How Do You Get Rid of Rats in a House?

To get rid of rats, remove their food source, destroy their nesting areas, and close their entrances into your home. Set traps to kill rats, and dispose of their bodies.

  1. Get rid of the food source

    To remove the food source, seal garbage cans tightly, and remove pet food that isn't eaten right away. Clean up food debris under furniture and in the corners of pantries.

  2. Destroy the nesting areas

    Remove old newspapers, trash, boards and boxes from your home. Store items in airtight containers at least 1 foot above the floor.

  3. Close out the rats

    Scout your house for the rats' entryways. Apply screens on doors and windows, and place screens on drains. Apply caulking around pipe holes. Use steel scouring pads to fill larger holes.

  4. Bait open traps

    Select 10 to 12 rat traps. Rats gorge themselves on food deemed safe, so discover what the rats have been eating, and place portions of the food on each trap trigger without the spring bar engaged. Let the rats eat the food so they learn to trust it.

  5. Set the traps

    Place traps where the rats are most active, and put food on the traps with the spring bar engaged.

  6. Dispose of the rats

    Put on gloves, and remove the rat bodies from the traps. Dispose of the bodies in sealed plastic bags.