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Does Light Deter Mice & Rats? (All You Need to Know)

Rats are nocturnal animals, and they search for their food at night. Do they fear the light? Is light effective enough to solve mice and rat issues? This article will answer if light can deter mice and rats and some related information that you may find helpful.

Light to deter mice & rats

Light certainly discourages rats from entering an area, but rats often ignore light if hungry or curious. They may not enter a place with light instantly, but there is a possibility that the rats will become used to the light and enter the area. Pulsing lights are the best to repel rats.

There are hundreds of ways to deal with mice and rats. But when the issue appears in our home, we always look for the easiest and safest ways. Who wants to spread toxic baits to finish off the rats! 

If you are among the unlikely people, you will get an unbearable odor from decomposing rats. And probably you may not find the place from where the smell is coming from. But congratulations! You didn’t go for rat bait and research for alternatives.

Now come to the main topic. Do light work against rats and mice? Yes, they do work, but there is no guarantee in general. Although, if you read this article, we will guide you to a way to repel rats and mice using light. 

Rats and mice are nocturnal animals, but they are not obligatory nocturnals. They don’t have any watching or seeing issues in light. So, sometimes rats can roam around in the light too. 

Let me explain in more detail so you can get a more precise overview of the topic. Rats prefer the night to find food as most predators do not hunt at night. 

However, there are a good number of nocturnal predators, but the rats and mice evolved to avoid the diurnal ones by getting out at night.

At night, they are not totally exposed to the environment and can also find their food or catch prey. Insects are one of the primary sources of their protein. 

However, they often take risks to get out and find food during the day if they are hungry or thirsty. Light will generally keep the rats away from a place. But they can sometimes enter an area with light if they need to.

Once they explore a place with light, they may come back more often.

So, should you set up a light to repel the rats? Well, it will work, but it’s not the ultimate solution. There are also some requirements for repelling rats with light. And you also need to consider some other things to consider.

To repel rats with light, you need bright light. And a bright light will spend more electricity and add more bills. However, if you even do not care about the bills, you should care about the earth. 

About sixty percent of electricity is made with natural resources like oil, coal, and gas in the United States. Those resources are limited, and the faith of humanity will change if we use all our resources too quickly. 

Moreover, using those resources is also directly related to climate change. However, LED lights will reduce the use of electricity and still provide you with bright enough light to scare off the rats. 

Let’s discuss the advantages of using light to deter mice and rats. It’s pretty easy to apply. You just need to turn on the light. Rats may enter the place with light, but they will be cautious and will not stay there longer. So, usually, they will not be able to cut your useful stuff. 

We will discuss those in more detail in the following sections. Let’s find out which lights are suitable for repelling rats and mice from your house.

Motion lights:

Motion light seance motion and then turns on. But when it turns on, the mice are already there. But the mice will run as fast as possible from there.

This can also be bad as they can hide where you keep your food or important stuff. So, we recommend not using motion lights to keep the rats and mice away from your house.

Solar lights: 

The solar light will work similarly to regular lights as long as it is bright enough. 

Porch lights: 

Porchlight will also work to deter the rats and mice. But it may not work very effectively if it is not bright enough.

Strobe lights:

Strobe lights are one of the effective lights to keep the rats and mice away.

LED lights: 

LED lights also help to deter rats and mice. But rats may get comfortable with any type of stable light.

How effective are lights in deterring mice and rats?

Lights are moderately effective in deterring mice and rats. It will keep the mice and rats away but will not ensure total safety. So, do not use these rat repellent methods in your kitchen and near drinking water sources. Rats can spread various diseases, including rabies.

Rats must be careful about their environment as they are in the lower part of the food chain. That’s why they will avoid places with bright light, which exposes them. Light is also an indication that there are humans nearby.

But there are ways to make the lights effective. If you use a light that pulses or changes color, rats and mice will not enter the area. Beating or moving light will keep the mice and rats away from the place almost all the time. 

They may become used to a still light but never get used to a light that moves or changes color. You can get the decoration lights or flashing lights for the job. There are also ribbon lights that you can adjust to the setting. You can make the light flash faster or change color.

Beating lights are effective, but they may not suit you. Not everyone will want to sleep in a room with pulsing light. In that case, you can choose some other effective rat repelling techniques mentioned in the latter part of the article.

What color lights keep mice away?

So you determined you want to use lights to deter rats and mice but are unsure which color will work best? Check the following points.


The white light will be the best to keep rats and mice away from an area. Make sure the light is so bright that it looks like daylight.


Bit yellowish light also looks like direct sunlight. Mice and rats will be more likely to avoid those lights.

Multicolor lights:

There is no other light better than multi-color light when repelling rats. Pick a light that changes color and flashes. It will be best if you have control over the light settings.

How do you keep mice and rats away with light?

You may think repelling mice and rats with lights is about turning on the light. It is, but there are some points you will have to remember. Here is the step-by-step guide.

Pulse light:

Look for a light that pulses or flashes for the best result. You will get many types of lights online and in the market. Rope lights will work great, and you can also change the setting by pressing a button. 

Your smartphone can also control some LED lights. 

However, you may not want flashing lights in your house. In this case, you can choose bright white light. It will also work.

Set the light:

Now, set the light near the entrance where rats and mice can enter. If the entrance is protected, there is nothing to worry about if some areas have less bright light.

Turn it on every night:

Turn on the light every night. If you find out that mice and rats are still entering the room. You should change the strategy.

What repels mice and rats? 

If you don’t want to use light or the light technique is not working for you, you can use the following methods to keep the rats and mice away.

A cat:

A playful cat can solve your rat and mice issue. Mice and rats will leave your house in fear of your cat. However, do not bring a cat just to repel mice and rats. Get cats only if you love cats.

Essential oils:

Essential oils come with strong smells, which irritate rats and mice due to their powerful smelling organs. You can spray neem, lemon, eucalyptus, and other essential oils in different places of your house to get rid of the mice and rats.


You can also use mothballs in different places of your house to keep the rats away.

Final Thoughts

Lights are not very popular to keep the rats away, but they still work decently. However, lights may not protect a place all the time. If you want the best results, use lights that flash and change color. Essential oils or dryer sheets can be an excellent alternative to light.