How to Kill Rats

I understand, you have a rat problem, and you want to kill the rats. I do admit, that in my rat control process, I kill rats myself, by using lethal snap traps. You can read about and see photos of this technique all over my website. But before you jump willy-nilly into rat killing, I need to point out an important thing - killing the rats is only part of the solution. The much more important part, the part that will solve your rat problems permanently, is finding out how the rats are getting inside your house, and sealing those entry points shut. If you don't do that, you can kill rats until the cows come home, but your problem will never go away.



As you can see in the above photograph, I make an important point clear. Kill rats by any means, but never use poison. I'm going to discuss the various ways to kill rats below.

 SHOOTING

This isn't really a viable rat control technique. For some, it's basically a redneck sport. However, there is one very real exception - when a rat gets into the living space of the house, like in the family room or kitchen or bathroom. In that case, a rat can be extremely hard to catch, corral, or remove by any means. I have dealt with several such cases, and amazingly, I've found that the most effective solution, by far, is air rifle. The rat runs around the house and hides under the couch, or the kitchen cabinet, for example. Then it stays perfectly still, hoping that you can't see it. But you saw where it ran, and if you can spot it staying still, you'll have no chance to grab it, but you have all the time in the world to line up a perfect shot with a BB gun. You can even get fairly close. It works great.

 SNAP TRAP

This is the method I use. Effective, efficient, quick and humane death. The best overall tool for getting rid of rats in the attic or home. Snap traps kill rats, and they almost never fail, if set correctly. Read more about the advantages of this method on my Rat Trapping Information page.

 POISON

Poison is the worst thing you can use, for many, many reasons. It just doesn't work. It will not solve your problem, but it WILL create many very real problems, not the least of which is horrible odors in your house - I see it every week of my life. Read here about: Dead Rat Removal. For a full explanation of why you should never use poison to kill rats, click on my Rat Poison page.

 GLUE BOARD

Another bad choice. Glue traps suck. They don't work very well. I've seen more cases of rat footprints, bits of rat fur, and even gnawed-off rat limbs than actual rats caught. But mostly, I see empty glueboards with nothing trapped on them at all. Rats are pretty smart, and good about avoiding glue boards. But if they do in fact get stuck, it's a slow and agonizing death, and even a rat doesn't deserve that. And glue pads are one-time use, they are more expensive than good-old snap traps, less effective, far less humane. Why would anyone use one of these pieces of crap? I guess just because someone out there is marketing and selling them. I've never used them, but I've been called to many homes with rat odor, and I found a rotting and stinking rat on an old glue board lying around. Don't use glue traps. They stink.

 OTHER - DROWNING, ELECTROCUTION, CAT, ETC.

There are other ways to do it. There are water traps that rats fall into and drown. There are actually small box traps that electrocute rats! I've seen customers try these methods, and they are just plain really inefficient and ineffective. You can sic a cat on rats, and cats will catch a few, but not in an attic, and cats never fully solve the problem. There are probably many other ways to kill rats, and if you've got any solutions you'd like to tell me about, go ahead. I'll still be sticking to standard wooden snap traps to kill rats.

 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. They are killed with smaller traps. Ultimately, the same methods for how to keep rats away applies to mice as well. Email me if you have any questions about how to kill a mouse, mouse killing methods, how to kill mice, or any other advice on how to kill rodents.
If you have any questions or comments, e-mail me at david@attic-rat.com