Rodent repellents can be used as a temporary solution to your rat problems, but if you don’t take corrective measures to remove the foods rats eat, the issue will come back. Mice and rats are adaptable creatures, and they’ll eat just about anything.
What Do Mice like to Eat?
Mice are smaller in size, and while they aren’t the pickiest eaters, there are some food items they would rather gnaw on than others. Cheese is a homeowner’s favorite bait for a mouse trap, but these rodents will also eat:
Mice will eat just about anything you leave around. If you go near a dumpster at night or go behind many restaurants, you’ll often find mice scavenging for food. Persistent and known for following the same trail 99% of the time, mice will continue coming back to food sources as long as they’re available.
They’ll eat plants and meat, although meat is more uncommon.
If mice get exceptionally hungry and haven’t been able to eat for quite some time, they have been witnessed eating other mice. Rodents will engage in cannibalism, but this practice is often the last resort.
And mice will eat 15 to 20 times per day.
If you supply a readily available and accessible food source, mice will build their nest near your home and continue to feed off of the scraps you leave behind.
What Do Rats Eat?
Rats are larger in size, so they’ll naturally consume larger quantities of the same food mice eat. Also non-picky in their selection of food, rats will eat most food items that do not involve some form of hunting.
When hunting is involved, you may find rats eating:
- Smaller animals
What Attracts Rats?
Rats do not turn their nose up to most foods, nor do they mind living in dark places. Rats want a life of leisure, and most human homes keep rats warm, dry and well-fed. Food is the main driving factor behind having rats or mice.
If you eliminate the food source, you’ll be able to deter rats from coming near your home.
Rats will often be found in a few key areas:
#1 – Your Yard
You know that rats need food, water and shelter, but they don’t need all the comforts of home like humans do. Instead, rats will decide to stay in wood piles or in debris without much of a complaint.
Key items in your yard may actually be helping the rats persist, including:
- Storm drains
- Pet bowls
Food is also in abundance in your yard, even if you don’t recognize it immediately. If you have flimsy plastic bins holding bird seed or other small food items, rats will gnaw these bins or bags and eat the seeds inside.
Compost piles are a major attraction and will often be overrun with rodents if you don’t do proper composting.
Pet food, rotting food, that old vegetable garden that you forgot about – everything is edible to rats and mice.
#2 – Your House
If you have rats in your yard, you can be sure that they’ll take up residence in your home as soon as possible. One small hole or gap in your garage door is all it takes for a rodent to squeeze through and enter the home.
Once inside your home, rats may stay in the walls until nighttime when they’ll come out and look for food.
Fats and oils are also great treats, so if you didn’t clean off fat inside of a garbage can or on a counter, it may attract rats.
Pet food serves as a treat as well as any crumbs a person may drop on the floor.
If you see one rat, you can be sure that more will follow if you allow the problem to persist.
Can Rats Eat Grapes?
We had a reader from California write us recently and she described a problem she was having at her vineyard. Her grapes were disappearing at night. It didn’t take long to figure out what was causing the issue.
While grapes may be toxic to dogs if they’re eaten in large quantities, but rats can consume them just fine. There is a limit to how many grapes a rat can eat because the sugar and fiber can lead to:
- Upset stomach
Of course, if you want to get rid of a rat, there’s a good chance that you won’t be worried about the side effects of food that they eat.
What Smells Do Rats Dislike?
Rats are like most animals in that there are certain smells they like and dislike. I am sure there are certain smells that you would not want in your yard or space because they’re simply not appealing to you.
While rats often like the smell of rotting foods and garbage, there are some smells that they do not like.
A few of the proven scents that rats do not like are:
- Chemicals. Rats have an intense sensory system, and chemical smells will deter them from entering a space. Naphthalene, often found in mothballs, is one chemical smell that rats do not favor. Of course, there are other strong chemical smells that rats dislike: toxic chemicals, bleach, paint thinner and ammonia are among them.
- Predators. The smell of predators will make most animals scared and reluctant to go in a yard or home. Urine from a predator is most commonly used as a deterrent. Rats have quite a few natural predators, including cats and ferrets. Scientists conducted a study on how rats reacted when they smelled the urine of their predators, and it was found that these smells caused a strong stress response.
- Naturals. If you have pets or children, you know that chemicals aren’t the best option to riddle your yard or inside of your home with. Natural smells are a great way to deter mice and rats. The scents that rats like the least are:
- Citronella. A common insect repellent, citronella also acts as a rodent repellent. Researchers found that when citronella was put on food or in pens, rats would ignore these areas and eat around them. Daily application of citronella will be needed to be able to deter rats.
- Eucalyptus. Commonly used in an essential oil form, eucalyptus oil has compounds that are proven to keep rats at bay. The compounds are very powerful, and they can be diluted to 5% to 20% and remain effective. Simply add eucalyptus oil to a water bottle and spray. If you are in a warm area and are so inclined, plant your own Eucalpytus trees around your property. They also help keep mosquitoes and other flying insects away from your house.
- Peppermint. A good smelling rodent repellent, peppermint was studied by researchers in Thailand with great efficacy. Researchers found that when peppermint was present, rats spent less time in the vicinity.
Note: Many chemicals can be toxic to rats, pets and humans when too much is used. Practice the utmost caution when using any chemical deterrents to try and keep mice or rats away. Even mothballs in massive amounts can cause a negative reaction in humans.
Deterrents are going to be one of the best, most effective means of keeping rats out of your home or yard. Of course, you’ll also want to make sure to clean your space thoroughly and keep any food items out of reach
Seal all open food in thick containers and store them in places where rats cannot reach.
Never keep dishes in the sink, and be sure to clean all surfaces where food, oil or other particles may fall. All it takes is a few crumbs for a rat to be satisfied and continue searching your space for food.
One rodent repellent that we did find and like a lot is Rodent Sheriff Spray. The repellent uses peppermint, so it doesn’t smell bad and will add a nice aroma to your space, unlike citronella which can be overpowering
Rodent Sheriff Spray
If you’re looking for a commercial peppermint spray rather than using essential oils that can be complicated to mix, Rodent Sheriff Spray is a great option. You can purchase this product in packages of one to three bottles, and it’s made with all-natural peppermint oil.
Being all-natural means that this spray is safe to use around:
Made in America, Rodent Sheriff Spray can be used both in your home and in your garden. Since rodents naturally dislike peppermint spray, it’s a great option for a rodent repellent. And the spray will also keep out other pests that are also repulsed by peppermint.
The most common pests that Rodent Sheriff Spray works against are:
- Other insects
It’s a good spray to use for most of your pest control needs. Each bottle contains roughly 2,000 sprays, so you can apply and reapply often.
We recommend that you use this spray in key areas outdoors and indoors, including:
- Trash cans
Anywhere you see rodents, use the peppermint spray to deter them from coming into the space. The spray isn’t overpowering, so you’ll be able to spray it without a strong smell of peppermint in your home.
We like this spray because there’s no mixing or diluting of peppermint essential oils. Diluting can be a difficult process, and if you don’t dilute the essential oils enough, the smell will be very strong. Diluting the oils too much will lead to an ineffective solution that won’t work well to deter rats or mice from entering your space.
The key for this rodent repellent to work well is to use an abundance of solution. Be very generous with the spray and don’t be afraid to reapply, especially outdoors.
Rain can lead to a dilution of the spray, which makes it far less effective at repelling rodents.
When you use rodent repellent and the tips outlined previously, you’ll have a highly effective means of keeping rats out of your garden, yard or home.
Where to Buy Rodent Sheriff?
Rodent Sheriff’s rodent repellent is sold online, with Amazon being the go-to location for Rodent Sheriff. Amazon not only offers the best prices, but you’ll also benefit from fast shipping, too.