How To Get Rid of Rats in House Fast

There’s no other way to put it. Rats are, in every way, unwelcomed in every house except those that keep them as pets.

However, not every technique of getting rid of rats works. Even for those that work, you may need to wait for weeks and months before you get any actual results.

But try the ones we have in this article. You realize that you’ve just found the perfect guide to getting rid of house rats quickly! So, let’s not dilly dally and hop straight to what you need.

What Kills Rats Instantly? 

There are three categories of substances that kill rats instantly. Namely, they are traps, natural predators like birds, and poisons. That said, let’s look at some specific examples below:

Rat Poisons.

The one thing that kills rats and mice without brutal physical force is poison. Now, the thing is; there are many natural substances that can poison rats.

In fact, you can even buy commercial ones as well. But here, we will briefly talk about some of the most effective natural rat poisons out there:

  • Instant Potatoes.

Instant potatoes are simply potato flakes. You can sprinkle a handful of this all over the places you know are rich in rat activity.

Once they see it, the rats will eat the potato flakes because it doesn’t give off scents that deter them.

However, if they eat the flakes, it will induce an unquenchable thirst in the rats. They would seek to drink water.

However, once they drink it, the potato flakes would swell up and cause the intestine of the rats to malfunction. As a result, the rat would later die off.

  • Baking Soda.

Like instant potatoes, baking soda can kill rats and mice as well. Although from afar, rats can sense its presence and try to avoid it.

So, to use it, you will need to bury the scent of baking soda in something that smells edible to the rats. A good example of this is peanut butter.

Combined, the rats would eat up the mixed baking soda. On eating it, the baking soda mixes with their stomach acid to generate carbon dioxide.

Sadly for them, rats cannot expel carbon dioxide. So, it continues to build until it gets to a fatal level. When that happens, the affected rat would die.

  • Plaster of Paris.

Plaster of Paris works more or less like baking soda. Because like baking soda, it is powdery, and it causes a build-up of carbon dioxide in the stomach of the rats.

However, the plaster of Paris cannot be used alone. This is because rats can detect its smell from afar.

So, you need to mix the plaster of Paris with something edible like milk, cornmeal, or even peanut butter. This is the only time you can get the best results.

  • Dry Ice–Rat Ice.

Dry ice simply refers to fused carbon dioxide. Unlike normal ice, it doesn’t turn to liquid before it evaporates.

Since it is carbon dioxide, dry ice kills rats and other rodents by suffocating them. However, there are certain conditions to its usage.

For one, dry ice is quite toxic to human skin. So, it is preferable to use your protective equipment while using it.

To use the dry ice, you need to place it at the burrow entrance, and should only be applied outdoors.

Then again, dry ice and other similar rodenticides were banned some time ago in the United States. 

But since 2016, many states like Washington DC and Boston have continued to seek approval for the usage of Dry ice.

The U.S government licensed a company named the Bell Laboratories to change the normal dry ice into something now called the Rat Ice.

According to the Bells Laboratories, this changed and safe dry ice called Rat Ice is the only US-licensed usage of dry ice as a rodenticide.


There are different rat traps. Some of them are cage traps, snap traps, and sticky traps.

However, cage traps and sticky traps seek to capture the rats alive. So, if you are looking for humane and less fatal ways to get rid of your house rats, you can consider using any of these two traps.

But if you’re looking to kill your house rats asap, snap traps will do wonders. Out there, you will see different brands of mouse snap traps.

However, to use any of them, you need bait. This bait can be from anything that the rats consider edible. Often, many people use cheese and peanut butter as baits in snap traps.

Although, we recommend you study your house rats for a while. Get to know what they eat inside your house and use that material as bait.

For instance, some house rats feed mainly on apples left in the cabinet. Hence, you can bait such rats with a slice of apples.

Birds like owls.

Owls are just one of the many predators of rats out there. In one night, owls can eat up to twelve rats. So, they can be one of the best rat controls for outdoor purposes.

Now, the question is how? Well… all you have to do to keep the birds around is to make your property suitable for their living.

For instance, you can consider creating a water trough or a birdbath, or a nest box inside your yard. Once the bird sees this, they visit your yard often.

In their bid to look for food, the rats in your yard would become some of their delicacies.

However, you need to note that while you may be tempted to use bird feeds as attractants for owls, it’s not advisable.

This is because often bird feeds would not only attract birds. It also attracts more rats and other rodents as well.

What Repels Rats from Houses Naturally and Fast?

Rats are one of those house pests that can be chased off by leveraging the taste and scent aversion methods.

Using these methods, all you have to do is to source for substances that disturb the sense of smell and taste of the rats.

This is effective because rats depend on these two abilities to survive. So, anything that hampers them in such a way will affect their survival.

Rats stay away from things like that. Let’s look at some of those things below:

1) Peppermint Oil.

Peppermint oil is an essential oil. Like others, it gives off a nice refreshing scent to man.

But to most pests, like rats, raccoons, squirrels, and insects, the smell is unbearable. So, if used properly, peppermint oil can chase rats away.

In most cases, people dip cotton balls inside a jar of peppermint oil. Then, they place it in areas rich in rat activity.

2) Hot Pepper.

Hot pepper affects both rats and man. To use it, just sprinkle a handful amount of hot pepper flakes.

3) Onions and Garlic.

Both onions and garlic work to drive rats away using odor aversion. All you have to do is place their bulbs in places where rats often visit.

The major difference between the two is that onion bulbs need regular replacement because they spoil easily.

As for garlic bulbs, you can chop them into small pieces and mix them with water. This cocktail is what you bottle up and spray into rat-rich areas.

4) Bay leaves and cloves.

To use cloves, you need to wrap a few strands inside a wipe or muslin cloth. Then place the cloth where needed.

As for bay leaves, you simply place the leaves in rat-rich areas. However, unlike cloves that act as a repellent, bay leaves smell great for rats.

So, they eat it. But when the rats do, they die of suffocation. Although, this may take a while.

5) Ammonia.

The pungent smell of ammonia also helps to drive rats away. This is because ammonia suffocates them.

Simply dip a few cotton balls in ammonia and place them near burrows and other areas where rats often visit.

Now, you know the “bullets and bombs” that you need to eliminate rats from your house. However, rats are just one out of the different classes of rodents that often disturbs our property.

Some of them are moles. Others are voles. And a good number of common rodent pests are raccoons, squirrels, and opossums. So, let’s ask:

What Are the Major Signs of Rat Infestation in a House?

  • Noise and Foul Odor.

Some rats smell; like a lot! Often, people describe this smell to be putrid and reminiscent of ammonia. But it depends on individual perception.

Besides that, rats are incredibly noisy. As they search through your cabinet and other places for food, they leave incredibly loud, rustling noises in their wake.

  • Severe Damages.

Rats are destroyers. As they feed, they damage anything possible.

From electrical wires to paper, cabinets, and other furniture, rats can gnaw through anything.

So, the more damage you notice via bites in these areas, the more rats you have in your house.

  • Rat poops.

Rat poop is one of the most indicative markers for a rat infestation.

In most cases, you will notice small, black, dry pellets anywhere rats often visit. The more of these, the bigger your rat problem.

link to Does Bleach Repel Mice?

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Rats in Houses.

Getting to know the substances you need to kill rats is one thing. Knowing how to use them the right way for the best results is another.

So, to help you out, we’ve compiled, in steps, some of the best practices that can help you to eliminate and remove your house rats fast. Just follow the steps in tandem, okay? It helps:

  • Start with a Full-scale inspection.

Both indoors and outdoors, try to locate entry points for rats, their burrows, pathway, and food source.

Common areas to check include walls, doors, window sills, drains, trash cans, and gardens.

  • Locate and Block all crevices.

During the inspection, you might find one or more places that appear as possible entry points and burrows for rats. If you do, block them immediately.

Check for cracks in windows, window screens, and gaps under doors. If you find any, seal them asap.

Common gap-sealing materials can include cement, metal gauzes or plates, and caulk.

  • Conduct a General House Cleaning.

There’s no other way to say it. Just clean as thoroughly as possible.

Wipe all cabinets with vinegar and peppermint oil. Empty all trash cans.

Clean the drains in both bathrooms and kitchen sinks. And follow any cleaning drilling you know.

  • Make a DIY or Home-made Rat Poison.

The following home-made recipes would help kill rats in the house quick:

  1. Cocoa powder mixed with Plaster of Paris.
  2. Potato powder or flakes sprinkled in rat-rich areas
  3. Baking soda mixed with peanut butter.
  4. For outdoor usage, you can use Dry Ice in states where it is legal or Rat Ice instead.
  • Carefully Dispose of the Dead Rat.

It is most likely that the affected rats would die silently in a corner since you have sealed all wall cracks, door gaps, and burrows. So, try to declutter all house corners until you locate the dead rats.

To remove the dead rats, wear gloves, and nose masks while keeping kids and pets away. Afterward, remove the rat, place it in a trash bag and empty it in your bin or even bury it somewhere far from residential areas.

Once you’re done, spray disinfectant into the area where you find the dead rat.

You can also use peppermint oil or any other essential oils or repellents, as discussed in previous sections. This will keep the survivors among the old rats from coming back and new ones from getting nearer.

Final Thoughts.

You can kill rats instantly with Rat Ice, Potato flakes, Baking Soda, and Plaster of Paris. For the latter two, you will need to bury their scents in something edible, like cocoa powder or peanut butter.

You can also use traps and deterrents like peppermint oil, hot pepper, and ammonia to chase rats away from your house very fast.

In this article, we’ve explained the how’s and the why’s. Just find your way to the right sections, okay?

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