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How to Get Rid of Rats: A Quick Guide

How to Get Rid of Rats

Most homeowners know that they are going to see a few mice each season, but a quick trip to the store could help you find the best mouse traps available. However, if you’ve got rats, that something completely different, and you may need to focus on a different plan of attack. You’re going to find out how to get rid of rats in your house in this article.

Remove What Rats Require to Survive

Sanitation is the most important control measure here for you to get rid of your rat problem. Rats need access to a food and water supply source, as well as things in which to nest.

To reduce the rat population, you should make sure that your home is thoroughly cleaned. Make sure to sweep, mop, and vacuum once or more a week. You can also:

  • Store bulk food items in metal containers with lids instead of boxes and bags. Rats can gnaw through them easily.
  • Keep pet food in plastic containers with lids.
  • Remove clutter from your home, including cardboard and paper, which can be used to build nests.
  • Remove yard debris and grass clippings from around the structure of your home.
  • Trim the bushes and shrubs to ensure that they don’t touch the house. Make sure you can easily see beneath these things.
  • Make sure that any firewood you may want to use is stored away from the structure – the farther away, the better.
  • Pick up any fruits or nuts from trees that shed.

Keeping a clean house is the first line of defense for all types of pest control. Knowing how to get rid of rats by cleaning can prevent you from getting an infestation later.

Indoor Control for Rats

Once you’ve cleaned up the house and the surrounding space, it’s time to begin the rat removal process inside your home. You’ve got a variety of methods for rat control, so you should pick the ones that best suit your needs.

Glue/Snap/Live Traps

Trapping is often the most effective and common indoor control method. It provides many advantages because you don’t have to use poisons, and you can see the trap to know that your efforts are working in your favor.

Of course, you also get to remove the dead rats to ensure there aren’t any bad odors and don’t get an insect infestation because of the decayed carcasses.

Snap Traps

Snap rat traps are often plastic, metal or wood and use a powerful hinge to snap on the neck of the rodent while they are trying to eat the bait.

You should put them in areas where you’ve noticed rat activity. Make sure you’re placing them flush against the wall (long ways) so that the rat doesn’t have as much of a chance of skirting by it without getting caught. Also, ensure that the trigger end is as close to the wall as possible.

Some homeowners find it easier to put two traps end to end with the triggers at opposite ends to catch rats from each direction.

Since you’ve eliminated all other food sources from the first step mentioned, rats are going to be more interested in the bait you place. Consider those that have aromas, such as nuts, tuna, peanut butter, or bacon. Before setting the trigger, tie the bait to it to prevent the rat from getting the treat without being caught.

Glue Traps

Glue TrapsGlue traps are often plastic or cardboard and have a shallow tray filled with very sticky material. You put it flush beside the walls and flooring where the rodents often travel. The rats walk over the trap and get stuck, eventually dying.

To speed up this process, you may choose to drown the rat in a bucket or use a hammer to break their skull, and this another best way on how to get rid of rats.

Live Traps

Sometimes called humane traps, live catch traps are small wire cages. One end features a door that is propped open. The rat goes in, stands on the trigger of the door to eat the bait, and is caught inside.

You can use similar bait options as for snap traps and work great if you don’t want to hurt the rodent but want it out of your house.

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Just make sure you check with local authorities first to see where you can safely release these pests.

Keep in mind this option isn’t ideal when you’ve got a large rat infestation, or you’re trying to remove juvenile rats.


You may choose to use bait poison inside the home, but this is not recommended as an appropriate pest control solution. When rats eat a lethal dose of the poison, it can crawl into an area to die where you can’t reach it, such as within a wall. You’re going to smell a horrible odor for many weeks and can also incur an insect infestation because of it.

If you choose that route, make sure that you don’t have children or pets that can access the bait. Be diligent in finding the carcasses so that they don’t rot and smell.

Poisons aren’t designed to force rats outside to die, and they don’t need to leave your home to get a water source. Some products might claim to dry up the rat so that it can’t leave odors, but these don’t do what they claim.

Outside Rat Control

No guide on how to get rid of rats is complete without methods on controlling rats outside the home. You’ve got to make sure that the rats aren’t on your property because that is an invitation for them to come into the house, as well.

You can use a rat bait poison outside, but make sure that it is enclosed inside the bait station. This protects animals and children, and also ensures that the poison isn’t carried away and lost.

Make sure that the outside of your property is cleaned up, so rats don’t have a lot of food or places to live. That way, they are more prone to take the bait.

You should place four to six bait stations around the house. One should go at each corner, and you can put one by each of the entrances (front and back).

When you choose the bait station location, consider how you’re going to anchor it so that children and animals can’t remove it. Sometimes, the stations come with accessories to keep it in place, or you can buy them separately. If not, patio blocks and caulk can be used, as well.

Load the bait stations by following the product labels. Make sure that you check each one every week or two and replace the bait as necessary. As long as the rats are eating the bait, it is working and killing them. Most homeowners underestimate their rat population, assuming that the bait isn’t working.

In fact, there are probably many more rats than you thought, so be patient. Bait takes up to 10 days to kill the rat once they’ve consumed a lethal dose, and you probably aren’t going to see any dead rats.


Since there are many methods available on how to get rid of rats, now is the time to start thinking about what you might use. Most homeowners require more than one solution to fully eradicate rats from the premises.

If you’ve tried most or all of the solutions listed here and they haven’t worked or aren’t enough, it is time to contact 24H Pest Pros. These professionals can help with your rodent control needs and help you eliminate rats and other pests.

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