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How to Kill Rats - Is Poison the Answer?

How To Kill Rats - Dealing with a rat problem is a very important task, as these small rodents can be a major problem if they are allowed to develop a serious infestation, and can be a health hazard as well as causing damage and stealing food. Whether it is tell tale signs such as scratching noises coming from the attic or loft space, small holes in the walls or brown smudges, once you see these rat indicators, you should act quickly to try and deal with a problem. Once you have solved your rat problem, you should also take the right steps to prevent the problem from reoccurring, otherwise you may find yourself considering the different ways to kill rats again.

Snap Traps

This is the most traditional way of dealing with a rat problem, and in the majority of cases using a snap trap is an effective way to kill rats, and is also quite humane as it kills the rat quickly and efficiently. Snap traps are a great option as they are inexpensive to buy, can be reused, and also are very simple to use, making it an easy option for those who want to deal with their rat problem. The most important thing to focus on when using this type of trap is not getting the bait right, but rather finding the best location, and for this you need to look for areas where the rat traffic is quite regular, such as near entry or exit holes, or around a rat latrine.

Glue Traps

Although this type of method of killing rats is said to be a trap, in reality it is a sheet of cardboard that is covered in a strong adhesive, which can then be placed in various positions around a home or property to catch the rats. This is a very simple method of killing the rats, but is also quite cruel, as it catches the rat in the glue on the board, and then the rat will often have to wait immobile for quite a long time before it dies. There is no evidence to suggest that these traps are any more effective than the snap traps, so it is best to opt for the usual method of killing rats for most people.


Many people will automatically associate rats with rat poison, but despite its popularity as a way of killing rats, it is worth considering the extra work that you may have to do if you use poison to deal with a rat problem. The first issue is that it is very difficult to make sure that the rats are the only animals that eat the poison, and placing it in the wrong location can actually lead to domestic pets or even children getting hold of it. It is also very important to know that using poison means you cannot guarantee where the rats will die, which means that you also may need to search for the carcasses after using poison.

Why Being Proactive Is Better Than Reactive When Dealing With Rats

Laying traps down after seeing the signs of rats being present will help you to kill the rats, but making sure your property or building is not welcoming to rats is the best approach to take. By having traps down and regularly checked, you are much more likely to become aware of a rat infestation early and prevent it from becoming a serious issue. Making sure the appropriate measures are in place to deter rats can also be a good option, as it prevents you from discovering there is a problem through the transmission of disease.

Can You Trap And Relocate Rats?

This is often an option that many people would like to use, but in reality even if you relocate a rat into an area where it has plenty of natural food sources, it will also often have a significant number of predators. The other issue with relocating rats is that they can often just move from being your problem to being someone else's problem, and there are few locations near urban settlements where the rats couldn't find their way to other dwellings.

Measures You Can Take To Keep Rats Away

Rats are resourceful animals, and if they are becoming a problem in and around your building, then the reason for this is that they will either have found a food source that they can use nearby, or they have found somewhere to use as a nest. Try to cut down food sources for rats, and look at options such as keeping garbage in a plastic or metal bin closed with a bungee cord, and make sure pet and animal feed isn't kept in sacks or bags that are easy to rip open. In terms of nesting sites, make sure there are no holes or potential entry points in the attic or loft space, and ensure that any similar spaces in sheds or outbuildings are also well maintained and don't provide a rat with a comfortable home.

Go back to the main Rat Removal page for more information about how to kill rats. Is poison a good way to exterminate rat?
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