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How to Get Rid of Rats Fast

Want to know how to get rid of rats or mice? Let’s talk about these rodents and ways to eliminate them both naturally and other tried and true methods for removal. I like to spend my days sharing funny memes, but let’s be honest. Since moving to the country – we have things to deal with like mice and rats and snakes plus other things I just don’t want to think about.

how to get rid of rats and mice
how to get rid of rats and mice

First, I should start this with saying – to me a mouse or a rat both are the same. They are rodents and in my mind better off dead. The thought of mice in the walls or rats in the garage irks me. Me and rodents are NOT friends.

No More Rats

Tonight was dinner with an art group I’m apart of. I’m stuck in the middle of an extra long booth between 2 people I don’t know very well. Out of the corner of my eye, I see it – a rat scurrying across the restaurant floor, under a table to a booth maybe 10 feet away from me.

Rat Phobia

YUCK. PANIC. CAN’T MOVE. I totally have a rat phobia. I know that mice/rats are God’s creation – but they might as well be God’s creation to disturb me. My deathly fear of these things paralyzes me.

When we moved into our home several years ago, we were the only ones in the neighborhood.  A field mouse had gotten in the living room. I caught it out of the corner of my eye one day and for a WEEK I avoided the living room. I tiptoed my way around it. Of course, the mouse wasn’t still there. But I just couldn’t do it.

how to get rid of mice and rats

Can I just say, when I started this blog – never did I EVER think I would write a post about getting rid of rats. But guys, this is life and this is something those of us with rat phobia need to know about.

We have had over 75,000 views on this post. So glad to hear these random tips are helping you guys get rid of mice and rats!

Rodents in the Garage

Our garage tends to still attract these rodents. Rodents = rats/mice in my mind people. Rodents on your roof, in your walls, the smell, the crap they leave – it’s all disgusting.

How to Get Mice Out of Your Garage

If you are looking for natural ways  Here are his latest rodent catching “techniques” that we’ve used to rid our home of rats and mice.

Getting Rid of Rats Naturally

Something to note – we are suggesting natural remedies to get rid of rats. Yes, there is rat and mouse poison that you can put out that the rats and mice eat, become dehydrated and die.

Getting rid of rats naturally means that when they do die, and the circle of life happens – that we are contaminating other animals.

get rid of rats naturally natural rat remedies
Best Way to Kill a Rat Naturally

By using harsh chemicals to kill mice – as much as I hate them – I don’t want other animals to ingest the poisoned rat or poisoned mice..

Best Way to Kill a Rat

Mouse and rat poison also poses a great danger to our household pets. Curious dogs and cats can easily eat the poison leading to illness or possibly death. Let’s avoid that by checking out these natural ways to get rid of rats and mice without chemicals.

Instant Potatoes to Kill Rats

If you are looking for a non-toxic way to rid your home and property of rats, here is an easy and affordable solution. Have you heard about using instant potatoes to kill rats? This came in from a reader, here’s what we learned.

What Potatoes to Buy

Buy any brand of potato flakes or potato powder. Amazon sells a huge thing of instant potato flakes that should last you quite a while (or help eliminate a rat infestation).

instant potatoes to kill rats best way to kill a rat naturally
mashed potatoes to kill mice? yes, it’s a thing

How to Bait Rats

If you buy in bulk, simple put the potato flakes in a bag (brown lunch bags work well.)

Mice and Instant Potatoes

A reader said that with mice and instant potatoes – this rodent solution works with these rodents as well.

How Potatoes Kill Rats

So how does instant potatoes kill rats? The rats will go into your bag, gorge on the potatoes. The potatoes will make them thirsty. When they drink – the potato flakes (or potato powder) expands MANY times in size. It burst their guts and the rats did instantly.

I know some people would rather a rat live – but this isn’t a post on how to save rats, we want to get rid of rats fast. This process is no more painful than a slow death.

Standard rat bait can cause internal bleeding, plus can be dangerous to our pets.

Ex-Lax Kill Rodents

Our next solution for naturally getting rid of rodents is ex-lax. This made me laugh but I hear some of you swear by exlax to get rid of an infestation. I want to provide naturally solutions, so if ex-lax works for getting rid of rats, the people need to know.

Rodents and laxatives – who would have known!

Ex-Lax Chocolate

I can honestly say that I have never had ex-lax chocolate. I have had sugar-free chocolate, which might as well have been ex-lax chocolate. Anyways, I don’t know what it tastes like but apparently rats and mice LOVE IT.

Chocolate Laxatives for Rodents

Another thing that rodents apparently like, is peanut butter. So this is how you kill rats with exlax. Take a ex-lax chocolate. Top it with peanut butter and place wherever you are experiencing an infestation.

equate exlax chocolate laxative kill rats
Does chocolate kill rats? Try exlax.

Buy on Amazon

How it Works

The ex-lax will put the rodents into gastric distress because their digestive system is so small. While you maybe thinking – wait, this kills one – I have 50 I need dead.

The theory behind ex-lax and rats is this. If one rodent gets sick in their home or nest, the others are smart. They know something isn’t right and leave for a safer environment.

Keep Away From Pets and Humans

This should go without saying, but if you have pets or humans (kids, predominately) that could get into the ex-lax – hide it. Rodents can sniff this out but place where your pets cannot easily access.

Humane Mouse Trap

Next we have a redneck bucket rat trap. If killing rats with ex-lax or potatoes isn’t for you, maybe this contraption is an option.

Drowning Mice

This works for both rats and mice by drowning the rodents. I know, it sounds so morbid but if you are tired of picking up nasty mice traps or seeings rats on glue pad – this is a humane way to kill mice and rats.

diy mouse trap drown mice - humane mouse trap
best way to kill a rat humanely

Bonus, the smell is not near as bad. The bad part is that you will still need to see the dead rats and mice. Just dump out the water and discard of the carcasses.

How to Make a Rat Trap

Here is what you will need for the redneck bucket trap for catching rodents:

  • Large bucket (the orange buckets from Home Depot would work great)
  • Ramp (this can be a 2/4 cut to the appropriate size)
  • Can (we used a tomato paste can)
  • Dish soap
  • Peanut butter (the rats aren’t picky, you can use generic)
  • Wire coat hanger
  • Water

This is like the redneck version of the board game, Mouse Trap. That’s right, this is a redneck bucket trap.

I know this sounds corny, and people think I am totally kidding when I tell them about this – but guys, THIS TOTALLY WORKS for ridding your house or rats.

DIY Bucket Mouse Trap

So now you have a bucket, a ramp, a can and peanut butter.  You will take need to drill a hole thru the can (see illustration below.)

Un-ravel the wire coat hanger, place thru the can and hook onto the side of the bucket.

Fill the bucket with water, about halfway. Drop a few squirts of dish soap into the bucket.

Place the 2×4 or whatever you are using as a ramp onto the side of the bucket.

Put a glob of peanut butter smack on the can.

How The Bucket Trap Kills Mice

The rodents run up the ramp, go to eat the peanut butter, slip and fall into the bucket which is filled with water. I also should note – make sure to put a few drops of soap into the water for good measure.

Natural Way to Kill Mice

The rodents run up the ramp, go to eat the peanut butter, slip and fall into the bucket which is filled with water.I also should note – make sure to put a few drops of soap into the water for good measure.

The rodents die from drowning.  Make sure to check and dump the bucket out at least once a day.

best natural way to get rid of mice and rats

The downside of this natural pest remover is if you place this somewhere you can hear the splashes. When we had just moved into our first home, we had a major field mice problem and my computer was next to the garage. I could hear splashes all day long. Not fun, but neither is a garage full of mice.

There you have it, a redneck bucket rat trap. I wish I could say that this was a joke, but the husband swears by it. “I’ve caught a ton.”

More Home Remedies for Getting Rid of Mice

rat image words how to get rid of rats this may sound crazy but it works

Here are some other home remedies to get rid of mice naturally that our readers have recommended:

DIY Mice Repellent

Want to do a little diy mice repellent. Here are several options that our readers have suggested for keeping mice and rats away.

mice repellent diy

Peppermint Essential Oil

Essential oils to get rid of mice? Some people swear by it!

Here is a DIY mice repellent suggested by a reader: PEPPERMINT OIL!

Place peppermint essential oil on cotton balls. Plug up any holes with the cotton balls, and leave thru out the garage, attic or other locations that are infested with mice or rats.

How to Repel Mice and Rats

Another option is mixing a solution of coconut oil and lavender oil and lining the garage or wherever to deter rats. A good smelling garage is a bonus. This could be used in combination with one of the above rat killing methods.

Cats Catching Rats and Mice

Cats are a natural predator for mice and rats. The downside, these lovely pets want to show you their catch. It’s one thing to have a dead rat, it’s another when your cat brings the dead body to you.  Some people have dogs that will chase mice and rats. Our dogs, not so much.

Mothballs to Rodents

Some people swear mothballs work great for getting rid of mice, others say no. It may depend on the level of infestation as well.

Rat Snakes

If there is one thing I hate as much as rats, its snakes. Funny how snakes are a great natural way to get of rats, and here I am hating them.

rat snake natural remedy rats

In all seriousness, rat snakes are a great natural remedy for killing rats naturally. If you find these on your property – consider them your friends.

Rat snakes are medium to large constrictors and are found throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere. They feed primarily on rodents and birds. Some species exceed 2.5 m (8 ft) in total length. Read more on Wikipedia

Rats As Pets

I know, I KNOW – I have seen the comments on what great pets rats can be. Nope, sorry not for me – goodbye. I just can’t and won’t. I mean, I can’t even walk down the aisle at PetSmart that has mice.  NO, nope, not for me.

pet mouse

Call me paranoid, call me a freak – just don’t call me if you see a rodent. The only downside of this trap – hearing the constant SPLASHES and knowing what exactly that means.

Not a fan of rats, never thought this is what I would be writing about but it’s needed info! You know what else is helpful to know? How to get rid of lice. You are welcome.


Friday 8th of April 2022

I hate rats and mice. I will not tolerate them in my home. I rarely see them but when I do I put down a glue trap with a piece of sausage and that does it for those rascals. I am happy to learn of natural ways to get rid of them. Thank you.


Monday 26th of July 2021

When I bought my first RV the sales person handed me the keys and a half dozen bars of Irish Spring soap and told me to chop them just any size and put them in all of the closets, storage compartments, and any space where mice might like stay. I have had multiple RVs in the last 30 years with ever seeing any rodents. I’m told they don’t like the scent and just don’t try to get in. I’m told the green ones work better than the blue bars but I don’t know if that’s true!


Monday 19th of July 2021

Don't waste your time with the redneck water trap if you're trying to kill rats. Most of the old world rats have bodies long enough to hold on to the rim, and stretch over to steal the bait. They LOVE stealing bait. I've also seen them on surveillance footage where they actually use a stick to release a snap trap. A pellet gun has been most effective... even slowing them down with a glue trap just to shoot. And a camera helps! Goodluck

Kendall Davis

Monday 3rd of December 2018

Instant taters are working well. I had no mice in July. After two months of rain and by November, they had overrun my house. The instant mashed potatoes are working well, but I have a few tips.

1. The Ecoclear MouseX worked to reduce the mice. When I wrote my first comment, they had quit eating MouseX in every room. 2. I cleaned out all of my kitchen cabinets of everything the mice could eat. They even tried to eat baking powder, but not the cocoa powder and nothing packaged in a box. The mice spurred me to replace old spices, etc. 3. I had not seen them try to chew through plastic spice containers until I replaced the syrup for pancakes. They had chewed through the new plastic syrup bottle at the same time I was putting the potato flakes in plastic container covers. The syrup leaked causing a sticky mess. 4. I poured syrup into the feeding containers, but not much. The potato flakes stuck to the syrup. 5. As of now, I am seeing a huge reduction in activity, and they are not wary to eat the potatoes with a syrup base. 6. I am going to use the MouseX if the mice get wise about the potatoes and syrup. 7. If they get wise with the potatoes and syrup, I plan to use tapioca with a butter base. Mice are carnivores, so I may even use rendered bacon or hamburger fat. 8. I believe that if I give the mice a choice by switching their menus regularly, they will continue to eat and disappear.

I have ordered 6 ultrasonic repellent plug-in units. They will be here in 5 days. I researched the plug-ins, and there are scientific debates on if and how they work. My plan is to turn them off after four weeks, then on again, along with using the different food baits. I hope that based on reviews, they will be a deterrent. I bought a Snoogg 6-pack for 23.99 with free shipping. I found in my research that one can spend as much or as little on these plug-ins and quality does matter. But, they must be used properly and in every room, and low-priced Snoogg had great reviews.

I will report back in a couple of weeks if my strategy is working. I am disabled, and I basically live in one room. I use the kitchen and bathroom of course. But, I rarely open the doors to four other rooms. Two are being remodeled. It rained for two months. When the rain stopped, there were mice in my kitchen which horrified me. The wolves and I did not know they had been slowly moving in and nesting until we saw their obvious leftovers in the kitchen.


Monday 14th of March 2022


Kendall Davis

Friday 30th of November 2018

I want to thank you so much! I live in Texomaland, and we recently had so much rain that mice started living in a part of my house that I am remodeling due to exposed walls with insulation. They invaded other areas before I realized that they were nesting.

Two rescued wolfdogs own me. The baby wolf (he's 4 years old) found a new hobby with the mice invasion and diligently kills mice when he can catch them. I have been using Ecoclear's MouseX because it is non-toxic to dogs and DUH! It evidently does the same thing that instant mashed potatoes do to starve the mice of water retention @ $20.00 a pound (or soak up the water like taters). MouseX does a good job, but it is not a complete solution for an infestation. I had no idea that mice families were not paying rent until it was too late. It only took two months of rain for their Trojan Horse invasion.

Because of your blog, I will use the MouseX and potato flakes in unison. I needed to find a DIY solution to cut the costs of killing mice without killing my wolves. I googled for DIY solutions. I found the redneck water trap. The wolves might drink the water while I am sleeping and YUCK! I have no idea why it took me so long to find your blog, but I sincerely thank you (not that google helped at all)! I will let you how it works out.