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Pest Myth: Getting Rid of Rats, Does Peppermint Oil Work?

Pest Myth: Getting rid of rats, does peppermint oil work?

Getting Rid of Rats, Does Peppermint Oil Work?

Methodology: Soaking cotton balls with peppermint oil and place them strategically around common entry points where rats are found to have squeezed in from.

Fun fact! Rats are able to squeeze in from the outside, from holes and gaps as small as 1cm!

The Verdict: Rats are sensitive in the smell sensory, and peppermint oil in high concentrations can be rather strong and is assumed to chase rats away. However, over time, the pungent smell will diminish, thus losing its scent quite quickly and plus, rats spent their time in the dirtiest and harshest places ever such as sewers and drains.

Damages and harm caused by rats

Rats are annoying nuisance and for most of us, coming into contact with them can be daunting! For example, running across our legs as we take our dinner, rat landing on our shoulder as they drop from the ceiling or creeping at a corner that caught our attention!

But what makes rat so uninviting is the fact they are disease transmitter such as Salmonellosis that causes food poisoning symptoms, their excretion and urine contaminates food, and gnawing habits that destroys furniture and any objects ranging from plastic, wood or metal, including electrical wire! Danger: Damaging electrical wire causes potential risks of short circuit and in severe scenario, it may start a fire.

Read also: 9 ways how rat problem can be damaging

Why are rats control challenging?

  • They tend to hide at out-of-reach and out-of-sight spaces such as ceilings, roof attics, cramp corners, burrows and dark spaces.
  • Rats are nocturnal pests and only surface at night for food, this means spotting their presence become more difficult.
  • Infestation signs may not be obvious to us (unless pest experts or field biologists spot them). For example, rat droppings, urine stains, smear marks or presence of holes and bites found on objects.
  • Their agility, good climbing and swimming skills mean hiding and squeezing in all possible gaps and holes or reaching up to heights that are not accessible to us.

Because of their hiding and harbouring capabilities and the vast amount of information available on the Internet, DIY solutions tend to be sought after. Moth balls, ultrasonic sound waves device, spices such as pepper and bay leaf including peppermint oil are used to repel them.

You may also like: Signs of rats hiding in your property

Considerations in utilising natural rat control remedies

Besides using peppermint oil, there are other organic ways that you can prevent a rodent infestation in your homes. They are:

  • Sealing all cracks and crevices that can serve as entry points for rodents.
  • Putting small cups of a mixture of ammonia and water around areas where you sighted rodents.
  • Combine pepper flakes, mint, and cloves in sachets and place them around rodent entry points.

The strong smell will keep rodents away. While organic solutions are convenient as they make use of products that might already be in your home, they have limited effectiveness as they only work for a short while. Moreover, unlike peppermint oil, ammonia has an extremely pungent odour, and you would not want your home reek of ammonia. As such, if you have a recurring rodent problem, it will be better to call a pest control company as they can provide effective long-term treatments to get rid of rodents.

Adopting a digital rodent control programme

Rats are difficult to detect and track as they hide effectively in ceilings and inside burrows, only to emerge at night for food. Besides, they are intelligent enough to avoid unfamiliar lures and traps that make baiting efforts more challenging. Hence, switching to a digital rodent control not only heightens the detection level of rats’ movements more efficiently, but also helps to control their population more effectively. Rats’ activities’ are also tracked by pest control specialists who can monitor their movements through a command centre that activates an on-demand service when a rat is caught.

Getting rid of rats to avoid further harm

The Solution: Controlling rats require an integrated approach by removing any food source, denying any possible entry, maintaining facility and ensure diligent housekeeping, and a sound rodent control with monitoring facilities to keep rat issue at bay.

As rats have a very sensitive sense of smell, the strong scent emitted by peppermint oil could repel them from entering your premises. However, this is only effective as a short-term solution as the scent of peppermint oil will diminish after a while and the rats might come back.

Find out more on how can we get rid of rats to avoid turning these less obvious signs to something visible and detrimental. Call 6347 8138 to understand more about rats control programme.

Rats FAQ


  • What scent will keep rats away?

    Peppermint oil can keep the rats away from your property but scents alone are not enough when a large-scale infestation breaks out. It merely derails scent trials and repels rats for a short and not eliminating the root source. Engage in professional pest control services to eliminate rats effectively.


  • What is the easiest way to get rid of rats?

    The easiest way to get rid of rats is to cut off their food source. Keep your food and drinks stored away in airtight containers and make sure that your trash can or garbage bin has a lid and is regularly disposed of. Preventing a rat infestation at an early stage can minimise the escalation of rat infestation and causing monetary consequences or operation disruption.


  • How long does it take to get rid of rats?

    The time it takes to get rid of rats will depend on the expertise of the pest control expert. It is dependent on the right placement of baiting units, type of lure and bait used, accuracy standard of detection and regularity of monitoring. Alternating of baits is required for optimal luring efforts.


  • What time of day are rats most active?

    Rats are most active at night as they are nocturnal pest. If you are hearing scurrying around your ceilings and walls, you may have a budding infestation. It is better to get rid of rodents when they have not established a nest or a colony yet. However, it may be possible to see rats in the daytime when the infestation is heavy, over population or competition in food source.


  • What food kills rats?

    Very few foods are toxic to rats. However, foods such as blue cheese, liquorice, poppy seeds, and black almonds are known to have some form of toxicity effects among rats if consumed.


  • What are rats scared of?

    To some degree, rats are afraid of humans and other bigger mammals that may be seen as predators to them. In addition, they are also sensitive to new and unfamiliar environment and items around them such as baits and traps and prefer hiding in the dark and quiet burrows instead of bright light spaces.

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