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The Fastest Way to Get Rid of Rats

fastest ways to get rid of rats
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    Getting rid of rats takes time. It doesn’t matter what method you choose to use on a rat infestation, you have to accept that it takes time to kill a colony. With this in mind, there are some methods that work faster than others. Pest control service is certainly the fastest method to get rid of this problem, but there are also some fast-acting methods that you try yourself. Not all fast-acting rat elimination methods work, so it is important to know what to use and what to stay away from.

    So, what is the fastest way to get rid of rats? Pest control is the most efficient method to get rid of rats quickly but the usage of mouse traps, snap traps, chemical baits, and live traps are all effective methods to get rid of rats as quickly and effectively as possible.

    In this post, I’ll go over the fastest method to get rid of rats, such as trapping, poisoning, professional pest control, as well as preventing rats from ever taking residence on your property. While having rats in your home or place of business can be stressful and embarrassing, if you follow these tips you can easily keep the rats under control and eliminate them as fast as possible.

    How to Get Rid of Rats in Your Home

    Before we talk about the best ways to eliminate rats quickly, you need to ensure that you have rat-proofed your home in order to prevent a re-infestation. After all, why waste time and money on traps, baits, and poisons only to allow more rats to move back in?

    Rats are not only sneaky, but they are incredible contortionists and able to squeeze their bodies through the smallest of gaps. Therefore, in order to outwit a rat, you need to ensure that you detect every possible entry point, no matter how big or small.

    10 Tips to Rodent-Proof Your Home

    Replacing seals, covering air bricks, inserting door sweeps, adding chimney vents, and installing automatic entrance closers are much cheaper options than employing professional pest control services. It is important that you inspect your property making sure that you:

    1. Close all holes and cracks greater than ¼ inch with expandable foam.
    2. Seal all pipes leading to outside water supplies, garden hoses, and hot water tanks with steel or bronze wool.
    3. Check and maintain all vents and gaps in attics and under window sills to ensure that they do not provide easy access points.
    4. Examine your roof to make sure that it is in a good state.
    5. Cap or screen your chimney to stop rodents climbing up and down.
    6. Store firewood well away from your home, ideally in a lockable outbuilding.
    7. Add door sweeps to the bottom of the garage and outbuilding doors. As the weather changes you may find that their frames are likely to swell and decrease, leaving large gaps for rodents to enter.
    8. Maintain your garden as cutting your grass regularly will make it easier to spot rats running around. Make sure that you trim back branches that could potentially form a bridge to your property and try not to plant shrubs or greenery too close to your house as it encourages rodents to dig under the foundations.
    9. Use natural rat repellents around your home such as peppermint oil, onions, and chili oil in order to deter rodents from entering. Simply place them where you think the rodent may be entering.
    10. If rodents are persistently frequenting your property then you may need to protect your home with an effective pest control solution such as rodenticides, bait stations, traps, or have some fun with an air rifle for pest control.

    How To Get Rid of Rats Fast

    When it comes to quick ways to eliminate rats, there are some specific remedies you can try to make your home or area on your property truly inhospitable to rodents.

    You can add some items to the home to repel rats. For example, rodents hate mothballs and they are easy to buy and use, especially in basements and attics. However, they can start to smell and they are dangerous if kids touch or put them in their mouths.

    Ammonia is another great tool to use: mixing a cocktail of two spoons of detergent, some water, and two cups of ammonia. A bowl of this mixture should be placed in trouble areas since rats hate the smell of it. Other smells rodents hate to include castor and peppermint oil.

    Rodents are also repelled when people use crushed paper around the home. Some people have found success in keeping rats out of their backyards by planting some mint plants in the area. Lastly, some homeowners find success when they also have a cat in the house.


    Traps are of the most inexpensive ways to remove rats. There are two main types of traps: baited and unbaited. An unbaited trap can be left in a spot for a long time without worrying. However, a rat is more likely to find its way into a baited trap. You do not want traps out in the open because they will just remind you of rodents and could scare guests, friends, and family members.

    The best spots for these traps include out-of-the-way or hidden areas in the home. They should be near food sources or in trouble spots like attics and basements. You also want them to be tucked away so that children or pets do not accidentally touch and trigger them.

    When shopping for traps, it helps to know all of the options and how they work. Snap traps are one of the least expensive options. They are usually plastic or wooden and snap close to trap the rodent. If you know the relative size of the rat, try to get a trap that fits its size.

    Humane live traps are a little more expensive because they have a wind-up mechanism that when touched will close the trap. This trap does not injure the animal at all.

    Lastly, there are glue boards, which trap the rodent’s feet with sticky adhesive. Glueboards are easy and discreet, but they are usually used for smaller rodents like mice. A larger rodent may be able to pull itself from the board. All of these items can be used with bait or left alone. Bait may attract the rodent to the trap, but it will have to be regularly changed so that it does not attract insects.


    Opinions will always differ when it comes to the best rat bait to use for traps. Soft baits could be easily taken without triggering the trap, so instead, dry pet food is a popular choice because it does not spoil as quickly as cheese. Additionally, nuts and dried items like fruits and meats have worked.

    Peanut butter is a great choice due to the sweet but not overpowering sugar content in the substance; you can never go wrong with peanut butter honestly. Bait should be attached to the trap with something like string or glue. The longer a rat is trying to get the bait, the better likely it is that they will be trapped.

    Rat Poison

    Poison is another available option. The best poison for killing rats is one that is sold in ready-to-use bait stations. This protects children and pets in case they touch or contact the poison. Poison is recommended if other methods have failed.

    If there is a large infestation, it is best to consult a licensed rat control professional who knows how to use bulk rodenticides. Make sure if you go this route to read the instructions and follow it to a tee. Know that poison does not kill the rodent immediately upon ingestion. Instead, it can take as much as a week.

    Types of Rodent Control Poisons

    There are different types of poison to use. The main types are anticoagulants and non-anticoagulants. Anticoagulants affect a rat’s ability for its blood to clot whereas non-anticoagulants affect their nervous system or the bloods calcium levels.

    There are liquid and soft baits and there are pelleted and extruded box baits. Experimentation is the best way to determine the best poison for killing rats in your home. You never know which bait will work for which rat.

    These remedies represent all of the ways that you can try and eliminate rodents as quickly as possible. You may have to experiment with all of these methods to find the one that works best for you. If you are ever in doubt or not getting results, contact a pest control technician immediately.

    How to Keep Rats From Entering Your Home

    Rats and mice like to live in areas that provide them with the basic means in which to survive. This includes food, water, and protective shelter. Therefore, the first step in ridding rodents from your home is to play a game of hiding and seek and identify where they are living.

    Rats are clever climbers and when they have their sights set on a place to call home, they will leap, chew and burrow their way to get there, often causing serious damage along the way. In order to keep rats from entering your home, let’s take a look at all the sheltering places that attract rats that you can inspect and service if you find any holes.

    • Lofts and attics are dark spaces that are generally unoccupied, so provide the perfect place for a nocturnal rodent to live. They offer many a hidey-hole corners, and readily available resources in which to make a nest such as attic insulation, cardboard boxes, and electrical cabling.
    • Cavity walls provide rats with the dom to travel out of sight. Accessing small gaps and scampering through pipes, they can effortlessly move from the top to the bottom of the house.
    • Dark, dank basements provide great storage places. However, these lesser-frequented areas also offer refuge for rats seeking shelter, nourishment, and plenty of entry points.
    • Outhouses such as garden sheds and garages not only provide shelter but are full of useful materials and equipment for rats to use to hide and nest.
    • Kitchens and laundries house large appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, and tumble dryers radiate heat and provide a temperate place to live, whilst cracks and openings near pipework offer an easy way in for rats.
    • Gardens have large shrubs, ponds, trashcans, and bird feeders which provide rats with security, food, and a constant water supply, which is all they need to live, feed and raise a family.

    How to Prevent Rats in the First Place

    If you can make your property as inhospitable to rats as possible, you will not only prevent rats from coming, but you may also get existing rats under control. There are certain things that will cause rats to take up residence somewhere, so if you can remove these common causes of rat infestations, you will be halfway to having your rat problem under control.

    Rats need three things in order to live in an area: shelter, food, and water. If the rats do not have access to these things, they will not want to live on your property. You should clear any areas of vegetation, wood, or debris surrounding or touching your house, as well as any clutter inside.

    Check any sheds or buildings for possible rat hiding spots, and clear them of any clutter. Check around the outside of your home for possible access points that rats could enter by, remembering that a rat can fit through a gap as small as one inch, so be sure to check for gaps under doors, and chinks in bricks. You can buy flexible seals to put under doorways to help prevent rats from entering.

    Make sure all food and rubbish are sealed tightly, this may mean using metal bins with firmly fitting lids and putting dry foods in sealable containers instead of plastic packaging. The biggest tool in your arsenal is to prevent attracting rats in the first place, so be sure to follow all of these steps.

    So What Kills Rats Instantly?

    The only safe and viable method that will kill a rat instantly is a snap trap. Poisons can take up to a week to kill the rats and other types of traps will not provide an instant kill, and will even cause severe suffering.

    A snap trap delivers a blow to the head very quickly and effectively, which means there is no unnecessary suffering of the animal once the trap is triggered. These traps can also be quite dangerous if other pets or small children are in the home.


    What do I do if I find rats in my home?

    The first step you should take if you see rodents is to either call a pest control professional or do some inspecting to see where the rodents are hiding and how they are getting into the home. Never try and trap or corner a rodent.

    Do rats carry diseases?

    Rats can carry a wide range of diseases and their popularity in history as the carriers of bubonic plague alludes to this dangerous fact. Some of the diseases which rats can pass to humans include hantavirus, leptospirosis, lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV), Tularemia, and Salmonella.

    When Do You Call In Pest Control?

    If the methods listed above aren’t working quickly enough, or you simply do not want to deal with the hassle of trapping and disposing of rats, or of having poison on your property then talk to Malum Pest Control based in Southampton.

    Our pest control specialists will be able to get your rat problem under control with little effort on your part. We can also give you advice on how to control rats in the future. In fact, this is often the best course of action, because you can be assured of a solution, without risking the rat infestation getting out of control.

    Picture of Dave Shilling
    Dave Shilling
    Dave is an expert pest control specialist and has been providing pest control services for over 10 years. His company Malum Southern Pest & Bird Control can deal with a wide range of pest problems and is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

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    We are experts in private and commercial pest control in Hampshire, Dorset and West Sussex. If you think you have a problem with pests call us for a quote.

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