Repel Exclude Deter

Repel, Exclude, Deter


I. Repel

  • Plant a border of mint varieties, lavender, rosemary, sage, marigolds, snapdragons, geraniums.
  • Got mice in your car? See this link below – Protect Your Car
  • New organic products are on the market which include balsam fir, peppermint, clove, cinnamon, garlic barrier concentrate

Professional-level deterrents for mice and rats are available. You can Do-It-Yourself or you can ask a rodent/exclusion company.
Rat-Out Gel Garlic-based.

DeTour Contains white pepper.
Sold in containers it is called RoadBlock.
PRO-PELL is made up of peppermint, rosemary, and citronella essential oils that contain the smells and tastes that rodents hate. It is sprayed on the foundation of a building and is not easily washed off.
The Nixalite website has many useful products and suggestions for animal control.

II. Exclude

  • Seal all buildings. Do it yourself or hire a rodent exclusion company. Copper Blocker Pet Stopper is copper mesh to block holes.
  • Do not overfill trash cans or dumpsters and make sure the lids are tightly closed and no spillage on the ground.
  • Maintain a tightly closed barbecue and clean after every use.
  • Maintain garage doors closed with door sweeps. Seal all entry points.
  • Underground Barriers. A pea gravel trench barrier 6 inches deep in the ground and 2 feet wide.SealUpProductsYou MUST seal holes which serve as rodent entryways!newrathouse

III. Deter

  • Encourage biodiversity. Animals that eat and frighten rats, mice, gophers and ground squirrels – coyotes, domestic dogs and cats, foxes, and bobcats all monitor and capture at rodent burrow entrances; skunks, rattlesnakes, and gopher snakes corner rodents in their burrows. Owls and hawks capture above ground.
  • Consider owl boxes and raptor poles/perches (one owl eats 1000 rodents a year!). Articles and links on owls and raptors for rodent control are on our main page here – Owls
  • Remove trash and secure garbage bins.
  • Pet food. Leave outside only enough for one feeding, this includes bird seeds. Pick up fallen fruit, use tree cuffs metal, plastic on large trees. Remove pet feces.
  • Remove piles of debris, vegetation, and plants that feed and conceal rodents, such as ivy.
  • Motion detecting water sprays Spray Away Motion Activated Sprinkler and Solar Powered Motion Activated Animal Repellent Sprinkler
  • Strobe lights: Background is here. A product using LEDsRid-A-Ratdumpsterbeforeafter1
  • This is what feeds and produces rodents – GARBAGE!
    Trash CANNOT overflow and LIDS MUST BE CLOSED and the area clean.
    Watch this video that shows what happens with open trash – rats overrunning neighborhood:


I. Repel

  • Break up burrow holes with a rod and pack them down solidly. They do not like their burrows to be disturbed and they will eventually move on.
  • Before sealing up the burrow holes add a few repellents
  • Use vanilla flavored coffee beans one cup in each hole, garlic cloves, cat, dog, and human hair can be placed in the burrow before closing it up
  • Predator urine! GOT CATS? Kitty litter with urine can be placed in the burrows.
    Those golden balls are great for protecting your garden!
  • New Products. New organic products are on the market which include balsam fir, peppermint, clove, cinnamon, hot pepper, garlic barrier concentrate, cold brew coffee spray
  • Examples of Repellents:
    • Nature Mace rodent repellent contains essential oils peppermint, spearmint, garlic oils and putrescent egg. See
    • Critter Ridder uses a powerful pepper-based ingredient that impacts the animal’s senses of taste and smell, producing an effect that’s similar to biting into a red-hot jalapeño pepper.
    • Castor bean granules and oils have been reported to work well. Available at American Natural Products website.
    • Uncle Ian’s squirrel/gopher repellent pepper base –
    • Plants

      • From the San Francisco Chronicle, “Flowers That Deter Animals” include “aromatic annual herbs, such as mint, lavender and catnip. For perennial plants that repel mice, consider amaryllis (Amaryllis), lavender (Lavandula) or daffodils (Narcissus).”
      • Daffodils, narcissus, most irises, dahlias, society garlic root systems form a natural barrier.
        Sour clover (Melilotus indicus) is a nitrogen fixer and has 8 foot long roots that repel gophers and ground squirrels. It was used in orchards for rodent control before the advent of pesticides. See Gopher Stopper Clover information.

II. Exclude

  • You can reduce or prevent damage significantly by using 1/4 to 1/2 inch gauge stainless-steel mesh fencing to limit squirrels’ ability to invade your yard. Here is a company that supplies it:
  • Install mesh fencing in front of openings, underneath porches, and around vegetation.
    To  exclude from foundations or crawlspaces/porches create an L- shaped barrier to at least 2 feet deep with the hardware cloth.
  • Surround a garden or field area with a trench barrier from 18 inches to 3 feet deep and 2 feet above the ground. Make an L-shaped bottom with the hardware cloth. 
  • Use hardware cloth to line your entire garden.
  • Construct a mesh cage around plants or the entire garden.
  • Here is a website for chew-proof netting –
  • For larger institutions or as a service the Burrow Blocker is an excellent investment. It injects a mixture of sand and water into the burrows.

III. Deter

  • Allowing food sources and debris to accumulate is like inviting squirrels for a snack. Maintain the cleanliness of your yard to avoid attracting rodents.
  • Rake up fallen berries, nuts, acorns and fruit. 
  • Use tree cuffs metal, plastic on large trees. 
  • Pet food. Leave outside only enough for one feeding, this includes bird seeds. 
  • Remove trash and secure garbage bins.
  • Consider owl boxes (one owl eats 1000 rodents a year!), and raptor nesting platforms. See our website section on owls.
  • Encourage biodiversity. Animals that eat and frighten rats, mice, gophers and ground squirrels – coyotes, domestic dogs and cats, foxes, and bobcats all monitor and capture at rodent burrow entrances; skunks, rattlesnakes, and gopher snakes corner rodents in their burrows. Owls and hawks capture above ground.

Putting Cats To Work

Here is information on how cats can help control rodents in wineries and farms.
Ventura County Animal Services has healthy cats who would love to be put to work! These cats are unsuitable to be house pets but would flourish in a barn, horse stable, warehouse, garage, garden shed or other appropriate indoor/outdoor location. In return for your care, barn cats will help keep rodents away from feed, grain and food storage areas. Not only will you enjoy watching these cats work, you will be providing them a much-needed home. See their website

Glue Traps

Avoid glue traps. They are cruel and inhumane. References:
• Humane Society:
 People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals:
• Wildcare:

Never Use Traps Outside Your Home

Beware! A pest control company will tell you a fear story as to why you should have poison bait boxes outside of your home. Rats DO NOT die inside the poison bait boxes, they freely go out and poison other wildlife and pets. Repelling, excluding, and deterring is the solution for your home, not poisoning the environment outside.

Cars/Automobiles. Hints for keeping them out.

  • Leave the hood up. Rodents are looking for a dark place to nest. This idea may help discourage nesting, but may not be practical in all situations.
  • Store your dog food, cat food, and birdseed. Place all food in strong containers.
  • Remove or seal off rat hiding places near the car. Cut down nearby shrubbery and vines where they can hide. Plant any of the mint varieties around the area. If you have a garage, block entrances to the building, spray them with substances or solutions that rats hate (see below).
  • Block small entrances to the engine. Some block engine openings with wire screen.
  • Use electronic deterrent devices. Rodents can hear ultrasound, e.g., Mouse Blocker. Strobe lights like the LED-based Rid-a-Rat may work for longer periods, as they disrupt the darkness that rats prefer.
  • Make your engine and its entrances smell bad, at least to rats. Motorists have had success with peppermint oil, Pine-Sol, Irish Spring soap, red pepper, Fresh Cab, and laundry dryer sheets. The people who make Rataway tell you to spray it on all the wires in the engine.
  • Xcluder. Rat Engine Sealer. Creates a permanent barrier against rodents and insects. Poly fiber and stainless steel mesh expands for a secure fit. Fills small holes and gaps around HVAC lines, eaves, and more.
  • Copper Blocker Pet Stopper. Copper mesh to block holes.
  • Do not let the car sit unused. Drive it once in a while.
  • Honda Motor Tape. It is infused with capsaicin, hot pepper, and is used to wrap the wire harness.
  • Guardfather –  magnetic container with essential oils that repel rodents from engines.

Got Ants?

Got Termites?

Beyond Pesticides is a nationwide organization that offers alternatives to pesticides. Please see the recommendations below. Here’s a great compendium of everything you could ever want to know about how to identify termites, the three types,and all the least toxic options:

We do not recommend tenting. Tenting is the most expensive and most toxic way to deal with termites. Sulfuryl Fluoride (Vikane), the commonly used poison, is labeled with the signal word “Danger” by the EPA, meaning that it is in the most acute toxic category of pesticides! All entranceways must be posted with a skull and crossbones sign.

Many materials that are exposed to this poison such as polyester cushion fibers, wool fabrics, and polystyrene insulation, can release it for up to 40 days post fumigation.  The long-term effects of using pesticides around children are questionable.

The EPA has a concern for neurotoxicity associated with inhalation of Sulfuryl Fluoride. The EPA has calculated that children are about five times more susceptible to it than adults – children are at significantly greater risk for neurotoxic effects after fumigation.

Please see this fact sheet from the Journal of Pesticide Reform

Here is an article from MIT about Sulfuryl Flouride as a Greenhouse gas which lasts in the environment for 35 years –

Here is a company that has alternatives for termite control, Ecola –