Lavender is a powerful herb. It can relieve stress and exudes an irresistible fragrance. Yet, there are some animals that don’t like it – pests.
Mosquitoes and rats are just a few of them! And to answer your question, yes, lavender can repel mice to some degree, but there’s more to the story.
Here’s everything you need to know about using lavender as a rat repellent. And whether it is as effective as everyone claims it to be.
Let’s get started!
Yes And No
If you’ve seen a mouse or two in your yard and want to prevent them from entering your home, you can place lavender near all possible entrances.
Mice have a strong sense of smell and the fragrance lavender exudes will repel them. But if you have a huge rat infestation in your home, this herb won’t be able to help you.
What’s more, their keen sense of smell allows rats to adjust to the lavender scent. Also, these are resourceful critters and will find other ways to enter your home.
And yet, placing lavender all over your home will hardly do any real damage. That’s why I don’t see any reason why not to try this trick and see if it helps.
P.S. If you have a huge infestation, call the extermination company. Lavender won’t help you there.
Why Lavender Repels Rats
As I already mentioned, mice detest the scent of lavender. Its fragrance comes from the substance S-linalool. (1)
It is a terpene – a substance that helps plants communicate with the environment. It is because of terpenes that they can attract beneficial and repel harmful insects. (2)
The scent this compound has can mask food smells that attract rats. Yet, rats can quickly adjust to lavender’s fragrance, so we can’t say this is a foolproof solution.
Of course, the mere lavender scent is unappealing to rats and can deter them in the early stages. With a little bit of luck, they will find other food sources and stay away from your home.
4 Ways To Use Lavender To Ward Off Rats
There are several ways of using lavender to repel rats from your home and your garden.
#1 The first line of defense would be to plant lavender in your yard. Use it as a border plant to deter rodents from particular areas in your garden.
#2 If you can’t wait long enough for the lavender to grow, you can get flowering sprigs. Ask your neighbor or buy them in your local store. Place them around your home and hope for the best.
#3 You can also dry your own lavender and make sachets filled with this fragrant herb. Make sure to dry lavender the right way and enhance its scent for this method to work.
#4 Another way to use lavender to ward off rodents is by turning it into a spray. Mix a few drops of lavender essential oil and water and get to misting.
Spritz this solution near locations where you’ve seen rats. However, your best bet is to seal all cracks and crevices mice can pass through.
1. New Study Discovers Gene that Makes Lavender Smell Sweet (2018). UBC Okanagan News.
2. Boncan, D. A. T. et. al. (2020). Terpenes and Terpenoids in Plants: Interactions with Environment and Insects. International Journal of Molecular Sciences.