How To Kill A Rat
There are several different ways to deal with rats in your home or on your property, but many people immediately think of killing the rats. You should ideally try preventative methods first, but if this does not work, then killing is an alternative. Animal rights activists may recommend live trapping and relocating the rat as an alternative, but this is essentially a death sentence as well. That is because rats are used to living in a very small area and if you put them in a new location, they will be unfamiliar with the predators as well as the location of essentials like food, water, and shelter. While it is possible for a relocated rat to survive, it is less likely than other species who are relocated. If you have decided to kill a rat, there are numerous options to choose from, some of which are more humane and effective than others.
When killing a rat, your absolutely best option is to use a snap trap. These are the classic traps designed with a snapping mechanism that activates and crushes the rat, killing it on impact. In rare cases, the rat will not die right away, but the trap is effective the vast majority of the time and will kill the rat instantly so pain and suffering are limited.
These traps are small enough to fit in tiny nooks and crannies or gaps in the wall. They also have a solid, flat bottom which allows them to be placed level on a surface, something which increases their rate of success. To make them more budget-friendly, snap traps are also one of the most affordable options and can be reused after being disinfected, making them an even better investment.
An alternative to snap traps is glue traps, but the vast majority of professionals do not recommend these. These traps come in the form of a cardboard or similar flat item covered in glue. When a rat walks over them, they will theoretically be caught and eventually die.
There are several issues with these traps, however. First of all, they will not always catch rats; it is common to find a glue trap with a rat footprint or clump of fur stuck in it and no rat nearby. Professionals have even found rat legs caught in the traps. Additionally, the traps do not kill rats right away; instead they will have a slow death where they starve to death or die of some other indirect and probably painful method. Also, keep in mind that glue traps can only be used one time so you must always buy new ones when you have a rat problem.
Live Trap Then Kill
It is also an option to use a live cage trap to catch a rat and then kill it. While this is possible, it will be much more challenging as live cage traps are larger and harder to fit in tight spaces and rats are more hesitant about them. If you choose this method, you will need to check your local regulations to see which methods of killing the rat are legal. Depending on where you are, you can try to asphyxiate the rat using CO2, which is possible to do yourself, but complicated. If you are incredibly skilled with firearms, you could theoretically shoot the rat once it is trapped, but you are unlikely to kill it in a single shot. When compared with using a snap trap, live trapping then killing a rat is simply more complicated and time-consuming for you and more painful for the rat.
You will find numerous rat poisons on the market and many of these will, in fact, kill the rats. The thing to remember, however, is that you will need to be especially careful with this method as pets or children may accidentally get a hold of the poison and injure or kill themselves. Using poison leaves you open to the risk of irritation from the chemicals or the chance of your pets finding the poison itself or toxic rat bodies. There is also the issue that rats will probably go back to their nest before dying and depending on where this is, it may be near impossible to remove or even find the decaying body.
Disposing Of The Rats
After killing a rat, you have two main options for disposal, but you should always wear gloves and avoid handling the rat directly. You can either wrap the rat up in plastic and place it with the rest of your garbage or bury it. If you choose to bury it, dig down at least a foot so neighborhood animals do not dig it up.
Prevention As An Alternative
Out of all the methods of killing rats, snap traps are the most humane and easiest to use. The best situation, however, would be to prevent the need to kill rats at all, which you can do by preventing their presence on your property. Do this by sealing up all holes in your home as well as vents and air ducts. Also clean your property so any wood piles are at least several inches off of the ground and all nuts and fruit have been picked up off the ground. This will reduce the appeal of your yard as food and shelter will be limited.
Read the How to get rid of rats page for helpful information and to learn more about How To Kill A Rat
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