Repellents - Do They Work?

Once an animal has settled in in your attic, and especially if it’s a female that has already given birth to a litter, chances that repellents will work are zero. If an animals has chosen your attic to raise its young, as it’s almost always the case with invasive wildlife, it has chosen this space because of the advantages it offers: shelter from the elements, security, warmth, and location. Taking its fragile and vulnerable babies in search of another place with the same benefits would be too dangerous.

Commercial repellents: Repellents have been commercialized for years and years as this miracle potion that will just make animals run away like they’re on fire. This never happens. And it’s very easy to understand why repellents do not work. Repellents are usually made from or contain ammonia, naphthalene, and predator urine or predator gland secretions. Spraying an attic with repellent is supposed to either frighten the animal or upset its nose so much that it won’t be able to stand it and be forced to leave. The primary mission of the mother will be the survival of its litter, hence the safe attic space. By putting in balance the unknown real dangers that wait outside versus the pseudo threat of predator urine smell in a place that has been chosen due to it being a safe environment, it’s clear to any animal which is the wiser option. Determined to ensure its litter will survive, an animal will simply ignore any unpleasant smell, especially in an attic that’s well ventilated, the way attics usually are. Raccoon eviction fluid may have a fighting chance at repelling a couple of animal species, but there’s absolutely no guarantee that it will work.

Homemade repellents: These types of repellents are as bogus as the commercial ones, and for the exact same reasons. If predator urine won’t scare an animal away, how could human hair or cinnamon do the trick? You will be able to read countless articles online telling you how to repel nuisance wildlife with just a few simple ingredients found in any household. Don’t buy into it. It’s a waste of time. It may not be a waste of money like it is with commercial repellents, but they’re equally ineffective.

What can you do that actually works: The best repellent, the one that has a 100% success rate, is prevention. Once the animals are safely removed from the attic, and home repairs and decontamination are performed, you should start focusing on prevention. This means limiting access to shelter and food as much as possible so that animals don’t feel attracted to your property in the first place. This is what has been proven to work again and again, when all other repellents failed, so just skip the failing part, and do what works.

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