How to Kill Pack Rats

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Things You'll Need

  • Snap Traps

  • Peanut Butter

  • Rubber Gloves

  • Plastic Bags

  • Goggles

  • Breathing Mask

  • Vacuum

  • Bleach

Pack rats can be an expensive nuisance.

Pack rats can also be called wood rats or trade rats. They are brown or gray with white bellies and bushy tails. They look similar to a large mouse. These small creatures can cause serious damage. They get into walls chewing wires creating fire risks and contaminating areas with excrement creating health risks. These rats collect loose materials to build or decorate their homes. They find these items in attics and garages wreaking havoc on your home. Pack rats can become quite an expensive nuisance, but they are not difficult to eradicate.


Step 1

Purchase snap traps. Be sure to buy the ones for rats and not mice. Mouse traps are smaller and not as powerful. You can find these at hardware stores.

Step 2

Bait the snap traps using peanut butter. Cheese can work, but peanut butter is more difficult for them to steal.

Step 3

Place the traps inside your house and around the outside perimeter. Pay special attention to areas where you think the rats may be entering.

Step 4

Check the traps at least once a day, more if necessary. Or listen for the snapping sound. Remove dead rats wearing gloves.


Step 5

Dispose of rats in two plastic bags doubled together. Clean areas contaminated with feces and urine. Vacuum the feces and use a weak solution of bleach and water for scrubbing away the urine.


Be sure to seal up any openings and cracks in your home to help prevent future infestations

For major infestations you may want to get a quote from a local exterminator who can thoroughly and safely remove these pests.


Always place snap traps out of reach of children and pets as these can cause injury.

Always use gloves when handling rats as they are known for carrying disease.

Be sure to use a breathing mask and goggles in areas that have been heavily contaminated with feces and urine as this can cause breathing problems.



Danielle Ramelow

Based in California, Danielle Ramelow has been a freelance writer since 2006. She writes curriculum materials and conducts training seminars in the beauty industry and social-media field. Ramelow holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communications from Chico State University.