Do onions kill rats?

The rat family is one of the most successful mammalian genera to have ever graced the surface of the earth.

And this is particularly true for an undeniable reason. Rats and mice are highly persistent and adaptable creatures, and these monsters (sorry to say so, but I’ve once had a rat scissor through the center of my college admission letter and peed on both sides of the remnant pieces), are literally obsessed with surviving wherever they are within the four corners of the globe.

They’ll eat almost anything that comes their way from paper, leaves, to damp wood and even their own faeces when the need for survival arises, but at the same time, they are intelligent enough to adapt to situations and know what works best for them as food and what can be a source of health issues, when given the chance.

The reason why I’m saying all these things, is because i personally think it’s ridiculous and insane for anyone to think a slice of fresh onion bulb can act as a great control remedy for rats. It won’t. At least not for wild rats, or those that made their way into the house from a tiring trip miles away.

They’ve definitely tasted onions elsewhere (in someone’s home or the wild) and have learnt it’s of no good, since a small dosage of fresh onions does nothing to them literally. Or, have learnt to adapt and incorporate them into their diet as tasty supple. So it may be the case that your efforts to get rid of rats by stuffing slice after slice of fresh onion bulbs may be the very reason why they’re growing fatter and fatter both in body size and confidence.

You see, people all over the web advertising fresh onion slices as effective rat repellents have their many reasons, but these are never substantial enough. Let’s go through each one of them carefully and then …. giggle together.

  • First, is that onions exude a really bad smell that rats hate, so whenever rats pick up on that smell, they pack up their bags and immediately leave for the wild. The problem here is the critical underestimation of the intelligence and persistence of a rat. They are too wise to pack up their bags and leave for the wild, rather, they’ll pack up their bags and relocate to a much comfortable place around the house, unless you live under one area of roofing, literally, in which case, the rats would inhessitantly move over to the closest neighbor’s house in search for green pasture. Plus, the smell that an onion exude isn’t one that is very disturbing on the whole, and yes, rats have superbly good olfaction, but the smell of a cut onion barging through the entrance isn’t going to get worse by the minute, it’ll only lessen and lessen as time goes by because the moisture within the onion itself will evaporate. So in the end, with this method, you’re only signed up for a never ending loop of onion wastage.
  • Onions are poisonous to rats, and when they consume them, they’ll suffocate due to lack of oxygen and die. Yes, it’s true that too much of everything is bad, even for us humans. But a rat isn’t exactly the dumbest member of the animal kingdom, and the chances of a rat consuming any or all parts of the onion slice you kept at the entrance of its burrow is very low. At least for those found around my region. They have a way of skipping past the meal for the much better pet food without altering a thing in it’s placement and positioning. These are damn criminals! If you want a higher success rate with this method, may be you should try cleaning up the entire house to suffocate them, then, that might force them to subsist only on the onion slices, or, worse, on the parlor curtains or your favorite underwear!
  • Keeping fresh onion slices at entrances and openings will prevent rats from getting into the house. Honestly, you’ll have better luck using a spray foam that adhering to the above method. If a rat can’t get in through point A, it’ll definitely get in through B, especially when it senses something delicious waiting inside. And even if all the entrances are sealed completely, which is usually not the case, then it wouldn’t be a big deal for the rat to burrow another hole and create another comfortable entrance! Plus, imagine a really hungry rat held back from rushing through a burrow because an onion slice is placed at the entrance. That’s ridiculous.

In the end, placing several slice of onions at strategic locations around the house would only be a big waste of time and onions.

And what would be more effective and productive would be to stay clean, invest in a rat glue, a rat trap or better still, go after the little bastards with a mopping stick yourself!

If onions don’t kill rats, do they attract them instead?

Onions do not kill rats and neither do they attract them, except when the rats are starving to death, in which case, they wouldn’t mind taking a bite or two from the onion slices and patiently waiting until the dog’s food is ready at nine.

What other remedies advertised as rat repellants are actually a bluff?

1) Mothball

Not only is this ineffective at repelling rats and mice, it’s also anticipated, reasonably, to be a likely carcinogen. Besides that, mothballs can also have ingredients that could present neurotoxic side effects to the body. So stay away from them.

2) Garlic

Garlic and onions are pretty similar herbs, except that garlic is far more potent that onions. So while it may help to reduce the activities of a rat while it’s still fresh and oozing, it will definitely not keep rats locked out forever as the smell will eventually diffuse away and the stubborn rats will be back again. Besides, rodents like mice and rats are pretty clever creatures, they can easily adapt to uncomfortable situations and live their lives normal.

3) Peppermint oil

Again, just like onions and garlic, the peppermint has a specific scent that can bother the sensitive nostrils of a rodent, but that isn’t enough to drive them out from the house. It’s just like the case of a human being confronted with a bad smell. You wouldn’t want a whiff of the ammonia-like smell exuded from the rotten eggs your 7 years old exploded at the backyard, so you’ll prefer to stay indoors for the meantime rather than pack your bags and leave the house for something you know is only temporary.

What is the most effective way to get rid of rats?

  • Use or design a rat trap
  • Use rat poison, don’t make one.
  • Call for professional help

Frequently asked questions

Do onions kill mice?

Rats and mice are somewhat the same thing, so whatever food doesn’t kill a rat would definitely not kill a mouse. In other words, onions do not kill mice and are not effect ways to deter them from the house.

Final verdict

As mentioned above, onions do not kill rats because rats aren’t allergic to them nor do they hate them.

They may exude specific aroma that aren’t the most appealing for rats to whiff, and this may keep them inactive for temporary periods, but as soon as the smell subsides, the rats will definitely be back and return to action again.

Other household remedies such as peppermint oil, mothballs and garlic that are suggested to be used for rat control do not also work to get rid of a full blown infestation and neither do they work as foolproof solution to prevent one.

The best solution to get rid of a rat infestation is: to carry out necessary maintenance and cleanliness exercise’s in order to make sure the house is unattractive for rats, to use poison or traps to control the infestation already indoors, or to call for professional help when every possible effort seems to cause you physical and physiological distress.