The 7 Most Effective Pest Repellents to Keep Rodents and Insects Out of Your Home

Pest repellents come in various products and devices. Find out more about the 7 top pest repellent choices to keep your home and family safe from insects and rodents.

A pest repellent is a product specifically meant to keep pests away from your home, yard, or even person. They are different from pesticides that are intended to kill insects and rodents. Pest repellents provide a protective barrier that forces pests to leave for another location.

Vermin can wreak havoc on your home. They destroy furniture and can even carry worrisome diseases. Protect your home and family by using pest repellents to keep these critters away.

What Types of Pest Repellents Are Available?

There are several types of pest repellents that you can use in and around your home. These include:

  • Ultrasonic vibrations: These devices are plugged into an electric outlet and emit a noise that humans can’t hear but annoy and disorient household pests, like rodents and insects. 
  • Chemicals: Products that contain chemicals are often very effective at driving away vermin. However, you must use them with caution. Chemicals can cause negative reactions and side effects when used in large doses or against product instructions. 
  • Herbs and natural products: A natural product is derived from plants and typically doesn’t contain chemicals. They can still pack a punch. Use only as directed to avoid possible side effects.

The pest repellents that are best for your situation depend on how the product is used and which kind of pest you’re dealing with. Consider what you need to achieve before comparing product pricing, expected results, and ease of use.

Best Pest Repellents

Infographic of person using pest repellents

When selecting a pest repellent, consider the active ingredients in the product, method of use, and length of time the product is effective. These are some of the top choices that work on common household pests:

DEET Bug Sprays

One of the most well-known pest repellents is bug sprays with DEET. They create a barrier when applied to your skin, and clothing is highly effective at repelling mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects. 

DEET has been around for decades and is recommended by the American Mosquito Control Association. It is one of the most studied pest repellents available on the market. Overuse is discouraged, so always follow product instructions when using sprays that contain DEET.

Picaridin Products

Some people prefer to avoid DEET even though it provides good results. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that Picaridin is an alternative for use around children and limiting exposure to DEET. Picaridin works well for ticks, mosquitos, and flies. It also has a mild odor and doesn’t cause damage to plastics like DEET can. 

Ultrasonic Repellers

An ultrasonic device is probably your best choice if you’re looking for chemical-free pest repellents. They emit sounds that drive away rodents and insects but are at a pitch inaudible to humans. Each manufacturer controls the volume and pitch of their device. Since this is what makes them effective, you must do research and select a high-quality product. Look for the frequency, range, and if the product comes with a guarantee. Devices that operate in the 60-hertz range are generally considered a good choice. These are some of the best options currently available:

Ultrasonic pest repellers are a popular option to deter rodents and insects without exposing yourself and your family to potentially harmful chemicals. They are typically environmentally friendly and a more humane solution than products that outright kill pests. Always check that the product you select is safe to use around your family and pets before applying it.

Ground Stakes

Another type of ultrasonic pest repeller is a ground stake system that gives off vibrations. Pests fear the vibrations and consider them a threat to their safety, so they leave the area. Drive these stakes into your yard to deter animals, such as moles and snakes, that like to burrow. You must use several for the most effective results. 

Chemical Sprays

You can use several different chemical sprays in your home to deter insects and rodents. Spray them wherever you typically find pests, such as in the kitchen, bathroom, basement, attic, and around windows and doors. Do your research and understand the effects of the active ingredients in the product. 

Stick with products that contain EPA-approved ingredients. Some chemicals may pose a risk when used inside the home or when you don’t follow the given directions. Give the product time to dry before allowing your children or pets back into the area. 

Plants and Essential Oils

Nature offers its own solutions for pest repellents. Try adding a few flowers and plants to your landscaping efforts and patio décor to deter common insects and rodents. Chrysanthemums, catnip, lavender, and mint are easy to find and care for while providing protection for your home.

Some people prefer to use the essential oils that are derived from plants as an easier pest repellent. These oils are highly concentrated. Use as directed to avoid side effects. They’re effective as pest repellents when diffused in the air or diluted and applied to skin and clothing. Try them as a natural alternative to chemical products.


If you’re looking for a way to repel mosquitos and other bothersome insects from an entire area, then citronella candles are a good choice. Cutter is a popular brand that has good results. Place a few candles around your patio and near the entrances leading to your home. You can also use them indoors to drive away insects that make it inside.

There are many products and devices available that act as pest repellents. This list is a great resource to get you started. Consider your needs and compare your options before making a selection. You should also make sure that your preferred choice works on the specific pests you’ve noticed in and around your home.

You might also be interested in: The 15 Most Common Pests That Ruin Your Home & Wreak Havoc

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