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Herbs to Get Rid of Rats

Jenn Foreacre

Rats are more than a nuisance--they can be a health hazard. There are several methods of keeping rats away from your home and property, but using natural herbs is often preferable because they are generally safer and cheaper than traps and poison. Using herbs in and around your home can be a solution.

Using Herbs to Get Rid of Rats

The use of herbs in repelling rats and other pests is nothing new. In medieval times floors were covered with rushes, which were then strewn with herbs. The rushes and herbs created a softer and cleaner atmosphere, but the herbs also served as air fresheners and insect and pest repellents.

Oregano and sage are two common household herbs, and both are thought to be effective in repelling rats, as well as mice and insects. The state of Indiana's Perry County Solid Waste Management District (see Resources) recommends using catmint to repel rats. It can also be used in vegetable gardens to deter flea beetles. However, catmint can attract bees, so you should be wary if you are allergic to them.

Many gardeners suggest sprinkling black pepper and cayenne (red pepper) on soil and bulbs. Both can also be used around cracks, crevices, piping and doorways.

Other Natural Rat Remedies

Peppermint oil, hot pepper sauce, wasabi are not herbs, but they are common food products that pose no danger to animals and children. Sprinkle them around your house, garages and outdoor areas to ward off rats.

The scent of a predator is known to keep rats at bay. Dogs, cats and foxes are predatory animals when it comes to rats. If you have a dog or cat, or can add one to your household, that may be enough to chase away rats for good. If not, consider purchasing predator urine and sprinkling it around your house and property.