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How To Get Rid Of Rats: Top Tips & Tricks From Experts

Rowan Burgess |

As pets, rats and mice can make intelligent and affectionate companions. But if you’ve got an infestation of wild rodents in your home or garden, it’s a different story altogether.

These creatures can carry highly infectious diseases such as salmonellosis, Lyme disease, and even typhus – making them dangerous and unwelcome house guests.

The good news is there are ways to get rid of them if you’re suffering from an infestation. In this article, we’ll explain our top tips and tricks for stopping your rodent problem in its tracks.

Whether they’re rummaging around in your bins, taking over your garden shed, or infesting your cellar, you can put a stop to them. Read on to find out how you can permanently get rid of rats from your home.

How To Get Rid Of Rats: The Effective Ways

Rat Boxes

One of the most effective ways to get rid of rats is by using rat boxes. This form of pest control is a small black box (usually the same size as a shoebox) with a hole in the side.

Sometimes referred to as rat bait stations, you can prepare your box by filling it with bait, poison, or a snap trap. Then, place the bait box as close as possible to where you believe the rodents are living.

There are several benefits to rat boxes. Unlike leaving poisoned bait out on the floor, the boxes make sure that any toxins are out of sight for other animals. If you’re placing it outside, this means that you’re less likely to kill other forms of wildlife accidentally. And if you’re placing it inside, it’s much safer for your beloved household pets.

The hole in the box’s side is large enough for a rat to go inside but small enough to keep other larger creatures at bay. Rodents feel safer in small dark spaces, so they’re often more likely to investigate a rat box than they are to get caught in a traditional snap trap. You can also use these boxes as an effective way to get rid of mice.

Snap Traps

Snap traps are one of the oldest forms of pest control. These use a non-toxic form of bait (such as cheese, meat, or peanut butter) to lure in the rodent. When the animal steps on the trap to get the bait, the weight triggers a mechanism that releases the snap and kills it quickly.

Although disposing of the dead rats might be enough to put some people off, there are various benefits to using snap traps. Not only are they a cost-effective solution, but they also don’t require poison. They are much safer for leaving about the house if you have pets or young children.

Most rats and mice run along the walls instead of crossing the middle of the room. As such, placing your bait traps close to the walls will make this form of rat control more successful.

You may need to leave a trap out for a week or two before you eventually set one. Rodents can be very suspicious and may be unlikely to go for the bait straight away.

Peppermint Oil

If you have a rat problem but aren’t sure where they’re hiding, peppermint oil can be a humane way to drive them out of your home.

Rats don’t like the smell of peppermint oil, so soak some cotton wool balls in it and leave them around the corners of your home.

Make sure to replace these cotton balls every other day to keep the smell fresh. If you do have a problem, you might notice signs of movement as the infestation tries to get away from the scent. These signs of disturbance will help you identify where they’re hiding.

How To Keep Rats Away From Your House & Garden

Once you’ve managed to get rid of your infestation, the next stage is to prevent one from coming back.

The rodents you’ll need to keep out are mainly the Norway rat (otherwise known as the brown rat) and the roof rat (black rat). These are the most common species found in the UK.

Because vermin never usually live far from food sources, making some simple changes will help you to keep them away from your home:

  • Empty your wheelie bins regularly.
  • Don’t leave bin bags of food out before rubbish collection day.
  • If you put food out for the birds, don’t allow it to accumulate.
  • Don’t put products, such as meat waste, into your compost.

Another critical way to keep rodents away from your home is by sealing any gaps they could use to get into your structures. Materials such as copper mesh, heavy-gauge screening, or hardware cloth will prevent vermin from getting their teeth into small spaces, for example, in your garden shed or eaves. To make this extra secure, you can then add foam insulation and a sealing agent.

Lastly, keeping your garden tidy can also ward off rodents efficiently. Long grass and dark corners provide the perfect habitat for rats and mice, so make sure to keep your lawn freshly trimmed and clear. The cleaning will remove any potential hiding places, which is particularly crucial if you have a compost heap in your garden that could prove a tempting food source.


If you’re battling a rat infestation, we hope this article has furnished you with all the tips and tricks you need to solve the problem. Whether they’re in your house or your garden, our expert steps will help you get rid of rats as quickly, easily, and humanely as possible.

To prevent the problem from recurring, we recommend following our rat control tips to keep rodents away from your home. These simple ideas are highly effective when it comes to keeping your environment rat-free – so you can have complete peace of mind.