How To Get Rid of Rats
SUMMARY: Step-by-step guide for getting rid of
rats in a house or building:
Step 1 - Inspect the entire house or
building, and find any and all entry holes, as small
as 1/2 inch.
Step 2 - As you find these areas, seal them
shut with steel mesh, which rats cannot chew
Step 3 - Only after the home is entirely
sealed shut, go into the attic space and set wooden
snap traps. Bait is not important, but location is
crucial. Set on rat runways, marked with droppings.
Step 4 - Every day, remove trapped rat
bodies, and re-set traps. In just 2 or 3 days, all
will be caught.
SUCCESS - Once you hear no more scurrying
noises in the ceiling or walls, you know you've done
FAILURE - If you still have rats, it means
you failed steps 1 & 2. You must find the
Step 5 - Optional. Clean and disinfect the
attic, which is now full of dangerous rat urine,
DO NOT - Use rat poison. It not only fails to
get the job done, it usually causes extra problems.
SHOULD NOT - Use glue boards. They aren't
very effective, and they're inhumane.
DO NOT - Use any kind of repellent spray,
powder, sound box, flashing lights. These gimmicks
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While rats can live in the walls, the kitchen, under
the house, etc. the most common place for rats to
inhabit in a house is the attic. Read my
comprehensive guide to rats
in the attic.
To Get Rid of Rats: There is a great
deal of wrong information and ignorance
regarding rat control. Many extermination
companies and people resort to poison use
for rat control, and this is a big
mistake. For a list of many reasons
why you should never use poison to get rid
of rats, read my rat
poison page. In short, poison does not
solve the problem and creates many
The proper way to solve a rat problem is by
stopping the root of the problem. If
you want to get rid of rats in your house or
attic, you must first find out how they are
getting in, and seal off those entry points
permanently. Once that is done, the
rats should by physically trapped and
removed from the building, as seen in my
photo to the right. It's also a good
idea to clean and decontaminate the mess
that they've made.
Please read my below information, and my rat
blog which is full of examples of rat
removal jobs I've done, and is useful
information regarding rat and mouse control.
To get rid of rats permanently, you need to follow
four important steps, as shown in the below graphic.
First, you need to perform a full inspection of the
home, from top to bottom - under the house and on
the roof, anywhere rats or mice can find an entry
point. A mouse
in the attic may have gotten in at ground
level. Next, every last entry point that rats and
mice can use - and they can squeeze through
amazingly small areas, must be sealed. Seal with
steel, something rodents can't chew through. They
can even chew through concrete. Next, you need to
extermination, but under no circumstances use
poison. What is the best way of how
to kill rats? Not with poison, but with actual
trapping, with snap traps. There are many
effective brands, but with many years' experience, I
like the wooden Victors the best. If you have rodents
in the attic, then you have to set the traps
in the attic, on the rat runways. Trap placement is
very important. Look for the droppings, runways, and
brown fur grease. Rodent
removal is a very exact science, and it must
be done correctly if you want permanent rat
info: The most common nuisance rats
are the more northern Norway Rat, or
Brown Rat, and the more southern Roof
Rat, also known as the Black Rat. Rats
are commonly associated with urban areas and
people. They will go wherever they can find
food and shelter, and that often includes
buildings. Although they may look large,
they need only a tiny hole (the size of a
quarter) or a 1/2 inch crack to fit through.
Black and Norway rats will consume many
different types of plant and animal foods.
They also contaminate food with their urine
and feces. Rats are carriers of many
different types of diseases, they
contaminate food, and sometimes bite. Rats
are primarily nocturnal. They keep a
surprisingly small home range, and don't
wander about very far. Even though they
often live for less than a year, they can
and do breed in large quantities.
info: The house mouse weighs less
than an ounce. It can fit in a crack of only
a quarter inch. They can and do get
everywhere. If your house has food and has
any small openings, eventually mice will
find their way in. House mice eat many types
of food but prefer seeds and grain. Mice are
primarily nocturnal, they can dig, they gnaw
like all rodents do, and they can produce a
tremendous number of offspring. The methods
of control are the same as rats, except that
even greater care must be taken to find the
small entry areas.
Top 10 Tips for How to Get Rid of Rats:
- The most important thing, BY FAR, is to
identify their points of entry into your house
and attic. Seal all these entry holes shut, and
the problem is solved permanently.
- When inspecting the house for entry holes,
look at EVERYTHING, from the ground to the
entire roof. Vents, pipe entry, A/C chase, ridge
caps, every possible thing, as small as a 1/2
- When sealing shut the entry holes, use a
combination of steel screen (1/4 inch hardware
mesh is good) and a sealant like caulk to block
off air flow, which rats use to detect openings.
- Only AFTER the entry holes have been sealed
shut should you bother to start trapping and
removing the rats. Beforehand is futile, and
it's much easier afterward.
- There are many types of rat traps, from glue
boards to cage traps to electric traps, but the
wooden Victor Easy Set trap is the most
- When trapping, bait is not important, but use
a peanut butter smeared on the trip pan. The
placement of the trap, along edges and along
known rat runways (look for droppings) is the
most important factor.
- Never use poison. It is horrible for both you
and rats, and it's totally ineffective. Not all
rats eat it. New rats just keep coming. Rats
that die will die in your house, and cause a
horrible odor. It does nothing to solve the
- Can a housecat or two help? If you have an
outdoor cat who is a good hunter, this will keep
rat populations down. But it's not foolproof.
- Should you keep your property clean, and free
from clutter, garbage, or a lot of plant debris?
That may help a little, but rats will also live
in pristine, clean environments.
- Do repellents like predator urine or mothballs
or sound machines help? No, not at all! They are
sold online, with glowing inside job reviews,
but they don't work. Go ahead and try them.
Nuisance concerns: Most people complain
first about the noises that the hear in the walls
and attic, the scampering and running and sometimes
scratching. They chew
on wires, which can cause a fire hazard and
anything else they can get their teeth on.. They eat
your food and contaminate far more than they eat,
often spreading diseases that pets and humans can
contract. They leave droppings
in the attic and everywhere they roam, and
these droppings are also often disease ridden. They
spread filth and pestilence, and many diseases are
contracted via rats. Some examples of rat
diseases that can be spread by rodents are
Salmonellosis (acute food poisoning), Rickettsia
Pox, Hantavirus (via droppings), tapeworm,
infectious jaundice, and tularemia. I highly
attic decontamination services if you've had
rats living in your attic. I also recent wrote
some articles about rodents in the walls of homes
and buildings, including rats
in the wall and how to get rid of mice
in the wall.
Wondering how to get rid of rats? There is no magic
spray or device that you can use to make rodents
in the attic or house go away. Some people try
to sell various rat or mouse
repellants such as predator urine, such as
coyote or fox urine to get rid of mice, but that
doesn't work. They also try to sell ultrasonic sound
emitters. These devices are worthless at eliminating
rats. Some old wive's tales recommend the use of
mothballs or ammonia-soaked rags to make them leave,
but I've been to countless homes where these
techniques failed - biologists know that these
attempts won't work. The ONE AND ONLY WAY to take
care of your problem is with trapping and removal of
the animals, and in sealing up buildings to keep
rats out. Finding all the entry holes can be a real
challenge. Learn about: How
do animals get inside a house? If you need to
find a professional trapper in your hometown, just
click our comprehensive list
of hundreds of rat removal professionals, and
you can have your problem quickly taken care of!
Above is a photo of a rat in an attic, running along
the white blown-in insulation. I installed steel
screen behind these ground-based vents in this
house, and the rats were no longer able to get
inside this house. It's okay for rats to live
outside. There's no way to stop that. But if you
want to get rid of rats in your house, or your
attic, ceiling, walls, or any other part of a
building, you have to find their entry holes and
install a steel repair that will block them outside
permanently. This is not an easy process, but it is
the only effective way to solve a rodent problem
permanently. No need to deal with years of
ineffective and smelly (not to mention inhumane)
poison or never-ending trapping. Seal the building
shut properly, and the problem is solved forever,
within a week or less. It's the only way to go!
Ignore all the lousy advice online trying to sell
you gimmicks like poison or sound machines or
repellents or fancy traps. Just seal them out, and
Remember, you can use my above how to guide, and
follow the five steps for getting rid of rats, if
you want to know how to solve the rat problem
yourself. But it is not very easy for people without
experience. I am a professional who has performed
hundreds of rat removal jobs, and it took me more
than a year, and over 50 jobs, before I really
started to get the hang of it. There are many
subtleties when it comes to building architecture,
rat behavior, locations of rat runways in attics,
etc. Rats are creatures of habit, and getting to
know their tendencies matters a great deal in
solving the problem effectively and permanently. For
this reason, although I do often encourage people to
do-it-yourself in life, with rat removal, I am
certain that a professional, with experience, is the
You may want to click on one of these rat guides
that I wrote:
like dog poop?
Should I Do with a Rat After I Catch It?
diseases that affect humans
Kind Of Damage Do Rats Cause In An Attic?
the City or County Animal Services Help Me with A
Can Rats Climb?
make chirping noises?
chew on wires? Why?
Diseases Do Rats Carry?
Traps a Good Option for Rats?
pepper and rats
rats bite humans in their sleep?
the Best Bait to Trap a Rat?
rats come out in light / avoid light?
a Rat in the Attic Have a Nest of Babies?
rats attack human necks?
How to make homemade rat poison
I Hire A Pro, Or Remove Rats Myself?
a Strobing Light or High Pitch Sound Deterrent
Machine Work on Rats?
Do rats hide from humans?
Make Good Pets?
to Keep Rats Out of My Garden
How to get free rat removal
to Find and Remove a Dead Rat
Rat Feces Dangerous to Touch or Breathe?
Do I Clean Rat Feces Out of My Attic?
What does rat feces look like? Where is it found?
Fastest Way To Get Rid Of Rats
to Use One-Way Exclusion Funnels to Remove Rats
without Trapping Them
Equipment Is Needed to Trap a Rat?
Do rats dream?
Will a rat chew through the ceiling?