Make rats ‘think twice’ before entering gardens with repulsive plants

Gardening expert gives tips on deterring pets and pests

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Gardens are the front where many animals and pest species, metaphorically speaking, fight for a better place to live, breed and find food supplies. This is the place where you can intersect them and prevent them from approaching, attacking and entering your home. While there is a vast array of chemical pesticides on the market to get rid of rats, there are a few specific plants that can deter them.

A spokesperson from Fantastic Pest Control explained: “For quite some time, people have determined that some plants successfully deter rodents. 

“Pay attention that this method is only effective during the spring and summer months when you can cultivate plants. During the winter months, you will need to keep the garden clean, your garbage under lock and constantly check your shed if you have one. Don’t give time to these creatures to burrow and infest your place.”

Plants that keep rats away 


Mint plants have an aroma similar to menthol, which rodents don’t like, and it tends to repel them.

The expert said: “Rats very much dislike the smell of mint. Growing beds with mint at different places around the garden is a good way to cut off some access points for the rodents. 

“The other benefit of growing mint is using it fresh in your food and beverages.”


Garlic has several sulphur compounds that emit a pungent smell which rats absolutely hate. 

The pest control guru said: “Again, the smell is repulsive to the creatures. Once they come in close distance with it, they will think twice before getting close to it. 

“You can experiment with garlic water and squirt it down a rat burrow. The smell will make it uncomfortable for the rats to live there, and they will leave the place for a more comfortable one. 

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“The other perk for you is growing fresh garlic and cooking some tasty meals.”


According to the expert, rats rely on their sense of smell to find food and avoid dangerous situations like coming in close proximity to predators or with something repulsive for their senses. 

This means using plants which are extremely strong can help to deter a number of different pests, including rats.

The expert said: “Imagine that one of the most preferable smells for humans – the one of lavender, can have quite the opposite effect for rats. 

“Because of its potent smell, it can deflect them from finding food. So they try to avoid plants like this one.”

It may be helpful to plant it around areas where rats may be attracted to, around decks, garden structures and around the perimeter of the garden.


Creating a border of herbs like basil, thyme and echinacea around the outside of your garden is a “great control method”, says the pro.

They explained: “Once the rats smell them, they will consider that your place has nothing to offer and they better run to the neighbour who probably doesn’t have a ‘repulsive’ border around the garden. 

“It’s a kind of win-win situation. You will keep the rodents away, as well as the mosquitoes in the summer, and have some fresh herbs and a pleasant scent in the garden.”


On the one hand, gardeners can go for growing onion in their gardens or just place onions at the most common points of entry for the rats.

The pest control pro said: “After taking one smell at it, they will run. Just make sure to put new onion every few days otherwise, it will rot. And instead of repelling the rodents, it will become their food. 

“However, onions can be dangerous if you have pets. It is especially poisonous for dogs. Growing beds with onion, garlic and leeks is a very effective way of creating a natural border for keeping not only rodents but several other pests at bay as well.”

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