How to kill rats in the home

Rats chew wires, spread disease and can cause a lot of damage in your home and attic. To eliminate a rat infestation you not only have to kill the rats, but also stop them from entering your home. Sealing entry points along with killing the rats already in your home prevents new rats from entering and contains the infestation. Trapping is the best method to kill rats in your home.

Bait 12 to 20 large rat traps with peanut butter and place dry dog food on several small plates. Fort Lauderdale Animal Control recommends dog food to attract the rats to approach the traps.

Spread traps in groups of four in your attic and in areas where you've seen rats or droppings. You should use four traps baited with peanut butter surrounding a plate of dry dog food, says Lakeland Animal Control. When the rats come over to get the bait, the traps snap shut, killing them.

Remove dead rats daily to avoid the odour and reset traps to kill remaining rats.

Remove rat droppings by cleaning your insulation and vacuuming the droppings once the rats have been killed. This eliminates their scent, which can attract more rats.


Most rat problems originate in your attic. They leave tracks and droppings and traps should be set where the most activity is evident. Set the traps as close as you can to where any noise is heard. If you're unsure where the rats are in the attic, Lakeland Animal Control advises that you spread your traps around the most likely places. If rats are seen in your home as well as in the attic, you can set traps wherever they've been spotted as long as where you place them don't present a danger to pets and children. Small mouse traps or glue board traps will only catch mice or young rats and adults will get away. Make sure you use large snap traps in order to successfully kill all rats. Poisoning is ineffective, according to Professional Wildlife Removal, because it doesn't fully kill all of the rats in your home. New rats will enter and some will not die from the poison, and if they survive, they won't eat the poison again.

Things You'll Need

  • Large snap traps
  • Peanut butter
  • Dog food
  • Steel mesh or sheeting
  • Vacuum cleaner
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About the Author

Renee Miller began writing professionally in 2008, contributing to websites and the "Community Press" newspaper. She is co-founder of On Fiction Writing, a website for writers. Miller holds a diploma in social services from Clarke College in Belleville, Ontario.