Rodenticides can be hazardous to use around children and other pets. For this reason, some people prefer to use natural alternatives, such as vinegar.
Vinegar is among the most effective natural rat deterrents because they find the odor repulsive. So, rodents will stay away from any area where the smell of vinegar lingers.
The smell of vinegar dissipates quickly in open areas. As the odor becomes less intense over time, it becomes less efficient in keeping rats away. So, use vinegar in confined, populated areas.
According to Genome Biology, rats have a highly evolved ability to detect odors even at very low concentrations. This makes them highly sensitive to strong odors, including vinegar.
Rats are repulsed by the scent of vinegar and will avoid areas where it has been smeared or sprayed. To make this strategy work, you’ll need a lot of vinegar to create a strong enough aroma to scare them away.
Using vinegar in constricted locations is crucial to keep the odor from fading too quickly. The odor of vinegar loses its intensity with time, making it less efficient at repelling rats.
Apple cider vinegar is one of the best natural rat repellents because it has an unpleasant odor that rats can’t tolerate. Rats have exceptional olfactory senses, so they can pick up on scents that humans can’t.
According to Chemical Senses, rats have over 1500 olfactory receptors (ORs), which is far beyond the 400 ORs in humans.
This powerful sense of smell is beneficial for finding food sources and detecting predators. However, it also means rats are repulsed by scents that humans wouldn’t particularly find offensive.
For this reason, applying apple cider vinegar in locations where rats like to hang out or along paths that they frequent can help drive them out of your home.
White vinegar has the strongest odor of all the different types of vinegar.
As highlighted, rats have an acute sense of smell, which means any strong scent will make them uncomfortable. It’s not surprising that white vinegar is often used to repel rats.
While vinegar is a potent rat repellent, its effectiveness at deterring rats depends, to a large extent, on its concentration. As mentioned, the scent of vinegar loses its potency over time when left in an open space.
So, to get the best out of this natural rat-repellent, it’s advisable to apply it in constricted areas to reduce the rate at which it dissipates.
Below are ways you can use vinegar to get rid of rats:
Cotton Balls and Vinegar
You only need to insert small cotton balls in vinegar and allow them to soak in the liquid thoroughly. Afterward, place the cotton balls in locations where rats frequent and along paths they normally use when foraging for food.
To identify areas where rats tend to hang out, check your home for rodent droppings, rat urine, and smear marks.
The main advantage of using the cotton balls method is that placing vinegar-soaked cotton in locations where rat urine allows the cotton to soak and sterilize it, thus minimizing the risk of spreading harmful pathogens.
Vinegar in a Cup Method
If you don’t have cotton balls, you can pour vinegar into a cup and place the cup in areas you’ve noticed rat activity.
However, you can use this method if you haven’t located where the rats frequent. If you suspect that you may be experiencing a rat infestation but haven’t seen any obvious signs like the presence of droppings, urine, and smear marks, you can place the vinegar cup behind furniture and kitchen appliances.
To increase the effectiveness of this method, you should set up several vinegar cups around your home, particularly if you suspect numerous rats are hiding in your home.
It’s worth noting that leaving a cup of vinegar exposed in the open will cause the smell to gradually reduce in potency. For this reason, you will need to replace the vinegar a few times a week until you notice no rat activities in your home.
For this method, you’ll need to create a vinegar solution. Mix one cup of vinegar with one cup of water in a spray bottle.
You can also add a few teaspoons of salt to increase the potency of the solution. Mix the solution thoroughly and spray it in areas you’ve observed a lot of rat activity.
The vinegar solution isn’t only effective at repelling rats but at disinfecting surfaces that have been contaminated with rat droppings and urine.
Vinegar and Baking Soda Solution
Mixing vinegar with baking soda essentially creates a potent concoction that can kill rats if they come into contact with it. However, just like any other poison, you need to exercise extra caution when handling and applying this mixture.
If you decide to go ahead with this option, make sure the poison is out of reach for children and any pets you may have in your home to avoid accidental poisoning.
Pouring Vinegar Directly into Rats’ Nests
While this method is more aggressive than the others, you should use it if you find rat nests in your home. Dousing rat nests with vinegar makes them uninhabitable, thus forcing rats to seek shelter elsewhere.
Not only will the rats have their nests contaminated with an unpleasant smell. They’ll be frightened by the presence of a human and abandon the nest lest you return.
Using vinegar to repel rats works best when dealing with a few individual rats. If the rat infestation in your home is more severe, the tactics described above may not be very effective in the long run. Under such circumstances, it is best to enlist the help of a rodent removal service.
Hiring a professional to eradicate rats from your home offers you access to commercial-grade equipment and products designed to deal with a heavy rat infestation.
Vinegar by itself is not deadly to rats. However, when combined with baking soda, it becomes a lethal poison capable of killing rats upon ingestion.
It’s worth also noting that vinegar and baking soda solution is not only hazardous to rats but can also be harmful to other pets when ingested.
So, if you opt to use this method, you need to be careful not to expose your pets and kids to the solution, as it can cause severe reactions and even death.
Both vinegar and bleach have pungent scents that rats find very unpleasant. So, mixing the two creates a powerful solution that will quickly drive out rats from their hidden areas.
Moreover, bleach is toxic to rats and will cause death by internal bleeding when ingested in large amounts.
Vinegar is an effective deterrent against rats. However, it rarely works alone. By combining it in the ways outlined above, you can help drive your rat problem out of crucial areas around your home.