Plants that will keep rats out of your garden because they hate the smell

Brown rat, Rattus norvegicus
-Credit: (Image: (Image: Getty))

Rats can be a nuisance both indoors and outdoors, but it's often trickier to spot them in your garden than in your house. Seeing a rat with your own eyes is a sure sign of an infestation in your garden.

Yet, like mice, rats are incredibly secretive about their activities, making actual sightings rare. Instead, look out for tell-tale signs such as bite marks, footprints, and burrows to identify a rat problem, reports the Express.

Experts at Proof Pest Control advise that gardeners should familiarise themselves with the scents that these pests detest in order to "deter them effectively", ensuring they're "always scurrying away in search of more pleasant environments".


Eucalyptus emits a "powerful" odour that "rats find repulsive". This smell can be "highly effective in deterring rats" from areas they infest.

"The intense scent of eucalyptus overwhelms their sensitive noses, making it difficult for them to bear or approach areas with this aroma," say the experts. The robust fragrance of the plant will dominate the air, creating an unwelcoming environment for rats and thus deterring them.

Gardeners may also spread eucalyptus leaves around to produce a similar deterrent effect.

Bay leaf plant

The bay leaf plant's leaves contain a strong scent that is "highly displeasing" to rats. This potent smell gets into their delicate noses and serves as a "powerful deterrent".

The pest control specialists remarked: "Watch as these furry intruders will always scurry away, freeing your space from their mischievous presence."


Regarding peppermint, they noted that rats have a perceptive sense of smell but "they can't stand" the refreshing scent of peppermint. This natural and aromatic repellent "works wonders" in deterring these unwanted pests. Using peppermint plants or oil can create a rat-free zone.

The specialists added: "The refreshing fragrance that delights humans becomes an unwelcome assault on the delicate noses of rats, driving them away."