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Best ways to get rid of rats in the house

Updated on May 28, 2013

Getting rid of rats

The best ways to get rid of rats in the house are to use the tried and tested snap traps, laying down poison, electronic zappers and some simple home made traps. Glue traps should really be avoided because they are inhumane and not always that effective. Rats go into your home because they are looking for food, water and shelter. The first thing to do is seal off your house so more can't get in. Rat droppings are dark round pellets and are about half an inch long. You have to plug all the holes in your property with concrete and steel wool. If you spot gnaw marks in and around pipes and brickwork this is evidence of rats. Rats often enter by the basement and or roof. You could call professionals such as Rentokil but you can save money by tackling the problem yourself.

Wooden spring loaded traps.

These spring loaded devices are cheap and easy to buy. Don't forget to wear washing up gloves or something similar when handling them. Rats have a very keen sense of smell particularly for humans. Use sticky foodstuffs such as peanut butter because they are not so quickly removed. Place them along the runways used by the rats. Rats are creatures of habit and will run along familiar pathways. If the rats ignore the traps you could try using bait but not setting them for a few days. Once they fall for the bait go and reset the traps.

The electronic zapper

These electronic zappers work by delivering a deadly high voltage shock to the rat. You still have to place some bait inside the device. They usually run on standard 4AA batteries and are good for about 30 kills. You can buy these devices online. Make sure water doesn't get into the device. Also buy a zapper that blinks for at least 24 hours after a kill. Dispose of the rat and simply set it down again. Place these devices along the rat runways. This is usually along by the skirting boards. Handle these devices with gloves so you don't give off a human scent because rats have an acute sense of smell.


This is usually effective but there are drawbacks. They are dangerous and life threatening to children and pets. Sometimes the rat takes some time to die and any animal that digests a posoned rat could also be killed. So you need to be extra vigilant if you choose this option. Also some super rats are now immune to certain poisons.

Glue traps

Glue traps are inhumane and often only maim a rat. You don't want to even imagine the blood and gore that could be spread round your house.keep well clear of this nasty method.

Home made traps

This could be the sensible answer if you spot a rat entering your home and you want it caught quickly and you do not have access to any other device. Use a swing bin, The type used for indoor waste. Smear the swing lid with something like peanut butter. At the base of the bin smear it lightly with cooking oil. When the rat falls in it will be unable to clamber out because of its oily feet.

Electronic Rat Zapper


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    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Great info. I think the spring loaded wooden traps are the best. Thank Go I don't have rat problem at home.

    • seanorjohn profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Nell. Your friend is not alone. Personally I am more scared of mice than rats.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      5 years ago from England

      Hi, luckily I have never had to try any of these as I live in a maisonette one story up, but if I did then this would be really helpful, I would show it to my friend but she would have a cow reading it! lol! she is so scared of rats, even the fancy rat pets!

    • seanorjohn profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thanks Patkay. I agree that glue traps are to be avoided. Also some rats have developed an immunity to some of the poisons.

    • Patkay profile image

      Patrick Kamau 

      5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Good hub about eliminating rats. But I would not like to use glue and poison. Thanks for sharing.


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