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Commercialized repellents or homemade repellents don’t work, no matter what make-believe stories you have heard about their effectiveness. There’s no doubt in my mind about it. It’s very frustrating for me to see how companies that produce and market these so-called repellents keep stealing money from the pockets of desperate people who struggle to get rid of their pest problem. And yes, this is not only applicable to rats – no pest repellent actually works, and even if it does have a minimum effect, that’s all it can have. Exceptions to this can only be lucky coincidences where the animal(s) leave due to other factors.
Why won’t these scent repellents work no matter what the cover says? Rat repellent sprays, powders, pastes, and granules that can be found in stores and online come with the story that they will emanate such a powerful smell that the rat will get so annoyed or scared that it will leave its home. Nope, that simply doesn’t happen.
The majority of these repellents are made of ammonia, mothballs, or predator urine and predator gland excretions. A rat in your attic is a rat that’s probably born in there. The rat, a creature of habit, won’t leave the safety of its only known home because something smells bad. It has food and shelter, and nothing beats that. If you’re dealing with first generation rats, even more so – that means the rat has presumably traveled through danger to get in your attic, and once it got there, it figured it can’t get any better than this. Why would it leave? All animals have the genetic need to survive and ensure survival of their species, but these critters are not human, they won’t go, ‘Oh, I might get cancer from this naphthalene smell. I better change environments.’ They will just ignore the smell and keep on keepin’ on. Any smell-based repellent will turn out to be completely useless.
Various machines that emit high-pitched sounds or produce stroboscopic lights are as ineffective as the previously discussed repellents. And for the same reasons those scent repellents won’t work, neither won’t these ones. Buying these sorts of machines is money down the drain, and the companies that market them are downright fraudulent, class A scammers.
For whatever reason, peppermint oil is also popular as a rat repellent. Peppermint oil or peppermint can be useful in getting rid of rats if you use it as bait for a trap or cage. That’s about it.
If you’re interested in real ways of solving your attic rat problem, there are things you can do, and you can find out all about them on this website. Repellents will never be the answer you’re looking for, and that’s a fact. For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does rat removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of rats - my main rat removal info guide.
Example rat trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Rat job blog - learn from great examples of rat jobs I've done.