Like with most pests, the first sighting of rats or mice (which is not common in Malaysia) in our homes can often send us frantically running to the almighty Google to find tips on how we can get rid of these rodents ourselves.
Home remedies for rodents
We did a quick search on the internet and found countless articles on DIY solutions and popular home remedies recommended to get rid of rats and mice:
- Peppermint oil
- Ultrasonic repellers
The big question is, do these DIY solutions work effectively? Let’s find out now.
Mothballs and rodents
Mothballs are one of the popular deterrents for rats and mice. They are inexpensive and you can easily get them in any supermarkets. All you need to do is scatter them around the infested area.
Is it effective?
Mothballs are believed to be a good rodent repellent because they contain naphthalene, which when inhaled or ingested can cause blood cells to lose their ability to carry oxygen.
Although mothballs carry enough naphthalene to deter moths, it is not enough to repel rodents. In fact, the amount needed is the same needed to affect humans.
In some cases, the limited effect of mothballs on rodents often leads people to overuse the product, which can lead to health complications due to the levels of naphthalene in the air.
In short, using mothballs as a rodent repellent is Not Advisable.
Peppermint oil for rodents
Like with most DIY pest control solutions, peppermint is regarded as a great natural deterrent for rats and mice. It is normally preferred due to its non-toxic and friendly properties.
Is it effective?
It will make your home smell good (that’s if you like the smell of peppermint), but it won’t get rid of any unwanted house guests. Due to their sensitive sense of smell, it is believed that rats and mice will avoid areas with peppermint aroma in high concentrations.
Unfortunately this is not the case. Peppermint oil actually has very little to no effect on rodents. Think about it logically, if rats and mice can withstand the foul stench of sewers then peppermint oil would be a delightful change.
Ultrasonic rodent repeller
Ultrasonic repellers are another popular DIY rodent control solution. No setting traps or dealing with poison, that is the allure of using these devices.
Is it effective?
There are countless ultrasonic rodent repellers on the market and although they may seem to keep rats and mice away, they are not a guaranteed fix, with most infestations recurring after a while.
Multiple devices are often required and they need to be located at rodent hotspots so the emitted sound waves can repel the rodents. Furniture and walls can interfere with the sound waves and cause it to fail, which can be a big issue as rodents often like to hide within cavity walls.
Both rats and mice are quite intelligent creatures, they will simply avoid areas with the repellers and move to another part of your home.
Albeit the common home remedies for rodents may seem to work, they aren’t 100% effective and would fail to completely eradicate a rodent problem from your home.
Contrary to popular belief, rodents are pretty intelligent creatures. They will either find another way into your home or simply put up with whichever home remedy you are using for the sake of shelter and food.
In fact, DIY rodent control is only able to help minimise your risks for rodent infestation after a proper treatment by the professionals. Here are some practical tips that you can apply to keep your home from being appealing to rodents.
- Seal entrances around windows, doors and around pipe work using expanding foam.
- Install galvanised wire, especially around high risk area for rodents.
- Repair damages to pipes, roof tiles and skirting boards.
- Trim vegetation around your garden and keep grass mown short.
- Clean food and liquid spillage as well as dirty dishes and empty bins regularly.
- Store food in airtight plastic or metal containers.
Professional rodent control
Despite numerous DIY rodent methods, there isn’t any easy way to eradicate rodents and keep your home protected. The most effective way to get rid of rodents is through a combination of good sanitation practices and professional extermination.