For as long as there have been homes, there have been homeowners trying to get mice and rats out of them.
There are a number of do-it-yourself methods out there for getting rid of rodents in your home. The trouble is finding one that actually works.
What is a Natural Repellent?
In the world of pest control, a repellent is something that works to keep the pests away. This is not to kill them or remove them from your home, but to make your home or environment less appealing in the first place. For example, many people use citronella as a repellent during mosquito season.
Natural just means that there is no spraying or placing of chemicals around – per say. Some natural rodent repellents do contain chemical ingredients that are responsible for their effectiveness, but since they are common items, homeowners allow for that assumption of being natural.
Soundwaves and Peppermint
There is truth behind rodents being turned off by certain soundwaves and even the smell of peppermint. The problem is, these are smart animals who are fueled by a need for food, water, and shelter. Once they find a cozy place that provides those elements, they learn to get used to annoying noises and smells. Kind of like humans, when we have a really nice apartment with really bad neighbors.
Mothballs and Rodents
Mothballs are made using a chemical known as naphthalene, a strong-smelling substance that, when inhaled, causes red blood cells to lose their ability to carry oxygen. It generally works on moths and other types of insects, so many people assume they will work for rodents as well. People often place these small, white, stinky balls anywhere they think the mice are hanging out. This does nothing to deter them from coming out from hiding to seek water and food at night.
The level of naphthalene needed to repel a rodent is the same as would be needed to repel a human. They simply don’t make mothballs that size. Mice will walk right over that mothball if the smell of fresh trash is coming from your kitchen.
And even if the smell did become too much for them as they tried to rest in their nest, rodents would likely just build a new one somewhere else inside of your home.
Repel Rodents Before They Get Cozy
Once a rodent has gotten inside your house, a professional extermination company will be most effective at getting them out. Natural repellents are only useful when it comes to keeping mice from entering your house in the first place.
Steel wool stuffed inside of entry points is one DIY solution that does actually work. Rats may be able to chew through wood, but that ball of metal you use to wash your pots and pans will stop them in their tracks. That, and making your home less attractive by keeping it free of food debris are the best natural rodent repellents you will find.