The Best Ways to Get Rid of Rats

Are unwanted furry visitors scurrying around your home, leaving you feeling uneasy and frustrated? In this comprehensive post, we’ll delve into the best ways to get rid of rats for good. From understanding the habits and preferences of rats to implementing humane yet efficient removal techniques, we’ve got you covered. 

Key Takeaways:

  • To prevent a rat infestation seal cracks in the outside of your home, declutter and thoroughly clean your home and seal all food and garbage containers. 
  • To get rid of rats set traps in high-traffic locations and monitor the traps frequently. 
  • Chemical rat control methods should be left to the professionals as they can easily be used incorrectly. If you need help with rat removal give Terminix Canada a call.

Signs of a Rat Infestation in Your Home

Detecting a rat infestation early is crucial for effective elimination. Here are some common signs that rats may have invaded your home:

  • Droppings: Rats leave behind small, dark droppings resembling grains of rice. Check areas near food sources, along walls, and in hidden corners.
  • Gnaw Marks: Rats have strong, sharp teeth that continuously grow. Look for gnaw marks on furniture, food packaging, electrical wires, and structural elements.
  • Grease Marks: Rats have oily fur that leaves smudges along their regular paths. Grease marks may appear as dark streaks on walls, baseboards, and other surfaces. 
  • Nests: Roof rats build nests using shredded materials such as paper, fabric, and insulation. Check hidden or less frequently accessed areas like attics, basements, and crawl spaces for rat nests.
  • Burrows and Holes: Norway rats create burrows in gardens, under debris, or in hidden outdoor areas. Look for holes in the ground, especially near entry points to your home.
  • Unusual Noises: Rats are often active at night. Listen for scratching or scurrying sounds, especially in the walls, ceiling, or under the floorboards.
  • Foul Odour: Rats leave behind a distinct musky odour. If you notice an unpleasant smell in specific areas, it could be a sign of a rat infestation.

If you identify one or more of these signs in your home it’s important to take prompt action. Setting rat traps is an easy way for homeowners to get rid of a couple of rats. The traps should be set where you see the most signs of rat activity. However, for more severe infestations traps alone will likely not be enough to eliminate the issue and professional pest control should be contacted.

Rat in Home

Are rats dangerous? What damage can rats cause?

Rat infestations can pose a variety of dangers to both property and human health such as: 

  • Disease Transmission: Rats are infamous for their ability to carry and spread disease to humans. Such diseases include but are not limited to hantavirus, leptospirosis, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, tularemia and salmonella. When a home is infested with rats they can leave trace amounts of urine, saliva, blood or feces around the home (even in food or water) and infect individuals with these diseases even without direct contact with the rat. 
  • Property Damage: Rats have strong teeth that continuously grow, leading them to gnaw on various materials around the home including wood furniture, electrical wiring, plastic garbage bins, wooden joists, insulation, shingles and more. This gnawing behavior can result in structural damage to the home, a lot of property damage around the home and even fire hazards if electrical wires are damaged. 
  • Allergies and Asthma: Rat droppings, hair, saliva, urine and feces can contain allergens that may trigger allergies or exacerbate asthma symptoms in susceptible individuals.
  • Pet Health: Rats can also carry parasites and diseases that may affect household pets. Additionally, encounters between rats and pets can lead to injuries, especially if the pet attempts to catch or confront the rat.

For all of these reasons it’s important to deal with a rat infestation quickly. Rats reproduce quickly and in a short time a small annoyance can turn into a major issue. Read on to learn the best ways to get rid of rats quickly. 

How to prevent rat problems - infographic

How to get rid of rats

Getting rid of rats requires a comprehensive approach that combines preventive measures, sanitation, and targeted elimination strategies. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you effectively deal with a rat infestation:


  • Look for signs of a rat infestation, including droppings, gnaw marks, nests, and unusual noises.
  • Confirm the presence of rats before proceeding with elimination methods.

Sanitation & Organization:

  • Remove potential food sources, and store food in airtight containers.
  • Clean up spills promptly and ensure that garbage bins are sealed.
  • Reduce clutter and organize storage areas to eliminate hiding spots.
  • Store pet food in sealed containers and avoid leaving it out overnight.
  • Clean pet bowls regularly to remove food residue.

Outdoor Maintenance:

  • Trim vegetation and eliminate potential hiding spots around the exterior of your home.
  • Secure outdoor garbage bins and remove debris that may attract rats.

Seal Entry Points:

  • Identify and seal gaps, cracks, and holes in walls, floors, and foundations using materials like steel wool, caulk, or expandable foam.
  • Ensure doors have robust weatherstripping and windows are properly screened.


  • Set rat traps in locations where you find the most signs of rats.
  • Bait traps with enticing food such as peanut butter.
  • Chemical rat control methods should be left to the professionals as they can easily be used incorrectly. Often, when used improperly, rats will consume the rodenticide and go hide in the walls before dying. Leaving your with a foul smelling issue to deal with. 

Professional Pest Control:

  • If the infestation is severe or persistent, consider hiring professional pest control services.
  • Professionals can assess the situation, provide effective treatments including chemical rat control, and offer advice on preventive measures.

Regular Monitoring:

  • Continuously monitor for signs of rat activity even after initial elimination efforts.
  • Address new entry points promptly and maintain a clean environment.

Still need help getting rid of rats quickly? Terminix Canada has you covered! We offer expert pest & wildlife control services for both residential and commercial properties with locations across Canada including BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Call us today for effective rat removal services!