Keep Pesky Rats Out Of The House With An Item From Your Pantry

We hope this never happens to you, but in case you've noticed rat droppings or evidence that rats are scouting your home to scavenge for food, it's important that you take action immediately. Of course, getting an exterminator is always an available option, and in some circumstances, it's the best answer. However, even though exterminators use formulas designed to kill rodents rather than us, the fumes from harsh pesticide treatments are so toxic that exposure can damage the respiratory system, per Eco Guard Pest Management. Luckily, there are several ways to get rid of rats safely and humanely, and vinegar is a great first step.

Rats are born blind and have to smell their way to their mom to feed at first, and once fully grown, they can smell food from several miles away. However, that powerful nose works in our favor because rats hate the smell of vinegar. It blocks their olfactory navigation system, which is the key to their sustenance. The potent smell of vinegar will stop them from smelling and locating food, so they will no longer be attracted to the area.

Keeping the rats away with vinegar galore

If you've got a rat issue at home, gather your supplies for this DIY repellent. Just get some cotton balls, any type of cup, and a spray bottle — one that's heavy-duty and can handle vinegar's acidity. 

Since rats are a serious problem, think strategically about a full-scale vinegar campaign. This hack works best in enclosed areas. If you did this hack outside under your deck, for example, it would be dispersed by the wind. Fully saturate several cotton balls and place them around your garage and/or basement, especially at any possible points of entry. You can also spray vinegar around the perimeters, or add vinegar to the cleaning products that you already use around the house. If you see a rat, pouring vinegar directly on it can also work as a deterrent, though this is a less humane route. 

Then check your work periodically; if the smell has dissipated or evaporated, re-saturate the cotton balls and re-spray the perimeter. As for identifying the source, unlocked garbage cans, food that's been left out, and common crops in your vegetable garden like corn and pumpkins can attract rats, so take care to eliminate these.