How to kill rats in your house How to kill rats in your house

Are Rats Your Uninvited Guests? 9 Ways to Bid them a Good Bye Forever

Rats have been a menace for a very long time in human history. From being the reason behind the worst plagues mankind has seen, to being a problem to the farmer’s crops, rats have not been a welcomed guest.

Rats have gained the reputation of being destructive because of their continuous nibbling which they owe to their constantly growing teeth.

This can lead to holes in your walls and chewed electric wires that lead to damaged electrical wiring, damaged furniture, or other building materials.

Rats, just like other animals, clean themselves by washing but are known to carry diseases transferrable to humans and other species through fleas they carry, bites, or urine contact.

You eliminate rats from your house from the very second you spot one, or else the rat problem in your house is not far away. If you happen to have a rat infestation in your house, you definitely need to know how to kill rats in your house.

About Rats

Photo by Joshua J. Cotten / Unsplash copyright 2021

Before we go on to lay traps to remove those furry destructive creatures from our dwellings and lend a hand in reducing rat populations, we should also know a bit about them. As it is said one should know their nemesis well.

There are almost more than 60 types of rats, the most common house rats being the Norway rats and the Roof rats. These two rats are most commonly associated with house and business place infestations.

As we have seen there is a wide range of rats, but there are things that all seeking shelter rats love and they are food sources and clutter.

  • Cluttery areas, trash cans with open food, and improperly stored food are major sources that attract rats. What is worse, is that rats usually come along with mice, so if you spot one there are more to come.
  • Rats are found in a variety of hues, from dark brown to silver. They even have breed standards like cats and dogs and are quite popular as pets. Some lack hair, some lack tails, while still others have wavy fur.

Norway Rat

The Norway rats also go by the names- Brown rats, roof rats, common rats, sewer rats, and street rats. They belong to the rat species and are sighted all over the world except Antarctica.

Everyone must be giving a thought to why we call these rats the Norway rats. It is due to a misconception of these rats being Norway natives.

But according to research, the Norway rat is native to Asia, more specifically Monglia and northern China. these rats are responsible for bringing havoc to human food sources and resources, killing poultry, and contaminating stored food sources.

Particularly on marine islands, the Norway rats are to be held liable for the decline or extinction of native small mammals, birds, and reptile species.

About the size

1. Identifying Rat Infestation in Your Home

Rats are quick and stealthy and that is why spotting them in your house is not an easy task. Rats are nocturnal creatures; thus, their signs such as gnawed materials and droppings are much easier to spot than an actual rat.

And by the time you do, a few rats must have made themselves very much comfortable in one isolated nook of your house with mice and baby rats.

So here we shall look at some suspicious activities in your house that you cannot seem to find the reason behind their occurrences, don’t worry a lot they might just be rats, and if not, then pest control service is not the number you dial!

1.1. Peculiar Smells and Sounds

Rats have a very strong pungent ammonia smell and contrary to their stealth rats are quite loud and continue to make squeaking and rustling sounds while they tour your whole house.

If you notice such activities in your house your guess of it being a rat activity isn’t wrong.

1.2. Smears and Droppings

The grease and dirt on the bodies of these common rats make them leave smudges around the house. It is because it is said that rats have poor eyesight and in order to remember the route they traversed they leave these marks.

Another sign of the presence of rats in your house or building is the spotting of rat droppings. Rats leave droppings all over the place as they move around.

They are dark brown in colour and look like a grain of rice- tapered and spindle-shaped.

1.3. Gnaw Marks and Rat Holes

You might find gnaw marks or bite marks on electrical wires, cables, storage boxes, or furniture. Black rats are master climbers and can be found in lofts.

The brown rat is known for digging excellent extensive rat burrows and uses these rat burrows for food, nesting, and shelter.

Rats nibble and shred materials such as cardboard boxes, loft insulation, and other materials alike to make their nests.

1.4. Footprints

This technique of checking for footprints is not only for thieves, leaving behind footprints is also tell the tale for rats. Look for dusty areas in your house for tiny rat footprints and tale prints.

If there is no dust then you may sprinkle either some baking soda or flour on the floor to catch a glimpse of those notorious tiny footprints.

And above all sooner or later you might find a dead rat to confirm your suspicions.

2. Understanding Rat Behaviour

Understanding the behaviour of roof rats is quite important in order to stop them from entering your house or driving them out. .

 2.1. Are Rats Hungry?

One misconception is that rats are always hungry so food is what is driving them into the house but no, the fact is that rats are omnivores and always have more than enough food for themselves.

 2.2. Are Rats Quiet?

What actually attracts rats are cozy places, rats love to stay in the quiet. They are cautious and curious creatures. So when you put rat traps with food thinking it is the food that might attract rats but that’s not it.

If a rat enters bait stations it is not because of the food but primarily because of the cozy feeling within it.

Since rats have a poor vision they depend on the scents so, if you put rat traps in places where no rats have been before to leave their scent other rats won’t follow the suit. in order for those rat traps to work you need to use rat scent that attracts rats to it.

 2.3. Are Rats Smart?

After setting the rat baits, we wait. The waiting period can be short or long we can’t say for sure as it all depends on the places and rat populations of the places.

We should also remember that rats are quite smart so if they have seen a few rats get into the rat bait and get killed they are never returning to that place again.

So knowing the rat behaviour is an important step in knowing what will repel rats which shall aid in the rat removal process.

3. Finding Their Entry Points

Rat entering
Photo by Svetozar Cenisev / Unsplash copyright 2019

the rats are shy opportunists that live in large families and prefer staying away from us. Their ideal place for a living is dark sewers where they can feed on waste. This way one of their entry points can be your toilet. Yikes!

Another source of rats in your house can be the immediate environment around your house.

Such as having vacant buildings which have ideal conditions for Norway rats to make their nests, having filth around the house, and maybe an overflooded sewer below which are breeding grounds for rats.

So if you have any of the above-mentioned conditions around your house look for cracks in your walls, pipes, or broken doors, you need to fix that as soon as possible to shut the rats out.

4 . Home/Natural Remedies Against Rats

When we encounter any pest problem in our homes before turning to the pest control service we rely on our home remedies and DIYs.

Although these DIY methods may come in handy, they are not there for the long run and need to be repeated every now and then.

People with full-time work nowadays might find it difficult to keep track, and therefore turn to pest control for keeping rats away. Here we shall look at some home tricks to ward off the brown rat/ roof rat/ Norway rat from your house.

4.1. Black pepper

Rats resent the smell of black pepper and avoid moving in the direction from where it smells.

4.2. Eucalyptus and Peppermint oil

Yet another set of smells that are effective in keeping rats at bay.

4.3. Peppermint and Catnip plants

in order to prevent rats from entering your sweet home you can choose to plant peppermint and catnip plants in your, the reason being the same that rats don’t love the smell.

4.4. Diatomaceous Earth

It has been found that diatomaceous Earth is a naturally occurring sand that has now been extracted from Earth for a while now. It consists of algae skeletons that are microscopic and have fossilized over millions of years.

This sand has proven to be beneficial to humans as it is now being incorporated into diets and is also used for various industrial purposes.

On the other hand, diatomaceous Earth is a killer to rats as it will dry them out until the rat turns into dead rat. Sounds painful.

5. Kill Rats in Your House Instantly

If you are one of those people who cannot stand the fact that you have a rat infestation in your house and want to get rid of rats instantly. Then there are some other ways that kill rats instantly and solve your rat problems.

5.1. Traps

These ways that kill rats instantly mostly include traps. There are various types of traps to kill a rat instantly, here we shall look at the kinds of traps available in the market to help you solve your rodent problem.

But it’s best to keep your distance from intricate or challenging set-up traps. Selecting a trap might be difficult, especially if you don’t know what to anticipate from each variety.

5.1.1. Glue Traps

Glue traps are an excellent way to capture rats in inaccessible parts of the house like behind the sinks, behind hard-to-move cupboards, and refrigerators.

They are fundamental, boards of either wood or plastic with glue on one side which sticks the brown rat into it when it runs across, and the instinct to set itself free leads the rat to struggle which only worsens the grip of the glue traps.

After the rat is caught, the trap must be thrown in outdoor trash because glue traps are unharmful and cannot be reused. Larger rodents have escaped these traps most time.

Although some people stand by the argument that these traps are inhumane.

5.1.2. Live Traps

Live capture mouse trap | live rat traps

The live traps are also known as the catch and release as it doesn’t kill rats instantly but rather catch them inside after the roof rat removes the bait.

These rat traps are also called humane traps as they don’t kill rats instantly but rather give you an alternate way in which you can either set them free or kill them later.

Whatever option seems viable depending on the degree of a rat infestation in your house.

These traps are quite even for the person who lays them as his/her family members, domestic animals, and other animals that roam around. As they won’t hurt them like the snap traps.

5.1.3. Snap Traps

The snap traps kill rats instantly when the snap is triggered. These old-school traps are uncomplicated to set up and very effective. They come in 2 types,

  • One is the traditional wooden trap with the loaded spring bar that snaps when in contact and kills rats instantly.
  • The other one is a newer version with a set of sharp jaws made of plastic that kills rats instantly, once the snap is triggered.

The drawback of these snap traps is that they not only kill rats but can hurt anyone other than rats as mentioned above. S

Since the traps don’t know that they have been set up to get rid of rats and therefore, snap when it comes in contact with anything. This is why these traps should be placed very carefully in hidden and secluded places.

5.1.4. Electric Traps

Electric Mouse Trap / Best Electric Mouse Trap / Electronic Rat Trap / Mouse Sounds

Another set of traps that are the answer to your question, of how to kill rats in house are electric traps. These traps are powered by a battery that gives out a high-voltage shock that is deadly to rats but unharmful to humans and larger pets.

Live rat steps on the electric trap only to return as a dead rat. They are an excellent option if you want quick-dead rats but not so much if you want a more humane approach.

The electric traps are shaped like a cage in order to bait rats into them since rats love closed places and once the rat enters the trap, it sends out a lethal electric shock killing your furry nemesis in an instant.

5.2. Bait Stations

Bait stations are yet another means to control rats in your house. The bait stations are comparatively safer and kill rats instantly as they are enclosed within protective boxes making them safe for kids and other animals. It can kill multiple rats at once.

On the other hand, they are perfect for rodents since they like cozy nooks and are flexible enough to squeeze in.

Bait stations are much more suitable for outdoor places such as garages or bigger stuffed places like basements, they are even feasible to use as they come preloaded and there is no need for you to touch the rat baits.

Just place them in areas where you suspect most rodent activity.

Despite the fact that they are a lot safer to use in terms of harm to other people finding dead rats might still be a task for you.

Rodents normally consume a lethal dose of the bait in one evening and then return to their dwelling, and spend the next few days dying.

6. Should Rat Poisons be Used?

Rat Poison
Davide Baraldi / Pexels copyright 2019

Using rat poison may be the ideal way according to you to kill those little nuisance creators in your house but let us assure you that it isn’t the best way to kill a rat instantly.

 6.1 Why Rat Poisons Aren’t Great for Rodent Control?

 6.1.1 Attract More Pests

Firstly, if you are not using professional-level strong rat poison then not only will the dead rat’s body will give out a foul smell but also turn into a food source for maggots. This shall attract more pests and other rats.

The smell released by the bodies of the dead rats can be harmful to overall human health because of the particles it releases. Imagine a dead rat stuck in an inaccessible part of your house!

Because rats don’t die in the open and always crawl to such inaccessible parts of the house.

 6.1.2. They are Hazardous

Secondly, they are a hazard to the rest of the family members, especially small kids under the age of 6 or 8 years as there have been several cases of children eating these baits. They are even a hazard to your beloved domestic animals, helpful wildlife such as rat predator birds.

So, despite being the people’s first choice rat poison should not be used as it can do more harm than good.

7. Bring in Rat Predators

If you don’t want to kill the rats yourself other than pest control you can bring in some animals that hunt rats.

A fantastic technique to get rid of rats is to invite those predators into your yard. For instance, owls can consume numerous rodents or mice in a single night.

So in order to attract owls and other predators one must focus on making suitable habitats, such as adding a source of water in the garden area, and setting up a nest box with bird food, rest of the food source shall be the rats. so once they find plenty of rats in the surrounding area these birds shall frequently visit you.

How can we forget cats? Since the times of Tom and Jerry, we have known that cats and rats are archnemeses.

Thus, get yourself a cute little cat that will not only be your play buddy but also help you clear the rat populations out of your house. They are the supreme rodent control for a long time.

8. When to Call the Pest Control Service?

Pest control service
Wavebreakmedia / Unlimphotos copyright 2020

After you have tried your home remedies and followed them through and experimented with the traps, and yet the rat population has not been affected much that is the time when you turn towards pest control for rescue.

The pest control people are trained professionals to deal with rat infestation and they will help you get rid of rats.

They have knowledge and expertise in the area with the proper tools and techniques to deal with the rodent problem.

9. After Clearing Out the Rats

Rat in trash
Mert Guller / Unsplash copyright 2017

Rats are an evergreen menace so once you have cleared your house of this menace, your next step should be making your house and its surroundings rat-proof. therefore, if you don’t want another infestation start by keeping your surroundings clean.

Rats are like every other animal that looks for a nearby food source, water source, and an isolated and warm place to breed in peace. Now we know what rats need to thrive so that is what we need to remove from and around our house.

9.1. Follow These Few Steps to Keep Rats at Bay

  • Store food in airtight boxes and make to shut the containers after every use. Rats are not picky eaters and they will feed on anything- berries, biscuits, bread, nuts, you name it and they eat it.
  • After your pet is done eating immediately clear out their dishes filled with pet food either cat food or dog food, as the roof rat will come running to feed on the leftovers.
  • Repair leaking pipes, kitchen drains, and other sources of water.
  • Keeping rats also requires you to keep tidy homes as messy and unkempt homes are the places where rats thrive. You might want to lift yourself from that couch every now and then to fight the roof rats.
  • Keep your trash cans outside covered and free of improperly discarded food or else be ready for some roof rats lurking around very soon again.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, we have finally learned that in order to effectively get rid of the roof rats we need to understand the creatures and their habits to effectively remove them.

Make the potential areas where rats can breed uncomfortable so that they never visit again and that when things get out of hand, we need to contact the professionals.

Last Updated on by Icy Canada Team


  • Bhumikavr

    Bhumika is an author in our team, she has a great zeal in learning new things. Articles like 'What's new' 'Entertainment' and other exciting food and exploring places in Canada are well written by her.

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