Rat in my chicken run :( Anyone use peppermint or spearmint oil as rat repellent?

drkracker

In the Brooder
5 Years
May 24, 2014
17
0
24
Michigan
This morning I found a big 'ol rat wandering in my chicken run. I have not seen them around before and now I am worried. The chickens were safe in their coop (it is a raised coop, 4 ft. off of the ground, and really...I need to get another job to pay for all of the hardware cloth I've used in building it!!). I'm thinking that it must have come in from the run roof. I haven't finished that part of the project yet :( but will be doing so today! I'm wondering if anyone has had success using essential oils (mint) as a rat repellent? I really, really don't want them around the hens, or me!
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Feb 3, 2007
79,148
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Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
Um, no. It really doesn't work. What does better is to cut all tall grass and remove piles of lumber, trash and such from anywhere near the coops. Don't give them a place to congregate and hide. And maybe a cat would help as well.
 

jentralala

Chirping
5 Years
May 1, 2014
92
17
51
x2 kitty if you can! Our cat has demolished the rat population, and the snake population. She's awesome at her job, and has 0 interest in the chickens. Just get one that is spayed/neutered to keep from contributing to the extreme over population :) You could also make some of those diy bucket traps, which I think are safe to use around chickens.
 

drkracker

In the Brooder
5 Years
May 24, 2014
17
0
24
Michigan
Thank you everyone! I may have to put out some traps. I'm surrounded by woods (and some swampy area) so there are a lot of places for rodents to hide. Oddly enough, I've been so worried about coyotes, foxes, and raccoon it never occurred to me to worry about rats. Ick. Unfortunately, a cat is not an option for my family (a great idea though). We do have three dogs; maybe they will just have to start patrolling the area more.
I was curious about the mint thing because I had read that some people use it inside their coops to deter mice and rats.
I really do appreciate the input!
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Feb 3, 2007
79,148
13,571
1,236
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
Thank you everyone! I may have to put out some traps. I'm surrounded by woods (and some swampy area) so there are a lot of places for rodents to hide. Oddly enough, I've been so worried about coyotes, foxes, and raccoon it never occurred to me to worry about rats. Ick. Unfortunately, a cat is not an option for my family (a great idea though). We do have three dogs; maybe they will just have to start patrolling the area more.
I was curious about the mint thing because I had read that some people use it inside their coops to deter mice and rats.
I really do appreciate the input!

I did do the mint route, all in a stand up crawl space that I could not completely block off from rodent intrusion. It was everywhere in there. The mice set up housekeeping in the insulation and ignored all the mint I had in there. Heck, they probably used it in their nests, LOL.
 

drkracker

In the Brooder
5 Years
May 24, 2014
17
0
24
Michigan
I did do the mint route, all in a stand up crawl space that I could not completely block off from rodent intrusion. It was everywhere in there. The mice set up housekeeping in the insulation and ignored all the mint I had in there. Heck, they probably used it in their nests, LOL.
lol. Well, I suppose on a positive note it smelled really nice!
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Feb 3, 2007
79,148
13,571
1,236
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
Yeah, it sort of did for awhile, LOL. Then, we rebuilt the door to be solid and a hardware cloth covered window so they couldn't get in. And had to remove all the insulation from there. Boy, was that nasty! Still haven't put it back. That area runs under the master bedroom and the kitchen so I certainly didn't want mice partying under my feet all night, ick.
 

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