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How to Kill a Rat

Whether in the home or the workplace, rodent control can be a real problem. In working environments such as farms, rats often eat into feed supplies and can carry diseases like Salmonella that can be spread to livestock. Not only that, rats can cause serious safety concerns in buildings and homes such as chewing through live electrics. So how do you eliminate a rat problem and what is the best way to kill rats?

The first thing to do in any situation or environment where rats are causing problems is to identify the source and location. Once that’s achieved to any sort of degree, cutting off food supplies is essential. Unlike mice, rats cannot survive without a regular water supply, which means ensuring all taps are turned fully off and any standing water is removed wherever possible. Then it’s simply down to choosing your method of how to kill a rat.

Rat Traps

One of the most popular ways to control rats is through traps. This is because they can be used numerous times and also offer the ability to confirm an elimination. The most important tip for effective trapping is using numerous rat traps in the affected area. Statistically, you’re most likely to trap a rat on the first night of use, so it’s essential to use a large number of traps initially. There are 4 types of rat traps commonly used: snap traps, electronic traps, glue traps, and live traps.

Snap traps are used most regularly as they’re effective, arguably more humane than glue traps, and often cost a lot less than electronic traps. Electronic rat traps are usually more reliable, easier to set, and provide a quick, humane kill. Glue traps don’t offer a quick kill, but they’re catch effective as well as cost effective, while live mouse traps don’t have any kill mechanism and are used for catch and release rodent control. Some live trap models can even can hold up to 30 mice at any one time.

If you are going to use a live catch trap for rats and mice, please remember that both are likely to carry disease - so please be very careful when disposing or 're-homing' your pests. Good household items for attracting rats to your traps include peanut butter and chocolate.

Rat Poisons & Baits

The most effective way to kill rats has to be poison. The ability to cover a large area, as well as targeting multiple rats at a low cost is a huge plus. Whilst some people may deem rat poison cruel, when you consider that rodents chew through wires and very realistically could cause a fire in your home, elimination seems all the more reasonable. And poisons are now much faster working and more humane than ever.

Poisons come in various forms, including whole wheat, cut wheat, blocks, pasta, pastes and gels.

Most rat poison is designed to be extremely palatable to rats and cause quick kills. Depending on the form the poison/bait takes, it may also be necessary to use a rat bait station and we would also recomend this. These stations enable poison to be distributed correctly and economically. The majority of them are lockable too, which keeps poisons protected from children and non-target species.

Rat Repellents

If you’re looking for a non-lethal, non-chemical way of controlling rats, ultrasonic rodent repellents may be your most effective method. These repellents send out high-pitched frequency sound waves which emit a non-repetitive pattern to repel rodents, with the sound inaudible to humans and non-rodent pets. As rodents are very territorial, some repellents replicate the scream of a dominant male rodent, which will discourage other rats from inhabiting an area.

Though ultrasonic repellents can be effective (though not always), their frequencies don’t travel through walls or other solid objects. This means units are usually placed in multiple rooms or used in open spaces such as farms and warehouses. It’s important to note that repellents shouldn’t be used around rodent pets such as gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, etc. and all livestock should be monitored for changes in behaviour.

When disposing of your dead pests, please do so in a responsible manner and adhere to local authority regulations and rules.

There we have it, the three main ways on how to kill a rat. There are numerous 'old wives tales' in terms of organic bests ways to kill rats, even using pepper! If any of these work for you we would love to hear from you! Contact us on Twitter @ratbaituk or Facebook /ratbaituk.


*image courtesy of Wiki Commons, Inge Habex.