Do DIY Rodent Repellents Really Work?

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Do DIY Rodent Repellents Really Work?

Rats, mice and other rodents can be a major nuisance especially when they decide that your basement, crawlspace, attic or walls are an ideal place to build a nest and raise a family. The sound of these nasty little pests scurrying around the house at night is enough to drive anyone mad. However, rodents can cause much more serious problems than simply keeping you awake at night.

Rats and mice leave behind a trail of potentially toxic chemicals and disease-causing germs wherever they go. Rodents also have a tendency to chew through boards, wires and other parts of your home, which could necessitate you spending thousands on repairs.

All of these things have left many Phoenix homeowners looking for any help they can possibly get in dealing with their rodent problems. This has led to the Internet and the market being flooded with all sorts of expensive gadgets and homemade remedies claiming to offer a simple, natural solution to rodent control. For this reason, it’s interesting to look a bit closer at some of these DIY rodent control methods to see whether or not any of them actually work.

Homemade Rodent Deterrents and Repellents


Many people will tell you that putting mothballs in your closets, attic or other rodent-prone areas is a good way to keep them away. This theory lies in the fact that naphthalene, the chemical that gives mothballs their distinctive smell, will drive away mice in the same way as it keeps away moths. However, while mice and rats do have quite sensitive senses of smell, the amount of the chemical is usually too minute to have an effect. You’d probably have to use enough mothballs to severely disturb your own sense of smell to truly keep away determined rodents.

Peppermint Oil

Another smell that many pests don’t like is peppermint, which is why some people recommend scattering cotton balls soaked in peppermint essential oil around the house. The problem is that the smell both evaporates and rises, meaning those rodents crawling close to the ground won’t really smell it until they get up close. Although it will help your house to smell nice, it’s not the most effective rodent repellent.

Hot Pepper Spray

This one can be somewhat effective, but it’s definitely no fun to make and maybe even a bit dangerous. It involves chopping up a bunch of extremely spicy chili peppers (think habanero) and boiling them in water. After sitting for 24 hours and straining, this mixture is then sprayed around the home to create a painful barrier that rodents theoretically won’t want to cross. When done right, some people have seen at least minor results with this method. However, the mixture should only ever be boiled outside and requires that you wear protective gloves and glasses due to the fumes and oils released by the chilies

Prevention is Key

Instead of trying to rely on drastic measures to  drive rodents away, it’s far better to try to prevent them from getting into your home in the first place. The best thing you can do is to find and seal up any and all potential entry points. Sometimes something as simple as stuffing a bit of steel wool into any holes, cracks and crevices can make a huge difference. Still, rodents can fit through even the tiniest holes, which can make it quite hard for the average person to ensure their home is fully rodent proof. Therefore, you might want to consider hiring a pest control professional if you really want to make sure your home is free from any unwanted guests.

Most people think they want to do it themselves but learn it’s easier to hire a pest control professional ike Atomic to save you the time and money.

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