How to get rid of rats in the roof

Updated July 05, 2018

Rats are rodents that look like mice but are much bigger. There are several different types of rats, including roof rats. Roof rats are rats that live in warmer climates, usually near the coast. They are expert climbers and often enter attics after climbing trees to get on the roof of a home. Rats can cause disease by urinating and defecating throughout your home, and they can also chew through your wires. If you find that you have an infestation of rats, you will need to remove them as soon as possible.

Examine your roof and attic. Look for any locations where a rat could get in. These openings do not have to be very large. The rats may be getting in a vent, or using your gutters as entry points. It is also a good idea to make sure there are no holes in your roof.

Board up any larger openings that you see on your roof or near your attic, and caulk the smaller openings. This will keep any future rats from getting in. It will also trap the rats you have in the attic so that you can catch them.

Set up several wooden rat traps. Make sure you get rat traps and not mouse traps, or they won't be big enough. Place some peanut butter on the rat traps to entice the rats. Set them in several different corners of your attic where you have noticed rat droppings.

Go up in your attic, and check and empty the rat traps each day until you are no longer catching rats. You can leave one or two rat traps out just in case there is a rat left that you have not caught.


Make sure you are wearing gloves when you dispose of the rats. It is best to place the rats in a plastic bag, and then place that bag in a second plastic bag. You can then throw the bags in a dustbin.


Do not use poison to kill the rats in your attic. They will end up dying somewhere in your house. If that is inside of your walls, the smell will be horrid. You will need to have your attic decontaminated after you have removed all of the rats. Rat droppings can result in diseases such as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. If you are not comfortable decontaminating the attic yourself, hire a professional.

Things You'll Need

  • Boards
  • Caulk
  • Rat traps
  • Peanut butter
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About the Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for 13 years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, GoBankingRates and WiseGeek. Bodine is passionate about gardening, travel, education and finance. She has received awards for being a top content producer.