10 Plants That Keep Mice and Rats From Getting Into Your Home

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Keeping mice and rats out of your home can be a challenge, but nature offers some help. Certain plants have scents that these mice and rats find unpleasant, acting as natural deterrents. Here are ten plants that can help you keep mice and rats from getting into your home.

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Chrysanthemums are colorful flowers that bloom in late summer and fall. The bright yellow center of the chrysanthemum contains a natural pesticide called pyrethrin, which is effective against various pests.You can save and dry the blooms, then turn them into a powder to spread at entry points for mice and rats.

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Garlic is not just a tasty seasoning but also a natural mouse repellent. Its strong smell, caused by compounds like allicin, terpenes, citral, geraniol, and linalool, deters rodents. Planting garlic cloves in well-draining soil with lots of sunlight can help keep mice away from your garden or home.

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While humans enjoy its astringent scent, pests do not. Animals and insects, particularly rats, have stronger senses of smell than we do. So, while eucalyptus helps clear out sinuses, it’s too strong and unpleasant for rodents and other pests. If you have pets, be cautious because eucalyptus plants are toxic to them.

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Daffodils (Narcissus spp.) and jonquils are natural repellents for various pests. As soon as they start growing in the spring until their greens completely die back, these bulbs send a strong message to rodents to stay away. Their scent is a deterrent, and the lycorine in their bulbs is highly toxic. These beautiful flowers can protect your home from squirrels, mice, and rats.

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Bergamot, also known as Monarda or bee balm, is a hardy herb that attracts beneficial pollinators. It’s a perennial plant that can be grown in zones 3 through 9, making it suitable for most of the US. Its peppery scent repels rats and other pests, making it a useful addition to your garden.

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Camphor Laurel

If you have room in your yard for an evergreen tree, consider the camphor laurel. Its glossy leaves give off a distinctive and potent camphor odor—woody yet herbal, spicy yet cooling, sharp yet earthy. The tree, including its small berries, contains compounds that act as a natural pesticide. The strong smell and inherent toxicity of this plant make it an effective rat repellent.

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Rosemary has a strong fragrance that acts as a natural deterrent for rodents. Established rosemary plants, with their hardy roots and tough branches, can survive most winters in temperate zones, providing year-round protection from critters. You can also use cut branches and homemade oils in high-traffic areas for extra potent rat repellent.

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Black Pepper

Black pepper plants, also known as Piper nigrum or peppercorn plants, produce the small, dried fruits we grind for seasoning. These plants are tropical, so they can be grown outdoors during the summer and brought indoors for the winter. The strong smell of mature peppercorns acts as a powerful repellent for pests, including rodents.

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Peppermint naturally contains two compounds, pulegone and menthone, commonly used in rodent repellents. Peppermint oil is preferred as an affordable and eco-friendly deterrent for many pests, not just rats, and it’s an ethical option as it simply repels rats without harming them. For peppermint to be most effective at repelling rats, its natural oils need to be released.

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Sage has been cultivated for centuries for its culinary and medicinal uses and also for its ability to deter insects and pests. It can grow year-round in temperate zones, providing year-round protection if planted correctly. Just brushing past the fuzzy leaves of sage releases a strong scent that keeps rodents away.


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