How to Get Rid of Rats – Tips and Methods

mouse in the humane trap

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Rat infestation is not a pleasant event, but it may happen to your house if you don’t use preventive methods or the right rat removal products for your home. The only way to ensure you are safe from rodent infestation is by eliminating them. Acquiring the best rat killer, bait, or a trap will go a long way towards ensuring your home is free from the stubborn rats.

Product
Best Rat Poison
NEOGEN RODENTICIDE 40-Pack...
Best Humane Live Trap
Kensizer Small Animal Humane...
Best Classic Snap Traps
Victor Metal Pedal Rat Trap...
Prime
Pros
Versatile and can be used anywhere.
Captures both small and big rodents.
Simple to set.
Best Rat Poison
Product
NEOGEN RODENTICIDE 40-Pack...
Price
Prime
Pros
Versatile and can be used anywhere.
My review
Best Humane Live Trap
Product
Kensizer Small Animal Humane...
Price
Prime
Pros
Captures both small and big rodents.
My review
Best Classic Snap Traps
Product
Victor Metal Pedal Rat Trap...
Price
Prime
Pros
Simple to set.
My review

This guide will enlighten you on rat removal tips, as well as preventive measures for keeping rats away. Also, I have reviewed the best products for getting the job done and analyzed the pros and cons of each and the results they deliver. Let’s start with understanding what types of rats can invade your area and what are the common methods to deal with this situation.

The Common Rat Types

mice

A rat is a medium-sized rodent with a long tail and a pointed snout. Even though rats seem to look alike and exhibit similar behavior, they are significantly different. The common species of rats that you would encounter at home include:

Norway Rat

Norway Rat

Out of the sixty-nine rat species, this type is the most common and can be found everywhere across the world. These rats are named according to their appearance and initial breeding location. For instance, in some areas, you’ll find them being called sewer, wharf, and even brown rats. They have brown upper bodies, whereas their underbodies are greyish.

Moreover, their ears are small, and these species have hairless tails. One of their living aspects is the swimming expertise of Norway rats, as that’s a strong reason for their well thriving in sewer areas. To their disadvantage, these rats are not good climbers, so they tend to reside in such areas as basements and ground floors.

They feed heavily on seeds, cereals, grains, fish, nuts, and even meat. The wild ones gnaw on small animals and can also attack humans.

Roof Rat

Roof Rat

Normally, roof rats are found on the upper sections of buildings because they can climb. They are lighter in weight and thinly built compared to the Norway species. Additionally, their noses are pointed, and the tails are longer than their bodies, an element that distinctively categorizes them from other rat species. Moreover, roof rats are black.

Woodrat

Woodrat

Woodrats are bushy-tailed, an element that closely relates it to a deer mouse and not typically a rat. You can easily notice these species with their bushy squirrel-like tails, big eyes, round ears, buff yet soft grey fur, long whiskers, and white feet, among others. Woodrats are good climbers so that most probably can be found in cliffs, caves, and canyons.

Rats Vs. Mice – The Main Distinctions

A lot of people confuse mice to rats, and vice versa. However, the two are very distinct in appearance. Mice have small feet and heads, pointed snouts, and large hairy ears with rod-like droppings. Additionally, they have a darker tail, brown bodies, and some grey shading. Adults weigh around fifteen grams.

Rats, contrariwise, are thick-bodied and heavy. Moreover, they wear shaggy coats, have blunt snouts, shorter ears, and their bodies are brown with black shading. The underneath of the rat’s tail is somewhat pale, and its tip dark in color. An adult rat weighs roughly two to three hundred grams. Also, their poop is spindle or capsule-shaped.

What’s more, rats are extra cautious, whereas mice are curious. Therefore, before putting a trap for rats, you need to familiarize them first with an unset trap. These species are cautious and don’t try new things anyhow. Thus, after getting familiar with the trap, a rat can get to try it later, and that is when it will get caught.

Contrary, mice are curious and want to know anything new they come across. Thus, it won’t even take you a day to get your mouse trapped in your bait.

Rat Dangers and Threats to Human Life

two mice in the forest

Even though rats may seem not that harmful to humans, they are more dangerous than you may expect. Their fecal matter may contain hantavirus that, if a human being gets in contact with, may result in a pulmonary syndrome that may turn fatal for those with weaker immunities.

The disease is life-threatening and may be accompanied by symptoms, such as dry cough, shortness of breath, and reduced heart efficacy, among others. Therefore, before cleaning up rat feces, you are advised to wear protective gear, such as a medical mask and gloves, to ensure that you don’t come into direct contact with the rat droppings.

Reasons Why Rats Could Invade Your Home

The probability of encountering rodent infestations is high if you don’t think about protecting your house beforehand or don’t use effective methods on doing so. The infestations are likely to turn out as an expensive ordeal if not dealt with on time. A rat problem may expose your family to varied contagious diseases. So, here are some of the factors that compel rats to invade homes for you to know.

Poor Sanitation

One of the primary attractions of rats to houses is poor hygiene. With an unclean environment, rats would get access to food, water, and good breeding ground, an element that compels them to create a nest or move to your house.

They are fond of living in unhygienic spaces. Therefore if you leave garbage scattered everywhere within your home, it can become a breeding ground for rats.

In Pursuit of a Conducive Shelter

Just like human beings, rats are always in pursuit of good shelters that they can call home. They are always in search of potential nesting sites for their young ones. Thus, outside your home, if you pile leaves, deep mulch, or any other debris, it can provide a conducive breeding site for a colony.

Rats look for secure spaces away from predators. Thus, they may move from outside the house to inside via cracks, small spaces, gaps on your window, sewer line, ceiling and plumbing lines, among other areas.

Environmental Factors

There is a significant number of aspects that render our homes vulnerable to rodent infestation. Human intervention, for example, noise from construction, may force rats to flee their home in pursuit of more secure habitat.

An increased number of predators around or food scarcity may compel rodents to find their way inside your home. Also, climatic change, for example, fall of temperatures in winter or during fall, may force rats to seek warmer habitats and find their way inside your house.

How to Identify a Rat Infestation

mice in the forest

Identifying a rat invasion to your home is pretty simple. Even though you may not see a rat or a mouse, you’ll, however, see their droppings. Rodent dropping is no doubt a number one indication of an infestation. The droppings will show the type of rodent since mice and rats have a different kind and shape of feces. Moreover, the droppings show the infestation size and the area where it is severe.

Nesting sites that are accompanied by materials, such as used fabric with fur, shredded paper, and dried leaves, are a sure indication of a rodent infestation. Funny noises and rodent urine odor accompanied by a mucky smell from hidden areas of the house may tell you a lot in the fight against rats. Gnawed holes and marks alongside the runway and nests in the house indicate possible rodent infestation that you should worry about.

Ways to Get Rid of Rats from Your Home

Having rats around your home or surrounding is no doubt an annoying thing. However, eliminating these nagging animals is simple. Below are some of the most reliable rat control methods.

Poisons – The Quickest Way of Eliminating a Rat Problem

Poisoning rats is one of the effective ways you can apply to eliminate infestation. Poisons work promptly and deliver the best results. Besides, the poisons can be used at any stage of the infestation. Whether there are few or many rats, the results would be excellent. Rat poisons are categorized into three:

Bromethalin poison

It is neurotoxic that primarily targets the liver and brain. Once consumed, it causes accumulation of sodium in liver cells of the target, and also a brain fluid builds up that kills the rat in a couple of hours.

Vitamin-based poison

These products are in the form of pellets that aim at flooding the organism of the targeted rodent with fat-soluble vitamins. It results in death, however, much slower than with the former solution, and can take up to one full day to reach the effectiveness peak.

Anticoagulant poison

Anticoagulant rat poison contains chemicals that are responsible for tampering with rat’s blood clotting. They reach the killing peak slower compared to both bromethalin and the vitamin-based poison. Thus, once a rat ingests it, it may take some days for it to die.

Even though poisons are excellent rat killers, you need to be extra careful since they are dangerous to pets and humans. Store them away from kids and pets.

Bait Stations – Good for Both Indoor and Outdoor Rat Eradication

Rodent infestation should be a thing of the past once you have a rat bait station in place. Therefore, if you are disturbed about how to get rid of rats in house, a bait station is one of your potential solutions. It is tamper-resistant and can be used in the presence of kids and pets.

On the station, the bait or rodenticide is only accessible to rats. Thus, it will pose no harm to the kids or pets if they come across it. The larger number of baits effective for outdoor and indoor use placed proves to be more effective, so it is worth installing a massive bait station when in the war against rodent infestation.

Snap Traps – For Capturing and Killing the Rats Instantly

Snap traps are the most known sort of traps. They are contemporarily produced in two varied forms. The traditional type comprises wood and steel wire. They work with the incorporation of a spring load that snaps back when a rodent shakes the bait.

The newer version of this trap comes with a plastic face with sharp jaws that, when triggered by the targeted rat, snap-shuts to leave the rat captured and dead. These traps are, however, both efficient and stand among lethal rat prevention methods.

The snap traps are 99% effective. However, for you to get results, you should place the trap at the right location. Rats are creatures that rely on habits and what they are used to. Thus, they only use paths and runways they are more familiar with.

So, do not place the snap trap anywhere, as you’ll wake up to find your trap empty. Set the trap on the trail of rats. You can figure out the run trail by the presence of their dropping. Moreover, to deal with the infestation faster, set many traps on the rat trail within the house. Therefore, this instant rodent killer will go a long way toward ensuring your home is rat-free.

Humane Traps – Answer to How to Get Rid of Rats Without Killing Them

Rat or mice infestation can be very annoying. However, using humane traps can help to curb the rodent problem in your home. Using humane traps allows you to catch rats but not kills them, and they are regarded as an effective trap and release rodent control.

Some individuals regard killing a rat as a heartless act. Thus, they prefer taking it away alive other than killing it, and a humane trap will help such people keep their home rodent-free.

You put bait inside a trap. The rat will be attracted to the trap and, once inside, will never have a way out. The traps do not maim or kill the rat. You’ll take the trapped species distance away from your home and release them back to the wild. If you’re looking for methods on how to keep rats away from your home without injuring them, such a trap will work perfectly.

Electric Traps – Using High Voltage Shock

Electric traps are designed in the form of a cage. The bait is placed somewhere at the center at a place where the rat can see it well. Moreover, rats have a great sense of smell and taste. Thus, they can smell the sweet aroma giving them the bait direction.

The bait will lure the rat into entering the cage. The cage has an electro circuit that sends a message to the system any time a rat is detected inside. The system responds by sending a lethal shock to the trap, leaving the rat dead on the spot.

Glue Traps – Solutions for Concerns on How to Get Rid of Rats in Attic

Rats are annoying creatures that are very tricky to deal with. If you chose to kill them manually, you might end up breaking all your glasses and other valuable materials in your home. The only solution to deal with tricky rats in your upper house level is setting a glue trap on their trail.

A glue trap is a kind of live rodent trap coated with adhesive with bait at the center. It is generally placed on the areas rats travel through within the house so that they get enticed into it. They later die of dehydration.

Therefore, if you are dealing with the trickiest rats that have proved difficult to eradicate from your attic, the glue trap will ensure a colony is trapped and wiped off. However, this trap can only be used once since removing the trapped rat from the plastic, or wooden platform could be difficult.

Repellents – The Best Approach on How to Get Rid of Rats in the Walls

The use of repellent is one of the simplest ways to ensure that your home is rodent-free. Rats have a strong sense of smell, and any irritating scent will keep them away. For instance, the pungent smell of ammonia highly irritates these species and would hence smoke the rats out from their hiding place never to come back again.

Also, peppermint and castor oil can be water-distilled and sprayed over the entire house. Just like citronella works in repelling stubborn mosquitoes, such oils won’t provide a conducive environment for rats to stay.

Related Post: 7 Best Ultrasonic Pest Repellers Reviewed.

DIY Rat Removal Techniques

Several simple ideas can eradicate rats from your environment effortlessly. For instance, once you have an infestation in your home, you should spot where it is intense by identifying the rat dropping quantity. In the most affected area, place bait on a piece of wood in a bucket fool of water.

Ensure the bucket is placed on an accessible trail, and once a rat jumps on it, it will drown instantly. Even though it is not a humane rat trapping method, it is one of the quickest ways to kill a nagging rat. Therefore, if you are looking for a costless rat trap, DIY traps will go a long way toward ensuring the eradication of rats from your home effectively.

Natural Remedies – Best Way to Get Rid of Rats without Spending Money

cat and mouse in the forest

Letting your pets, for instance, cat and dog stay in the yard for more extended hours, would help to keep away the rats. Cats and dogs are playful and usually prey on rats. Similarly, rats fear the presence of cats and dogs. Thus, they won’t make a mistake of coming nearer to such pets.

What’s more, rats are sensitive to smell and taste. They use a sense of smell to find food. Thus, planting crops that release scents, such as lavender and mint, would make rats hardly know where to find food or detect the presence of a predator. Therefore, they would not invade your home.

How to Prevent Rats from Getting into Your Home

Rats, just like other pests, can be prevented from invading your home. One of the best preventive measures is the regular cleaning of the house. As mentioned earlier, rats will come into your house looking for food. Therefore, thorough cleaning removes food particles that could have found their way in places, such as under the cupboards.

Another preventive approach is to avoid giving your pets too much food. You could be the kind of person who leaves your dog a full bowl of food when you go to work so that it can eat throughout the day. That is an invitation to the rats. The food attracts rats when it remains in the bowl for long. So, give pets just enough food.

Fortify your structures to seal any crack that can let rats inside your home. Seal the potential entry points that may let rats inside, for instance, holes on the external wall.

Also, keep your lawn clean. Untidy places are the best habitats for rats. So, ensure the law is tidy by removing any piles of wood and cutting overgrown areas. Also, remove fallen vegetables, berries, or fruits in the garden.

What’s more, removing bird feeders from your yard can play a significant factor in dealing with a rodent infestation outside your home. Even though attracting birds to your yard may be a sure way of getting rid of insects from your compound and also enjoy watching these creatures, birds attract rats. The nuts dropped by the birds from the feeders attract the rodents to your compound. Thus, you should place the feeders far from your home.

FAQ on Rat Infestation

Rats are, without a doubt, annoying, and if not controlled properly, they can make your home an unpleasant place to be. As much, many people try to eliminate them, and some do it effortlessly, while others get disturbed with some questions. Here are some of the most common concerns covered:

What are the common signs of rat infestation?

The number of mice or rat droppings can easily identify the infestation. Also, you will notice odor and nesting materials in the affected area.

Are rats dangerous?

Rats are very dangerous and are possible carriers of contagious infections. For instance, the virus from rat droppings can cause life-threatening hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.

What are main rat extermination methods?

The use of rodenticides, bait stations, and traps are some of the common extermination methods. They are highly effective in the war against rats and mice infestation.

How to get rid of rats without killing them?

Eliminating rats without killing them is an alternative method of dealing with an infestation. Using humane traps can go a long way. Thus, you can catch the rat, and release it miles away from home in the wild.

Top Six Rat Killers – Reviews of the Best Products

mouse trap in the garden

Nowadays, there are numerous ways of how to kill rats, from poisons and traps to baits. They all deliver excellent results but have their advantages and disadvantages. Here is a review of reliable products to help you in getting rid of rats. I have evaluated their effectiveness, as well as the pros and cons.

1. Neogen Rodenticide Havoc Mouse and Rat Killer – Best Rat Control Poison

Even though most rat anticoagulant poison requires more than once feeding to kill the target, with Havoc rodenticide, it is different. It is highly dosed with a substance that kills rodents with an only single feeding.

Therefore, you won’t need additional feeding baits, poisons, or traps to make the process effective.

It comes with a bucket. However, the pellets are packed in small sachets, an element that eases the delivery of the powerful poison to rat-targeted areas. Place the pellets in rat trail areas. They will get attracted to the paper so that they will eat the pellets and then die. Thus, disposing of the dead rat will be easy.

Havoc rodenticide is a mixture of brodifacoum and a formulation of attractive rodent ingredients. Therefore, the components make the product highly poisonous and also appealing to the rats. It can be used at homes, industries, agricultural, commercial, and other affected areas.

Pros:Cons:
  • Kills rats quickly;
  • Highly effective;
  • Easy to use;
  • Versatile and can be used anywhere.
  • Rats are cautious and may not eat the pellets.

2. Victor Electronic Rat Trap – Best Electronic Trap for Getting Rid of Tats

The item is the best rat and mice killer trap. It kills rodents with high voltage shock. Highly attractive bait is placed at the back of the trap to lure the rat inside.

The smart circuit technology supplies 7000 volts of electricity every two minutes. The trap identifies the presence of a rodent on the plate and kills it instantly. This trap has the potential of killing up to fifty rodents with every 4C batteries.

It is designed purposefully for indoor use or any other surface that is not exposed to harsh environmental conditions that may pose a threat to its functionality. Thus, it can be used in attics, basements, pavements, among other susceptible home areas.

It is patent in design so that trapped rodents won’t find their way out for sure. Moreover, this Victor trap auto-resets itself. Thus, it is all-time ready for rodent extermination.

Pros:Cons:
  • Strong killing capacity of up to fifty rodents per a 4C battery;
  • Kills instantly;
  • A simple bait;
  • Reusable.
  • Depends on a power source;
  • Can cause harm to kids and pets if they come in contact with the trap.

3. Kensizer Small Animal Live Cage Trap – Humane Live Trap for Rat Eradication

Do you need to deal with a rodent infestation in your home using the most humane method? The Kensizer live cage trap will provide you with the service you require. These traps are made in medium and large sizes for your comfort. So, if your target is catching bigger rodents, you should go for a larger trap.

It has a light aluminum-caged design and is made of sturdy, durable mesh-wire that the captured rats won’t find easy to bite their way out. The bait is placed on the trigger to attract the rat. Once the rodent touches the trigger, the door auto-locks and leaves the captured animal with no way out.

Pros:Cons:
  • Simple to set;
  • Captures both small and big rodents;
  • A humane way of dealing with a rodent infestation.
  • Requires additional baits.

4. Victor Metal Pedal Rat Trap – A Classic Snap Trap among the Ways to Get Rid of Rats

If you are looking for the quickest way to kill a rat, the Victor metal pedal trap will be the most reliable option. It is of superior quality, and its effectiveness is an element that makes most people rely on this product for rodent elimination.

It is a wooden snap trap with a metallic pedal. You have to use aromatic bait to lure the rodent into the trap. Per any attempt to remove the bait from the trap, the pedal snaps back to hit the rat on the head, leaving it strapped on the trap and dead.

It is the easiest way to control rats. Once the trap is activated, you can choose to throw away the trap or reuse it again by simply disposing of the rat, sanitizing the equipment, placing a new bait, and place the trap back at work.

Pros:Cons:
  • Simple to set;
  • Kills rats instantly;
  • 99% effective.
  • Can injure kids and pets if placed in reachable for them places.

5. Venditor Two Pack Rat Bait Station – Among the Best Rat Bait Station Rat Killers

Need to eliminate rats from your surroundings without calling an expert or exterminator? A Venditor two-pack bait station will serve you a purpose. If you have wondered about how to get rid of rats outside without causing danger to your pets and kids, this product is the solution.

It comes with four keys, so you won’t have to worry in case one of the keys gets lost. The lid is locked and only opens with a specific key. Therefore, no one, not even your family member, will be able to tamper with the station if you hide the key away from them.

The station comes with two extra charcoal smelling bags for absorption purposes. It is made for both indoor and outdoor use and comes with the weather and tamper-resistant lid and body. It has a reasonable design with perfect dimensions that fit the size of a rat or mouse. Its appealing green color makes it stand out among similar options.

Pros:Cons:
  • Harmless to pets and kids;
  • For indoor and outdoor use;
  • Tamper and weather-resistant;
  • Durable;
  • Fits small spaces.
  • Not all the rats will be attracted to the station since they are very cautious about new things.

6. Brison Ultrasonic Pest Repeller – Best Ultrasonic Repeller against Rat Infestation

The product is designed with electromagnetic and ultrasonic waves that play a significant role in driving any type of rats away. It is effective and silent. Thus, you won’t have to worry about the point of installation, silence, or coverage. It will work over a large area to repel all the pests away.

The Brison product takes approximately four days to reach the peak of its effectiveness. Besides, it is eco-friendly and not harmful to humans and animals. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about your kids or pets once it is in operation mode.

Pros:Cons:
  • Simple to set;
  • Eco-friendly;
  • Silent;
  • Provides effective coverage.
  • Depends on a power source.

Closing Remarks

Rats are stubborn, and the only way to eliminate them is to use the best product accompanied by prevention measures. From my experience, I found that the poison method is the most effective one. In my opinion, Neogen Rodenticide is a poison that can give the best results. It kills quickly, is easy to use, and can be used anywhere.

Do not forget to keep both the inside and outside of the house clean. Remove food remains, especially those for pets, and seal entry points. Allow your pets, particularly cats and dogs, to stay in the yard for an extended period. They prey on rats and would help to prevent a rat infestation.

Have you experienced a rat infestation before? How bad was the situation? What remedies did you use? Share the experience by leaving a comment.

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Nicholas Martin

About Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years.

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