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Does bleach keep rats away?

bleach deter rats

Rats may be cute to some, but to many they can be a real nuisance. This is especially true when they gain access to your home or are lingering around your backyard. Rats can carry a number of diseases such as Hantavirus, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, and tularemia. They also can create havoc on your home by doing such things as chewing on the structure, furniture, and wires, or by making a mess out attic insulation. Outside they can have a feast in your garden, create burrows in the landscape, nest in your car, and much more.

Does Bleach Keep Rats Away?

If you have someone in your household that likes to clean with bleach, you probably realize the strong stench it is able to produce. Bleach can be strong enough to drive a human out of a room, so you would expect it to drive off a rat.

Rats, like many humans, do not like the strong smell of bleach. Spraying a solution of bleach and water around the rats’ hangout will possibly help drive them away. However, do not expect bleach to work miracles. The rats will likely just move to another area of your home that is less stinky and continue to enjoy their comforts.

If you spray bleach near an exit point, you run the risk of the rats finding another way out of your home ( i.e creating damage) or to retreat back inside. Of course, if rats are not already inside, spraying a bleach solution at an entrance point may help deter them from gaining access to your home.

Overall, bleach may work in some circumstances, but it is far from the best solution to keep away rats. Here are some tips on how to not attract rats:

Eliminate Food Sources

You should eliminate access to any  potential food sources if rats are in your house or yard. Inside you should seal your food and clean up any food debris on floors, counters, etc. Metal or glass containers with lids are best to use for storing your food. While it is convenient to leave pet food out in bowls, it is a good idea to pick up the food after your animals eat.

Outside you should consider eliminating your compost pile if you have one that is easily accessible. This makes a nice nest or food source.  Additionally, you should pick your garden vegetable as soon as they are ripe to avoid the rats from having a nightly feast on vegetables that have fallen from the vine. If you have a bird feeder, you should consider getting rid of it or placing it high off the ground to create a difficult challenge for the rats to access it. Furthermore, eliminate water sources that rats can use for drinking such as a leaking outdoor faucet or a pet water bowls.

Eliminate Access Areas

Homes often have holes for such things as pipes or wires that lead from the outside to the inside. If these holes are not sealed properly, they will allow rats a chance to gain entry into your home. Walk around your home and seal the holes that are 1/4 inch or larger. If rats cannot gain access to your home, they will move on to better opportunities.

Eliminate Climbing Sources

If you have trees or vines around your home, you may want to cut them back. Rats can climb and may gain access to your home from the trees or plants surround your house. Keep in mind, that a rat can often gain access to your home simply by being able to land  foot on your roof. If rats are a concern, cut back any vegetation that allows them to potentially make their way inside.

Remove Hiding or Nesting Places

Piles of firewood, brush, debris, long grass, and other places of cover provide a place for rats to hide, nest, or rest. A yard free from easy areas of shelter will help deter rats from sticking around your yard. If rats are infesting your neighborhood, you may wish to eliminate these hiding locations from your yard to avoid rats finding comfort within the grounds of your home.

Effective Ways to Get Rid of Rats

Bleach may deter rats, but it will not kill them unless you  are able to get them to drink the bleach. This is likely not going to happen. Instead, you may want to consider one of the following methods to eliminate rats.

Live Traps – A live trap is a cage contraption that traps the rat inside the cage once it enters. The rat can then be transported in the cage to remote location to where it can be set free. Below is an example of a live trap that can be used to trap rats.

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Snap Traps – Snap traps are designed to kill the rat as it takes bait. A metal bar snaps shut over the rats head and kills it from the force. You will, of course, have to dispose of the dead rat before insects potentially cause another pest problem. These traps are relatively cheap and typically can be used over and over simply by resting the trap. You should buy a snap trap big enough to accommodate a rat like the one below, so that it is humanely killed.

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