What Smells do Rats Absolutely Hate?


Introducing certain types of smells or odors is supposedly a method for keeping rats from the house. Honestly speaking, we don’t believe the use of smell is an effective remedy for getting rid of rats. To make this method effective, you would need to expose the rats to the smell at a high-enough concentration or to use the smell in a confined-enough space. This might end up proving more dangerous to the homeowners if proper safety protocols aren’t employed.


Mothballs use an active ingredient called naphthalene, which some people believe is quite bothersome for rodents like rats. That might be true but the dosage of naphthalene found in moth balls is probably too low to be effective against rats. As explained by the National Pesticide Information Center, people are likely to cause more harm to themselves than to the rodents by not using mothballs for their intended purpose. We don’t believe mothballs are effective for keeping rats away.


Garlic is often reported as a popular remedy for keeping rats and mice out. At the time this article was written, we haven’t come across any scientific proof that rats hate the smell of garlic. Yes, the aroma could be quite pungent but it’s probably not enough to keep the rats away. You probably don’t want your house to smell like garlic either.

Peppermint Oil

The scent of peppermint oil might be quite distractive for a rat’s sensitive smell sense. We, however, don’t believe it will enough to keep rats away from your house. Essential oils like peppermint oil can also evaporate quite quickly so you will need to re-apply it frequently in order to deter the rats.

Just like us humans, there are bound to smells that rats absolutely hate but trying to get rid of rats using such smells is probably a lost cause. You will be better off by trying to eliminate whatever is attracting the rats to your house in the first place.