine. Remember that for smells to chase off rats; they have to be pungent.


Brown Rat Walking And Sniffing Around The House

Choosing to repel rats with natural methods is more than humane. It protects other animals around you.

For instance, if you set traps or poisonous baits for rats, your pets could fall victim to such traps. Or worse, an enthusiastic cat or dog could bite poisoned rats and become ill.

Also, it is much better to prevent rats from entering your home than to find ways to eliminate them. It could save you some money as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Scent Will Keep Rats Away?

Rats have a strong sense of smell which helps them to find food easily. it also works as a defense to keep them off the path of potentially poisonous food or scents they do not favor.

If you keep pet rats, like brown rats, it’s important to consider them when dealing with pests. Any traps or baits you set would attract your pet rat just as it would attract any imposters.

So, using repelling scents may not be ideal if you have already chosen to house a rat in your home. Here are some scents that will make rats turn in opposite directions.

  • Peppermint oil
  • Garlic
  • Black pepper
  • Bergamot oil
  • Clover
  • Ammonia
  • Spearmint
  • Cat fur
  • Castor oil
  • Citronella

Does Salt Kill Rats?

Rats cannot survive having large amounts of salt in their body. Their limit is 70 – 75 grams.

If they consume higher amounts of salt, it will kill them, although not instantly. Now, rats would hardly search for salt to stuff their bellies.

However, adding generous amounts of salt to leftovers with the intent of killing them would be effective.

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