get rid of rats

How To Catch A Rat Without Killing It?

It happened; you have got yourself a rat problem despite your best efforts to maintain a clean and tidy household. Now your first thought is to catch the rat. But, the question is: “How to catch a rat without killing it?”

There are ways to catch a rat without killing it. For example, you can use a strong rat deterrent such as peppermint spray, or you can make a live catch trap for rats. If you want to get rid of rats without killing them, look for live traps or catch-and-release traps.

Unfortunately, rodents aren’t so picky with their living location, which means that any nook and cranny is as cozy as a king-sized bed.

How to catch a rat without killing it?

Most traditional rat traps are made to kill rats, but you can catch a rat without killing it, as long as you use live traps or catch-and-release traps. Live traps work by luring the rat inside using bait and the door shuts behind, but it doesn’t actually kill it.

When you use a live trap to catch a rat, you’ll have to take the trap outside with the rat inside and release the rat.

If you want to catch a rat without killing it, you need to buy or make a live trap. Don’t confuse a mouse trap with a rat trap. Rats are much larger than mice, so to catch rats you’ll need much stronger traps. And even if you only have one rat in your house, one trap isn’t enough. You should have at least three-four traps to make sure you catch the rat.

Once you have the live traps or catch-and-release traps, set them and place bait in them. Make sure you place the traps where you’ve seen rat activity. For example, a great place to place traps is where you find rat droppings. You should check the traps at least three times a day.

If you catch a rat, it might die before you get to it if you wait too long. But, if you want to catch a rat without killing it, you need to remove the rat from the trap before it dies. Rats in a cage will injure themselves as they try to get out. And if you leave them in the live trap too long, the rat might die of injuries.

Release the rat far from your home. The best place to release a rat is away from populated areas.

How to repel rats naturally?

Regrettably, contracting a rat problem is much easier than ridding yourself of the issue, especially if you prefer to address it by your own means. Though effective in getting rid of rodents, harsh chemicals aren’t best for everyone, especially if it means potentially endangering those with whom you reside. Therefore, many choose the route of natural remedies.

But with so many approaches of home methods available on the Internet, who is to say what the best ones are and why they work?

Leave it to the experts! We have explored the web and found the 15 most effective natural home remedies for rat repellent. We know they work because they target the three main reasons why a rat is interested in your house. Those motives are the sinister sweets, super stenches, and easy access. Therefore, you can discourage a rat’s stay indefinitely by altering their food sources, modifying smells, and eliminating home entry points.

Rats and robbers can be thought of in the same manner in that they both will enter a household and mooch off of another’s possessions if the targeted area is easy to get into. Ok, so a rat doesn’t just waltz through an unlocked door, but he does enter a house through openings in the home’s structure as small as a quarter-sized hole. By keeping your home protected, you can secure yourself and your family from a rodent infestation.

Related post: How to catch a rat in the house fast?

Check out these ideas to keep rats away by means of homemade rat repellents:

Baby Powder

There’s no doubt that rats are sneaky. We can feel their presence in our homes, yet we have no idea where they are coming from. The first step, therefore, is to track their activity to find their nest within your home. Any easy way to do so is by sprinkling a thin layer of flour or baby powder over the suspected location of rodent activity.

Once the rats walk over the dusted surface, their footprints and movement will be left behind in the powder and can be followed back to their hideout.

Steel Wool

Once their living location is spotted, the next step in stopping their progress is to block their means of entry. A simple solution to solve this problem is to block any hole with steel wool. This substance is relatively cheap, easy to use, and most importantly, an effective means of keeping rats away. The fibrous steel is uncomfortable to the touch and impenetrable to chewing, so it is the best short-term method to keep rats away. However, a better, more permanent solution is to fill any hole with Spackle to completely seal your home from any vermin.

Cats – The ultimate rat repellents

We have all seen Tom and Jerry on TV and laughed at their silly antics; however, there is some truth behind the show: cats and mice don’t get along. Natural-born hunters are keen on rat activity and are the perfect environmental way to eliminate wild rodents. However, be aware that most domestic cat breeds are not the best mouse catchers because of their housebroken birth. Barn cats, on the contrary, maintain that “wild” instinct and are much more efficient at tracking and capturing mice; not to mention, their digestive tract and immune system is much more equipped to handle the potential diseases that rats carry.

Sinister Sweets

Everyone enjoys a tasty treat, and that also includes rats. The number one reason why rats enter a home is that an easy and targeted food source is readily available. So, if the rats are going to eat, you might as well make their snack slightly unpleasant in order to discourage further activity. Here are some methods people have used to get rid of rats by means of natural food products and household items:

Peanut Butter Traps

It’s the most universally adopted trick in the book, but it’s a favorite for a reason. It really does work! A simple spring-loaded rattrap simply won’t solve your rodent infestation because rats are rather shy creatures and will not go near foreign objects or diverge from a well-worn path.

Therefore, using bait to entice the critter to move will increase your chances of capture; however, not just any ol’ bait will work. Most dry foods set on a trap will not give off enough aromas to lure the rat, and if it does, the rodent can easily get the food from the trap without actually activating the springboard. Using an adhesive and aromatic food is best, so experts have used peanut butter for various forms of baited traps.

The peanut butter is pungent but sticks to the traps, so the rodent will have to work at the bait to eat it, thus setting off the trap and creating a successful capture.

Chocolate Cement

This next method is a popular rate repellent. We renamed the recipe “chocolate cement” after witnessing the ingredients listed in the mixture. Essentially, the concoction is a chocolate “cake mix” with a dash of powdered cement to lethally discourage rat activity. The cake mix consists of:


  • 1 cup dry cement
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cup flour

Mix all the dry ingredients into a bowl and place it next to where the rodents live alongside a separate bowl of water. The rodent will smell the sweet cocoa and gnaw on the powder formula, but since the mixture is drying, he will then proceed to drink the water. Once concrete mixes with water, it will form into a chemically reacted substance that will eventually harden in the stomach of the rat and cause a lethal infection.

Bay Leaves

Although commonly used as a soup flavoring, Bay leaves are tasty in small doses but essentially poisonous when eaten in large amounts. The dried seasoning gives off a pleasing smell and often resembles a healthy food source to rodents as well, making it a sly way to administer natural toxins to rats. Place a handful of dried bay leaves near the living area of a rodent to entice him to nibble on the herb. Eventually, the toxins will work their way into the rodent’s system through digestion and cause death.

Deter rats by removing the food supply

Simply put, rats live where the food is, so if there is no food available, there won’t be many rats. Everyone needs to eat for survival, but if food is not available, the population needs to move to a new location to find a stable food source. It is the same with rats. By taking away any possible food source, the rodents will be forced to leave by starvation and seek out a more hospitable environment.

Super Stench

Rats are highly sensitive to smell, which is why many houses that leave open food out and don’t clean up spills or crumbs have a higher risk of attracting rodents. A rat’s nose is his number one weapon when finding a suitable environment to live in, but it’s also his number one weakness. His nose can lead him into tempting situations where danger lurks, and therefore, if you can displease a rat’s sense of smell, you are more likely to get rid of your rat problem. Check out these tips to help you extinguish rodents through the use of these superbly smelly objects:


Onions have one of the most distinct smells even by human standards, but a rodent’s nose, which is exponentially more powerful than ours, can detect the scent even further. The scent makes us tear up; imagine what it can do to a small animal that has this sense heightened. It’ll be a force to reckon with. Try dicing up some fresh onions and placing the pieces around the areas where the rodent is suspected of living and roaming. The stench should drive the rodent out of its living area and away from your home.


In almost every online source, you will find that rats cannot stand the smell of peppermint; it’s so pungent! Even though a majority of us find this flavor pleasing, the natural oils in peppermint are just too strong for a rat to handle, especially since their sense of smell is heightened. Therefore, go nuts with the mint! Dab some peppermint oil on a cotton ball and leave it near the rat’s point of access, sprinkle dehydrated leaves or mint tea around its path of travel, or even smudge mint toothpaste in corners to discourage mobility. Luckily, there are various forms of this herb to try on your home, so if one doesn’t work, perhaps another formula will.

Tabasco / Pepper Spray: Many of us can’t handle the heat, but the spice is only intensified when it comes to tiny critters. Rats can’t process many peppers, and most don’t even go near the smell, so an effective natural remedy may be a spritzing of spice. This recipe consists of:

  • 1/4 cup of detergent
  • 1/2 tablespoons of Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 gallon of water

Mix all ingredients together and pour the solution into a sprayer bottle. Spray the potential area of rodent activity frequently; the acidity of the oils in peppers and Tabasco sauce are painful to a rodent and will discourage his stay in your home.

Moth Balls

Moths don’t like them, and neither do rats. Why? It’s because of the distinct and powerful smell emitted from its chemical composition. Naphthalene and para-dichlorobenzene are the two chemicals that are associated with this scent, and apparently, rats don’t agree with the smell. Place a couple of mothballs in various places around the suspected rodent territory to discourage their stay. Be careful; the chemicals found in mothballs can be dangerous to humans and animals if ingested or inhaled excessively. Make sure the mothballs are out of reach from small children and household pets


Many people have found success in repelling rodents with ammonia. Ammonia is a chemical gas with a powerful smell that is said to drive away rodents. Ammonia is found in many household cleaners and fertilizers, so spraying continuous amounts in the suspected area of rat activity will discourage their stay. However, keep in mind that large amounts of ammonia are highly toxic even though it is commonly used in many household products. Please use this solution with caution and keep out of contact with other people and animals.

Cat Urine

As mentioned above, cats and mice don’t get along, and because of their long history of prey vs. hunter, rats have developed a natural fear of felines. Along with this fear, rodents are keen on scents associated with their enemies, including cat urine. People have had success with using cat urine as a natural repellent to deter rodents from entering their homes. Try spraying a diluted solution of cat urine around suspected areas of rat commotion.

Bounce Dryer Sheets

One of my favorite scents in the entire world happens to be fresh laundry, but just because it is enjoyable to me doesn’t mean every critter finds the smell attractive. In fact, many people have found success in repelling rats with the original brand of Bounce Dryer Sheets. The scent is revolting to rodents for some reason and will cause them to seek refuge elsewhere if the product is placed in areas they frequently roam.

High-Pitched Sounds

Ok, so the sound isn’t exactly small, but it’s still a heightened sense that rodents possess, so this trick seems fitting nonetheless. Humans have a limited range of sound frequencies, which means we can only hear some sounds that are made. Other animals, such as dogs and rodents, have a better sense of hearing than we do and can detect some lower and higher pitches that are not audible to people.

Dog trainers have taken advantage of this trait and invented a whistle, which emits a sound that dogs can hear, but humans cannot, in order to train the K-9 for various tasks. Similarly, many pest control companies have created a sound box that constantly emits a high-pitched sound that is heard by rats but not humans. The sound is said to be so unpleasant that the rodents seek shelter elsewhere.

It’s time to take back control of your house. Get rid of the rats so you can continue to live in peace within the comfort and safety of your home. Fortunately, there are many means to eliminate your rodent problem, and several are natural, safe, and found within your very own pantry. We hope these methods helped to solve your rodent infestation; however, if the task has reached beyond your own methods, contact a pest control company for help.