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How to Get Rid of Rats - Rodent Ultimate Guide [2022]

How to Get Rid of Rats

Rats are a common pest in many homes and can cause serious damage to your property. If you have rats that are damaging your house or garden, then this blog post is for you!

We will be discussing how to get rid of rats from your home using the best methods available.

We will also go over how to prevent rats from coming back into your home after you've gotten rid of them.

It's important to take care of any rat infestation as soon as possible so they don't become an even bigger issue down the road!

What are Rats?


Brown rats are a kind of long-tailed rodent. Rodents of the order Rodentia may be found all around the world, although typical rats are from the genus Rattus.

Hundreds of species exist within rodent families. Various species of rats are varied in food, temperament, behaviour, and size.

Common qualities include exceptionally strong teeth able to chew wood and sometimes concrete, and the ability to slip into extremely small spaces.

Rats are social animals, with some species residing as members of families. In other situations, males have high aggression.

Most Common Types of Rats in North America

The American rat population has three species which are the commonest. The two commonest types of rats came from Old World countries that arrived as stowed away aboard ships in the US.

Roof rats mainly stay near the place where they arrive, and are most widespread across seaports, coastal cities, or the American South where they travel on cargo vessels along the water.

Norwegian rats have the highest numbers in the country and are very widespread in urban areas.

Pack rats (Wood rats)

wood rats

Neotoma cinerea or Packrat is an important wood rat species in South Africa. While brown rats originate from the Old World the wood rat is native to the United States and has distinctly differing behaviours.

Neotoma cinerea may grow up to about twice the size of Norway rats. Their colour is the gradation brown which is lighter to the stomach towards the head.

Comparing the dangerous appearance of Norway Rat's Roof Rat, he's pretty mischievously spouting his pack rat. It is not surprising they are so cute; they never give up on stealing your meals!

Norway rats (brown or sewer rats)

sewer rats

Rattus norvegicus has brown furs and long tails. While its scientific names are derived from common names they do not actually originate from Norway.

How are Norway rats originating? Norway rats were likely originally originating from China, the largest civilization of the old.

After thriving in these cities, their presence spread throughout the world. This animal loves the environment and lives on soil and tunnels.

They are comfortable with sewer lines in most major American cities that they call sewer rats.

Roof rats (Black Rats)

roof rats

Rattus is a species likely from India and its distinctive appearance and habits are simple in comparison to Norway rats.

Their skin is darker with darker brown undersides. Aside from being significantly larger than its Chinese cousin, adult size rarely exceeds 8 inches, with tails shorter in proportion to body length.

Habitat: Where Do Rats Live?

Rats have their own lives everywhere. They were exceptionally adaptable to extreme heat. In general, rats are not allowed to live in areas of low climatic conditions and high temperatures.

The Antarctic and North Pole are mostly bare of rats, although several species have come by ship to the islands and destroyed nearby ecosystems.

Rats are extremely prevalent throughout Alaska and have destroyed countless bird and turtle species. Similar colonialism also brought rats to Hawaii to have terrible results.

The palm forest is no longer populated by rats that eat palm leaves.

What Do Rats Eat?

Rats are omnivores, meaning they are healthiest when they eat a combination of fruits, veggies, and meats.

So, the best rat diet consists of mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, plus a small portion of rat pellets or rat cube food daily.

How Long Do Rats Live?

Rats typically have a lifespan of two years, regardless of whether they're Wild or in captivity. In cases where rodents are well-cared for, they may live up to 6 or 7 years old.

However, usually due to their small size and genetics, most rats only live for 2 years at the most.

On average, wild rats live for 1-2 years due to the number of predators in their environment.

Whether rats reside in cities or more remote rural areas, they must constantly be aware of predators such as birds and cats.

Rats Reproduce Rapidly

Female rats can mate up to 500 times and brown rats can give birth to as many as 4,000 infants in one year.

The rats have a gestational period that is under 1 - month, and this means that the population quickly loses control in an instant.

When the rat population starts growing at your property you will notice increased droppings and damage.

Rat-Transmitted Diseases

A growing population of rats could cause your health problems to worsen. Rats carry several dangerous diseases.

4 Signs of a Rat Infestation in Your Home

rat infestation

No one wants to share their home with rodents, yet every year thousands of homeowners find themselves with an infestation.

If you think you might have rats in your home, look out for these 4 signs of rats.

1. Strange Odors and Sounds

One of the first signs of a rat infestation is strange noises coming from your walls or ceilings. Rats are nocturnal creatures, so you're most likely to hear them at night.

Rats also leave behind a distinctive smell. If your home has a musty or musky odor, it could be a sign that rats are present. This smell is caused by the rats' urine and feces, which they leave everywhere they go.

2. Dead Rats

dead rats

Unfortunately, sometimes the only way to know for sure that you have a rat problem is to find a dead rat in your attic or vent.

If you see a dead rat in your home, it's likely that there are more where that came from, and this poses a health risk from diseases.

Rats are carriers of disease, so it's important to call an exterminator immediately if you find one in your home.

2. Feces and Stains

rat feces

Another sign of a rat infestation is finding small piles of black or brown pellets around your home.

These pellets are rat feces, which can contain harmful bacteria that can make you sick. You might also see stains on walls or floors where rats have urinated.

These stains can be brown, yellow, or red depending on the type of rat present.

3. Footprints

Rats are good climbers, so they can gain access to your home through holes in your roof or eaves. Once inside, they'll leave behind footprints in dust or dirt.

4. Damage

rat damage

Rats like to chew on things—including wires and insulation in your walls—which can pose a fire hazard.

If you notice new holes in your walls or chew marks on wires, there's a good chance you have a rat problem.

You should also be on the lookout for burrows underground near your foundation or along sidewalks leading to your front door.

These burrows can damage the foundation of your home and create trip hazards for pedestrians walking by.

Read Also: Rat Infestation: Signs of Rats & Prevention

How To Get Rid Of Rats In The House Fast

There are various ways of getting rid of rats. Some people use rat poisons, while others prefer trapping rats and releasing them into the wild.

Fortunately, this list will show you how to remove rats from your home.

1. Inspect The Home

Before the rats are gone, they should be examined at their home for any potential source. Make sure to examine the exterior of the property for obvious entrance places.

Check out ventilation and drain pipes in your house as well. After knowing how the rats enter the home, you can lock the entry and put the traps.

2. Seal The Gaps

It doesn't require a big entranceway for a rat to enter a home. The hammers actually fit into holes that you could insert two hands through.

Ensure there aren't gaps inside the walls. Fill the gap using wire wool, steel plates, cement, or caulk. Check it once per month to see if it's properly maintained.

3. Clean Up

Rats enjoy hiding. A good way of killing rats with fewer toxic chemicals is to eliminate their hideouts.

Get rid of clutter around your house! Keep garbage and food stored inside sealed bags quickly clean up spills and clean the drains.

4. Rat Traps

rat trap

As rodenticides are out of use in the U.S and have been outlawed (as they did last year in California) trapping can be effective for reducing the rat population and killing them fast and effectively.

Trapping helps reduce the number of rats by eliminating toxic substances. Make sure to set traps in your home or on your property. Place the traps on the highest activity level. Using peanut butter as bait.

5. Eliminate Potential Food Sources

One of the best ways to exterminate rats is to eliminate their food sources. Rats are attracted to food that is easy to access and that they can find in large quantities.

Some common food sources that rats like to eat include garbage bins, pet food, and bird seed.

If you have any of these things around your home, make sure you don't leave food or store them in a place where rats can't get to them.

6. Use Natural Deterrent Methods

There are several natural methods that you can use to deter rats from coming into your home.

Some of these methods include: using essential oils, setting up an ultrasonic sound device, and using a rat trap.

These methods are all effective at deterring rats and keeping them away from your home.

7. Call A Professional Pest Control Services

pest control expert

If you're having a difficult time trying to eliminate rats on your own, you may want to consider calling a professional pest control service.

Pest control services have the experience and knowledge necessary to deal with the problem quickly and efficiently.

They will also be able to give you tips on how to prevent rats from coming back in the future.

Does Mothballs Get Rid of Rats?


Mothballs aren't powerful enough to drive mice and rats away. It's a common misconception that mothballs repel rodents.

In small amounts, mothballs include naphthalene, which can be a repellent in large quantities.

Also, mothballs are poisonous to humans if ingested, so using them as a repellent isn't advised.

If you're looking for a safe and effective way to get rid of pesky pests, we recommend using one of the pest management solutions listed above.

How Can You Keep Rats Out of Your Home?

If you're worried about rats taking up residence in your home, there are a few things you can do to discourage them.

  • First, make sure that there is no food available for them to eat. Rats are attracted to garbage and pet food, so keep your garbage cans tightly lidded and store pet food in a sealed container.
  • Second, seal any openings that rats could use to enter your home. Cracks in the foundation or gaps around doors and windows are all potential entry points for rats.
  • Finally, remove any potential nesting sites from your property. Clutter, woodpiles, and debris provide shelter for rats, so keeping your yard clean will help discourage them from taking up residence on your property.

By following these simple tips, you can help keep rats out of your home and protect your children and pets.

How To Get Rid Of Rats Without Killing Them?

If you're looking for a way to get rid of these pests without harming them, there are a few options available to you.

1. Recruit Owls to Eat the Rats

Owls are natural predators of rats, so if you live in an area where owls are present, you may be able to get them to do your dirty work for you.

The best way to attract owls is to provide them with a place to nests, such as a platform mounted on a tall pole or a birdhouse designed specifically for owls.

You can also try putting out rat carcasses as bait. If you go this route, be sure to check the carcasses regularly and remove them before they start to decompose.

2. Use Traps

There are many different types of traps available on the market, so you'll need to choose the one that's right for your specific situation.

Snap traps are one of the most popular options since they're relatively inexpensive and easy to use.

Another popular option is glue traps, which are covered in a sticky substance that holds rats in place until you can dispose of them.

Glue traps are considered more humane than snap traps since they don't kill rats outright, but some people argue that they're crueler because rats can struggle for hours before eventually succumbing to starvation or dehydration.

3. Use Smoke Bombs

smoke bombs

Smoke bombs are another option for exterminating rats or mice without harming them. When placed in an enclosed space, smoke bombs release a dense fog that suffocates rats (and other rodents) by depriving them of oxygen.

Just be sure to follow the instructions on the package carefully, as smoke bombs can be dangerous if not used properly.

Smoke bombs should only be used as a last resort, as they can be harmful to humans and pets if inhaled.

4. Use Dry Ice

Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide, and it can be used to kill rats by suffocating them just like smoke bombs.

The advantage of dry ice is that it dissipates quickly and doesn't leave behind any harmful fumes.

To use dry ice for rat control, simply place it in an airtight container and wait for the rats to enter; then seal the container so the rats can't escape.

Check the container regularly and remove any dead rats immediately so they don't start to decompose.

5. Use Rat Repellent

rat repellents

There are many different types of rat repellents available on the market, but not all of them are effective.

One of the most popular rat repellents is ultrasonic devices, which emit high-frequency sounds that are supposed to drive rats away.

However, there's no scientific evidence that these devices actually work, so we recommend avoiding them altogether.

Another common rat repellent is peppermint oil; while peppermint oil won't kill rats, it might help keep them away since they hate the smell.

6. Police Your Own Yard or Home

One of the best ways to prevent rats from entering your home in the first place is by keeping your yard or home clean and free of food sources that might attract them.

This means regular garbage removal (at least once a week), cleaning up pet food and water bowls after meals, sealing off any cracks or holes around your foundation or roofline, and trimming back any trees or shrubs that might provide shelter for rats looking to build a nest near your home.

By taking these precautions, you can make your home much less appealing to rodents and reduce your risk of infestation.

How to Use a Rat Trap

Using a rat trap is a relatively simple process, but there are a few things to keep in mind in order to increase your chances of success.

  1. First, choose a location where you have seen rats or where they are likely to travel.
  2. Next, bait the trap with something that will attract rats, such as peanut butter or cheese.
  3. Once the trap is baited, set it and check it regularly.
  4. If you catch a rat, dispose of it promptly and reset the trap

By following these simple steps, you can rid your home of unwanted rodents.

Rat Poison, Baits

rat poison

Rat bait is a poisonous substance that rats eat, causing them to die. There are several different types of rat bait available on the market, and they all work in basically the same way.

The bait is placed in an area where rats are likely to find it, and they eat it, ingesting the poison.

Rat baits can be effective in getting rid of rats, but there are some things you should keep in mind if you decide to use them.

  • First of all, baits can be dangerous to pets and children if they stumble upon them and eat them.
  • Secondly, baits only work if the rats actually eat them, so if you don't see any dead rats after a few days, it's possible that they're avoiding the bait altogether

If you're considering using rat poison to get rid of your pests, be sure to do your research first and make sure it's the right solution for your situation.

See Also: How to Get Rid of Rats in Sewer Pipes

Best Practices for Rat Traps and Rodent Baits

Anyone who has dealt with a rat infestation knows how difficult it can be to get rid of these pesky critters.

But with a little knowledge and effort, you can rid your home of rats for good.

  • The first step is to choose the right type of trap. Snap traps are one of the most popular and effective options, but you'll also want to consider bait stations and live traps if you're concerned about pets or children getting caught in the trap.
  • Once you've selected the right trap, baiting is key. Choose food that rats love, like peanut butter or cheese, and place it inside the trap.
  • For best results, set the trap near where you've seen rats before, such as near a nest or feeding station. With a little patience, you'll be rat-free in no time.

Looking for Professional Rat Control?

Do you have a large rat infestation in your home or business property? If you think you might have a problem with rats, the best thing to do is call a professional pest control company that specializes in rat control and removal.

At 24h Pest Pros, we have a team of experienced and certified technicians that can inspect your property, identify the problem, and come up with a customized solution to exterminate rats for good.

We also offer a wide range of preventative services to keep rats from coming back in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get rid of rats fast?

A trap is a very effective method of reducing rodents' plight quickly. For the most effective effect try snap traps that kill rats immediately and easily. For a more efficient solution put it in a container or on the floor.

What scent will keep rats away?

Rat senses are very powerful. It includes clover, garlic, onions, spicy peppers, a tincture that has capsicum, house ammonia and coffee grounds, peppermint, eucalyptus, and clove.

What is the best home remedy to get rid of rats?

You can use a number of household items as rat repellents. These include ammonia, peppermint oil, cloves, catnip, garlic, onions, and cayenne peppers.

What will kill rats instantly?

The most effective way to kill a rat is by using snap traps that will kill them immediately. You can also use poison, but it will take a few days for the rat to die.


Rats can be a huge nuisance, and getting rid of them can be a challenge. But with the right tools and knowledge, you can get rid of them for good.

If you have a serious rat problem, or if you're not sure how to get started, call a professional pest control company like 24h Pest Pros.

Our pest control expert will assist you to exterminate rats.

In the meantime, be sure to follow the best practices for trapping and baiting, and take steps to prevent rats from coming back in the future. With a little effort, you can have a rat-free home in no time.

About The Author:

Meet Mark Calhoun, a seasoned pest control expert in the realm our pest control company. With over 10 years of dedicated experience and Managing Editor. His primary mission is to furnish you with precise and invaluable DIY insights, ensuring your home remains pest-free while aiding you in distinguishing various household pests.
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