Different Natural Deterrents For Rats And Mice

If you discover that you have a rat or mouse infestation in your house, then of course you want to get rid of them and prevent them from returning. Rodents can gnaw and chew through wood, walls, and even the wiring of your home. They also carry disease, and they contaminate any food that they touch. Rats and mice also reproduce at high rates. Indoors, they can give birth to five or more litters per year, with five or more babies per litter. If you don’t get rid of the rodents right away, you will soon have many more. However, if you use poison to kill them, you will have dying rodents throughout your home, including in your attic and walls. People have many ways of trying to deter rats and mice from entering or remaining in their homes.


One way to keep rats and mice out of your home is to keep your kitchen and other areas of your home clean so that they will have no reason to enter. Don’t leave food sitting out on counters or tables, and close up your garbage bags nightly. Also, be sure to keep your pet food in closed containers rather than leaving them out in the open in the bags. Rodents have no problem getting into a bag of pet food. Put your pantry items in plastic storage containers so that rodents can’t gain access to bags and boxes when hunting for food. If there is nothing around for them to eat, they may look for a better food source. This is one of the most effective, natural ways to deter rats and mice. 

Pets and Predator Urine

One way to deter rodents from entering your home, or to make them want to leave, is to let your cat or dog take care of the problem. Cats are great hunters, and so are many breeds of dogs. Shut the animal in the room where the rodents are, and then let your pets earn their keep. Even if they are not caught, they may turn tail and head for a safer location. 

You can also use the urine of rodent predators to deter them. If you have a cat, sprinkle some used kitty litter where the rodents are entering your home and where they are nesting. You can also put ammonia on a cloth and place it at the entry point or near the nest. The rodents may think it is a cat because of the smell. 

You can buy some types of predator urine in pellet form online and in stores. Purchase one that is specifically made for deterring rodents, and place the pellets in the infested areas. They may believe that a predator is nearby and move to a safer location outside of your home. Though you can try these methods they aren’t always effective and if your pets consume rats and mice they may pick up diseases or poison. 

Peppermint Oil

Many believe that peppermint oil is a natural deterrent for rodents because they don’t like the smell. Put peppermint oil on cotton balls or strips of cloth and place the treated balls or strips in the areas of infestation. After a while, the smell of the peppermint oil will begin to dissipate, so you may need to freshen it periodically. Though this is a natural method and many will tell you to try it, it does not prove effective very often. 

Toilet Cakes

Years ago, people used mothballs to deter rodents. However, once the harmful effects on humans from mothballs were discovered, many switched to toilet cakes. The deodorizers in toilet cakes are believed to smell strongly enough that rodents won’t want to be around them. Place the toilet cakes where children or pets can’t access them, but where the rodents will encounter them. This may deter them from hanging around your house any longer. As with many of the natural methods this one doesn’t have very strong effects and will often not work. 


The reality is that with urine, peppermint oil, and toilet cakes, the rodents will learn to live with the odor. Unless a predator is actually invading their nest, they will just be extra careful when leaving it if they sense a predator. 

If the rodents truly find the odor of peppermint oil or toilet cakes that unbearable, which is highly unlikely, they may just more their nest further away. A little unpleasant odor is still preferable to being outside and exposed to predators. A cat or dog may hunt the mice, but most likely the rodents will be in your walls and attic, not nesting under your bed where your pet can get to them. In addition, while maintaining a clean home is always a good idea, rodents will find a food source somewhere; they are most likely entering your home for the warmth anyway not because they smell food. Leaving food out in the open where they can easily get to it just makes it a little easier for them. 

You will need to trap the existing rodents. Trapping is preferable to spraying poison because trapping doesn’t harm humans or their environment; poison is not just bad for rodents. After trapping the rodents by one or more of a variety of methods, you can seal off your home from future infestations. If you don’t prevent the rats or mice from entering your home, you could end up with another infestation.