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Home » Blog » What Food Kills Rats? A Guide to Rat Poison and Natural Rat Repellents

What Food Kills Rats? A Guide to Rat Poison and Natural Rat Repellents


Rats are a prevalent issue in numerous residences and can inflict substantial harm to properties while also transmitting illnesses. Although there exist diverse approaches to eliminate rats, using poison is one of the most effective ways. However, not all foods are equally effective in killing rats. In this piece, we'll delve into which foods prove most potent in exterminating rats.

Rats are recognized as opportunistic diners and will consume practically anything within their reach. However, not all foods are equally effective in killing them. Some foods are toxic to rats, while others are not. It is essential to choose the right food to ensure that the rats are killed quickly and effectively. 

Using poison to kill rats can be an effective way to control their population. However, it is crucial to use the right kind of poison to ensure that it is effective and safe. Following that, we will address certain measures you must take when employing poison to guarantee the safety of other animals or humans and prevent harm.

Overview of Pest Control and the Importance of Controlling Rat Populations

Controlling rat populations is an important aspect of pest control. Rats are known to spread diseases and cause property damage. They can also contaminate food and water supplies, this underscores the significance of keeping them distant from human residences.

One effective way to control rat populations is by using rat killer food. Rat killer food is designed to attract rats and kill them. Nonetheless, exercising caution in the utilization of these products is imperative, following the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Using too much this kind of food can pose risks to other animals and even humans.

Another way to control rat populations is by making sure that food and water sources are not easily accessible to rats. This can be achieved by storing food in sealed containers and cleaning up spills immediately. It is also important to keep garbage cans tightly closed and to dispose of garbage regularly.

In addition to using rat killer food and controlling food and water sources, it is important to seal up any cracks or holes in buildings that rats can use to enter. This can be accomplished utilizing materials like steel wool or caulk.

Overall, controlling rat populations is an important aspect of pest control. By using rat killer food, controlling food and water sources, and sealing up entry points, it is possible to keep rats away from human habitation and reduce the risk of disease and property damage.

Dangers Posed by Rats, Including the Spread of Disease and Damage to Property

Rats are a prevalent nuisance capable of inflicting substantial property damage and posing risks to human health. They are known to carry and spread a variety of diseases, including leptospirosis, salmonellosis, and hantavirus. These diseases can be transmitted to humans through contact with rat droppings, urine, or saliva, as well as through bites or scratches from infected rats.

Besides the health hazards, rats can wreak havoc on property by gnawing on wires, insulation, and various materials. Such actions can result in electrical fires, water damage, and other expensive repairs. Additionally, rats can contaminate food and other items with their droppings and urine, rendering them unsuitable for human consumption.

To mitigate these risks, it's crucial to undertake measures to manage rat populations and eradicate their food supplies. This can be achieved through employing rat traps, poison baits, and alternative techniques. Nevertheless, exercising caution is paramount when utilizing rat poison, as it can pose harm to pets and other wildlife.

In addition to these methods, there are also certain foods that are known to be effective at killing rats. These encompass edibles rich in calcium, like plaster of Paris, as well as foods that contain high levels of sugar, such as chocolate and peanut butter. However, it is important to use these methods with caution and to follow all safety instructions to prevent harm to humans and other animals.

Understanding the Dietary Habits of Rats

Rats, being omnivorous rodents, consume a diverse array of foods, encompassing grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and meat. They're also recognized for scavenging for food in garbage cans, sewers, and other unsanitary places. Understanding the dietary habits of rats is essential for effective pest control, particularly when it comes to baiting.

Overview of a rat's natural diet and scavenging behavior.

In the wild, rats primarily feed on grains, seeds, and fruits. They also have a propensity for consuming insects, small creatures, and carrion. Rats possess a sharp olfactory sense, enabling them to detect food from afar. They exhibit opportunistic feeding behavior, readily scavenging for sustenance from any available source, including garbage cans, dumpsters, and sewers.

Importance of identifying food preferences for effective baiting.

Identifying a rat's food preferences is crucial for effective baiting. Rats can be picky eaters and may avoid baits that do not match their taste preferences. For example, some rats prefer sweet foods, while others prefer savory or fatty foods. By using baits that are tailored to a rat's food preferences, pest control professionals can increase the likelihood of success.

The role of food in integrated pest management strategies for rats.

Food plays a critical role in integrated pest management strategies for rats. By eliminating food sources, such as garbage and food scraps, property owners can make their premises less attractive to rats. Additionally, using baits that are designed to mimic a rat's natural food sources can help control rat populations. Nonetheless, exercising caution is essential when employing rat poison baits, as they can be harmful to pets and wildlife.

Overall, understanding a rat's dietary habits is essential for effective pest control. By using baits that are tailored to a rat's food preferences and eliminating potential food sources, property owners can help prevent rat infestations and keep their premises free of these pesky rodents.

Natural Foods and Substances That Can Be Toxic to Rats

Rats are known to be adaptive creatures that can survive in different environments and feed on various types of food. However, there are some foods that can be toxic to rats and can even be used as a natural way to control their population. 

Introduction to Common Foods That Are Harmful to Rats

  1. Chocolate - Theobromine and caffeine toxicity: Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which can be toxic to rats. These substances can cause hyperactivity, seizures, and even death in rats.
  2. Raw beans - Contains phytohemagglutinin: Raw beans contain phytohemagglutinin, which can cause severe gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, and diarrhea in rats. It is recommended to cook beans thoroughly before feeding them to rats.
  3. Uncooked potatoes - Solanine as a natural poison: Uncooked potatoes contain solanine, a natural poison that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even death in rats. It is recommended to cook potatoes before feeding them to rats.

Discussion of Less-Known Toxic Foods

  1. Green tomatoes and tomato leaves - Solanine content: Green tomatoes and tomato leaves contain solanine, which can be toxic to rats. It is recommended to avoid feeding rats green tomatoes and tomato leaves.
  2. Onions, garlic, and other alliums - Thiosulfate causing oxidative damage: Onions, garlic, and other alliums contain thiosulfate, which can cause oxidative damage to rats' red blood cells. This can result in anemia and other health complications in rats.

The Impact of These Foods on Rats and Dosage Considerations

The impact of these foods on rats can vary depending on the dosage and the rat's age, health, and weight. It is recommended to avoid feeding rats these toxic foods and substances to prevent any health problems.

How to Use Natural Foods for Humane Rat Control

Natural foods and substances that are toxic to rats can be used as a humane way to control their population. Nevertheless, it's crucial to utilize them judiciously and with caution to prevent any harm to other animals or the environment. It's always advisable to seek guidance from a professional before employing any natural rat control techniques.

Formulated Rat Poisons and Bait

Formulated rat poisons and bait are a popular choice for controlling rat infestations. They are designed to attract rats and kill them quickly and efficiently. However, their use requires caution and proper handling to avoid harming non-target animals and humans.

The role of professional rodent baits and how they work.

Professional rodent baits are formulated to kill rats by disrupting their normal bodily functions. Two primary categories of rodenticides exist: anticoagulant and non-anticoagulant.

1. Anticoagulant rodenticides - Disruption of blood clotting.

Anticoagulant rodenticides function by disrupting the blood clotting process, leading to internal bleeding and death. They are slow-acting, allowing rats to feed on multiple occasions before succumbing to the poison. This increases the chances of other rats feeding on the bait and being affected by the poison.

2. Non-anticoagulant rodenticides - Attack the nervous system or induce calcium overload.

Non-anticoagulant rodenticides work by attacking the nervous system or inducing calcium overload, leading to paralysis and death. They are fast-acting and require a smaller amount of bait to be effective.

Types of formulated baits and active ingredients.

Formulated baits come in different types and contain different active ingredients.

1. Bromethalin-based baits.

Bromethalin-based baits are non-anticoagulant rodenticides that attack the nervous system. They are fast-acting and require a small amount of bait to be effective. However, they are also highly toxic and can pose a risk to non-target animals and humans if not handled properly.

2. Cholecalciferol-based poisons.

Cholecalciferol-based poisons are anticoagulant rodenticides that disrupt calcium metabolism, leading to kidney failure and death. They are slow-acting and require multiple feedings to be effective. However, they are also highly toxic and can pose a risk to non-target animals and humans if not handled properly.

3. Zinc phosphide and its mechanism.

Zinc phosphide is a non-anticoagulant rodenticide that reacts with stomach acid to produce phosphine gas, leading to respiratory failure and death. It is fast-acting and requires a small amount of bait to be effective. However, it is also highly toxic and can present a danger to unintended animals and humans if mishandled.

Considerations for the safe use of chemical rat poisons.

The use of chemical rat poisons requires caution and proper handling to avoid harming non-target animals and humans.

1. Risks to non-target animals and children.

Chemical rat poisons can pose a risk to non-target animals and children if not handled properly. They should be positioned in areas inaccessible to unintended animals and children, and should be properly labeled and stored.

2. Environmental concerns and contamination.

Chemical rat poisons can also pose a risk to the environment if not handled properly. They should not be placed near water sources or areas where they can contaminate soil or vegetation.

Advantages and drawbacks of using formulated poisons.

Formulated poisons have advantages and drawbacks that should be considered before use.

Advantages include their effectiveness in controlling rat populations, their ease of use, and their availability.

Drawbacks include their potential toxicity to non-target animals and humans, their potential to contaminate the environment, and the development of resistance in rat populations.

Baiting Techniques and Safety

Best practices for bait placement in and around the property.

When baiting for rats, It's crucial to position the bait in areas where rats are known to frequent. This includes areas such as along walls, near garbage cans, and in dark corners. Bait should be placed in small amounts, as rats prefer to eat smaller quantities of food multiple times a day.

It's vital to refrain from situating bait in areas where children or pets may encounter it. Bait should be placed in tamper-resistant bait stations or secured in other ways to prevent access by non-target species.

How to secure bait stations to prevent access by non-target species.

Securing bait stations is an important part of rat control. Bait stations should be situated in locations where rats are recognized to frequent and should be secured in a way that prevents access by non-target species. This can be done by placing the bait station in a locked box or securing it with a chain or cable.

The importance of following label instructions and local regulations.

When using rat bait, it is important to follow label instructions and local regulations. This includes using the appropriate amount of bait, placing it in the correct areas, and disposing of any unused bait properly. Furthermore, certain regions might have particular regulations concerning the utilization of specific types of bait or the positioning of bait stations.

Monitoring and replacement of bait - tracking effectiveness.

Monitoring the effectiveness of baiting techniques is important to ensure that the rat population is decreasing. This can be done by checking bait stations regularly to see if they have been disturbed or if bait has been consumed. If bait has not been consumed, it may be necessary to move the bait station to a different location.

Additionally, it is important to replace bait as needed. Bait that has become moldy or has spoiled will not be effective in controlling the rat population. Regularly replacing bait will help to ensure that the rat population is being managed effectively.

Preventative Measures and Alternatives to Poison

Strategies for reducing food availability and access to shelter.

Preventing rats' access to food and shelter proves an effective method to discourage their entry into a property. This can be achieved by sealing all entry points, including cracks and holes in walls and floors, and ensuring that all food is stored in airtight containers. Additionally, removing any potential food sources, such as pet food or birdseed, can help to reduce the attractiveness of a property to rats.

Sanitation and waste management

Proper sanitation and waste management are crucial in preventing rat infestations. This includes ensuring that all trash is stored in sealed containers and regularly disposed of, as well as cleaning up any spills or food debris immediately. Regularly cleaning and disinfecting areas is also essential where rats may be present, such as crawl spaces and basements.

Physical barriers and exclusion methods.

Physical barriers, such as wire mesh and steel wool, can be used to prevent rats from entering a property. Exclusion methods, such as sealing entry points and installing door sweeps, can also be effective. Nevertheless, it's vital to guarantee that all entry points are properly sealed, as rats can fit through very small openings.

Electronic deterrents and repellents.

Electronic deterrents and repellents, such as ultrasonic devices and strobe lights, may be effective in deterring rats. However, their efficacy might fluctuate depending on the particular circumstances and the type of device employed. It's crucial to conduct research and select a device that has demonstrated effectiveness in rat deterrence.

Professional Pest Control Assistance

When it comes to rat infestation issues, sometimes it is best to call in the professionals. Professional pest control companies have the know-how, expertise, and equipment to effectively deal with rat problems.

When to call professionals for rat infestation issues.

If the rat infestation is severe, it is best to call in professionals immediately. Indications of a significant infestation comprise a high volume of rats, visible damage to property, and the presence of rat droppings and urine. It is also important to call professionals if DIY methods have been unsuccessful or if there are concerns about the safety of using rat poisons or traps.

Services offered by pest control companies.

Pest control companies offer a range of services to deal with rat infestations. These services include inspection and assessment of the infestation, spotting entry points, trapping and eliminating rats, and sealing these entry points to thwart future infestations. Some companies also offer ongoing monitoring and maintenance services.

The benefits of integrated pest management (IPM) approach.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a methodology that entails employing a combination of methods to control rat infestations. This approach includes identifying the root cause of the infestation, implementing preventative measures, using non-toxic methods such as traps and exclusion techniques, and only using pesticides as a last resort. The benefits of an IPM approach include reduced pesticide use, reduced risk to human health and the environment, and long-term pest control solutions.

Overall, calling in professional pest control assistance can be a highly effective way to deal with rat infestations. By utilizing a blend of techniques and adopting a preventative approach, pest control companies can help to ensure that rat problems are dealt with quickly and effectively.


Throughout this article, various methods of rat control have been discussed. The primary focus of the article was on identifying the foods that can kill rats. It was found that rats can eat almost anything, but there are certain foods that can be used to trap and kill them.

The article discussed several foods that can be used to kill rats, including chocolate, peanut butter, and bacon. It was also mentioned that rat poison is a common method used to control rat infestations, but it can pose risks and should be managed cautiously.

Alternative methods of rat control, such as sealing entry points and eliminating food sources, were also discussed. These methods can be used in conjunction with food-based traps to effectively control rat populations.

If you're facing a rat infestation, it's crucial to act promptly. Rats can be carriers of disease and can cause damage to your property. The experts at Critter Stop are available to help you control your rat problem. Contact us at (214) 234-2616 today to schedule a free inspection and to learn more about our rat control services. Our knowledgeable technicians can assess your situation and provide you with a customized plan to effectively control your rat infestation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What food kills rats?

There are several types of food that can kill rats. Some of the most effective options include anticoagulant rodenticides, which work by thinning the rat's blood and causing it to bleed out. Other options include baking soda mixed with sugar, which can cause gas to build up in the rat's stomach and lead to death, and chocolate, which contains theobromine, a compound that is toxic to rats.

Why does baking soda kill rats?

Baking soda mixed with sugar can be an effective way to kill rats because it causes gas to build up in their stomachs, leading to death. When rats ingest baking soda, it reacts with the acid in their stomachs, generating carbon dioxide gas. As the gas builds up, it creates pressure in the rat's stomach, leading to bloating, discomfort, and eventually death.

Which natural substances have a lethal effect on rats?

There are several natural substances that can be used to kill rats, including peppermint oil, castor oil, and eucalyptus oil. These oils contain compounds that are toxic to rats and can be used to repel or kill them. Another natural option is diatomaceous earth, a powder derived from the fossilized remains of microscopic aquatic organisms, and vinegar, which can be used to repel rats and prevent them from entering your home.

Are there any household foods that can be used to control rat populations?

Yes, there are several household foods that can be used to control rat populations. Baking soda mixed with sugar is one effective option, as is chocolate, which contains theobromine, a compound that is toxic to rats. Other options include peppermint oil, which can be used to repel rats, and vinegar, which can be used to clean surfaces and deter rats from entering your home. 

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Lee Gorman
Lee Gorman
13:50 21 Nov 22
I’d give a 10 star review if I could! We had a great experience with Critter Stop. Everyone I dealt was friendly, professional, and reassuring. Phillip was very helpful and knowledgeable about the work he was doing. He walked me around the entire house to make sure I saw and understood the services he provided. He was also really nice and answered all my questions — he is exactly the type of person that should be interacting with customers.I love the fact that they will come back for up to 1 year after installation if any problems occur — this shows me they stand behind their work.The owner was great too, he personally came to my house and walked me through their offering. I recommend critter stop to anyone and everyone!
Susan Casey
Susan Casey
14:53 15 Nov 22
Critter Stop is a fantastic business! Everyone involved is extremely professional and very easy to communicate with. Chisam, the owner, did a great job of explaining the process to get the squirrels out of my attic during the initial free estimate. The exclusion crew who did all of the initial work was fabulous. The crew consisted of Phillip, Nick and Corey who arrived promptly when they said they would. They are happy, positive employees. Everyone is very polite and patient in explaining their work and answering questions. They came back several times to check the traps and finish it off with the fogging. Lester was very good about following up to schedule each trap check with me, and the office staff who took care of the billing was very efficient. Critter Stop is a well run company with honest, trustworthy employees! Thank you to all of you who worked hard to make my attic critter free and for the peace of mind that you guarantee your work. Great to know I can call them if for some reason a squirrel figures out a way to get back in!
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Karen Eckholdt
14:54 22 Sep 22
Critter Stop has made this project easy and extremely professional from start to finish! They are very detailed and competent from start to finish and know so much about their business. They made a problem easy for us and at a reasonable cost. We would be happy to recommend this company and their owners and staff to anyone.
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Aaron Echols
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The guys at Critter Stop responded quickly, were very friendly, and gave us an honest estimate of what we might need. They explained why some items on other quotes were or were not necessary. They communicated well to get us scheduled, and did the work well and quickly. Great service at a fair and competitive price.
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Jacob Scribner
19:23 27 Jul 22
Brandon and his other coworker Gavin came to install insulation in my attic. I am very grateful for the hard work and professionalism. My house feels a lot better with the insulation installed. 5 star review. Cory Leach was also very nice and helpful. He came to my house to do another job and was very attentive and professional. Thank you Corey and thank you Critter Stop for helping me.The owner very polite and helpful, I’m glad I found this company to help me.
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