How to Get Rid of Rats in the House
I built this website as a resource for people who want to
get rid of a rat problem in a house. It's loaded with
information, and if you have rats in the architecture, like
in the attic or walls, your best bet is to just go to the
home page, and read the information there. The principles
for getting rats out of the attic are the same as for any
part of the home. The only exception is if the rats are
actually in the living area of the house - such as the
living room, bathroom, kitchen, etc.
If you actually have rats inside the living area of the
house, that's a problem! It's even worse than if they are
living in the attic or walls, because inside the house
itself, with people, they can spread disease, chew on your
food, contaminate your food or property, chew on wires, chew
on anything, basically. It's extremely unlikely that they
would attack anyone, such as a sleeping baby, because rats
are cowards, and they want to be left alone. But when
everyone is in bed, yes, they can come out and mess with
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING - FIND OUT HOW THEY ARE
GETTING INTO THE HOUSE
To solve a problem with rats in the house, you've got to
find out how they got inside. In the below photo, we see
some examples of areas that rats have used to gain access to
the house from the outside.
But what about how they are getting into the living space?
Well, same thing - there are some openings that lead into
the house. The power supply for the stove, which has a wire
that goes into a wall and right up the wall into the attic
is a good bet. I see lots of rats getting into the kitchen
that way. Or maybe behind the washer/dryer? There could be
several spots. Do a thorough hunt, and seal off any open
areas with metal flashing, such as you see in the below
If you've got
rats coming through the toilet then make sure that
there are no breaches in your plumbing pipes, and that the
water traps are full. Read here about rats
in the sewer.
Killing rats in the house - Rats in the main are of a home
are disturbing because they are in plain sight and are
sharing your living space more intimately than a rat up in
your attic. Rats are not particularly persnickety creatures
and will live just about anywhere they feel is advantageous
to finding food. If you have rats living in your home, make
sure you eliminate access to anything that may be considered
a food source for them. Exposed trash and unsealed food will
only promote growth in the rat population no matter what
your lethal trapping methods are. Not only do you need to
eliminate the food source, you also need to eliminate access
from the outside. Rats are ingenious when it comes to home
invasion. They can enter in through pipes and drains; they
do not necessarily need a hole in the foundation. Killing
the rats once they are inside can be a challenge. Rats are
smart and survive by being industrious. Trapping will mean
knowing where to place the traps and what to avoid using.
For rodents living in the main areas of the home—actually
for rodents anywhere in the home—do not use poison. Any
poisoned animals will crawl into a dark space somewhere in
the home and die. This almost never happens in a convenient
location. Bodies in the walls are even more difficult to
remove than live rats! The best rat control comes from snap
traps, not poison.
THE SAME APPLIES TO MICE
Although I wrote this site with rats in mind, such as the
Roof Rat and Norway Rat, the same principles apply to other
rodents, such as the house mouse. Mice behave very similarly
to rats, they're just smaller. Email me if you have any
questions about how to get a mouse out of the house, mice in
the house, and rodents inside homes.
Read more articles about rats:
Do rats destroy insulation
in an attic?
Do rats chew on wires? Why?
What can rats chew through?
Will a rat chew through the
What does rat feces look like? Where is it found?
Is rat feces dangerous to touch or breathe?
What kind of damage do rats cause in an attic?
How do I clean rat feces out of the attic?