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I'm a DIY Expert and I Use This Simple Trick to Keep Rats Away for Good

You probably have this rat-repelling item in your bathroom.

Like humans, rodents will find any way they can to escape the cold during winter. Unfortunately, that means they might seek shelter in your home, especially when it comes to rats. Luckily, DIY expert Anne Caserta, who shares home and parenting tips on TikTok, lets us in on a simple trick that will keep rats away for good. And the best part is that you very likely already have the supplies right in your bathroom.

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This is why rats come inside more during the winter.

Rats Eating a Shoe

As mentioned, when the temperature drops, rats seek out warmth and shelter, which very often can be found in and around your home. They're also attracted to potential food sources, so it's not uncommon to find these rodents scouring your garage, pantry, or garbage cans for their next meal.

Additionally, Charles van Rees, conservation scientist and editor-in-chief of Gulo in Nature, previously told Best Life that rats reproduce in the spring, so there's a population boom in the fall. Female rats can have multiple litters per year, and they prefer being in warm environments with stable food sources and climate.

"For the same reason, many of these rats will be young ones striking out on their own for the first time," van Rees explained. "Like young humans, this makes them more likely to wander further astray and occasionally end up in places they shouldn't be, like in our homes, garages, and sheds."

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This simple trick helps keep rats away.

A stack of Irish Spring soap on display at a supermarket.
MDV Edwards / Shutterstock

Caserta, who posts as @_ceo_of_randomness, shares that rats hate the smell of Irish Spring Soap. The video shows her slicing the soap into strips to place in different parts of her home.

"Put it in your attic. Put it in your garage. Put it out in your shed," says Caserta. "You don't even need a trap anymore."

Do note that Irish Spring comes in different scents, but it's the scent of the original version that deters rats.

Keep in mind that it might not be effective in the long term.

pair of rats

While the scent of the soap may be a quick fix to repel rats, it is probably a temporary solution. After some time, the soap pieces will need to be replaced as rats will get used to the odor.

And according to Greenix Pest Control, Irish Spring soap might not be much of a deterrent if there's enough food and/or shelter around. Rats also love to gnaw on things and can mistake the soap for food. They might not like the taste, but it won't fully stop them from sticking around.

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These other scents can also repel rats.

Peppermint oil with leaves.
Tatevosian Yana / Shutterstock

If you don't have Irish Spring soap handy, other household ingredients have odors that are unappealing to rats as well.

Sholom Rosenbloom, owner of Rosenbloom Pest Control, previously suggested whipping up a DIY concoction consisting of oil with horseradish, garlic, and lots of cayenne pepper. "Let the oil sit for several days, then strain it," he told Best Life. "Use a spray bottle to coat surfaces with the rodent deterrent."

Anything with a menthol, spicy, or astringent odor is effective in keeping rats away, according to Midway Pest Management. Peppermint oil, chili powder, and eucalyptus are all alternative options for keeping rats out of your home.

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Courtney Shapiro
Courtney Shapiro is an Associate Editor at Best Life. Before joining the Best Life team, she had editorial internships with BizBash and Anton Media Group. Read more
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