How Does Rat Repellent Work?

There are a wide variety of rat repellents available to buy on the market nowadays. Surprisingly, most of them are based on naturally occurring substances in various combinations. These include peppermint oil, camphor, garlic and the urine of cats and wolves. These are mixed together in a preparation and supplied for spraying onto the areas rats hang out.

How Does Rat Repellent Work?

How Does Rat Repellent Work?

These ingredients work in slightly different ways. Any change to the smell of an area will make a small rodent wary. They are an excellent meal for many predators and so spend much time trying to keep themselves safe. If they sense a new smell in an area they will want to be sure that there is not a predator about.

The powdered urine added to some preparations may make the rat think that a predator is about. The peppermint and garlic oils are unpleasant smelling to the rat and the idea is that they will keep away to avoid the smell.

Many of these smells are generated by volatile compounds which mean that the smell becomes less over time. This means that frequent applications are required to keep the levels high.

Rats are stubborn little creatures and are used to eating out of dustbins and living in sewers. As they are able to tolerate the horrendous smells in these places they may well easily tolerate the smell generated by a rat repellent spray. They may work for a short time but once the rodents realise that there is no predator in the area and get used to the smell they may well return.

This is particularly likely if they are hungry or desperate for shelter and the area in question offers food or warmth.

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Dr Toby Bateson for