Ways To Stop Rat Entry | Traps Vs Baits | Reasons For Rat Infestation | How To Get Rid Of Rats At Home | Hot Chilli | Ammonia | PoP | Garlic | Peppermint Oil | Potato Powder | Cloves | Naphthalene | Onions | How To Detect? | Problems | FAQs

Rodent infestation is pretty common but if house owners spot even one rat in the house, they kind of go crazy and their panic mode gets turned on. Rats are pesky creatures carrying dirt and diseases wherever they go. The rodents are so dangerous, that they can easily damage your property, and stuff and also pose a threat to human health. It is thus necessary to find ways how to get rid of rats at home.

There are countless products available in the market that help in killing or trapping these creatures but people usually try home remedies first and then opt for store-bought products. Before knowing about these remedies, it is advised to gather some information about these pesky creatures.

How To Stop Rodent Entry Into The House?

Pet food check

Rats love feeding on leftover pet food and even licking up pet food dishes so make sure you do not leave any pet food crumbs on the floor. Also, make sure to always clean the pet dishes instead of letting them sit in the sink for hours.

Check your surroundings

If you notice bushes and shrubs around your house, always keep your senses alert as rats find shelter in these places. As soon as they get a chance, they try to invade houses nearby. Thus, you should always keep a check on your surroundings.

Seal openings and cracks

If there are any cracks or openings in your doors or windows, that little space is enough for these creatures to sneak in. Better get them sealed!


Maintain proper hygiene and cleanliness in your house. Also, make sure the trash cans inside and outside your house are always covered and tidy. 

Traps and baits

Using traps and baits at entry points in the house will also make sure that your house is rat-free.

Traps Or Baits: What Is Better And Why?

rat traps
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A rat trap is a mechanical device used to capture rats while they are on the go. You can always see the trapped rodent inside the trap and can release it away from your house. Usually, traps don’t kill the rodents and only catch hold of them.

Baits on the other hand is a technique of luring these creatures towards the food they love or introducing new food items to them. These foods ultimately kill the rodents after a certain time period and not instantly. The instant killing of rats will make the bait ineffective as seeing the dead rat, the other rodents will never proceed toward the bait.

Traps and baits both come in handy when you are looking for ways how to get rid of rats at home but which method is suitable for you depends upon several factors. If the infestation is in any section of your house which is overstuffed, you should not opt for baits because it will be difficult to find dead rats amidst all that stuff. 

Traps can be used anywhere but they are not very effective when the infestation is spread largely.

Why Do Rodents Enter Your House?

All living creatures require food and water to survive and a favourable environment to live in is an added bonus. Rodents visit your house in search of food and the favourable living conditions in your house lure them to find shelter there.

If you have certain areas in your house that are overcrowded with stuff, it is a boon for the rodents as they can easily hide behind stuff. 

Store rooms in the houses are usually a storehouse of rats and they love sheltering in dark cool rooms which have a lot of stuff. If there are newspapers, cardboard and similar stuff in the house, rodents love nesting on these things.

If there are pets in the house, rats get attracted to the house as they love feeding on pet food and litter. Also, any unattended food item kept open in the house can be a cause of rat infestation as the rodents can easily sneak into the house through little openings in search of food.

How To Get Rid Of Rats At Home: Best Remedies

You simply cannot sit and cry over a rodent infestation in your house. These remedies combined with a little effort from your side are enough to get rid of this pesky creature. Watch out for these home remedies:

1. Hot Chilli And Flakes

hot pepper
Source: Jessica Lewis Creative / pexels

Hot chilli is known to scare away several pests and rats in particular go crazy once they taste hot chilli. This remedy is a very simple one and people have been trying it since ancient times. You just need to keep some hot chilli or dust chilli flakes in and around the areas where you often spot the rodents. They run away as soon as they taste the chilli.

2. Ammonia

Liquid ammonia if kept in bowls in and around holes and other entry points in the house prevents the rats from coming in and forces the existing rats in the house to run away. Ammonia emits a strong odour which is not favourable for the rats and they run away from it.

3. Plaster Of Paris Mixed With Cocoa Powder

Make a paste of PoP and cocoa powder. You can also opt for chocolate powder instead. Make balls out of it and keep them at several corners in the house. If you are aware of the places rats pay a visit to it is an added bonus. When rats eat up the concoction, they will have a strong urge to drink water and they will run in search of water but will ultimately die.

4. Garlic

how to get rid of rats at home using garlic
Source: Karolina Grabowska / pexels

Garlic is known to work as a remedy for many pests and rodents hate garlic too. The smell of garlic is so strong that even humans tend to hate it. You can keep garlic cloves in the corners of your house and around rat holes. Also mixing garlic paste in water and spraying the liquid helps in eradicating rats from home.

5. Peppermint Oil

peppermint oil
Source: Tara Winstead / pexels

The peppermint oil aroma is something rats are scared of and they don’t tend to come near it at any cost. You can spray the oil on floors, corners and near the entry points of these rodents. An even better way to make them run away is by keeping cotton balls dipped in peppermint oil at various paces in your house. 

6. Potato Powder

The potato powder available in the market is a quick solution if you are looking for ways how to get rid of rats at home. You need to dust the powder on the areas where the rodents often visit and once they gulp the powder down their throat, it is believed to swell up and upset their intestines ultimately killing them.

7. Cloves

how to get rid of rats at home using cloves
Source: Irina P / pexels

Take a few pieces of cloves and tie them up in a little cloth. Make several such bundles and keep them near rat holes. You can also use clove oil and soak cotton balls with it. Keep the balls outside and near rat holes. The smell of clove keeps rats away.

8. Naphthalene

Readily available in the market, naphthalene balls are very effective when it comes to keeping rats away from your home. These balls not just keep rats away but also works for most pests. You can drop a few balls in several places wherever you doubt the rodents keep loitering. Naphthalene is perfect to be used in storerooms or inside wardrobes and cabinets.

You should be careful while keeping naphthalene balls in your house especially if you have kids and pets at home because these balls are poisonous and can be a serious threat if consumed.

9. Onions

Source: Michael Burrows / pexels

People love the taste of onion in their food but if you keep an onion open anywhere in the house, it is not something you will love. Similarly, rats hate the smell of onion and they run away from it. You must keep onions in the open without covering them with any lid. Once it starts rotting, it releases a very pungent odour that the rodents can’t stand. 

The biggest issue with this remedy is that the house owners have to equally withstand the rotten onion odour.

These remedies are tried and tested and people have been using them to get rid of rodents for years but the effectiveness depends upon the kind of infestation you have. If your house is invaded by a few rats, these remedies work great. If the condition is a serious one, you should look for professional remedies and seek services for getting rid of rat infestation.

How To Know Whether You Have A Rat Infestation At Home?

Before using any of these remedies, you should first find out whether your house has a rodent infestation or not. Rats tend to stay in their holes and they don’t come out very often so there are chances that you won’t spot a rat easily even after having a serious infestation at home. You should look for signs in your home that confirms the presence of rats in the house.

  • Always watch out for any new openings or holes made in any corner of your house or even in yards.
  • Keep an eye around food source areas and check if there are any droppings. Rats come in search of food and raid your kitchen and store room.
  • Keep checking for any chew marks anywhere in the house. Also inspect furniture, mattresses and sofa for any damage.
  • If you see grease marks on the walls, it is this pesky creature loitering around the house. Rats are believed to follow the same trail always in search of food.
  • Thoroughly check for signs in and around places where you have newspaper piles or cardboard boxes. Rats love these and they often find shelter in such places.

Why Is Rat Infestation A Cause Of Worry?

Rodents are not loved creatures and people usually go crazy if they spot even 1 rat in their house. What makes this creature so scary? Why do people get so panicky to remove the rodents from their homes at any cost?

  • Rats carry deadly diseases that are a serious threat to humans and rat bites can be deadly too.
  • The rodents keep gnawing from time to time and in that process they tend to harm your property; be it the walls, furniture or even furnishings.
  • The rodents also have a tendency to bite humans and if you have little babies in the house, you have to be extra cautious.
  • Rats multiply pretty quickly and as per science, a female rat gives birth to babies around 7 times per year.
  • Rats have a lifespan of around 1-3 years and it is a cause of worry if they once infest your house and keep multiplying every year.


How much does it cost to kill rats?

If you seek professional help, it might cost you high but for a normal infestation, home remedies should be fine and they are cheap. The ones mentioned above won’t cost you anything.

Can you get rid of rats without killing them?

Yes, there are several remedies that force these rodents to run away and they are not hazardous for rats. You can also opt for rat traps and when caught you can leave the rat in the wild but make sure it is far away from your house.

Can rats come back to your house?

Home-made remedies that force the rats to run away are never a foolproof solution to a rat infestation. The rodents can easily come back to their old shelter and infest your house once again.

Do rats fear birds?

There are several predatory birds that rats are scared of. If you have a bungalow, you can plan and design the outdoor area of your house in such a way so that predatory birds find shelter there and your house is sure to come rat free. 

Do cats help in keeping rats away?

Yes, cats are known to be the biggest enemy of rats and it is often said that the 2 cannot live together in any space. You can easily make your home rat-free by keeping a cat pet and it also keeps your house safe from re-infestation.