How To Get Rid Of Rats With Black Pepper? (Right & Effective Way)

how to get rid of rats with black pepper

Did you find a rat in your house? Is it the first time the rodent has stepped onto your property, or this keeps happening? In any case, you need to get rid of it as soon as possible!

Rats are carriers of dangerous pathogens. When they urinate or poop, the germs become airborne and contaminate the air. These air particles enter our system and cause fatal diseases like Hantavirus and leptospirosis.

The sad news is rat poisons take up to a week to be effective and using snap traps means disposing of the smelly dead bodies. So, the only best home remedy is to use black pepper.

But how to get rid of rats with black pepper? Let’s find out together!

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What Does Black Pepper Do To Rats?

What Does Black Pepper Do To Rats?1

Black pepper has a sharp, pungent smell that rats don’t like. They will naturally avoid a place where black pepper is kept or sprinkled.

However, the star feature is the bioactive chemical compound called piperine. It is a nasal irritant for rodents. So, when a rat inhales the pepper, this compound travels through the nasal passages and causes extreme discomfort.

In case a rat inhales too much black pepper, the toxic piperine can cause serious damage to its health. But it won’t kill the rat or harm anyone else (like pets). So, you can use it comfortably in your house.

What’s more, recent studies suggest that black pepper reduces the appetite of rats. The researchers at the University of California studied the reaction of small rodents to herbal repellents with black pepper.

They found that female mice were more affected than the males. Their appetite reduced rapidly after exposure to the mice repellent. This eventually had a negative impact on the reproduction.

So, black pepper is also a great way to stop rat infestation. The less the females will eat, the less they will mate and produce more rats. However, since the males will continue to thrive, you will need to take additional measures to prevent an infestation.

Benefits of Using Black Pepper for Rats

Benefits of Using Black Pepper for Rats1

Now that we know the effect of black pepper on rats, let’s have a look at why should you choose black pepper over other methods.

1. Immediate Results

Commercially sold rat poison and repellent take up to one week to get rid of the rats. Meanwhile, the snap traps have a 50/50 chance of success.

Remember that rats are adaptable creatures, so if they have encountered snap traps once, they will know how to avoid them. Comparatively, black pepper offers immediate results.

Rats have a powerful sense of smell that they use to detect new food items. So, if black pepper is in an area, they will pick up the scent and run away.

2. Prevents an Infestation

Having one rat in the house can be such a scary experience. Imagine how it would feel to have an army of them!

Rats have a very fast reproduction rate. They reach sexual maturity after a few weeks of birth and can mate multiple times. On average, a female rate will give birth to 6 litters in a year. Each litter has 5 to 12 babies.

This means a couple of rats can grow to hundreds and thousands of rats in one year. Luckily, if you’re unable to get rid of a rat quickly, black pepper helps you control its population and stop an infestation.

3. Doesn’t Kill Rats

Killing anything burdens our conscious self. To the world, killing a rat may seem like a trivial task that we do every other day. But, to an empathetic soul, this would feel like a murder. The guilt of taking away a life feels too much to handle.

If you find this relatable, don’t worry because black pepper only scares the rats away. Snap traps and poisonous rat deterrents may kill them, but the black pepper just irritates them.

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4. Cheap

Lastly, the biggest benefit of using black pepper is that it is readily available and cheap. You probably have a huge jar in your kitchen right now. So, it won’t be much of a problem to use it regularly as smell deterrence for rats.

How to Get Rid of Rats with Black Pepper?

How to Get Rid of Rats with Black Pepper?1

There are two methods to get rid of rats with black pepper. Below, we have discussed each one separately. So, go through them and choose the easiest one for yourself!

Method 1: Use Black Pepper Directly

Black pepper comes in two forms; powdered and dried. However, regardless of the form,  one teaspoon of black pepper will have around 0.4 to 7% of piperine. That’s a decent level of concentration.

So, you can use any type of black pepper for this method. But make sure you wear gloves before handling black pepper. This will stop you from accidentally rubbing the pepper in your eyes!

  • Identify the areas where rats live in your house. This can be rat holes, basement, under furniture, inside cabinets, drains, or anywhere else. The technique to locate their spots is to look for droppings.
  • Create a thick black pepper barrier around these places or make small piles of dried black pepper. If making a pile, put a coffee filter over the peppers to stop them from rolling away.

Please note when exposed to air, black pepper loses its effectiveness after some time. It’s why cooking enthusiasts always suggest storing them in airtight containers. So, replace the barriers or piles of black pepper with fresh ones every 24 hours.

Method 2: Use Black Pepper Essential Oil

Although black pepper doesn’t cost much, changing it every 24 hours can be troublesome. If you agree to this and want an easier solution, use black pepper essential oil. You can either pour it into a diffuser or make a repellent spray.

  • For the diffuser, make sure the concentration of black pepper in the oil is 2% or above. Anything lower than that would not release enough piperine to get rid of rats.
  • For the spray, just take a cup of water and add 10 to 15 drops of the black pepper essential oil. Mix this solution and pour it into a spray bottle. Use it generously in the burrows, nests, and other hiding places of rats.

Caution: Black Pepper Won’t Work If You…

Rats hate the strong scent of black pepper, but if their motivation is too strong, they can learn to ignore the smell. This happens when the food is easily available to them.

For example, if you left the food outside on the table or you didn’t clean the crumbs on the kitchen floor, the rats will have motivation. This motivation will turn to confidence when the food is in their sight. And so they will tolerate both the smell and irritation of black pepper.

So, the first thing you should do is clean. Vacuum the floors, clear the kitchen countertops, store food in the refrigerator or cabinet, and throw away the food scraps in the dumpster outside.

Once you’ve done this, take a detailed tour of your property and find entry points. Rats can get access into the house through wall cavities, broken pipes, cracked floors, and holes. Identify these spots and seal them.

If you can’t do it, consider getting professional help. Any pest control company can help you stop the entry of rats in exchange for a small fee.

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Can You Use Cayenne Pepper to Deter Rats?

Can You Use Cayenne Pepper to Deter Rats?

Yes, Cayenne pepper is another great deterrent for rats. It doesn’t contain piperine but an equally powerful irritant called capsaicin.

The only difference is that capsaicin does not cause nasal irritation. It is a spice that irritates the skin and mouth (if the rat eats it). Usually, a rat will detect Cayenne pepper from a distance and leave the place immediately.

However, if there is more than one rat, you can’t use Cayenne pepper everywhere. It is an expensive ingredient and can be easily swept away by the wind. So, it’s best to put 2 tablespoons of Cayenne pepper in 1 gallon of water and create a repellent spray.

Use it generously in the holes, nooks, crannies, and any other entry points that you may have found. If there are many rats in your area, you should also create a barrier of Cayenne pepper or repellent outside the house. This will keep all the other rats and pests away!

Other Smells that Rats Hate


To recap, here’s how to get rid of rats with black pepper:

  • Find the nesting and visiting spots of rats in your house.
  • Sprinkle crushed pepper generously or put small piles of dried black pepper. Make sure the distance between each pile isn’t too much.
  • Or, purchase a 2% or higher concentrated black pepper essential oil and pour it into the diffuser. You can also make pepper spray by adding 10 to 15 drops of the essential oil to a cup of water.

Rats hate the smell of black pepper and will run away after a single sniff. However, if your house isn’t clean and food is easily accessible, rats will be motivated enough to endure the smell and irritation caused by black pepper. So, make sure to clean first. Good luck!

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