Pest Problems

Ways to Deter Rats and Stop Them from Coming Into Your Home

One of the most unsightly things for any homeowner is spotting a rat in their own home. If there’s one, there are definitely more coming, and the situation can quickly become a health hazard. To avoid a rat infestation, every homeowner should know what attracts rats and how to effectively deter them. Therefore, the Fantastic Services team has made this guide focusing on rat deterrent methods.

What attracts a rat to a home?

  • Food. If you store grain in your attic or basement, you can be sure that rats will find it. Bird feeders can also attract rats – if the seeds are not eaten by birds, they will be eaten by rats. Any nuts, fruits or pet food out in the open would be a target. 
  • Water. Outdoor water sources, such as swimming pools or leaking sprinklers can become a perfect attractant for rodents.
  • Easy entry spots. Rats are always on the move, seeking shelter for their young. They can squeeze into incredibly small cracks and holes. As long as they find an entry point to a small protected space that provides warmth, they could easily make a nest there.
  • Safety and security. Once a rat has found a safe and warm place in your home, they would stay for a long time. If they feel protected from predators and have a secure supply of food and water, they will certainly make your home their home.

Suspect there are rats running around your house? We can come and inspect your property from top to bottom.

Ways to deter rats

Taking a few measures to keep the rats away from your property is always a good idea. Just because a rat has left you alone, for now, doesn’t mean it won’t ever come back. Here’s what you can do to deter the rodents from coming into your property:

  • Try a homemade rat deterrent – There are a few types of scents that is believed rats cannot tolerate. Cayenne pepper, garlic, mothballs, peppermint oil, lavender and eucalyptus, are among the most common scents rats hate. All of these could work as natural rat repellents. They can be spread around the house and the essential oils can be mixed with water to make a spray. It’s important to note, however, that it matters how strong the mixture is, as well as how often and where it’s applied. Rat deterrent sprays with essential oils tend to evaporate quickly, so they need to be applied frequently. All of the listed deterrents need to be spread close to potential entry points. Also, some people could find the smell of mothballs and other deterrents intolerable.
  • Get a cat. A cat won’t do much if you already have a full-blown infestation, but it could generally ward off the attempts of new rats settling into your home. Or in other words, if you are wondering what are rats most scared of, then a cat is perhaps on top of the list. When rats sense that a natural predator is waiting for them, they wouldn’t even dream of making their nest close to its territory. In all honesty, dogs are also reliable against rats.
  • Use lights to keep rats away – As nocturnal animals, rats will try to avoid any well-lit areas. Flashing lights would likely be most effective in scaring rodents. However, chances are that after a while the rats will adjust and how fast that happens highly depends on their motivation. If they sense food source is available close by, they will try their best to get to it. Still, in order to extend the effect of the light method, you can change the colour to blue, then green.
  • Remove any clutter. Sometimes, rats don’t nest inside the walls or in any hard-to-get places, but inside a room, if there are enough hiding places. This makes a cluttered attic, basement or storage room the perfect shelter for the pesky vermin. To avoid this, declutter your home of all unnecessary items, so rats have no hiding spots.
  • Keep food in airtight containers. If you have to store food in your attic, basement or garden shed, use airtight plastic containers, instead of bags. This would prevent mice and rats from sensing that there is food inside, so they won’t be attracted.
  • Take out the rubbish every day. Avoid giving rodents a reason to come close to your home. Never leave any food out in the open. This includes leftovers from dinner or dirty dishes in the sink. If you have to throw away any organic waste, take out the rubbish as soon as possible. If you can’t, invest in a waste disposal unit with an airtight seal. Keep your home clean and remove food spillages, crumbs, etc. from all surfaces in a timely manner. Clean debris and woodpiles, to limit the chances of rats nesting in your garden.
  • Seal any holes and possible entry points in your property. It’s advisable to inspect the structure of your building once every year. Check for cracks and holes. Inspect also the garage doors, garden shed, chimneys, roof and loft areas, dryer and AC vents. Anything that can serve as a crawl space should be properly sealed, preferably with wire mesh, so the rodents cannot chew through it. This way, you’ll block all potential routes towards the inside of your property. It won’t hurt to spread some of the rat deterrents we mentioned before around the garage doors, front door, garden shed etc.
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Dangers of a rat infestation in the house

Rats are capable of causing serious property damage. Their very presence creates an unsanitary environment, which, if left untreated, can threaten the health of your family and pets. The rodents tend to chew on paper, rubber, cardboard and any food left out in the open. A particularly bad scenario is when they chew on electric cables. This could cause a power cut and even start a fire.

If rats nest in your garden instead of your house, they will most probably hang around or inside your shed if you store produce in there. Or they may burrow holes in the soil and disturb your plants.

Diseases transmitted by rats

  • Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). Humans get infected by inhaling contaminated dust from rat urine or droppings or by direct contact with rat waste.
  • Salmonellosis. Salmonella bacteria cause food poisoning. It can be spread through food or water contaminated by rat faeces.
  • Leptospirosis. The infection that a human can get by contacting a diseased soil or freshwater.
  • Rat-bite fever. Transmitted through a rat bite or scratch, or by getting in contact with a dead rat.
Rats are nocturnal, so they can mostly be seen during the night. However, if the infestation is severe, they might come out during the day because their hiding spots are overflowing. If you see a rat during the day, call an exterminator immediately!

Need an immediate solution?

Fantastic Services got you covered! Rat extermination is not an easy task, especially if you haven’t had any experience with it before. We offer a professional solution that meets all the safety standards. The team of professionals is sent on a spot to detect the level of infestation, pinpoint the entry/exit spots and get rid of all the rodents inside your house. Book a guaranteed rat control service today!

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  • Rats choose warm spots where they can easily find food and water supply;
  • Cayenne pepper, garlic, mothballs and a variety of essential oils could be used as natural rat repellents.
  • Rats are nocturnal creatures, so lights could keep them away.
  • To prevent rat infestation, tidy your property regularly and seal any possible entry spots.

Did you find our article on removing rats helpful? Do you have something to add? Please, share your knowledge and thoughts in the comments below!

Image source: New Africa/

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