DIY Rat Extermination

Rats are known to mess with people’s ‘internal home affairs’ since the dawn of times. There is a common saying which goes ‘Where humans live, the rat lives; what humans eat, the rat eats’. So if you are a home owner, check this! The apparently slim chance that you will have to deal with these rodents in the near future is constantly growing, especially if you don’t have a clue how to repel them from your property (90% simply don’t, and end up being forced to hire professional rat exterminators, which is not a bad thing, but requires more spending).

DISCLAIMER: There are many websites out there (mostly ran by wildlife removal companies) which claim none of the ‘do it yourself rat eradication’ solutions that we are going to talk in this article actually work. The thing is, most of these companies just want to sell you their pest control services. They wouldn’t approve of a DYI rat control method even if it worked like charm. So it is up to you to decide which way to go, either learn to handle a rat problem yourself or pay a professional company with years of experience to do it. Both work well in my opinion, when done right.

If you decide to do it on your own, you have to stay informed and always be ready to face these creatures! That’s why we created, to help beginners like YOU find a reliable, fast and easy solution to their rat problems, in just a few clicks of a rat mouse ;-)

Alright, so in case you don’t have the money to hire a professional rat exterminator, let the experts from your local pest control company do the job, or you simply want to save cash and learn the ‘art’ of getting rid of these pesky rodents on your own, a.k.a ‘do it yourself rat control’, then here are your options: you can either repel/deter, trap or poison them. Shooting rats is probably not very safe because they are fast and, by the way, ammunition costs a lot of money these days. Just kidding ;-)


1. Rat Repellents/Deterrents

It’s always a much better option to keep rats away from your property, not reach the point when your house is already infested and avoid searching for options to exterminate them afterwards. We’ll talk about how to repel rats, efficiently, for good; and avoid bloody killing them, whenever possible.

We’ll also check the natural rat repellents first. These methods are more or less humane, but one thing for sure, if you take action, you will get rid of the rat problem, one way or another.

Note that each method was carefully analyzed, therefore providing both PROS & CONS on why it should or should NOT be used to get rid of rats. Please click on the above links to read about each individual diy rat control technique.

2. Rat Poison/Rodenticides

Most rat poisons, also known as rodenticides by their scientific name, are made from chemicals, with the sole purpose of killing rodents. Using rat poison to repel rats still continues to be a very controversial solution, due to it’s harmful effects on the surrounding environment, house pets and even humans. There have been multiple reports of fatal accidents, due to cats, dogs and other pets being in close proximity to rodenticides.

Can you kill rats with poison?

Sure, but it’s extremely difficult due to their nature of being scavengers. These rodents eat tiny bits from every single piece of food they find, then simply wait or move to something else. If they don’t get sick, they would probably return and consume the remains.

Some professionals make use of rodenticides when dealing with commercial pest control, especially on larger open-air properties and in buildings where no humans live.

Don’t use rat poison if you have nu clue!

If you are a beginner and don’t have any experience getting rid of rodents using rat poison, I highly recommend that you stay away from any type of rodenticides, or at least consult with a pest control expert before attempting to.

Fore more information on this subject, please read our in-depth article on rat poison.

3. Rat Traps

Traps have been used to catch and kill rats for a long, long time. These devices have proven to be one of the most efficient ways to deal with all kinds of pest rodents, big or small. Both home-owners and professional pest control companies make use of them nowadays.

The main problem with using rat traps is rodent’s suspicion towards new objects, that’s why usually only young, totally inexperienced rats get caught. Rodents that manage to survive get more experienced and you will find it extremely difficult to kill them with such devices later down the road. Everything that doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, they say. Well, believe it or not, this applies to everything in this universe, including rats ;-)

Different types of rat traps

All rat traps are divided into two main categories: lethal and non-lethal. People who don’t like blood, killing things and creatures, even if these are considered harmful pest, usually tend to stay away from lethal methods and prefer more humane ones.

Here are a few types of rat traps that you should be aware of: live cage traps, glue traps, electronic traps, standard slap-traps.

Since rat traps are one of the most efficient ways to get rid of these pesky inhabitants of your house, there is much more to be said, written and analyzed on this topic, so we invite you to read our in-depth article on rat traps.

3000 words later, we are happy to have shed a little bit of light in your search for the most popular do it yourself (DIY) rat control methods. No matter what solution you choose to repel rats away, always remember to keep your house clean and do everything possible to prevent these rodents from finding it ‘interesting’ to nest and breed on your property.


No matter how much we invest in various rat repellents, the best way to stop them is to physically block their access to whatever spot they want to reach. But this is costly, overwhelming and quite difficult, especially taking into consideration we are not officially at war (with rats), right now (or are we?) you may take it easy and either try either a liquid repellent, buy several standard traps from Victor(R) or maybe call your local pest control company for assistance.

At the end of the day, it’s doesn’t really matter what option you choose, staying informed is always a must if you want to be able to get rid of these gnawing creatures, no matter what types of rats you are dealing with.

This is why we created ;-)

29 thoughts on “DIY Rat Extermination”

  1. There is a mice problem in my rental due to people not keeping up with cleanliness. I dont know who to trust to take care of this. There are children in the house. I have paid for lits of thongs, removal of trash and junk. I am worried about the attic, and drop ceiling in basement. Who do I trust that really will give the house an overhaul to get rid of the mice problem. The one I called was going to charge an enormous amount upfront than weekly plus repairs and did not even see the house yet. So scared to hire. Jefferson county mo. Thanks


  3. I raise livestock. In the old barn the rats have shown up. We have terminated several adult rats, but the young ones are becoming active. I’ve tried to limit access to feed and shelter. There are just to many places for them to hide. I live in Indiana. The neighbors north and south of us have cattle so I imagine that’s where most of these have ventured from.

    1. Bait boxes and Just one bite bait every 15 feet don’t stop until the bait is untouched. They easily go out of control

  4. Rats are among the most annoying/property damaging pests. They can cause tons of damage very quickly. It is best to get rid of the problem asap. Wouldnt you agree?

  5. I’ve had a huge barn on my stable property for years. I won’t use poison because I have owls and bobcats 0lys coyotes that patrol my property and with those type predators minimal barn cats stay alive. I plug holes and use peppermint plants, penny royal and peppermint oil around all feed rooms. Yes I still see rats but I’ve reduced the damage. Here is my immediate problem. Some neighbor in our block used rat poison to get rid of roof rats. I watch them run on the fences and see how they live and notice some folks have filthy trash barrels and dog food out. Evidently we had a small hole in a soffit where a rat was raising his family and when the neighbor used the Dicumerol type poison, I’m guessing, the rat came back inside our house walls and died. It’s gonna cost 400$ to open wall and find the rat since my nose cannot isolate the smell down to less than 10ftx10ft.
    People do not realize the ramifications of poisoning and think only of what will work instantly for them. We have a neighborhood site and their info could have been sent out to everyone. Sometimes I just have no faith in the human race and often lean back to times of the book Animal Farm.
    I’ve had to force myself not to get beige rant on our site since we live around these folks but a simple conversation with the neighbors would have prevented this and left me $400 richer.

    1. Yes.
      Another problem with the human race is assumption. You blame your neighbors for something without any proof whatsoever. You don’t even know yet that a dead rat is indeed the source of the smell. Shut up about the problems of “the human race” while proving that you yourself are one. :/

  6. Hi! I live in a rental house and an old hoarded house across the street was recently torn down and now we are hearing things in the walls and I actually saw a rat run across my LR floor when I got up in the middle of the night! EEEEK! I am so freaked out but my landlord said they don’t cover pest control in my lease and I can’t afford a professional pest control company and it’s not even my house! I need to try to do this on my own and I don’t have a clue what to do!! Can anyone help???

  7. Need help with rats in our garage. I have seen about five of them, and there are at least three in the attic. Location: Mesa, Arizona

  8. I have rats in my outside walls. I was clearing out the garden and as i moved stuff away I saw huge holes and found a couple of corpses! What do I do? Fill in the holes?

  9. Big rats in my home causing sickness to health to my kids and family they are bigger than usual and when one is gone 3 more appear please help asap

  10. Big rats in my home causing sickness to health to my kids and family they are bigger than usual and when one is gone 3 more appear please help asap

  11. What type of poison should we use in bait traps? We have been using one type from the feed store and they are not eating it anymore? We have chickens and a horrible rat problem now. They are getting into our car engines. We have cleared out the coop, no hay for they to live in and nowhere to hide. We have chicken wired the door area where they could get through.

  12. Rats have eaten the hoses under my car’s hood
    And cost me lots of money. I have an old house, barn, two dogs
    And one baby. I am at my wits end.

  13. When I moved into my home, my son and I, there was a gopher infestation. I went to the pound and got a dog and that really didnt help. It took me almost 3 years to get rid of them.
    Then I got some baby chicks and then the rats came. Its been about 3 years and I have tried almost everything. DeCon was the best but it is now discontinued in Cali. They are in my yard, in my garage and recently just found signs in my attic.
    I can not afford a Pest Control Co. please if you have any advice…
    I really need it.

    1. There is a website called barncats. They try to find forever homes for feral cats that at least a week you have to have in a cage and make sure they are fed and have water then you release them into the barn or farm and they control the rodent problem and you feed them and make sure they get their annual shots. But they expect you to keep them for the remainder of their life which could be 15 years or more. If they don’t have one in your area then your local humane society might have feral cats available for adoption the only thing is that you wouldn’t want them in your house. Your garage and yard would be okay but alot of them weren’t able to be litter trained b/c they were just too wild but they get used to being around people maybe a solution that might help you and the cat.

  14. We are having a huge rat problem in our city, and my house is riddled with them. I’ve set bait traps, poison, moth balls, and filled in every hole we found with steel wool. Please what more can I do, they are driving me insane as I hear them in the walls at night.

  15. We live in the out skirts of Homosassa FL and ever since our next door neighbors moved and took all of their turkeys, ducks and chickens, and also people were evicted from their rental 2 doors down from us (which that place was riddled with trash and pests) and we have a small patch of woods nearby. We now have a rat problem. We are both on social security and therefore can not afford the high price stuff on that is on the market. I would greatly appreciate any and all effective solutions to use to get them out of here. We live in an older mobile home that we are trying to fix up. Thank you in advance for your input.

  16. I live in a residential area in Vermont – found a rat in my compost last year – it then appeared in my house (huge infestation of food and leavings behind my stove). I have a really old house with a porous cellar. Not wanting to live with rats, but hating to kill them….killing won out and using de-con (behind the stove) three rat bodies appeared (near to my dog’s water bowl). I buried them deep with plenty of lime around them to keep other animals away and to enhance the rats’ return to ashes…Now I believe I have another (way smarter – no counter mess, but chewing visible in many places) infestation. So another round of de-con? more mint/peppermint – and I already have the electrical things, which seem to work for mice, but not the rats… Would welcome any thoughts, suggestions, thanks.

    1. There is different ways to stop the smell, only one way to kill rats and that is bait . The peppermint is a joke !
      I would let them die in the walls so they dont burn down the house.

  17. We have discovered that we have rats in the walls and now they have been in drawers and in the cabinet and I can’t afford a professional service

  18. There was a dead RAT in the deck outside my house. Today (5-9-2017) I was told by electrician he found a Dead rodent, large in my attic. Previously I have noticed rat-droppings in the Attic, and some chewing of Duct insulation. I cannot afford a Terminator; isthere a product I buy and apply myself. Mine is an old house, I am OLD 92 yr. old, retired. Please H E L P me. Thanks.

  19. I have rats running through my home. We baited them with poison and traps. Traps only caught three. I have caught 6, dying, outside where they are getting in. They have chewed my insulation and siding and cabinets in as little as three weeks! I am afraid my children will get sick and one must have died in the walls, there is a stench throughout my home as of yesterday. I am single Mom, widowed, of three and cannot afford Terminix. They want thousands to seal up the perimeter. Please help. I am doing everything I know and I am at my wits end.

  20. I am feeling completely overwhelmed. The rat infestation on my property is beyond my worst nightmare. I have several out buildings and a mobile home used for storage that have been taken over by them. I’m feeling that my only option is to wrap the perimeter of the buildings with tight mesh wire fence then let them all starve. Unfortunately, I can’t do this to every building, but see no option to following through with it on the one’s that I can. Wrap them….clean out the dead mass in a couple weeks…..then work on trapping those that remain on the property in the other buildings. This whole situation has nearly got me beaten. It happened so fast. I’ve read so many contradictions in the proper way to deal with this that I have no faith in any of them

  21. our LG appliances are 1 1/2 years old and rats have chewed all the hoses, the motor to the dishwasher and the wiring in the washer so we had to buy new dishwasher and washing machine. has anyone else had this issue? we are wondering if there is something in the hose products that is attracting the rats and mice. We had a fire 2 years ago and the house was reconstructed and we have a lot of issues with rats invading, so they came down through the attic in the walls and we never heard them until the appliances stopped working. we have hired pest control and the outside is supposed to be secure, but we are still hearing and catching mice behind our stove. it has been one month. does anyone have any suggestions for us. our life is not our own anymore

  22. Thank you. They have spread from next door and are now nesting in my garden and eating the bird food. And spreading ….

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