What Smell Do Rats Hate: 9 DIY Tips!

By proofPest

With their keen sense of smell, rats have a knack for turning our homes and surroundings into their playgrounds, causing persistent nuisance and potential health risks. However, fear not! In our quest to regain control over our spaces, we can outsmart these furry intruders by harnessing the power of scent. 

But what smells do rats hate?

By understanding the aromas that rats find repulsive, we can take proactive measures to deter them effectively, leaving them scurrying away in search of more pleasant environments.

What Smell Do Rats Hate?

In the battle against rodent invaders, timing is everything. While waiting for professional pest control to come to the rescue, you can’t sit idly by. That’s where DIY rodent repellents swoop in to save the day!

Check out these options to keep yourself safe until a trusted proof. technician comes by to treat your home. 


Prepare to turn your rat problem into a minty-fresh solution! Rats may have a perceptive sense of smell, but they can’t stand the refreshing scent of peppermint. 

This natural and aromatic repellent works wonders in deterring these unwanted pests. You can create a rat-free zone with the power of peppermint oil or fresh leaves.

Harnessing the repellent properties of peppermint is as easy as pie. Soak cotton balls in peppermint oil or sprinkle a few drops directly in the problem areas. 

Focus on spots where rats lurk, such as near entry points, trash bins, or dark corners where they may be tempted to set up camp. The refreshing fragrance that delights humans becomes an unwelcome assault on the delicate noses of rats, driving them away.

The beauty of peppermint is that while it repels rats, it has a pleasant aroma for us. It’s a win-win situation! You can enjoy a fresh, minty scent throughout your home while keeping those pesky rodents at bay.


What smell do rats hate that’s a savory kitchen staple? Unfortunately, garlic is high on their list!

Garlic has qualities that go beyond flavoring your favorite dishes. Its strong, pungent scent can also be a natural and effective way to repel rats.

By strategically placing garlic cloves or sprinkling garlic oil in areas where rats are likely to frequent, such as near their nests or along potential entry points, you create an environment that’s unappealing to these pests.

In addition to its rat-repelling properties, garlic has other benefits that make it a valuable tool in pest control. Its natural antibacterial properties make it effective against harmful bacteria, while its insect-repelling qualities can keep away other pests, such as mosquitoes and flies.

A bowl of peeled garlic in a small white bowl

To use garlic as a rat deterrent, you can either use fresh garlic cloves or garlic oil. For fresh garlic, crush the cloves and scatter them in rat-prone areas or place them in a mesh bag and hang them up. Alternatively, mix garlic oil with water and spray it in the areas you want to keep rats away.


Eucalyptus is a powerful scent that rats find repulsive. This aroma can be highly effective in deterring rats from infested areas, whether it’s the strong eucalyptus oil or the distinct fragrance of crushed eucalyptus leaves. 

The intense scent of eucalyptus overwhelms their sensitive noses, making it challenging for them to tolerate or approach areas with this scent.

The strong aroma of the oil will permeate the air, creating an environment that rats find highly displeasing and discouraging their presence. Alternatively, you can scatter eucalyptus leaves in these areas to achieve a similar effect.

Check out this article for a eucalyptus spray!

Cayenne Pepper or Red Pepper Flakes

What smell do rats hate that’s a favorite in hot sauce? Get ready to spice up your rat defense strategy with the mighty power of cayenne pepper! This fiery spice adds a kick to your favorite dishes and sends rats running for cover. Sprinkling cayenne pepper powder in areas frequented by these unwanted intruders can be a game-changer in your battle against them. 

Cayenne pepper possesses a secret weapon: its strong and spicy scent. While humans may enjoy the zing it adds to our taste buds, rats find it highly unpleasant. 

Two red cayenne peppers on a white surface

The potent aroma of cayenne pepper irritates their sensitive noses, creating an environment that rats simply can’t tolerate. It’s like a spicy slap in the face that prompts them to seek out more comfortable and less irritating habitats.

To make the most of cayenne pepper as a rat deterrent, be generous with your application. Target strategic areas where rats love to roam. The goal is to create a spicy barrier that rats can’t bear to cross.

But remember, moderation is key. While rats dislike the scent of cayenne pepper, an overwhelming amount may not be necessary. A liberal but controlled sprinkling should do the trick, making your space unappealing without overwhelming your own senses.

Check out this video to learn how red pepper flakes can help too!


With its strong smell, vinegar possesses properties that can be highly effective in repelling rats. When mixed with water and applied in areas where rats are active, vinegar acts as a deterrent that makes them reconsider staying in the vicinity.

The pungent odor of vinegar makes it a useful tool against rats. Rats have a keen sense of smell, and the strong scent of vinegar creates an unwelcome environment for them. It overwhelms their olfactory system, causing discomfort and encouraging them to seek alternative spaces.

To make the most of vinegar as a rat repellent, you need to be strategic. Identify common rat entry points, nesting areas, and spots where signs of rat activity are evident. These are the hotspots that require your attention. By targeting these areas, you greatly increase your chances of deterring rats from infiltrating or settling in your vicinity.

Remember, proper dilution is key. You want a solution that’s effective without being overpowering. Mix vinegar with water in the right proportions to create a potent yet balanced repellent. Then, armed with your solution, you can spray or apply it in the identified rat-prone zones. Be thorough and diligent in your efforts, as regular inspections and reapplications may be necessary to maintain the vinegar’s potency over time.


With its refreshing and invigorating scent, mint holds a secret power that repels rats. While humans often delight in the cool and minty aroma, these furry intruders find it deeply unappealing. The strong fragrance of mint overwhelms their sensitive noses, acting as a formidable deterrent against their presence.

Consider planting mint around your property to create a natural barrier against rats. The vibrant green leaves add a touch of beauty to your surroundings and emit a scent that rats simply can’t stand. By establishing a perimeter of mint, you create an environment that discourages rats from staying or attempting to infiltrate your space.

In addition to planting mint, you can use mint leaves or essential oil in problem areas to intensify the repelling effect. Place mint leaves or soak cotton balls in mint oil and position them near rat-prone areas.

Bay Leaves

Time to add some herbal defense to your rat-repellent tactics with bay leaves. These unassuming leaves harbor a potent scent that rats find highly displeasing. Sprinkle bay leaves liberally in cupboards, corners, and other areas where rats frequent.

The overpowering aroma infiltrates their sensitive noses, acting as a powerful deterrent. Watch as these furry intruders scurry away, freeing your space from their mischievous presence. Bay leaves prove that sometimes the mightiest defense comes in the most unexpected forms.

Keep Rats at Bay With proof.!

Professional pest control is the gold standard when dealing with pests, whether it’s rats, insects, or any other unwelcome visitors. While DIY methods may offer temporary relief, nothing compares to the expertise and effectiveness of a reliable pest control service like proof. Pest Control.

With proof. Pest Control, you can have peace of mind, knowing that their team of experts is committed to delivering exceptional results and exceptional customer service.

So, why settle for DIY guesswork when you can trust the professionals? Partner with proof. Pest Control for comprehensive and reliable pest control solutions!

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Call proof. pest control at 888-291-5333, or send us a message online.