A common question is, Do rat and mice repellants work? As a company of rodent specialists who deal with rat and mouse control daily, the short answer is NO, we do not think they work well enough. We have a lot more information for you, though to clarify our stance and explain the products commonly used by DIYs.
Rat Repellents by Definition
Rat and mice repellents are products or substances designed to repel or deter rats and mice from entering or inhabiting a particular area. These repellents claim they work by emitting strong odors unpleasant to rats or producing high-frequency sounds creating an environment that rats find unpleasant or uncomfortable.
Five Commonly Advertised Rat Repellent Products
There are many chemicals and products that are commonly used as rat repellents. We have narrowed it down to the five most commonly discussed as rat and mouse-repellent products.
- Peppermint Oil: Peppermint oil is marketed as a natural rat & mouse repellent that is effective due to its strong odor. Those who sell the product claim that rats & mice find the scent of peppermint oil to be overpowering and will avoid areas where it has been applied.
- Ammonia: Ammonia is another strong-smelling substance said to repel rats. It is said that placing ammonia-soaked rags or cotton balls in areas where rats or mice are known to frequent can discourage rodents from returning.
- Castor Oil: Castor oil is said to be a natural repellent that is effective against various pests, including rats and mice. It works by disrupting the rat’s sense of smell and making the area less attractive to them.
- Mothballs: Mothballs are a commonly discussed rat & mouse repellent that works by emitting a strong odor they find unpleasant.
- Ultrasonic Repellents: Ultrasonic repellents emit high-frequency sounds that rats & mice find unpleasant and will avoid. These devices are often used in conjunction with other pest control methods.
Rodent Solutions’ Opinions On Rat and Mice Repellents:
Our customers depend on us to be experts and apply methods we know, and science has proven to work when they hire us for rat or mouse control. The Google reviews of our pest control company show that we try to follow that method every day. At Rodent Solutions, we don’t use any of the above five types of products against rats or mice.
- We value the trust our customers put in us. If we don’t believe in the effectiveness of the service we provide, we cannot take a customer’s money for it in good conscience. We don’t believe these products will give any repeatable, consistent rat-repellent qualities that we can guarantee. We can do that with our rodent exclusion process.
- It is a fact that the EPA has approved none of #1-4 for use against rats or mice. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for regulating products that are intended for use as pesticides, including rat repellents. The EPA has not approved any rat or mouse repellents to be registered. This means that they have been tested for safety and efficacy and have not been found to be safe and effective at repelling rats when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It would have to be put on the label from the manufacturer and approved with an EPA approval number or it cannot be legally applied. So the buck stops there for us. Each product’s strength and/or application method isn’t regulated without EPA approval. Without this regulation, many products that are dangerous to people, pets, or the environment would still be in use and many that don’t work.
- Ultrasonic Repellents: We have a special disdain for Ultrasonic Repellents. The fact that these products are still permitted to remain on the market and creatively worded for mouse and rat control really bother us. These products have drawn the attention of the Federal Trade Commission for making claims they couldn’t back up. Manufacturers of ultrasonic pest repellers make claims unsupported by any scientific testing. In fact, more than 60 companies received warning letters from the FTC in 2001 stating that “efficacy claims about those products must be supported by scientific evidence.” Two years later, in 2003, Global Instruments was sued by the FTC for violating its warning. The FTC demanded that they discontinue their advertising campaigns that claimed these devices worked as advertised. In 1995, the University of Lincoln, Nebraska, examined six studies of ultrasonic repellers. The report found that all tested products were “insufficient at repelling rodents.” There is even research to suggest when they are used around pets such as cats and dogs, it can irritate them and even damage their hearing.
- Customer Feedback: We have received enough calls from customers who have said, “I tried going the natural rodent repellent route, but I still have a rodent infestation. I just need these rodents exterminated for good” to make us never even consider trying it.
- Mothballs are an airborne pesticide approved by the EPA for use in pest control, just not for rodents. You will smell it inside if you put them in your attic in a strong enough concentration to bother rats. We’ve experienced it during many rat inspections in the Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Parrish areas we cover. Mothballs can cause unpleasant feelings in the chest, lungs, and throat. In general, they don’t smell very good either. Besides, do you really want to breathe in an airborne pesticide?
- Playing Devil’s Advocate: It does seem somewhat feasible to me that with enough of the product, a rodent doesn’t like sprayed in strong enough concentrations, it might become obnoxious enough for a roof rat or mouse not to want to be around. We always point to one issue: will you keep spraying this stuff on your soffit, roof, fascia, exterior walls, etc., every time it rains… forever? Why not just have us perform a rodent exclusion to keep rats away?
Rodent Repellent Summary:
Even if these products worked, why would you use them instead of having your home or business sealed against rodents using our rodent exclusion services? A one-and-done method is best for rat control or mice control. If you need rodent control near us in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Parrish, FL don’t delay. Any delay is another chance for the to damage something in your attic. Call us to get rid of your pests today!
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