So, you have confirmed that you have a Rat in your house! That sucks, but hopefully, you have stopped freaking out about it. It is time to get to work, and now you need to know how to get rid of a Rat in your house…

Is it common to get Rats in your house?

The first step is to realize that this is very common and it DOES NOT mean that your house is dirty. It simply means that a Rat has got lucky and has found a small entrance to your home.

Rats look for food, protection, and comfort. Your house offers all 3 of these (unless you have a Cat!).

How To Get Rid Of A Rat In Your House – 10 Steps

Get To Know The Rat Route

How To Get Rid Of A Rat In Your House learn rat run

All you need to do is wait until nightfall and listen. That is the first step.

Learning which routes the Rat is taking to travel around your house gives you a big advantage, especially when it comes to setting traps for it!

If you have a Rat in your attic, simply wait underneath and track which parts of the attic it is frequently visiting. The last time I had a Rat in my attic I was able to figure out that it was staying mostly over one side. Then when it was time to set up the traps, I simply added the vast majority in that particular area.

Within 1 day I had caught myself a Rat! Catching it quickly resulted in less damage, and less mess to clean up.

Consider Different Traps

How To Get Rid Of A Rat In Your House traps

There are a few different ways of trapping a Rat, let’s take a look at the most common, and the most effective:

Snap Traps

Snap traps are by far my favorite way of catching a Rat. I am not one for being kind, that’s for sure.

The danger is that Rats can be very clever. They are naturally very suspicious of anything that is new in the area. Snap traps can also miss if the Rat is quick enough. That allows to Rat to take the bait and feast on it! Doubling up with poison can work in your favor.

Bait Boxes

Bait boxes work slightly differently. They act to lure the Rat in and trap it for you to dispose of later.

You can either have a snap trap inside the bait box, or poison. As soon as the Rat enters the bait box it trapped.

Bait boxes are a great way of ensuring the Rat does not disappear into your cavity walls to die from the poison! That can be very costly.


Poison is one of the most effective ways of killing a Rat. Poison usually comes in bags that Rats will chew through to get to the bait. As far as they are concerned they have found a rich food source!

The only problem is where they go to die. Preferably, they will go outside, however, if they die around your house the first sign is usually a pungent stench. You will need to follow your nose to find the dead Rat. Like I had to:

rat in my attic

Prepare For Battle

How To Get Rid Of A Rat In Your House prepare for battle

Before you even set foot in any spaces where the Rats maybe hiding (loft, basement, etc) you need to be prepared. Preparation is key to ensure you remain safe and healthy.

  • Face Mask
  • Shoes
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Trash Bags
  • Anti Bacterial Cleaner

As you are probably aware, Rats can carry some pretty nasty diseases which means you need to be very careful when attempting to remove Rats from your house. After you have rid your house of Rats you will need to perform a pretty deep clean of the area.

Set Traps

How To Get Rid Of A Rat In Your House set traps

Setting traps is a sure fire way of getting rid of Rats, but where do you put them?

If you read the first tip, then you will know where the Rat is traveling. You now know where to apply the traps to ensure a successful capture.


Set the traps inside in the places you know the Rat will be traveling. Apply as many as you can, but you must remember where you put them! Firstly, you need to know where to check them, and secondly, you do not want to accidentally set them off by putting your hands or feet on them! Ouch!


If you hear Rats in your cavity walls it could give you an indication of where the Rats are entering your home.

Check around this area outside to find a small hole that will allow a Rat to enter.

It is also worth adding a bait box outside, near the hole. Always use bait boxes and not snap traps, because you may accidentally catch the next door neighbors Cat or another animal!

Clean The House

How To Get Rid Of A Rat In Your House cleaning

Check your home for piles of clothes, empty boxes, and other items that a Rat might want to use to plump of their nest.

Rats will use pretty much anything they can chew to form their nest with. I have witnessed a Rat dragging away a large plastic bottle before listening to it chewing the bottle into smaller pieces. Many items can be used for a Rats nest, so do not make it easy for them!

Tidy Away Food

How To Get Rid Of A Rat In Your House clean food

Rats are attracted to food items around your home, and that doesn’t just mean the food that is stored in your kitchen.

If you regularly eat food while watching TV, or you have a dining table to eat on, make sure these areas are free from any crumbs and leftover food.

On the subject of the kitchen, always ensure that food is stored correctly in thick plastic or glass containers.

Seal Your Home

How To Get Rid Of A Rat In Your House seal house

As I mentioned above, if you hear Rats in your walls then you should be checking the outside of your home, in that area, to see if there are any small holes that will allow Rats to enter.

Seal these holes to reduce the risk of more Rats finding their way into your home.

Rats are opportunist invaders. They will not be out looking for holes in a home, but whilst they are out searching for food they may stumble across easy access. When they find a hole, they will take advantage.

Check Traps

How To Get Rid Of A Rat In Your House check the traps

When you have Rat traps set around your home it is important to check them every day.

A dead Rat will begin to smell very quickly so you will want to dispose of the Rat ASAP.

When you have successfully caught a Rat do not think about removing any other traps you have set. You may be lucky and only have 1 Rat, but it is very common for the rest of the family to be growing up in your attic too!

Safe Disposal

How To Get Rid Of A Rat In Your House disposal

Congratulations! You have caught a Rat…

Now you need to dispose of the Rat, but how do you do it?

Wearing your protective mask and rubber gloves, place the Rat’s body in a plastic bag that you can seal completely. Place the plastic bag into another bag which also needs to be tied.

Now you have doubled bagged the Rat simply place it in your trash.

Always ensure you fully clean the area where the Rat was found. Clean this area with antibacterial cleaner until you are confident that it is completely clean.

Clean The House (Again)

How To Get Rid Of A Rat In Your House clean house

The last step is to clean the house again!

The reason why this is the last step is that you do not want to attract any more Rats into your living space. Rats will find their way into your attic again, but the least you can do is let them know that there is nothing much in your house that you are willing to let them eat, or use as bedding for a nest.


If you want to know how to get rid of a Rat in your house then you simply need to follow the tips above.

The tips are in already in the order that you need, and it is in the order that I use when I need to get rid of a Rat!

The process is simple:

  1. Check where the Rat is going
  2. Prepare to do battle
  3. Set the traps
  4. Seal your home
  5. Check the traps
  6. Dispose of the dead Rats
  7. Clean up
  8. Stop it happening again

Once you get the process memorized, just follow it each time you need to.

Sleep tight!

About the Author

Rodent Guide

Man v Rodent! I've been tackling Rodent infestation issues for over 20 years. Now I want to use this website to pass over the tips that I have learned over that time to help you take these Rodents out DIY style!

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