There are many natural methods that you can use to deter rats if you have them in your home. As with any pest control method, be sure and keep all hazardous materials away from pets or areas with children.
Some of the methods that have been proven to be very effective include peppermint oil (NOT EXTRACT), urinal cakes, cat litter and predator urine pellets. Peppermint oil is a substance that rats cannot stand. Douse a few cotton balls in the oil. Place the cotton balls in areas where rats are found. Also, sprinkle some oil along their runs. This should drive them out. Professional rat catchers will block openings where rats enter the home with peppermint oil soaked rags. They then drive the rats into bags or cages to remove.
Other natural deterrents are urinal cakes or toilet bowl cakes. These pungent cakes should be broken up into pieces wearing gloves, and spread around in the rat holes. Mix the cake pieces with cedar shavings to get rid of other pests as well.
Used cat litter is also a deterrent to rats. The litter needs to be sprinkled with a little ammonia to intensify the scent and then placed in the area where the rats dwell. The cat is a natural predator to rats, so this method proves to be quite effective.
Lastly, urine pellets from rat predators can be purchased from garden shops. This method works in a similar fashion to the cat litter and is easier to obtain if you are not already a cat owner. These pellets are safe for pets and children, as well.
Using these methods is a more humane way to deal with rats. However, they must be replaced frequently to keep the scents strong. If you have a large rodent problem, it’s often safest and more effective to contact a pest control professional.