8 Stinky Foods For Your Natural Rat Repellent

by | Last updated Jul 17, 2023 | Rodents

Have you ever tried a durian fruit? It smells a little like you’ve smeared rotten onions onto your smelly gym socks – so if you want someone to stay away, it’s the perfect deterrent. But what about rats and mice? Are there any similarly pungent smells that might have these detested pests running for the hills at your place? What smells do rats hate, exactly?

First, the bad news – rats will definitely nibble away at your durian fruit. But wait, there’s plenty of good news too: because rats have an excellent sense of smell that is much better than us mere human beings. In fact, these incredible olfactory abilities are exactly the way rats and other rodents manage to navigate into and around your home, sniffing out the entry points as well as the foods and crumbs they love to nibble on – like our delicious scraps as well as the typical rat favorites including grains, fruits, and vegetables. On the other hand, if the smells are bad enough, that might keep the world’s most detested house menace away from those areas.

What scent will keep rats & mice away?

So what smells do rats hate, specifically? In general, they’ll scurry away from strong, pungent odors, just like we do. They don’t like aromatic herbs & spices, and they’re also no fans of many chemical or synthetic smells like ammonia and mothballs.

Want to keep those rats and mice at bay? Give these rat-repelling stenches a try:

1. Peppermint/mint

What repels rats? Let’s start with peppermint. You may love it in your toothpaste, but rats aren’t as tolerant of oral health as we are. But don’t use minty toothpaste as a mouse repellent and instead use the peppermint or mint leaves themselves – and essential oils are even better.

2. Onions

We love them with our American burgers, but raw onion slices – and even onion peels – really turn off our rodent foes.

3. Garlic

If you eat too much of it, you’ll probably be reaching for the peppermint toothpaste. Put sliced onion and crushed raw garlic together, however, and the rats may scurry to cover.

4. Ammonia & mothballs

As we mentioned earlier, ammonia and mothballs are among the chemical smells that rats definitely don’t like. To spread that pungent smell, dip a rag or cotton balls into the ammonia and put them in places you don’t want rats to be. Just make sure your kids or pets can’t access them – especially in ammonia’s concentrated form.

5. Eucalyptus

It’s native to Australia, so you may find it tricky to get your hands on eucalyptus leaves. But luckily, you can quite easily locate eucalyptus essential oil – and rats will often simply refuse to cross that kind of barrier.

6. Vinegar

We all know happens if we sniff vinegar too enthusiastically, so now imagine you’re a rat with an even more potent sense of smell. Dribble it around and you don’t even need to worry about your pets or kids.

7. Pepper

You may sprinkle some into your stew or soup, but the strong and spicy scent of cayenne or black pepper can really turn mice off. If you know where those rats are coming in, sprinkle it liberally in those areas – or mix it with water for a cheap and effective natural mouse repellent.

8. Citrus

Rats quite love fruits – but not citrus! Go wild with those lemony, orange, and grapefruit smells, and you can rest assured the rats at your place will turn their noses up.

Need some more foods that rats hate? Try:

  • Cinnamon
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Coffee grounds
  • Vanilla
  • Lavender
  • Mustard.

But don’t forget, while it’s certainly true that our ratty friends won’t like any of the smells we’ve listed above, spreading and spraying them around won’t deal at all with the underlying issues of your rat infestation. For that, you’ll need comprehensive and customized rat and rodent control measures – so our disease-spreading four-legged foes go away and stay away.


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