Can You Kill Rats With Salt? Here’s The Trick

Rats are one of the most unwanted guests in our homes. These pests may be a nuisance as well as carriers of diseases that can endanger the health of our loved ones and our pets.

Furthermore, rats may be damaging because they nibble on wiring, drywall, and electrical cables. 

Although there have been numerous methods of killing these rats, one of the easiest and most natural methods of doing so is using salts. Some readers may find this unusual; what is the process through which salt kills rats? Is such a thing even possible? 

The questions go on! So, without further ado, let’s get down to business: how to kill rats with salt.

What Does a Rat Need to Stay Alive?

Before we get into the ways salt (and other methods) can kill a rat, it is important to know which things help to sustain these creatures. 


Rats can survive for a month or longer without drinking water. As a result, they drink more water as a result of the foods they digest. They can locate water to drink in pet bowls, sewers, or moisture in the wall or pipes.


Rats are omnivores, which means they will consume anything. Rats eat rubbish and leftover food. They may also kill small animals for food, such as lizards and birds.


Among the wild, rats seek shelter in the grass, wildflowers, and other plants. Rats can also take shelter in your homes: behind the walls, behind the furniture, or in dark nooks which are seldom used.

Signs of a Rat Infestation in Your House

Before you can eliminate rats in your house, you must first verify whether you have a rat infestation.

The indicators of a rat infestation in your home are listed below:

1. Rat Droppings and Smears

Rats are known to leave droppings all around the house. On their paths, you may see black, little pellet-shaped feces. Because rats have poor eyesight, they are prone to creating established paths through the walls. Smudges and grease streaks are also possible.

2. Unusual Sounds and Scents

It is important to remember that rats can emit a strong ammonia odor. These pests are also extremely noisy, making scraping, screeching, and rustling sounds as they wander around your house.

3. Damage by Rats

If you notice damage to your belongings, you may have a rat infestation. They can chew on electrical wires, storage containers, furniture, paper, and leftover food. They can also leave bodily fluids and feces in your house, exposing you and your family to various diseases.

4. Rat Footprints

If you observe foot and tail markings, you may have a rat infestation in your house.

How to Kill Rats With Salt

Salt does not attract rats since an excess of it can kill them. However, putting extra salt in meals and snacks that rats like is a fantastic way of permanently putting them to sleep with a bad diet. This is not the most efficient or effective method, but it can work quite well.

Advantages of Using Salt as a Rat Poison

Because salt is a commonly available ingredient, it is one of the most cost-effective strategies to reduce the rat colony at home.

It is also a little safer than those over-the-top professional rat poisons that may potentially kill your pets. If unintentionally consumed, salt can have the same effect on pets as other poisons, although it is less deadly and rarely kills.

The Mechanism Behind Salt Acting as a Rat Poison

Because a rat’s body is so tiny, the salt ions accumulate faster and create results sooner than an equivalent amount of salt in a human body. You do not want too much salt in your system, and rats do not want it either.

Gastroenteritis, inflammatory responses, and stomach flu are some of the symptoms of severe salt poisoning in rats. General fatigue, neuromuscular paralysis, loss of vision, and deafness are a few of the neurological symptoms.

If the rat does not drink enough water to dilute the contents quickly enough, the resulting burning impact may cause permanent damage to the stomach and intestinal linings, leading to death.

The Ideal Amount of Salt to Use

Rats can not live with more than 70 – 75g of salt in their system. To unleash the maximum damage, poison is best supplied in little doses.

Hence, it is suggested that you sprinkle 1kg of your trap food with 80g of salt, just a little beyond the killing threshold.

How Long Does It All Take to Work?

It takes around 18–24 hours for the rat to die after intake of salt along with total deprivation of water.

How To Encourage Rats to Eat Salt?

We have listed down all the possible ways salt can work as a deadly weapon against rats, along with its impacts on health and its duration to work. 

But how do you get a rat to eat salt in the first place? This is where things get interesting!

Using a Lot of Salt Along With Cheese

If you watch any cartoon shows with rats in it, such as Tom & Jerry, you would believe cheese is the only food that rats eat. This stereotype, however, is rather exaggerated. Although rats are not fond of cheese as depicted on screen, they will still eat it since they are omnivorous.

The powerful aroma that cheese releases far and wide is the major reason why it is the most chosen bait in this scenario. Rats, like every other hunting creature, use their sense of smell to find their next meal.

Begin by purchasing an 80g piece of stinky blue cheese that has been coated with just enough salt to murder the troublesome rodents. Take a little piece of the cheese and try it for yourself.

Does it taste too harsh? No worries. Rats are notoriously greedy, so do not be shocked if they devour the entire piece.

The aim is to have the rats eat as much of the cheese as they can. You should also restrict them to water and any other leftover food in your house. Block your sources of water and keep the sinks dry to ensure that all of the salt absorbed has an effect on the body.

Do not limit yourself to only cheese; you may also use bacon, fatty salmon, and any other good and strongly flavored meal you can find, as long as the salt content stays under 80 grams.

Using an Excess of Salt With Rat Chow

Get 930g of rat chow, which is a survival meal designed to cater to lab rats, to make this deadly diet. Then take around 80g of salt and place it in a clean, unscented dish or plate. To be honest, 80g is a lot of food, and having such a small animal to eat it all can be a challenge.

As a result, this composition must be correctly combined in order for rats to consume the entire amount without becoming overwhelmed by the burn.

Related Read: Can Baking Soda Kill Mushrooms? Solved & Explained

Helpful Tips for Killing Rats With Salt

Obviously, there are a few things to pinpoint if you want this technique to work:

  • In tiny, enclosed places, do not use salt as rat poison. That is for two reasons: you will not be able to kill many of these, and the stink will be unbearable. Larger spaces, such as the barn or the storeroom where you store your foodstuff, are more suitable for this method. Outdoor settings may be preferred as well, as long as there are no pools of water present.
  • If you want to eliminate the entire population, you will need to combine the salty dinner with something more potent. You can combine it with industrial poison or add a few traps into your plan. But, if the rat count in your home is not too bad, salt alone will do the trick.

Other Methods To Eliminate Rats


Onions are deadly to rats, and if they eat them, they will choke and die from oxygen starvation.

Plaster of Paris and Cocoa Powder

Rats are attracted to a feast by cocoa powder, which is used as bait. They get extremely dehydrated, suffocate, and die after consuming this combination.

Eucalyptus or Peppermint Oil

You can use eucalyptus or peppermint oil to repel rats from your surroundings, causing them to leave your environment.

Potato Powder

Rats are not only repelled by potato powder but they are also killed by it.

Hot Pepper Flakes

This spicy food component also functions as a repellent to rats.


When compared to table salt, seawater may kill them sooner.

Garlic Bulb With Water

This solution can be sprayed directly throughout your house and rat-infested regions, or the cloves can be spread along the favorite pathways of the rodents.

Ammonia Spray

Rats will flee as quickly as they can to escape the pungent smell of ammonia.


When detergent and salt are combined, the result is devastating homemade rat poison.


Traps like live traps, electric traps, snap traps and glue traps are the quickest ways to get rid of rats.

Preventing Rats From Coming Back

You have done everything possible to get rid of these pests, and now your house has returned to its normal state. But that does not mean you should let your guards down since rats have a habit of infesting again and again.

Here’s what you can do to make sure your house does not get attacked by these rodents again:

  • Rats prefer to dwell in cluttered environments, so clean your home properly; they do not want to live in clean environments. This may not be effective in repelling them, but it will keep other rats out of your home.
  • Seal any crevices, such as cracks on the walls, that might be a source of rat access into your home.
  • Do not keep old plates and clothes; instead, wash them since rats will taste everything and may cause numerous infections.
  • We suggest that you avoid planting trees and shrubs during winter and trim the leaves so that they do not have a place to hide. Also, chop the trees that are reaching the attic.
  • Food supplies are usually kept in the basement, which makes it an excellent area for rats to seek shelter because there is enough food. Food should be stored in containers that rats will not be able to attack.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What Immediately Kills a Rat?

Traps are among the most efficient methods for quickly eliminating rats. Snap traps, which are the quickest way to kill rats instantly, are recommended for optimum results.

Q. What Foods Are Toxic to Rats?

Avocado pit and skin, chocolate. citrus fruits and mango (that cause kidney damage), fluorinated and/or chlorinated water, green bananas, and uncooked or undried beans (that contain toxic hemagglutinin) are foods that are toxic to rats.

Q. What Do Rats Despise the Most?

Rats have a highly developed sense of smell. Clover, garlic, onion, hot peppers containing capsicum, household ammonia, used coffee grounds, peppermint, eucalyptus, predator (cat) smell, white vinegar, the smell of naphthalene, and citronella oil may all be used to keep rats out of your home and garden.

Q. Which Plants Repel Rats?

Marigolds, rosemary, peppermint, lavender, onions, grape hyacinth, garlic, and daffodils help in repelling rats.

Q. Is It True That Bleach Keeps Rats Away?

Yes. Because of its unbearably harsh odor, bleach repels rats. It can also kill rats if taken in high quantities.

Q. What Are the Things That Frighten Rats?

Rats detest three types of odors: chemical odors, predator odors, and natural odors. These deterrents should be combined with more efficient preventive measures, such as keeping the house clean, plugging holes in the walls, storing food in airtight containers, and catching rats wherever they are spotted.

Q. What Is the Best Way To Get Rid of Burrowing Rats?

Dry ice, in particular, is highly efficient for rodent control outdoors. Dry ice dissolves into carbon dioxide when placed in rat burrows, filling the tunnel and suffocating any rats inside.