When rats invade your home, it can be difficult to get rid of them. Rats can squeeze into holes as small as a quarter in size, slip through cracks an eighth of an inch wide, and climb down chimneys to gain access to shelter and food. Closing holes and securing the perimeter to ensure rats don't have easy access into the house is important. But you can also use homemade rat repellents to deter any rats already in your living space.
Soak cotton balls in citronella or peppermint essential oils and place in areas where rats are lurking. Rats are deterred by the strong odors of the oils and will steer clear of areas where the oil-soaked cotton is placed. Check the balls regularly and refresh with more oil when the odor diminishes.
Use toilet bowl cleaning cakes to ward off rodents. Toilet cleaning cakes designed to hang on the back of tanks contain strong deodorizers with equally strong smells that repel rodents. Break the cakes into pieces and scatter them around areas where rats reside.
Scatter mothballs in the rat zone. Mothballs are smelly and can deter rats.
Sprinkle urine-soaked cat litter clumps with ammonia, and spread around rat entry and living areas. This method may seem gross, but cats are natural predators of rats; when rats get wind of their urine-soaked litter, they will take off. Adding an additional dash of ammonia will make the repellent more potent.