The Best Way to Kill Rats in an Attic

Just the thought of having a rat in the house makes most people's skin crawl. When the rodents get into the attic, there is no mistaking that you have a rat problem. Sometimes you can hear them pitter-pattering across the attic floor right over your head. When you examine the best ways to kill rats in an attic, there are several viable options to choose from.

Studio shot of five lab rats
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Do Not Use Poisons or Baits

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Man looking around attic

If you want to get rid of rats in an attic, the last thing you want to use is a rat bait or a rat poison. If the rodent ingests the poison and cannot find its way out of the attic and outside of the house, it will die inside your home within 3 to 5 days. It is a myth that rat poison will make the rat thirsty and send him scurrying outside in search of water. The rat will die in the house and will stink while his body is rotting. Even if you find the rat, the odor will hang in the air for several weeks. The rat's body bloats up, and its body fluids leak out and cause terrible odors.

Rat Traps

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Bacon in frying pan

The best way to kill rats in an attic is with a rat trap. There are several different kinds of traps available. Some of the traps run on batteries. When the rat runs into the trap, it zaps it with an electrical charge until the rat's heart stops beating. A flashing light alerts you that a rat has been killed, and you can empty the trap. The rat is killed immediately, and there is no mess. Use bacon, peanut butter on a cracker or any food with a heavy odor for your bait.

If you have a lot of rats in your attic, you might want to invest in a multiple rat catcher. This is a live trap; some brands claim to trap up to 15 rats in one chamber. The rat runs inside, and a revolving door moves it through to the other side where it cannot get out. There are air holes in the chamber, and when the trap is filled, you can take the rats to a deserted, wooded area and release them.

Glue Boards

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Man stepping up into attic

Glue boards are convenient for catching attic rats. The board has a sheet of glue approximately 1/4 inch thick. The rat runs onto the glue board and gets stuck in the glue. As it tries to free itself, it becomes entangled in the glue and suffocates. Glue boards may not be the most humane method to trap rats, but they are very effective.