Carlos Aranguiz /

If you’ve recently come across every homeowner’s furry little nightmare (yes, we are talking about rats!), you’re not alone. Don’t let their small size mislead you – these creatures can cause a great deal of damage to your house, contaminating food and spreading diseases. In case you’re looking for a natural way to deal with rats in your roof, you’ve landed in the right place.

Table of Contents:

What Attracts Rats in Your House

So, you’re probably pretty convinced that you don’t want rats in your peaceful home. But do you know what attracted them to your house in the first place? Some key factors that tempt these rodents:

  • Poor Sanitation 

Rats don’t just appear out of nowhere. If they are present, then they have easy access to food and water sources. You should always keep your roof area clean because these rodents can be attracted by every bit of garbage scattered throughout the house. 

  • Safety and comfort

Rats are warm-blooded animals, so they seek a warm, comfortable place to nest. They will stay inside your roof space for as long as its tiny holes provide them protection and shelter. 

  • Food, food, food

Your recently discovered roofmates (pun intended!) aren’t picky eaters. In fact, they will gladly feed on every piece of food they find. You should keep the areas where food is prepared and consumed clean and free of unprotected leftovers or crumbs.

Other pests that might nest in your roof or on it, are pigeons. Learn how to deal with them when they nest on your roof.

The Roof Rat – Get to Know The Enemy

If the scurrying sound comes from above and keeps you up at night, then your unwelcome guests have probably invaded your house’s roof and ceiling. Chances are, you’re dealing with Roof rats, also known as Black rats. Here’s how to recognize them:  

Physical features 

Roof rats are rodents with large eyes and ears, a pointed nose and a scaly long tail.

Fur and colour 

Their thin body has smooth and soft fur that is usually black or dark brown with intermixed spots of black.


The roof rat droppings are spindle-shaped and reach about 1/2 inch in size, a little smaller than those of the brown rat.


Roof rats not only contaminate stored food and spread diseases but also chew and gnaw through solid materials. They are nocturnal animals and search for food at night.


As you can guess by their name, roof rats are good climbers and they usually build nests in the upper areas of the house. You can find them in various places, including: 

  • Ceilings
  • Attics
  • Cabinets
  • Voids along the roofline
  • Inside walls and sheetrock

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Roof Rats

Killing rats with poison involves efforts, mess and potential danger to children or pets in the house. If you don’t want to cause unnecessary pain, you may want to try some natural rat repellents to get rid of the cheeky rodents in the roof without poison. 

Keep in mind that the following home remedies can’t do wonders – you can rely on them only if you’re certain you don’t have a large infestation.

Place Mothballs

Mothballs are a great rat repellent as they are poisonous to them. You can place a good amount of them in your attic, basement, kitchen, yard, or in any other area where you suspect rat presence. 

Use Peppermint oil 

Rats can’t stand the smell of peppermint oil. Dip some cotton balls in peppermint oil and spread them throughout the rat-prone areas. If you don’t have peppermint oil, great alternatives are citronella oil and castor oil. 

Pour Ammonia

Ammonia is a fantastic rat repellent. Its strong odour keeps rats away for good. In a bowl, mix ¼ water, 2 cups of regular ammonia, and 2 tablespoons of detergent. Place the bowl in the infested area and let it do its magic.

Sprinkle Pepper Flakes

Pepper flakes have a sharp and unpleasant smell that rats can’t stand. It also makes it difficult for them to breathe. Sprinkle it around areas where rats like to hide.

Slice Onion and Garlic

The smell of onions and garlic is not just unpleasant to humans, it also works the same way on rats. Place slices of onions outside their holes anywhere you’ve seen them. It will push them away and they won’t want to return. 

Keep in mind that you will have to replace the onions with fresh ones as they will rot within a couple of days. Throw away the old ones, as they can be toxic to kids and pets.

Spread Instant Potato Powder

Sprinkle instant potato powder around areas you’ve seen rats. When they consume the powder, it will cause inflammation inside their intestines and kill them.

Learn also: How to Get Rid of Dead Rat Smell

Signs of an Infestation Despite All of Your Efforts?

In case you have tried all of the tips mentioned above, but have been unsuccessful, and the rats still wander around your roof. You may be dealing with a large infestation that you won’t be able to deal with on your own. The most efficient and reliable way to eliminate rats for good is by hiring a professional rat exterminator.

We at Fantastic Services offer a great option, including 3 main stepsinspection, baiting and sealing entry points of the rats’ hideouts. We provide you with professional pest controllers, who will determine the level of the damage and will effectively treat the problem so that there is no future damage to your house.

Professional rat control service near you!

We will make sure your home is safe and rodent-free.

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Rat Prevention Tips

Once the furry rodents are gone from your roof, you can finally sleep in peace. Now it’s time to prevent future infestations and learn how to keep rats away for good. 

Keep your house clean and tidy

Pests enjoy clutter and will happily live in a place with a lot of it. That’s why you need to keep your property clutter-free. Remove any piles of newspapers and wood away from your home. Clean your home thoroughly at least once a week. If your attic is full of old cardboard boxes, consider getting rid of them.

Repair your home

Rats can get inside very tiny cracks and crevices. Seal up any holes or cracks in your roof area with silicone caulk and make sure that all windows and vents are properly screened.

Store food in airtight containers

Rodents have a very sensitive sense of smell, so they can be easily attracted to any food left out in the open. Cover the rubbish bin at all times. If you have a pet, store their food in rat-proof containers. When feeding your beloved pet, try to give them just enough food for one serving. As it won’t stay in their bowl for too long and attract the pesky rodents. 

Consider getting a cat

Cats are not just great companions but will keep your home safe from rats. They will hunt the rodents and will kill them when they get their paws on them. No rat will want to step close to your home knowing that you have a cat.

Learn more about: Proven Ways to Get Rid of Rats & Mice


  • Knowing what attracts rats to your property will help you stop them from coming back.
  • The best way to deal with rats in the roof is by preventing them.
  • Natural remedies will help you get rid of rats in the roof but are not as effective as using chemicals.
  • Last update: March 12, 2022

Posted in All Articles, Pest Issues