How To Stop Rats To Eat Your Clothes [Top 10 Tips]

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Did you find your new shirt with holes in it? Do your socks keep getting lost? The culprit might be roaming around your house each night chewing your clothes. Rats are an annoying small creature that loves to ruin clothes. Are you wondering how to stop rats to eat your clothes?  

To prevent rats from eating your clothes, seal any entry points, use natural repellents like peppermint oil and chili pepper flakes, employ rat traps, maintain cleanliness in the laundry room and wardrobe, and install metal or steel cloth. Items like ammonia, cloves, garlic, mothballs, and specific vegetables can also deter rats.

Read the article below to prevent rats from eating clothes.

Top Tips To Stop Rats To Eat Your Clothes
Top Tips To Stop Rats To Eat Your Clothes

Preventative Measures To Stop Rats From Eating Your Clothes

To prevent rats from eating your clothes: the best strategy is to stop them from entering your homes. In winter, rats look for a cozy place to live. Your closet can be a comfortable place for rats to make a nest. Use the techniques given below to scare the rats away.

1- Seal The Spaces, Holes, Or Cracks

Any Holes or Cracks

Rats can sneak into your house through a hole or gap in windows, doors, or walls. Sometimes they even find their way inside through vent pipes or exhaust holes. Check your house thoroughly for any holes or cracks.

If you find broken windows, fix them and seal any cracks or holes. You can use cement and plaster to close the spaces in the walls. Use hardware cloth to cover openings of vents.

2- Use Peppermint Oil


Peppermint oil is one of the natural repellents. It is the most effective method to keep the rats away from the fabric items. 

Peppermint has an intense odor that does not cause any irritation to humans. On the other hand, rats do not like the peppermint smell. 

The oil is available at any store. You can also dilute the oil by mixing it with water.

Mix two ounces of hundred percent peppermint oil with seven ounces of water, and spray it in your cupboard and laundry room.

3- Use Chili Pepper Flakes

chilli flakes

Chili pepper flakes will get rid of the rats from your clothes quickly. You can either sprinkle some chili pepper flakes around your wardrobe.

Plus, you can form a solution of chili flakes with water and spray it around. Grind eight chili peppers till it forms a paste, and add four ounces of water to it. 

Another effective strategy is to grow chili peppers in your house. Place the plant near your house entrance. It will scare away the rats for good.

4- Spray Ammonia


Rats hate the strong smell of ammonia. The sharp odor of the chemical will keep the rats away from your closet. You can use ammonia in three ways to scare the rats. 

Mix sixteen ounces of ammonia with six ounces of water, and add three tablespoons of the dishwashing detergent.

Place the bowl with the solution in areas with rat infestation. You can also pour this solution into a spray bottle and spray it in your cupboard or closet. 

Lastly, soak the fabric pieces in ammonia and place them near your clothes.

5- Use Cloves And Garlic.


Rats do not like garlic or cloves. The garlic has a strong and pungent smell which keeps the rat away.

Place a few garlic cloves around your house or make a mixture with water.

Mix chopped garlic with water and spray it near the windows and door. You can also place a few cloves in muslin clothes inside your cupboard or around the house. 

6- Use Rat Traps Or Glue Boards.

Snap traps

Many people prefer using rat traps and glue boards to kill the rats around the house. Place the rat traps or glue boards in the dark corners of the home along the wall behind furniture and appliances.

Ensure that the gap between each rat trap is fifteen to twenty feet. 

Place your bait along with the traps or near them. For the food bait, you can use peanut butter or grains. 

Check the traps daily and throw away the dead animal on it instantly. You will have to use traps for a long time to scare away the rats.

7- Keep The Laundry Room And Wardrobe Clean And Organized.

Wardrobe Clean

Rats are likely to live in dirty and disorganized places. The large pile of dirty laundry will provide hiding space for the rats. It can chew on the garment and will probably take a few clothing items with it to make a nest.

It is better to keep your laundry room clean by doing your washing as soon as you can. Once the clothes are washed not leave them hanging around your sofa; place them back in the wardrobe. 

Keep your wardrobe organized and clean. Deep clean it at least once a month and avoid keeping food items in it.

8- Install Metal Or Steel Cloth

Rats cannot chew on hardware cloth. The mesh of the hardware cloth must be of one-millimeter diameter.

The smaller the mesh diameter makes it impossible for rats to bite on it. Use metal or steel cloth around your wardrobe and laundry areas.

You can also use the metal cloth on any openings to prevent rats from breaking into your house.

9- Mothballs


Mothballs consist of naphthalene. It is not only poisonous to rats but also to humans and pet animals.

If you have children or pets around, avoid using mothballs. It also has an odor that rats can smell from feet away and will avoid coming near your wardrobe.

If you have a rat problem, place mothballs near your fabric items.

10- Vegetable 


Rats are scared of tomatoes, onions, peppermint, lavender, and garlic. You can grow these vegetables in your kitchen garden or place them around your house to scare away the rats.

Rats can smell these vegetables from far away. They cannot stand the smell and will never come near your home.

Why Do Rats Bite Clothes?

Rats chew on anything they find, including furniture, books, carpets, pipes, cables, curtains, and clothes. It is the habit of the rats.

If you want to locate rats in your home, look for the bite marks on the clothing items and the wood of the furniture. 

Female rats collect small clothing items like socks or pieces of fabric to build nests. Dirty laundry or an unorganized and dirty area is most attractive to the rats. There might be a distinct smell to clothes, which attracts rats to chew on them.

Can Rats Be In Your Mattress?

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Rats can burrow inside the mattress. It is effortless for them to climb onto the furniture items like mattresses.

Rats like to live in places that humans avoid. They will hide inside the unused furniture items. Abandoned mattresses are the targets of rats in the area, as they will provide insulation and the warmth required for making a nest. 

If you have an unused mattress lying around, scan it thoroughly for holes or tears. The tears and scratches on the mattress indicate the presence of a rat infestation.

Do Rats Hide In Clothes?

Rats can hide inside piles of clothes in cardboard boxes in old furniture drawers and other small and dark spaces.

Rats are attracted to clothes or fabric items. They not only chew on them but will tear them to collect them for making a nest.

Apart from clothes, the rats also collect old newspapers, books, cardboard pieces, and magazines for stuffing in the nest. Female rats use the old pile of clothes for giving birth as it is warm and comfortable.

Do Rats Eat Clothes?

Rats can chew on clothes or use them for making nests. Rats can eat anything available, including clothes, leftover food, pet foods, pet waste, bird feed, vegetables, and fruits. 

Rats sharpen their teeth by chewing on anything they can find, including clothes, cable wires, or wood. 

Why Do Rats Chew On Everything?

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Rats are gnawing animals. They have four yellow front incisors which are rootless and continuously grow. They chew on things like clothes and wood to file their teeth.

It makes their teeth sharp for eating. If a rat loses its ability to chew, it will have severely outgrown teeth, which is dangerous as it can starve to death.

How to Get Rid Of The Rats In Your Wardrobe?

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If you have a rat infestation in your area, they will likely attack your wardrobe as the wardrobe provides shelter and warmth for making a nest.

Rats will chew on clothes and bedding inside it.

To get rid of the rats from your wardrobe, you can use peppermint oil or place ammonia-soaked rags. Additionally, you can also put mothballs and rat traps.


Rats will chew on many materials, including aluminum, plastic, wood, cement, lead, and fabric. This chewing habit of rats is for filling their teeth which makes it easier for them to eat.

They will chew on the clothing items available to them, like dirty laundry or clothes air drying in the yard. Rats also collect pieces of clothes for making nests. To keep your clothes safe from rats, you must find a method to get rid of them. 

The above article has all the tips and tricks to stop rats from eating your clothes. If you have any more questions, feel free to comment below.


Rats, Lice, and History- Taylor and Francis Group

Manual of Exotic Pet Practice