Home Remedies to Get Rid of Rats and Mice (Effective & Safe)

home remedies to get rid of rats and mice

Getting rid of rodents is a tough challenge! Even if you manage to do so, they always find a way to crawl back and do some more damage! They can also get you sick and are known carriers of viruses and diseases such as Hantavirus and Salmonellosis.

So, it is logical that you would look for some home remedies to get rid of rats and mice!

Luckily for you, there are plenty of solutions and remedies that you can make at home using products that you already have in your pantry (or should have). Let’s dive in!

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Rats and Mice (Effective & Safe) pin1

10 Home Remedies to Deal with Rodent Infestation in Your House

So, before you get busy making concoctions to get rid of mice and rats, inspecting your house would be a good idea! Why?

Well, if you often deal with rodents, it means that you probably have damaged drains, pipes, cracks, and crevices, which they use to access your home! Inspecting and sealing those areas will minimize the chances of them getting inside!

They usually enter through the basement or attic because those areas are not frequented and usually have a myriad of cracks!

1. Essential Oils

Essential oils are well-known pest repellents, and people often use them to deter various insects and pests, including rats and mice. You can use clove, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender, citronella, and oregano oil.

However, peppermint oil with high concentrations is said to give the best results out of all mentioned oils for two reasons- the smell is super pungent and strong even for our noses. Secondly, peppermint contains various compounds that rub their nose the wrong way (no pun intended)!

It is easy to guess that these compounds irritate rodents’ nasal cavities, so they try to avoid them. How to make a remedy with peppermint oil or any other? Take a smaller spray bottle and fill it with water, then add a couple of drops of your chosen oil.

Spray away on all areas where you have found mice droppings and other signs of their presence. If you are not a fan of spraying, you can make cotton balls infused with peppermint oil and leave them in crevices and cracks to keep them away!

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2. Garlic Cloves

Did you know that rats hate garlic? Yup, even though they are not blood-sucking pests, the smell of garlic will send them on their way! It is not too hard to figure out why that is so. Even some people cannot tolerate the highly intense and long-lasting smell of garlic.

On that subject, mice have a very sensitive sense of smell, which is usually an advantage for them, but you can use it against them!

So, for this remedy, you need to take a couple of garlic cloves, chop them up, and put them in a spray bottle!

3. Ammonia

Ammonia is another chemical that you can use to counter these pests! Ammonia is commonly used as a cleaning agent, and you have probably heard about it from commercials for hair dyes! It is a perfect deterrent and solution to rats and mice.

The smell of ammonia is probably one of the strongest and most disgusting scents your nose can experience! Rodents, with their sensitive noses, share the same opinion, and that is why it is so effective.

Also, mice can smell the urine of their predators, which is another way to deter them. The thing about ammonia, a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen, exudes a smell or odor that resembles the urine of their predators, making them want to leave the area ASAP.

So, how to make a solution with ammonia? Just mix one or two tablespoons of detergent with 2 cups of ammonia and place it in a pot, which you will take to the attic or basement, an area you think is taken over by the rats!

4. Hot Pepper Flakes /Spray

Do you know how smelling hot pepper flakes makes us sneeze immediately? Hot pepper flakes irritate rodents’ nasal cavities as well!

When using similar home remedies to deter rodents, knowing where to place the remedy or solution is important. Regarding the effectiveness of hot pepper flakes, the opinions are divided. Some say it is a great deterrent, while others say that it can be effective.

So, it comes down to a couple of things- it is suggested that you use the strongest or spiciest pepper that you can find, such as cayenne pepper flakes. Secondly, you will need larger quantities of flakes, and they must be placed in strategic places to work.

Also, the effectiveness depends on the size of the area that you need to cover and the degree of infestation.

5. Mixture of Cocoa Powder / Baking Soda with Plaster of Paris

Everybody loves cocoa powder, especially the sweetened one, and rodents are no different, which is why people use it as bait! So, you are probably familiar with plaster, commonly used to make sculptures and metal castings.

When plaster comes into contact with water (like in the rodent’s stomach), it hardens and thickens, severely affecting the rodent’s digestion, inducing dehydration and eventual death. I simply combine plaster powder with cocoa and leave it in areas where mice congregate.

The mice will eat the mix and, soon after, dehydrate and suffocate. You can also combine the powder with boric acid dust or baking soda.

Sprinkle the mix on cardboard and leave it in the area where you suspect that they congregate. Also, it would be helpful if your pets (especially the smaller ones) cannot access it.

6. Mouse Traps

Although this is not a homemade remedy, it is very effective, and people have been using rat traps since the dawn of ages. You can buy them at Home Depot, Walmart or order them on Amazon.

They are pretty simple to use, given it is a small metal cage with doors that close automatically after the rodents enter. People often place cheese or peanut butter to attract them, and that is it!

After the animal is trapped, release it far from your house. Also, be careful where you put the trap, so your pets (if you have any) cannot access it. The suggested locations for traps are near the pipelines or sewer.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar or any other vinegar works in the same manner as peppermint or castor oil-it has such a pungent and intolerable smell that it makes mice run like a headless chicken.

Making a DIY vinegar solution is pretty easy, just take a spray bottle, add diluted vinegar, and spray on entry points. You can also spray all the nooks and crannies because those are the rat’s favorite places!

The only issue with this solution is that spraying a large area of your house with vinegar will make it unpleasant to spend time there! This is one of the reasons people avoid using vinegar because it not only deters rodents but also deters people!

8. Potato Flakes

Although it might sound ridiculous, potato flakes are very good at killing rats more than deterring them. Similar to plaster, the potato flakes grow in size after being mixed with water causing serious digestion issues and dehydration for the rodents.

After ingesting the flakes, rats or mice will be thirsty and drink water, inadvertently causing the flakes in their stomachs to swell. If you want to step up your game, add a bit of sweetener to the mix to attract the mice and make the bait irresistible!

9. DIY Cheesecloth Sachets with Clove and Cayenne


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You can also make a spray with habanero or cayenne peppers and cloves. Here is what you need to do: boil a gallon of water (depending on how much you need) while simultaneously crushing the peppers and cloves in a blender or food processor.

When the water reaches the boiling point, put it aside, and then put the crushed peppers and cloves in a bucket or a pot and cover them with that hot water.

Please leave it to stay for 10 to 12 hours, and then, using a cheesecloth strain out the peppers and cloves and transfer the solution to a spray bottle for easy use!

10. Onions and Bay Leaves

As you can see, there are several natural agents and products that you can use to deter rodents, including onions and bay leaves. Bay leaves are poisonous to rodents and can easily kill them, although their smell attracts them.

Just place the bay leaves in areas you have noticed rodent activity.

When it comes to onions, the reason why mice hate them is obvious! The pungent smell of onions also works wonders if you place it strategically! However, this is a temporary solution, and you will need to place the onions again after the smell wears off!


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What Attracts Mice?

There are numerous tricks, methods, and remedies that you can use against rodents. However, to eliminate this problem once and for all, you will have to do more than just place remedies and solutions in certain areas of your house.

Sealing any potential openings, entrances, and passageways that they can use to get into your house is important. They like small openings, pipes, nooks, and crannies, are usually nocturnal, and thus are hard to locate, find or trap.

Also, there is a reason why mice enter your house- if you often leave food scraps unattended and food residue on your kitchen counters that will attract them, and even if you deter them, that will be temporary.

You must restrict their access to food sources, such as your pantry, and make any food inaccessible. On the other hand, sometimes, mice enter people’s homes to find shelter during winter.


When dealing with rodent invasion, you can use several home remedies, which include onions, garlic, essential oils, mouse traps, cheesecloth sachets with clove and peppers, potato flakes, apple cider vinegar, potato powder, ammonia, and bay leaves!

If you are unable to get rid of them in a couple of days, that is your clue to call pest control! Remember, rodents can carry various diseases, and if you are anxious to get rid of them very quickly, call professionals.

Most of these solutions will work, but they will not be an immediate solution, which in reality does not exist! Have you ever dealt with rodent infestation? Please, share your experience with us! Also, do not forget to comment!

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