‘I’m a pest exterminator – I have a simple tip to banish rats from your home’

A pest exterminator has revealed an easy hack that could help banish rats from your home this winter. While rats and mice are very prominent by late summer, the cold weather prompts them to start seeking cover, alternative food and warmth. 

This is when they move into buildings, where they can make nests and scavenge enough food to see them through the cold months. Commercial properties usually make ideal targets for rodents looking for winter lodgings, but that doesn’t make your home safe.

Fortunately, Georgios Likopoulos, pest exterminator from Fantastic Pest Control, outlined the smells that could keep the pests away from your cosy home. “Rats have keen senses of smell, and some smells repulse them,” the expert said.

What smells can deter rats from your home?

Likopoulous said: “Citronella, peppermint, and eucalyptus are a few alternatives. You can make your home less inviting to rodents by using essential oils or plants with similar scents.”

How to use these smells in your home and where should you position them?

Likopoulous said: “Toss cotton balls into peppermint oil to soak. The soaked cotton balls should be placed in areas that rats are known to frequent or enter.

“The smell of the cotton balls may fade with time, so be sure to refresh them often. Like peppermint, eucalyptus has a rat-repelling aroma. Scatter eucalyptus leaves or apply eucalyptus oil to cotton balls.”

Apart from these two smells, the pest exterminator also recommended turning to your fridge and kitchen cupboards. For example, cayenne pepper could also scare off the pests.

Another smell that rats tend to avoid is garlic. Likopoulos said: “Crushed garlic cloves could be placed in areas where you have seen rats.”

Do you need to keep these smells in place all year round?

Likopoulous said: “Remember that the items with these smells may lose their potency over time. You should be persistent and replace or refresh them regularly. 

“It’s also critical to deal with the rat problem’s underlying causes, which include sealing entry points and storing food in secure containers.” The expert also recommended clearing out any clutter and food sources in your garden.

He added: “Compost, bird seed, and any other possible attractants should be stored safely. To create barriers around vulnerable areas, use wire or a mesh.”

What are some other humane ways to get rid of rats in your home?

Likopoulous recommended following these five tips:

  1. To catch rats without hurting them, use live traps. After being caught, release the rats far from your house. 
  2. High-frequency noises produced by ultrasonic devices are unpleasant to rats but usually inaudible to humans. Put these devices in places where there are lots of rats.
  3. To keep rats out of your house, locate and seal any possible entry points. Gaps in doors, windows, and walls are common entry points.
  4. To stop rats from finding possible food sources, store food in air-tight containers. To lessen attractants, keep the kitchen and other areas clean.
  5. Get rid of any clutter and debris that could provide a haven for rats. Remove leaves to lessen hiding places.

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