Safest Ways to Kill Rats

Updated February 06, 2018

Rats are not only a nuisance, but their chewing and gnawing cause property damage to your home and they often spread diseases. Using rat poisons inside your home poses a potential health threat for your family and pets, and a dead rodent rotting inside your walls can create an extremely unpleasant odour. Fortunately, there are rat-killing methods that are effective and also safe when used with caution.

Snap Trap

A snap trap is a larger version of the classic mouse trap and works in the same manner, by snapping a bar over the rat as it takes the bait, killing or severely injuring and trapping the rat. Simply bait the trap with a morsel of food and wait for the rat to investigate. The snapping sound will tell you that the rat has taken the bait and should no longer be a threat. This type of device should not be used if you have small children or indoor pets.


In addition to trapping mice, domestic cats are also proficient at capturing and killing rats, although they may not be able to keep up with a larger rat colony. They can also act as a deterrent to rats entering your home. Females cats tend to be better rat-killers than males. Do not have your cat declawed; that way she can maximise her hunting abilities.


The RatZapper is a product that works by luring the rat into a chamber where its heart is stopped by a current of electricity. Unlike other kill traps, no mess is created so the product can be used repeatedly. It is powered by four AA batteries, so it is safe for use around children and pets. A blinking light tells you when the trap is full.

Glue Boards

Although sometimes viewed as inhumane, glue boards are another effective way to catch and kill rats. The rodent steps into the trap and becomes stuck on the trap's surface. As it struggles to free itself, it becomes covered in the glue and eventually suffocates. An attractant spray can be added to the trap to entice the rat to enter.

Outdoor Solutions

Outdoor methods of killing rats are safe as long as they are not used inside the home and there are no small children or pets around. A product known as the Rat Rock Bait Station looks like a typical rock placed outside your home. However, it contains a toxic material that kills rats after just one feeding. Other potential food sources such as trash should be kept out of the area when using this method.

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About the Author

Chris Joseph writes for websites and online publications, covering business and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Science in marketing from York College of Pennsylvania.