How to Get Rid of Rats in the House: Some Useful Methods You Should Try

The sight of rat droppings in your home may cause many of you to panic. If you notice a single rat running on the floor or escaping around the corner, bear in mind that there could be many more hiding inside the walls, in the attic, in the basement or in the roof.

They do not only eat leftover foods, but also gnaw through wires, insulation or even plumbing. They may destroy your garden or lawn by eating bulbs or seedlings. Burrowing rats may cause the house foundation to shift by undermining beneath it. The most dangerous thing they cause though is undoubtedly the infectious diseases they transmit, such as bubonic plague or leptospirosis.

As a homeowner, you definitely need to know how to get rid of rats in the house to avoid damage and destruction to your property and to your health. There are many ways of how to get rid of rats in the house, one of them is poisoning the rats with rat killers or rat bait stations. We will take a closer look into those rat removal methods in the following paragraphs. We’ll also tell you about a few rat deterrent measures that you can take.

Three Methods to Get rid of Rats in the House

Here are three methods you shoud use to get rid of rats in your house:

1. Rat Repellent

These devices are commonly known as rodent repellent devices, as opposed to just rat repellent devices, because they help to keep away not only rats, but also mice and squirrels from your home.

The magic of these devices is that they emit ultrasonic or high frequency sounds which are undetectable to the human ear but cause distress to rodents. They are not killed by the sound, but it is an irritation that is a highly effective rat repellent, preventing them from hanging around your home across the entire area that the sound ranges. Even if they are nesting in hidden places in your home, they will flee away. The devices are simple to use: you just plug them in and the undetectable ultrasonic waves will act as a very effective rat deterrent.

rat repellent

The advantage of this rat deterrent method is that it naturally chases rats away without using any kinds of chemicals, traps or sprays, so it’s absolutely safe for your family and pets. You also need not worry about clearing away dead rats. The coverage area is up to several thousand square feet, which should be enough to act as a rat repellent for your entire home and garden. The amount of electricity consumed is minimal.

The disadvantage of this rat deterrent method is the initial cost you’ll need to invest in purchasing the units and installing them. As the sound cannot travel through walls, you will need to install several units to get the ultimate repellent results. The price of the device ranges from $10 to $100 depending on the brand and coverage area. Another concern is the fact that the method may reduce the intrusion of rats but not completely eliminate them.

That said, this method of rat deterrent is really worth trying for its safety features and cleanliness.

2. Rat Killer

When it comes to how to get rid of rats in the house, many will think of using poison. This is a very common method, and you’ll have no difficulty with obtaining rat poisons in powder, capsule or liquid form. To name some types of rat killer poison, there are anticoagulants that damage the capillaries and cause internal bleeding, bromethalin that attacks the nervous system, cholecalciferol that leads to renal failure, or strychnine that causes muscular convulsion. Once they’ve consumed the poison, it may take a couple of days for the rats to die.

rat killer

An advantage of this rat killer method is that it is quite simple and effective. You just need to put the poison where you have seen signs of rat populations and it will take care of the rest. There’s no trap to set, no wired cord or batteries to charge, and the rats get killed completely, with no chance to reproduce anymore. The money invested in this method is minimal as it does not cost a lot and is easily obtained from your local store.

One of the main disadvantages of using rat killer poison is the danger it may pose to your children and pets. If your kids or pets accidently eat this poison, they will suffer from severe symptoms that may result in death if not immediately brought to a doctor or emergency room. Therefore, it’s vital to ensure that you place the poison in a safe place out of reach of your kids and pets.

The fact that rats will not die immediately after eating the poison may make you think the poison isn’t working. However, in a day or two the odor of the decaying rat will lead you to where it is. Another disadvantage, then, is if the rats die in the roof or inside the walls, you may have to put up with the smell for a week or so. After the poison has been eaten, you’ll need to clean up the place where the poison was put to ensure there’s no residue left for pets or kids to find. This method does not require much from you at first, but does take a little more effort once the rats have found the chemical.

3. Rat Bait Station

A rat bait station is a container device with one or two entry holes, and poisoned bait inside. It’s designed to attract rats into the rat bait station so that they eat the poison bait inside. It is made of plastic and varies in shape, but most are triangular so as to fit into the corner of the room.

A rat bait station will not kill the rats right away, but will simply attract rats to eat the poison bait inside, and not allow them to move it to another place. Tamper resistant features enclose the bait, keeping it away from pets and children, and protecting the bait from weather conditions. The enclosure keeps the bait smelling fresh smell for a long time too. One usually needs a key to open it, so the accesses by non-targeted animals or children are limited. The rat bait station should be placed near the rats’ regular runways where they can find it easily.

The big advantage of using a rat bait station is that you can eliminate rats with poison without having to worry about people and pets being in danger. This method is therefore as effective as normal rat killer poison, only safer. It is tamper resistant so year-long use is possible. Cleaning and servicing is more convenient as the bait is enclosed in the station and cannot be moved.

The disadvantage of this method is that it still needs toxic chemicals to get rid of rats. Although the danger to pets or kids by contact with the poison is greatly reduced, there is still no guarantee of complete safety because of the fact that you still need to store the extra refill poison somewhere. Besides this, the rats are not killed instantly so you still have the nuisance of disposing of the dead rats once they die.

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There are several more ways of repelling or killing rats, such as keeping a cat, using peppermint oil, glue board or rat traps. Each method is effective to some extent and each has its own pros and cons. Above all, keeping your home neat and clean is the best way to deter rats. Taking away garbage, clearing away leftover foods, and sealing holes into your house are among the most effective rat repellent methods.

If you're looking for a more humane option, there are several catch and release style traps available as well. Just remember that you'll have to check on them frequently and immediately relocate the animal miles away from your home.​

Weigh up the pros and cons and decide on the best method for your circumstances. We hope this article has been interesting and has given you useful information on how to get rid of rats in the house.

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