How to Get Rid of Rats

Oh so cute


There are two common rats in the United States, which are the Norway Rat and the Roof Rat.

Norway Rats can also be known as a house rat, brown rat, wharf rat, sewer rat, water rat, and gray rat. They can adapt well to survive the cold weather. They are the biggest rat of them all. The body length is 6-8′ long and the nose are blunt and have small ears and eyes and their tails are scaly and shorter than the body and head combined together. Norway rats have shaggy and different shades of color, most of the time the color would be reddish-grayish brown with white under parts, in its fur. Their droppings are 1/2′ – 1′ long and are in a capsule shaped. Norway rats live in colonies so they are social rats. They prefer to live on ground and burrows and they can climb, but not really well. They will eat 1 oz of food on a daily bases; they will eat garbage, cereal, fish, fruits, meats, animal feed, cockroaches, small mammals, and birds. They do not like new objects, so they will avoid them. They dig tunnels and they can be very long, but they have 1 main entrance and 1 or 2 escape holes which are usually concealed. Their nests are usually found underneath rubbish and shrubbery and can also be found along the foundation of your home. If the nests are active then it is usually clear of vegetation and their runways are smooth and packed in. Inside the rats’ runways are free of dust and dirt.

Roof Rats are also known as black rat, ship rat, gray-bellied rat, Alexandrine rat, and white-bellied rat. Roof rats are smaller and more slender than the Norway Rats. They are 7-10′ long, have large ears, a pointed nose with a different coloration, their tails are longer than the head and body combined. Roof rats have a smooth, usually brown and black intermixed or gray to black above with underside white, gray, or black. Roof rats are EXCELLENT climbers, so their nests will be above the ground (i.e. in trees, vines, attics, ceiling voids, or in voids along the roof line). However if the population grows, they will nest underground. Roof rats will mainly feed on fruits, nuts, vegetables, and seeds, but they will also eat meat and grain products. Their droppings are pointed shape. Unlike Norway rats, roof rats can swim and they have excellent hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Their vision is very poor. They can only see beyond 3-4 ft, color blind, and very sensitive to light/dark or reflections.

Both the rats are active at night but most active at dusk or before day, but they can still be seen during the day. The difference between mice and rats are that mice don’t need water for a certain period of time, but rats do need water.


Both of the rats will leave behind hind footprints and will drag their tails. That will leave a mark between their feet tracks. you can spray unscented baby powder or flour and lightly sprinkle to help you determine where their runways are. The rats will gnaw on wood, but they can also gnaw on electrical wires. When the rats gnaw on wood, it can get about 2′ or more in diameter. The most common way to inspect for rat infestation is by their droppings. You can tell how severe the infestation and where more rats are recently by their feces. After 3-4 hours, their feces will harden, but fresh feces will be soft.


There are couples of ways to control rats are to use:

Traps/glue boards (CATCHMASTER MOUSE  GLUE TRAP, TRAPPER RAT GLUE BOARDS, VICTOR  TRAPS / RAT) and Attractant (Provoke Rat Attractant)

Catchmaster Glue Trap Trapper Rat Victor Rat
Provoke Attractant

You can set the traps along the wall or anywhere else where there is a lot of rat activity. The glue boards on the traps will not release the rats, so it will be stuck there and die. While using the traps, drop one or two drops of the attractant onto the trap to attract the rats to it.

The baits should be placed in a bait station (PROTECT A MOUSE BAIT STATION, BELL RODENT BAITER FOR RAT) and placed where rat activity is frequent. The baits are rat poison, so please be cautious so placed out of reach of other animals and children or pets. Place the baits along the runways of rats and the entry points. The liquid bait (LIQUA TOX II LIQUID MOUSE / RAT BAIT) should be used in a liquid dispenser (Helland Liquid Rodenticide Dispenser Stations) at places where the food competition is high, because rats do need water. The liquid bait will need to be mixed with water following the directions on the label and placed along the wall or to the side where rats have a lot of activity. Pallets can be used anywhere that has rat activity. Do not open the package but place them along the wall or corners of the infested area. It is better to place the bait first where rats are frequent. Once you notice that the bait has been gnawed at, place them in the stations.

Contrac All-Weather Final Blox Contrac Blox Fastrac Blox
Liqua Tox II

This product can be used with this item:

Helland Liquid Rodenticide Dispenser Stations - 1 Unit
Helland Liquid Dispenser
Contrac Place Packs Fastrac Place Packs

For the use of a repellent (DR.T’S RAT-A-WAY REPELLENT), you will need to wear gloves and sprinkle lightly around the area where garbage bags are placed. Beginning no more than 1 foot out from the outermost bags, lightly broadcast the repellent (DR.T’S RAT-A-WAY REPELLENT) until a band of 24′ wide circles the bags. When the odor becomes faint, the effectiveness may be diminished. Retreatment may also be necessary after heavy, washing-type rain. Do not leave the repellent inside the home for too long because the smell will be bad. After the rats are out of the area, cover the holes where rats have entered using STUF-FIT – RODENT PROOFING – COPPER MESH and repair the hole. When using this repellent inside the home as in the attic, does not air circulate because the smell will circulate throughout the rest of the home. Also sprinkle the repellent using gloves around the structure of your home. This will create a barrier around your home to prevent future rat infestation.

Dr T’s Rat-A-Way Repellent

This product can be used with this item when covering the hole after the rats left:

Stuf-Fit Proofing

The smoke bombs (GIANT DESTROYER SMOKE BOMBS) should be used when you find the rats borrow. Place the cartridge fuse ends outwards, light the fuse, and cover the hole quickly. Make sure that other holes are covered as well to ensure the smoke does not come out.

Giant Destroyer Smoke Bombs

Baits are not recommended for the use in places with heavy food competition, because the rats might not eat the bait since there are many other foods around.

Date: Wednesday, 13. January 2010 15:15
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  1. 1

    I have a rat or squirrel between the vapor barrier & floor of my mobile home, chewing, he been there a long time, how do I get rid of him??????

  2. 2

    You can use rodenticide blocks that are placed inside bait stations that can be locked with a key. We always recommend a bait station so that you can protect non-target wildlife and children from reaching those poisons.

  3. 3

    I have a rat problem in my boiler room in my basement. I placed many wooden traps and poison down. It took several days and I finally caught two rats In the wooden traps . It has been a week and the rats have not eaten the poison or touch the food on the traps . Any suggestions.

  4. 4

    Hi Eric. Well, it’s hard to say. You can try to move the traps and baits to different locations. You want to make sure you clean though and then continue to inspect afterwards to look for signs of a continuing infestation. You may have already just caught the two, unless you know that there are more. Change the location of traps every 2 weeks if there aren’t any signs of disturbance. You don’t want to change them too frequently because rodents are quite inquisitive and will not adjust well to new objects in their environment. I hope that helped! If you have any other questions, feel free to let us know or give us a call at 1-800-788-4142.

  5. 5

    what is the difference between fast trac and contrac blox?

  6. 6

    Hi Andy,

    The main difference between Fastrac and Contrac Blox is going to be the active ingredients that are used. However, the active ingredients work very differently and regulations are also very different on the two.

    Fastrac Blox is made with a Bromethalin active ingredient. It is categorized by the EPA as a non-anticoagulant. The Bromethalin active ingredient kills because it will interfere with the nervous system and causes respiratory failure.
    Contrac Blox is made of a Bromadiolone active ingredient. Bromadiolone is categorized by the EPA as a second generation anticoagulant. The EPA says this about second generation anticoagulants:

    “The second-generation anticoagulants are especially hazardous for several reasons. They are highly toxic, and they persist a long time in body tissues. The second-generation anticoagulants are designed to be toxic in a single feeding, but since time-to-death is several days, rodents can feed multiple times before death, leading to carcasses containing residues that may be many times the lethal dose. Predators or scavengers that feed on those poisoned rodents may consume enough to suffer harm.”

    Those will be the differences, but both are very effective rodenticides. However, since the EPA has changed regulations on rodenticides, there are restrictions on the quantity and how we can sell the rodenticides. Consumers used to be able to purchase the Contrac Blox in a 4lbs. pail but are no longer able to do so. If you have any questions about the rodenticides, feel free to give us a call at 1-800-788-4142.

  7. 7

    I have seen rats and heard them in my basement lately, long black ones, can’t tell which kind because they are really fast cutting threw the clutter. I live in the basement so it’s very unpleasant and sometimes scary, and is really messing with my sleep schedule, but I have not seen any droppings or nests… Is there any kind of gas bomb you can use for rats like with insects? Is it effective?

  8. 8

    Hi Matt,
    We do not carry any gas bombs for rats in basements nor is it very effective. We do recommend rodenticides like rodent blox or traps, whether they are glue traps or snap traps. If you have any children or pets that chase the rodents, we do not recommend using rodenticides.

  9. 9

    I have a rat in the vapor barrier of my home/mobil home. I have the sound things under my house I have the electric traps I have reggular traps I have bate stations. it will not leave the vapor barrier and is destroying iand my floors. what do I do? I cannot get this thing to die

  10. 10

    Hi Joy,
    Unfortunately, there’s no real way to force them out but you can use attractant and traps. We recommend Provoke Rat Attractant which we have found to be very effective. I’m sorry I was unable to better assist you.

  11. 11

    I still have a major problem with rats and I’ve been poisoning and trapping for two years…. Exterminators laughed at us when my girlfriend and I called…. If your neighbors have outside dogs or you have outside dogs… and there is food… and water… you will have rats. I prefer hav-a-heart traps and then shooting them in the trap with a pellet gun. Poison only works for awhile, they learn to avoid it, snap traps also work but they can learn to trip them then eat the bait….. they are very smart. I love animals and hate killing anything…… but rats under your house need to die by any means necessary…. Don’t hesitate…. kill them when you can. good luck

  12. 12

    Everyone in our area, Florida panhandle, has had a problem with what are being called dune rats and wood rats. This is the first we’ve experience these things in the 5yrs we’ve lived here. We are very clean people and don’t have evidence in side the home..But you can hear them clawing in the walls and occasionally squeaking, although to me it sounds like whimpering puppies. We have a terrier with a high prey drive that kills anything her size or smaller that she comes across out side. But there are no exterior entry holes on the foundation or in the attic. The vents have no holes or evidence of chewing. But there are what look like mole hills in the sand leading to and ending against the foundation / crawlspace On opposite sides of the house. The dog will run to where the hills/tunnels would continue inside the crawlspace. I am too big to fit in the space but from what I can see popping my head in, there are no holes in the plastic ground covering. What can I do!?Orcan man will be a fortune!

  13. 13

    1/Poison bait may kill rodents that will die in the house between the walls leaving a stench for weeks. Best to use on the exterior or out buildings only.
    2/A rat that escapes a trap will imprint the event to the smell of the food. Change bait in trap even if trap has been sprung with no animal present.
    3/best to convert a standard wood spring rat trap to a mouse/rat trap in case a mouse trips the trap. Bridge a coat hanger 1.5inches down on the bale just to clear the pallet. Use a mouse trap trip pallet instead of the existing rat pallet. File the trip wire end very smooth, finish with crocus cloth for a chrome smooth surface, then bend the end down slightly. It will now be super sensitive to mice also. You may need to bend and try it for the best sensitivity. WATCH YOUR FINGERS!
    4/sometimes, for experienced rats, best to cover trap with toilet paper leaving just food visible.

  14. 14

    Hi Drew,
    One thing that concerns me is actually your dog. We would like to recommend rodenticides, but since you said that your dog will chase and kill with animals, I do not want it to be effected by secondary poisoning. With that said, using rodenticides is not really an option. You must stick with glue traps and snap traps that are set along the house outside in bait stations. The T-Rex Rat traps fit inside of the Protecta Rat Bait stations (which are the standard bait stations that professionals use). You should also do a more thorough inspection of the perimeter to check for cracks and crevices that the rodents are entering from, because they must be entering from somewhere along the base or maybe they are climbing onto trees and entering from the roof. However, since you say that there are “tunnels” that are going up to the crawlspace, the crawlspace area is most likely an area where there is a point of entry for the rodents. Those entry points must be sealed or covered with copper mesh or steel wool. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.

  15. 15

    My dog found a rat in the upstairs loft space we have. I have set down glue traps and a couple bait stations, but haven’t seen him since last night. Not sure if he came downstairs or if he left the same way he came in? Still can’ figure out how he got into the house? Don’t want to set snap traps because of the dog/3 kids. What can I put on the glue traps, or what else can I use?

  16. 16

    Hi Kate,
    You can use a small holder (like a bottle cap) to put in baits like peanut butter in the middle of the glue trap so that you can bait the rat into the glue board. If you would like to use snap traps, we recommend the T-rex snap trap for rats and place them inside the Protecta rat bait station so that you can protect your pet and your children. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.

  17. 17

    A family of rats seem to have nested in next doors wooden garage and have started entering my garden to eat the seed left out for birds. I have ordered ultrasonic repellers for the house and the garage (the neighbour also wants rid) but have been told I need to smoke the rats out of their nest first or they will stay and try to adapt to the ultrasonic noise. How can I smoke the rats from their nest?
    Many thanks for your advice.

  18. 18

    Hi Len,

    You will have to find the entrance to the rat den. We have Giant Destroyers that can emit a smoke type killing agent that will smoke them out. However, unfortunately, we are unable to ship internationally. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.

  19. 19

    I live in culloden West Virginia, I have a older doublewide that for the past month have been hearing either rats or squirrels in various walls throughout the house and in the roof running across, can’t really see where they’re getting in, im afraid of what kind of damage they are doing, have not seen anything inside the house, set traps all around the house and underneath with no results, do you have any suggestions on how to get these pests out of my home.

  20. 20

    Hi Tim,
    We definitely recommend inspecting the outside perimeter of the house so that you can find where they are coming in from. Continue to set traps as well as traps in an attic space. We do not recommend rodent poisons inside the house because there are chances they will die in the wall voids and leave a foul odor. However, you can set rodent poison outside in bait stations. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.

  21. 21

    I have a mouse in my wall under the stairs which I cant get to in order to place and remove traps, what can I use that will kill it but not cause the body to smell in my house after it dies

  22. 22

    Unfortunately there is no technology out which will dehydrate the body of the dead rodent and prevent the decaying carcass from smelling. However they have a product which you can use to eliminate odors from organic matters. This product is called Bag-A-Zap. If you do not want to worry about the smell, it would be best to trap the rodents with sticky glue boards or live traps.

  23. 23

    I think I have mice and rats in my attic I found a little mouse out side the house but the rats are in the attic big and you can hear them so loud running around. Ive tryed traps with no luck. I want to bomb the attic but don’t think that’s to safe, I just want them gone please help.

  24. 24

    Unfortunately we do not sell bombs suitable for rodent control inside attics. Since you have tried traps and found no luck with them, I would suggest that you try baiting them with rat poison.

  25. 25

    I have recently received a notice from the city which I live dying there’s a rat problem in my neighborhood. I already knew this however. They aren’t in my house because the other animals in the house won’t let that happen (dogs and cats). They are however all over inside my detached garage. I have found alot of droppings inside. The garage is basicall a shed. I’m gonna burn everything in the garage accept the tires for which I’ll just haul to the stump. Can I use a smoke bomb afterwards and should I seal off the garage to prevent any leakage to protect my dogs? I’m not finding any burrowing under the slab to the garage, I think they are just using the inside. My dogs never go inside the garage but gave showed a lot of interest in the garage as well as my neighbors garage which borders my back yard and there are holes in their garage that are obvious runways.

    If I use a repellant for my front deck how often do I need to replenish it?

    I thank you ahead of time for your reply.

  26. 26

    My son spotted a mice run into our wall heater he said that it wasnt big… so I brought the large glue traps and placed them around the downstairs area. Still no mice or rat. Ive noticed that specks of wood crumbs have been spotted in my kitchen underneath the sink. Even the bread on my microwave have been chewed through. What do I do I have small kids and I dont want this rodent to harm them or for us to become sick in anyway. I have cabinets of food and I havent noticed any of it being chewed through besides the bread would this be a reason why the droppings are so big?

  27. 27

    Hi Joe,

    It will depend on the repellent you are using. Most repellents should be replenished when the smell becomes faint or after heavy rain fall which could potentially wash away the repellent.

  28. 28

    House mouse droppings are very similar to the size of a grain of rice. Rodents are likely to forage and nest around heated areas or areas near water/food source. Since you are seeing the rodents in the kitchen, it would be highly recommended to place the glue boards along the bottom of the refrigerator, dishwasher, sink, and other areas which could be possible run ways. Placing the glue boards near areas where you have already spotted their droppings would also be a good place to start.

  29. 29

    Hello, we have been trying to catch a rat in our house for months! We have tried glue traps, snap traps & electric traps. We have done an overhaul on our house to make sure it is CLEAN. We have put up ALL food, no water left out NOTHING. We finally founds it’s nest up in our couch but can’t get to it without tearing the couch apart. We shook the couch and cleaned up all the rats ‘stash’ and poop. My husband left a bag of peanuts out last night and the rat took over half the bag to it’s stash. My question is….if we take the couch outside can we smoke bomb the rat out? It is just a small (the chaise lounge) part of our (sectional) couch. We KNOW it’s up in there. Please help!!!

  30. 30

    The only smokers we carry are smokers that you can use to smoke inside burrowing holes in the ground. Unfortunately they are not designed for use on or around furniture. However we do recommend either baiting the rat or using glue boards to trap the rat. Since the rat is living inside the couch, you could ideally create a moat of glue around the couch. This can be done by closely placing single glue boards next to each other surrounding the couch or custom making your own glue board with the Trapper Gallon of glue and some old card board boxes that may be laying around.

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