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Does Garlic Repel Rats and Mice? (Answered)

Mice and rats are normally used to being around humans and they can do a lot of harm to us. If they can get into your house once, they may bother you a lot. But if they already got into your house or garden you can effectively deter them by using some effective home made remedies.

Does garlic repel rats and mice?

Garlic repels rats and mice because it has an intense smell. Rats and mice are sensitive to smells and the strong smell of garlic strikes their noses. Moreover, garlic has a sulfur-containing element which is distracting and unpleasant for them, so they try to keep themselves away from garlic.

Naturally rats and mice are very susceptible to certain smells and garlic is one of them. Garlic produces such a strong smell that is intolerable and unpleasant for them. The reason is garlic has sulfur containing compounds that makes it intensive fragrant. 

It’s really a great home remedy to deter rats and mice.


Rats are pretty sensitive to smells. They have poor visions but they rely more on their smelling power. They can get any smell from quite a long distance. They use their strong sense of smell to detect food sources and even to get cautious about any danger.

As garlic produces a very strong odor, they get the smell if they’re not even close to it. They find it very unpleasant because the smell of garlic irritates their noses. They are unable to tolerate the odor for a long period. 

So, whenever they can recognize the smell of garlic, they tend to leave that place. 


Mice have an incredible sense of smell as they have quite high and rich olfactory receptors. In fact, their sense of smell is even high from the rats. They have the ability to smell from 10 miles away. 

This incredible ability makes them cautious about anything suspicious or dangerous for them. 

Mice recognize the smell of garlic as dangerous because they are unable to tolerate that strong odor. Moreover, the sulfur containing compounds distract them by triggering their olfactory receptors. So, they don’t like garlic and try to flee from the place.

Do rats and mice like garlic?

No, mice and rats dislike garlic’s pungent odor. Rats and mice have excessively sensitive noses, and they are usually attracted to any pleasant-smelling food items. Garlic has a bad odor due to the presence of a compound called allicin. 

When this element comes into contact with air, its sulfur-containing element emits an odor that rats and mice find unappealing. They become distracted by the smell and do not find it pleasing. 

On top of that, garlic is also utilized to repel them in many places, and even a small piece placed anywhere will cause them to retreat and will divert from their usual way of communicating. Also, the taste of garlic is unpleasant to them. 

And if they consume too much of it, it causes an upset stomach and could potentially have toxic effects on them, causing stomach pain, flatulence, and vomiting due to the presence of sulfides, which are irritating compounds.

Can rats eat garlic?

Yes, rats and mice can eat garlic. They may dislike the raw, pungent smell, but a small amount will not harm them. It is usually recommended to give them one clove of garlic once a week to achieve long-term health benefits. 

Garlic’s organosulfur compounds aid digestion and boost immunity by preventing pathological events in the stomach that lead to ulcers or cancer in rats and mice. 

Garlic has anticarcinogenic effects in rats and tumor-suppressing effects in rodents due to the presence of sulfide-like chemicals. 

However, if consumed three or four times per week, it can cause stomach distress, diarrhea, and vomiting. It has been discovered in several studies that if consumed in excess, it can harm the liver and lungs. 

Although some rats and mice dislike the scent of raw garlic, it can be given to them together with other foods or cooked to get the benefits.

3 Reasons why garlic repels rats and mice: 

Garlic is an effective home remedy that can work as a great rat and mice repellent. Actually, garlic repels rats and mice because it: 

Contains unpleasant smell: 

Rats and mice have very sensitive noses. They can smell even from a very long distance. Garlics produce an intense raw and pungent smell due to the presence of many chemical compounds. So, the rats and mice find the strong smell very unpleasant and intolerable. 

So whenever they get the smell of the garlic, they become conscious and try to get themselves away from the place.

Contains effective repellent ingredients: 

Garlic contains diverse bioactive compounds such as approximately thirty-three sulfur compounds, seventeen types of amino acids, ajoene, propenyl, methyl etc. and all of them work as an effective repellent for rats and mice. 

When garlic is chopped, these all heightened chemicals become active and when they’re mixed with water and sprayed around the house or garden, they work as a great rat or mice repellent.

Affects the sensory receptors: 

The allium extracts, allicin and DADS are the compounds of garlic that target the sensory nerves of the rats or mice by activating the capsaicin-sensitive perivascular sensory nerve endings. In fact, they evoke and excite the sensory neurons of the rats and mice. 

So, they feel distracted and as a result, their normal activities are hampered. So whenever they identify the smell they try to leave that place as early as possible.

What smells do rats and mice dislike? 

Rats and mice dislike strong smells. Typical strong-smells that rats and mice dislike include the fragrance of mint in peppermint oil, the pungent smell of eucalyptus, the strong smell of ammonia in animal urine, and sulfide in garlic. 

These strong-smelling materials also function as temporary repellents in many instances. They become irritated and leave the place when they smell something strong. 

Rats and mice have a keen sense of smell that they use to find food, but strong odors lead them to change their direction.

Peppermint oil scent: 

The pungent minty aroma of high-concentrated peppermint irritates rats and mice, causing them to retreat.

The odor of ammonia: 

The terrible smell of ammonia, which is commonly found in the urine of animals such as rats, creates a misleading signal in their minds that their predators are nearby, causing them to escape.

Garlic with a sulfurous odor: 

Garlic has a strong odor that rats and mice dislike because it distracts them.

How do you get rid of rats with garlic? 

Garlic has a strong odor that repels rats and mice. This mighty small creature has a very sensitive nose. 

Using their sense of smell against them by placing garlic cloves or garlic powder in house holes or kitchen areas, or spraying garlic-soaked water in rats’ and mice’s residences, helps to misguide their signals of communication. 

The pungent smell of garlic when they tend to enter houses in search of food can work as a repellent.

Placing them in the mice-rat infectious place:

 Raw garlic has an active ingredient called allicin, which generates a harsh odor that rats cannot stand because it irritates their noses. When placed in their tunnels, rats emigrate instantly. 

Thus, garlic works wonderfully as a temporary repellent because of its strong smell in getting rid of unwanted rats and mice.

Distracting and divert from entering house: 

Rats and mice become distracted when they come into contact with the sulfur sulfide chemicals in garlic. They normally convey signals to others when they find a food item, but because they are distracted, they are unable to locate it. 

Furthermore, the odor of garlic leads them astray in their search for food. Garlic works as a deterrent to rats and mice by diverting them from entering homes or kitchens.

Misleading them from breeding: 

By dispersing the smell of urine as an appealing medium among themselves, male rats and mice are attracted to their female mates. Placing garlic in strategic locations serves to divert them from breeding by overpowering the scent of garlic by misleading them.

Final Thoughts 

Because of the intensive fragrance, garlic can deter rats and mice. As they are sensitive to certain smells, they find the smell of garlic unpleasant and intolerable. It can even trigger their nerve sensors and distract them, that’s why garlic works as a rat-mice repellent.