Traditional and Modern Ways to Exterminate Rats

Rats belong to the group of deadliest animals. That has been a fact for a very long time now, ever since the Dark Ages. No wonder that almost everybody freaks out whenever rats are found inside their houses. Good thing that different methods exist to exterminate these dangerous pests. How can a tiny creature be so lethal anyway?

The Ultimate Danger with Rats

An animal doesn’t have to be big and strong to be dangerous. One scratch or bite from a rat can be deadly. There are so many diseases coming from rats. Leptospirosis comes from the urine of rats. It is a disease affecting the human kidney and liver. Meanwhile, coming from rat saliva, lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LVCMV) is a viral disease.

The worst rat infestation in history is definitely when bubonic plague or the “Black Plague” emerged and killed millions. Transmission was through rat fleas biting humans. Aside from the aforementioned diseases, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, rat-bite fever, salmonellosis, Colorado tick fever, cutaneous leishmaniasis, and typhus also affected or killed a lot of humans throughout history.

Traditional Ways to Trap Rats

How can rats be exterminated? Simple: Go to step one – preparing traps. Here are some popular and conventional traps to catch rats:

Snap Traps

These live traps should have sensitive triggers to kill rats quickly. It is advisable to put as much as 10 snappers near rat shelter holes because most of these rodents live in groups. The traps must be placed along walls with a two-foot gap between each other. Their bait ends must be facing the wall because rats don’t usually go out in the open. Rats commonly creep along walls. Quick tip: Put gloves while setting traps because human scent can be strongly detected by rats. Once these pests smell human scent on traps, they won’t go near it.

Poison Bait Boxes

These trap boxes must be able to withstand weather and tampers. They should also use multiple-dose or first-generation anticoagulants. Why do you need durable poison bait boxes? Since these boxes are poisonous, they must be placed in areas that are inaccessible to children and pets. These areas are far from the household or hidden places inside the house. Of course there are many different type of bait box designs to serve the poison such as the ones shown in the list of best rat poison.

Glue Traps

Setting glue traps is not a fast way to catch rats. The pests must get used to it first so they won’t notice it anymore as they creep around the house. Once they try to cross a glue trap, they can’t get away from it anymore. Give this trap at least five days to show its effectiveness.

Traditional Ways to Kill Rats

If you opt for a faster way to kill rats, you can go for the offensive. Traps are more on the passive-aggressive approach. If you know exactly where the rats hide in your place, try these traditional ways to kill these rodent pests:

Get a Cat

One of the oldest methods to kill rats is getting a cat. Feline pets are good at detecting where rats go whenever the pests are not in their shelters. The biggest disadvantage of this is transmission of diseases from rat to cat. So, owners inside rat-infested houses must not pet their cats too much.

Moth Balls

Since these traditional toxic balls are poisonous to people, surely, moth balls are also deadly to rats. These balls are also easy to put inside holes.


If you haven’t smelled ammonia yet, you’re lucky. Ammonia smells so pungent that it hurts the human nose. Just sprinkle this inside rat homes and you’re good to go. Rats have very sensitive noses, so they will definitely die with the strong ammonia smell.

A Modern Way to Kill Rats

Inevitably, technology is now used to kill rats. The Rat Zapper is the one of the latest and most popular devices to kill the deadly rodents. Robert Noe is the brilliant mind behind this modern rat killer. His invention use electricity to shock the rats with just one slight contact. It looks like a poison bait box, but the latter is messier because of all the poisonous grains.

Rat Zapper

Other technological devices are made for rat control but they are more on repelling, not killing. Examples of these are ultrasonic and ultra-magnetic devices.

Strange Ways to Prevent Rat Infestation

Traditional and modern methods of rat extermination may sound too obvious for some people. But, just take a look at these weird, interesting and unexpected ways to prevent rat colonies:

Cat Litter Box: Because of the known hate between cat and mouse, some people actually place their cats’ litter boxes near rat holes to scare the rodents.

Cat Urine: Another method stemming from the idea that mouse fear cats is putting cat urine on rats’ water spots. It is also mentioned that rats can possibly drink the urine because the smell is unfamiliar. Rats drinking cat urine may die, at least that’s what some people suggest.

Peppermint: Many of us like the sweet scent of peppermint. But for rats, they can’t stand it. You can soak cotton in peppermint oil and put it near rat holes. It is said that the strong scent of peppermint can shrink rats’ lungs, ultimately killing them.

Human Hair: This may sound weird, but some people suggest placing human hair near rat holes. They acually believed that rats fear swallowing hair because they know they would die.

Cow Poop: Cow dung is also said to be a natural rat killer. It sounds unbelievable but some people say rats eat cow poop, get their small tummies hurt, vomit and eventually die.

Owl Feathers: Another outrageous one – owl feathers being placed near rat holes can scare the pests. There’s no exact scientific explanation for this strange method.

Pepper: Because of pepper’s strong smell, this spice can be sprinkled in rat holes. It has the same effect with peppermint – rat’s lungs are affected then the pest dies.

Bay Leaf: This is considered by some people as rat food. Rats choke eating bay leaves, leading to death.

Onion: This is one of the most popular natural remedies. Leaving a slice of onion in rat holes would lead to rats eating it and dying afterwards.

Baby Powder: Some people say baby powder intoxicates the rat and kills it.

Final Thoughts

Traditional, modern or eccentric method – it doesn’t matter. Homes must be free from rats to avoid health risks. So, try different ways to exterminate these rodent pests until you find the perfect remedy.

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