14 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Rats Fast (Naturally)

Home methods to get rid of rats

Rats are medium sized creatures with long tails. True rats belong to genus “Rattus,”among which black and brown rats are closely associated with humans. These rats were originated from Asia. Rats and mice can be distinguished only by their sizes i.e. rats are bigger in size while mice are smaller in size. Bucks are the male rats while the young female is called does, newly born rats are called pups or kittens. Pregnant female rats are “Damsremember.”

Rats are small, filthy creatures which love to reside near or in our houses. Rodents can easily escape and invade your home, spreading the diseases to your family members. They require spillage foods, stagnant water, and shelter for their survival. The most commonly found species are Roof Rats and Norway Rats.

The black or the roof rats are usually found near coastal areas in the United States; they live on the ground while Norway rats are found all over the country and inside the ground. They are a serious risk factor because they cause numerous diseases in children. There are around 20 types of diseases which are carried by the rats and are harmful to humans; these include foot and mouth disease, Lassa Fever, Leptospirosis, bubonic plague and Hantavirus infections. They transmit diseases through their urine and feces. They act as a zoonotic vector.

Rodent infestation in your houses can be easily identified by their droppings, tear or rip in your fabric material, digs or holes in your open areas, holes in your furniture. Rats feed on vegetables, fruits, fish or meat.

Best Natural Repellents to Kill Rats in the House

We don’t always need poisons, i.e., rodenticides which might be detrimental to us as well as for our pets if inhaled. Therefore, we can follow straightforward and natural home remedies to get rid of rats. Home remedies are more preferred because they are effective as well as nontoxic.

Try these on for size:

1. PeppermintGreen fresh mint on the wooden table

Rats have an acute sense of smell. We, humans, find the fragrance of peppermint as refreshing and pleasant while it’s very offensive for rats.

REQUIREMENTS: Few cotton balls and peppermint oil.

DIRECTIONS: Add 25-30 drops of peppermint essential oil to every cotton ball and place it surrounding your home. Keep replacing it when you feel the smell is diminishing off. The peppermint oil kills the rats as soon as they feel it which directly affects their lungs, shrink them and kill the rats off. If you are not willing to put peppermint essential oils, you can go for minty toothpaste or peppermint leaves.

2. Moth Balls

Moth balls can repel both rats and mice. They are poisonous to both humans and mice.

DIRECTIONS: Place moth balls in deserted areas like an attic, backyards or basement. Touch them with covered hands and try to be careful. They are readily available, and they are simple to use.

But keep in mind that it takes a lot of moth balls to kill a rat. In fact, moth balls may not actually kill rats at all. The moth balls contain a substance called naphthalene, and while it’s pungent, it takes a lot of the substance to be effective.

When inhaled or consumed, it can cause blood cells to lose their ability to carry oxygen. While in theory this may be able to kill a rat, moth balls have just small amounts of naphthalene.  

If you want to use moth balls as a rat deterrent, make sure that you use a very generous amount of moth balls – more than you would with a mouse.

3. Ammonia

Ammonia is a super cleaning agent, but it acts as an excellent repelling agent to the rodents.

REQUIREMENTS: 2 -2 1/2cups of ammonia, 100- 200 ml of water and 2 -3 spoons full of detergent.

DIRECTIONS: Mix all the above substances in a bowl and place the bowl near those locations where rats are frequently found. Ammonia has a pungent smell which rats do not like.

If you don’t want to leave a bowl of ammonia out, you can choose to do a few things:

  • Soak a cloth in ammonia and place it in a can
  • Soak cotton balls and place them in key areas where you’ve seen rats

Ammonia actually mimics the smell of other animal urine. Foxes and cats, both known to keep rats away, have a similar smelling urine to ammonia. If you want a natural rat repellent, you can always use used cat litter, but it’s usually one of the least desirable ways to get rid of rats.

The texture of owls feather

4. Owls Feather

There are few natural predators of rats and mice which include owls and snakes. However, we can’t bring them home so we can act smart and put some owl feathers near the holes of rats. These feathers are inexpensive and simple to use. They act as a wonderful repellent to mice.

5. Black Pepper

Pepper produces a very sharp smell. This smell is very offensive for the mice and rats. It acts as an excellent repellent against them. As soon as the rats inhale the aroma of pepper, their lungs react, and they are dead.

DIRECTIONS: Sprinkle a small amount of black pepper around the residing places of rats.

6. Bayleaf

Bay leaf has an aromatic smell which commonly attracts the rats. They try to feed upon the bay leafs and end up choking themselves. Bay Leafs possess secondary metabolites which are found to be toxic to the mice.

DIRECTIONS: Put some bay leafs around the tiny holes and corners of your house.

7. OnionsRed onion isolated on white background

Onions have a pungent smell as well. This smell is not tolerable for rats or mice. As soon as they smell onions, they try to run away from such places. That is one of the most efficient remedies.

DIRECTIONS: Cut onion slices and place it around areas inhabited by rats or mice.  Try to replace the onions every day as they rot with time.

8. Human Traps

Human traps are the easiest and the most efficient methods for people who would not like to kill the rats. These traps are easy to use and available easily in the market. They comprise of two types i.e. sticky trap and snap trap.

Snap traps entail spring which activates as soon as the mouse reaches for the bait. While sticky traps are considered to be inhuman as the rats get stuck when they try to escape, they eventually die due to starvation or dehydration. Electronic mouse traps are also available in the market.

DIRECTIONS: Put a fresh bait, cheese or peanut butter inside the trap. As soon as the rats reach to eat the food, they get stuck in the trap; now you can take the trap far away from home and release the mouse.

9. Dried snake/Cat litter

You can visit a pet store or zoo and buy some litter of dried snake. Put it in the holes of the house where rats are seen. For the same purpose, we can also use cat’s litter which is suggested by farmers because cats are considered as the natural predators of rats.

If you don’t want to place litter around your home, you can choose to buy one of the most deadliest predators against a rat as your new pet: a cat.

10. Human Hair

You can place some human hair inside the rat holes to frighten them as they may eventually swallow the hair the moment they see them.

11. Cow DungCow pooping cartoon

Cow manure is a natural rat killer when they eat this litter; their stomach gets upset. After some time they begin to vomit and eventually it leads to the death.

DIRECTIONS: Place some amount of cow dung in closed areas like your basement, attic or parking lots, the hole where rats reside. They’ll be dead instantly as soon as they eat it because of the rupture of their gastrointestinal system.

12. Sound


DIRECTIONS: Switch on the audio box near the holes of rats. These sharp sounds are not tolerable by the rats. Their ears start bleeding, and they die after some time.

13. Baby Powder

The smell of the baby powder acts as a deterrent to rats and mice. It’s not considered as an efficient method. However, baby powder helps in the intoxication of rats leading them to death.

DIRECTIONS: You need to sprinkle a small amount of powder near the rat holes.

14. Steel Wool

Try patching the holes in the wall with steel wool. It is a solid material, and mice find it difficult to bite this material. The steel wool acts as a barrier and prevents the rats from crossing it.

DIRECTIONS: Patch the steel wool on small holes, access points of the rats. Their teeth are irritated by chewing on steel wool.

Create a Homemade Rat Poison

Rats are resilient, and if a natural rat repellent doesn’t work, you may have to go with a rat poison. This is a poison that is not meant to keep rats away, but it will kill them when you make the right poison.

You can also find commercial rat poisons that will kill rats over a period of 3 – 7 days, depending on the type of poison used.

Killing rats with baking soda actually works, but you have to use the right amount. Baking soda contains sodium bicarbonate, and this is lethal to rats if they consume 7.3 grams of it. When compared to other poisons, this is a lot.

Since the rat needs to eat about 7 grams of baking soda, you’ll need to use 1.5 teaspoons, or slightly less, of baking soda to kill the rat.

A good recipe for killing a rat is the following:

  • Place 1/2 cup of peanut butter in a bowl
  • Place 1/2 cup of baking soda into a bowl
  • Mix all of the ingredients well

Once you’re happy with your mixture, you can then create little peanut butter balls. The balls will act as bait, and you’ll want to place them in key areas where  you’ve seen rats or the presence of rats.

I recommend using gloves when mixing and placing the balls together.

The goal is to continue placing these treats out for rats until they consume enough of it to reach toxicity and die. While these ingredients may be safe for animals, baking soda in large quantities can harm smaller animals. It’s best to keep all of your homemade rat poison away from your pets just to be on the safe side.

Even many of the pet safe rat poisons you buy commercially can be deadly to smaller animals or when consumed in large quantities.

Killing Rats With Sugar and Baking Soda

If you don’t have peanut butter, you can choose to substitute sugar instead.

This method requires you to create uniform particles of sugar and baking soda. Onc method that people recommend is to use a coffee grinder to create a similar consistency among all ingredients.

Spread the mixture where you see the signs of a rat infestation.

Rats will need to consume a lot of this mixture, so be sure to place both poisons out daily until you either stop seeing signs or rats or find dead rats in the home. Be sure to discard of the rat safely using gloves.

Plaster of Paris as a Rat Poison

If you want to kill a rat faster than baking soda, you’ll want to use Plaster of Paris. This substance is often used for crafts. It works with water and quickly becomes a moldable paste.

The good news is that you can use the same two recipes mentioned above to form bait balls.

But when choosing your peanut butter, you want to make sure that it’s not too oily. The reason is that the plaster will absorb the oil and then harden. The drier the peanut butter, the better. You’ll need 3 grams of Plaster of Paris to kill a rat.

The idea is simple: rats consume the plaster, it enters the body and soaks up water, and the rats die from dehydration. Since the plaster will harden inside of the rat, it will also not be able to be digested.

Either way, the rat dies from either starvation or dehydration.

You’ll definitely want to keep the plaster away from pets or kids.

Anytime that you use a poison, even one that is very strong and commercial-strength, you’ll want to make sure that you replace the poison often. The poison is almost always slow working, and it will take a few days of consumption to kill the rat.

Size will also play a major role in how long the rat will survive after eating the poison. If the rat is extremely large, it will take more poison to kill it.

If you’re going for the most effective route, I recommend trying the same ingredients with multiple approaches. For example, use peanut butter and the sugar recipe at the same time to lure in more rats. You can also use meat scraps, which rats love to eat, and fill the meat with the substance, too.

Using multiple “lures” will allow you to attract more rats and ensure that the rats don’t get tired of the bait.

How to Get Rid of Rats Outside

Rats may be disease-carrying pests, but they’re still a part of nature and play a role in the ecosystem. The great outdoors is their natural environment, so it can be a challenge to expel them from your yard – and keep them away.

How to Get Rid of Rats in the Yard

Having rats in your yard can be just as bad as having them in your house. They can contaminate your garden, and they’re a danger to your kids and pets. And if you let them hang out in your yard long enough, it will only be a matter of time before they find their way into your home. If you act quickly, you can stop them from invading your home and keep them from coming back.

Here’s how to keep rats away:

1. Clean Your Yard

Before you even think about traps or poison, you need to clean up your yard. The goal is to eliminate any and all hiding spots to make your yard less hospitable to rodents. Remember – rats hate being in open spaces. The less junk and overgrowth you have in your yard, the less likely rodents will be to find a place to nest and hide.

  • Keep your grass trimmed.
  • Remove piles of wood, junk, cardboard and other debris.
  • Seal gaps or holes in storage sheds and other outdoor buildings.
  • Cut off access to food supplies by removing fallen nuts, fruits and vegetables from the ground.
  • Make sure that your trash cans are tightly secured, and empty them frequently.
  • Use bird feeders instead of scattering feed on the ground.
  • Do not leave pet food out.

A clean yard that’s free of debris and overgrowth will be less attractive to rats. They’ll have nowhere to hide, and if you cut off their food supply, they’ll have even fewer reasons to stick around.

2. Lay Traps or Use Poison

Once you’ve cleaned up your yard, you can start tackling your rat problem. Traps and poisons are typically the most effective options if you want to kill the rats.

There are a few different types of traps to choose from:

  • Snap: A wooden, plastic or metal trap with a snap hinge that kills rodents instantly. The rat will have to walk into the trap to trigger the snap hinge. Bait (i.e. food) will lure the rodent inside. Traps must be large enough for rats.
  • Glue: A trap that uses a powerful adhesive to keep the rat in place. Just as its name suggests, rodents become glued to the trap, making it impossible for them to move.
  • Zapper: Zapper traps deliver a high-voltage shock to the rat, killing it instantly. In most cases, you never have to touch or even see the trapped rat.

Some people prefer to use poisons to kill rats. This may work well for outdoor rodents because there’s less of a risk of them dying in the walls. Poisons also allow you to kill a lot of rats at once.

In some cases, poisons can simply be scattered outdoors, but generally, it’s best to use bait stations to prevent children and pets from getting into the poison.

Just as there are different types of traps, there are also different types of poisons that kill rats.

  • Anticoagulants: The most common type of rodenticide. These poisons contain chemicals that interfere with the blood’s ability to clot. Anticoagulants are slow-acting, so it takes several days to kill the rat.
  • Bromethalin: A neurotoxin that targets the liver and brain. Rats die in a few hours after a single ingestion of the poison. This type of poison should never be used around pets.
  • Vitamin-based: Slow-acting, vitamin-based poisons flood the rat’s system with fat-soluble vitamins. The overload of the vitamin kills the rat after about a day.

It’s best not to combine traps and poisons. Choose one or the other when tackling your rat problem.

Also, when using poisons or traps, make sure that you’re using them away from water sources. Rats may still escape a trap or run off with poison, and they could potentially contaminate water supplies.

3. Humane Trapping

If you don’t wish to kill the rats, you can use a humane trap to catch them and release them far from your home.

The primary risk with the catch-and-release method is that you’re just handing your problem over to someone else. In all likelihood, the rats will wind up on someone else’s property or in their home. That’s not to say that we condone the killing of animals (we don’t), but depending on your location, catch-and-release may not be the ideal option.

With that said, you’ll find many humane traps available online and in home improvement stores. These are traps that simply catch the rats. But keep in mind that if you leave the rats in there for too long, they will die of dehydration and/or starvation. That’s even crueler than using a zapper or snap trap.  

Live traps are usually made of metal and have a trigger mechanism that closes the door once the rat walks far enough inside. You’ll still need to use bait, though.

The most common and effective rat baits include:

  • Peanut butter
  • Chocolate
  • Dried nuts or fruit
  • Bacon
  • Meat
  • Nesting materials

When releasing the rat, make sure that you choose a place where the rodent can find shelter. Rats won’t survive for long when exposed to extreme temperatures.

Ideally, you want to release the rats late in the evening. These creatures have poor eyesight, so they’ll have a harder time finding their way back to your home if they’re released in the dark.

We recommend coming up with a plan for relocating the rats before you get started. Also, keep in mind that this method won’t be ideal for major infestations.

How to Kill Rats Fast: Do’s and Dont’s 


  • Picking up an effective rat poison is the best way to kill those annoying rats instantly.
  • Maintain cleanliness in your open spaces like gardens, yards or basement and check for the signs of the hole by rats.Get rid of rats
  • Store the remaining foods in a sealed container.
  • Seal all the holes and entries for rats in your house, like doors, vents or small openings in chimneys.
  • Keep cats as your pets to avoid rats as cats are real natural predators against rats.
  • Cover the garbage properly.
  • Clean any remaining foods or water.
  • Cutting down weeds and tall shrubs from the garden may help in getting rid of rats.
  • Throw all your trash in a covered bin.
  • Plant herbs in your garden, as the odor of that, would help you to repel the mice.
  • Sanitize the area correctly using proper detergents or bleach along with water.
  • Keep your open spaces uncluttered.
  • Rat repellents are also available in the market. They are easy to use.


  • Try to avoid toxic stuff for killing rats in the house.
  • Don’t use inhumane traps.
  • Don’t put garbage, spillage foods, pet foods, fruits, and bins in an open space as this will attract the rats, and they will start residing in such places.
  • Avoid standing water in your nearby places.
  • Avoid putting bird feeders.
  • Don’t try to vacuum their droppings otherwise you’ll end up spreading it here and there.

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