How to Kill Rats with Salt in a Few Easy Steps

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Rats are nuisance rodents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rats may spread various deadly diseases to humans and their pets. Rats become fatal when they find their way to your home. There are many home remedies to knock rats out of your home. One of them is to kill rats with salt. Is it effective?

Yes, using salt to kill rats successfully, but it takes time to start working. Rats may pass away within a day or less of ingesting salt. Salt can quickly kill a rat, especially if there is insufficient water. However, for salt to be effective, it must be coupled with something more alluring.

If you’re seeking a way to get rid of rats, read the entire article to find out everything there to kill rats.

Do Rats Like and Eat Salt?

No, rats don’t like salt. According to American Psychology Association, rats consume little salt because they get all the required sodium from the diet and don’t seek additional salt deposits. Remember, rats consume salt frequently other than what is naturally present in food.

According to Rutgers University, rats’ desire to eat salt rises with age or experience eating pure meals, but experience eating salty food has nothing to do with the level of salt they prefer. Rats won’t eat salt in its raw form, even though it is a common ingredient. So you can add it with other food items, but keep in mind pinch of salt is not enough to kill rats.

Adding 100 grams of salt to the snacks and sweets that rats prefer is an easy way to starve them to death with a bad diet.

Does Epsom Salt Kill Rats?

Yes, Epsom salt kills rats. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate and is very effective in getting rid of rats. It is a naturally available mineral with countless uses in homes and gardens. Since it is readily available in shops, you can buy it easily.

You can use it to kill rats or protect your crops from pests. According to Inflammopharmacology, excessive Epsom salt (hypermagnesemia) leads to severe muscle weakness and brain damage in rats. These injuries finally result in the death of rats.

By using Epsom salt, you can stop rats from digging under your house or consuming your garbage. Spray Epsom salts in spots where rats tend to dig or burrow. You’re all set! There are no signs of rats running loose nearby.

How Does Salt Work to Kill Rats?

Rats can annoy you with their cunning activities. They can become intolerable when they start chewing everything, putting their tongues in every food item, and shredding pricey accessories. You may often use salt to kill rats, but do you know how it works?

Salt works on rats in the following ways:

  • Salt is a dehydrating mineral. It can lead to organ failure in rats if they consume it in large amounts.
  • Although rats don’t like salt, you can sprinkle it on their favorite food to kill them.
  • Almost 80-100 grams of salt is enough to kill rats.
  • An excessive amount of salt can cause muscle weakness, neurological defects, and blindness in rats.
  • Along with these problems, it can kill rats slowly by causing gastric and systemic inflammation.

Positives and Negatives of Using Salt to Kill Rats

No doubt, salt is an easy and reliable way to kill rats, but everything has its pros and cons so does it. Some of them are listed below.


  • It is an effective and cheap method to kill rats.
  • Moreover, it is readily available in every house.
  • A further advantage of using salt is that if your pet consumes it accidentally, it does not cause harmful consequences.


  • Salts cause acute poisoning in rats, thus resulting in slower killing.
  • Besides the advantages, the rat may not respond to salt for up to 24 hours.
  • You cannot kill a large population of rats by using salt.
  • Moreover, if there is water near salt bait, rats can easily counterbalance the effect of salt by sipping it.

Effective Ways to Kill Rats with Salt

Along with nuisance behavior, rats cause severe diseases in humans. According to Scientific Reports, rats are the source of deadly viral hemorrhagic fever (Lassa Fever). For killing rats salt is an effective home remedy, but you may miss out on some best ways to do so.

First, you need to choose either a table salt (sodium chloride) or Epsom salt to kill a rat. After deciding the salt type, you can kill rats by the below steps:

  • Find a rat hole in your home.
  • Close any gap to prevent other foods from rats.
  • Add a large quantity of salt to the rat’s favorite food.
  • After that, place the prepared bait along the path of the rats.
  • To limit the water supply of rats, close all the water taps.
  • Thus, the restricted supply of food and water will ultimately lead to the death of a rat.

Quantity of Salt Needed to Kill Rats

Salt will act as an acute poison for rats if you give it in large quantity to rats. According to the Journal of the American Heart Association, rats require 0.3% to 0.5% sodium per day to maintain healthy growth and development on a molecular level. Sodium chloride more than this quantity can adversely affect rats’ organs and be deadly.

Recent research shows that 80 to 100 grams of salt are enough to kill rats. It causes sodium toxicity in rats that will eventually put them to death.

Ingesting too much sodium promotes dehydration and raises blood pressure in rats. Moreover, according to Eastern Virginia Medical School, an excessive salt intake in rats cause oxidative stress in vascular regions and kidney. All these conditions turn into the execution of rats.

How Much Time Required to Kill Rats With Salt?

Rats are abundant rodents in America. According to Census Bureau, almost 14.8 million households in the USA has infested with rats. So it could be worth trying to kill rats with salt. It will take 18 to 24 hours to kill rats with salt. So you need some patience for euthanizing rats with salt.

Moreover, rats will die only in 24 hours if the quantity of salt given is more than 75 grams. It causes slow toxication in rats in addition to organ failure, muscle atrophy, paralysis, and blindness in rats.

If the rat does not consume large amounts of water to dilute the guts, it causes permanent damage to the stomach and intestines, which results in death.

How to Use Salt with Other Things to Kill Rats?

Rats create a lot of commotion and disturb your peace. Salt is a great lure to entice rats, but it works unless you combine it with other things. Here are some other remedies that you must try along with salt:

Detergent and Salt

You will get a deadly homemade rat poison when you add detergent to salt. Washing detergent is more effective for this purpose by containing phosphate, bleach, sodium carbonate, and sulfonate. You can easily prepare a lure for rats by mixing laundry detergent and salt with flour and sugar.

Cheese and Salt

Although cheese is a favorite food of rats, you can use it to attract rats to a trap. Take a slice of cheese and sprinkle 80 grams of salt on it. The rat may decide to consume the entire cheese, depending on how strong the smell of the cheese is.

Rat Chow and Salt

Rat chow can cover up the effects of salt. According to the Vitamin D journal, standard rat chow contains 1% salt. It does not work effectively to kill a small number of rats. You can buy it from any nearby pet shop.

How to Make Effective Baits with Salt to Kill Rats?

Even though salt is a commonly available product, rats won’t eat it in its raw form. So, you need to mix it with the rats’ favorite food. You can add salt with cheese and rat chow, which is used for nourishing lab rats.

You can prepare an effective bait by spraying 80 grams of salt on a piece of cheese. Place it near the way of the rat, and you will find a dead rat. Since removing these rodents from your home is the key goal, this would be a great success.

Above all, you must set the cheese slice outside the house to keep rodents away from the entry.

Other Things to Kill Rats

Even though you can kill rats with salt, some other things kill rats faster than salt does. These are listed below:

1- Paracetamol

You can kill rats by using a bisected tablet of paracetamol. According to the Iraqi Journal of Veterinary Sciences, oral administration of paracetamol in rats for three months results in significant organ damage like the kidneys, liver, and heart. All these problems will eventually kill the rats.

2- Coke

Killing rats with coke is a myth. According to research, coke or any other carbonated beverage cannot kill a rat. Rats are unable to rift hence the belief developed. Since rats are hooked to the sweet taste and smell of carbonated drinks, if you use coke to kill a rat, you risk attracting even more rats.

3- Onions

You can kill rats by using raw onions. When rats eat onions, their cells are deprived of oxygen, resulting in immediate anemic signs. A large amount of onion can kill an adult rat in under 12 hours by causing kidney failure.

4- Baking Soda

Although baking soda can kill rats, it can take 24 to 36 hours to do its work completely. Baking soda contains bicarbonate that converts into carbon dioxide by resting with the stomach acids of rats. Carbon dioxide builds up in rats’ digestive systems, which will finally cause death.

5- Ammonia

Ammonia is a potent and effective repellent because rats can not take its strong scent and flee the area. For effective results, you can make a mixture of ammonia and water. Add two tablespoons of detergent and 2 cups of ammonia to a pot of water. After that, leave this pot in the rat-infested area to do its work.

Yes, it is legal to kill rats in the United state. Rats come under the nuisance wildlife category in the USA, and it is legal to kill such species. According to Wildlife Management Pros, you can kill rats legally by using baited snap-style traps and poison.

Rats can cause significant damage to your home, and even though killing them is cruel, it is a necessary sacrifice. Rat killing is legal in some states of the United States, while some have strict rat control laws.

Moreover, only terminators can trap and release these rodents in the District of Colombia. Though all 50 U.S. states allow the employment of cats or dogs to hunt rats, several others forbid doing so for pleasure.

Final Verdict

Rats can be more than just an inconvenience because they can spread disease and harm your house. You must kill rats if you don’t want to endanger the health of your loved ones and want to avoid harm.

Salt is one of the most widely available substances that you can use to build homemade rat poison. But you must keep in mind an amount of 80 grams can work effectively to put rats down. Moreover, salt gives astonishing results when you add it to other things.

Lastly, if you are hesitant to eliminate rats in your home, call a professional pest control company, and iron out your trouble.


  •  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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  • Physiological and Molecular Responses to Altered Sodium Intake in Rat Pregnancy Nicole Eisele Ph.D., Rahel Klossner BMSc, Geneviève Escher Ph.D., Stefan Rudloff Ph.D., Alexey Larionov MD, Ph.D., Franziska Theilig MD, Markus G. Hiten D. Mistry Ph.D., BSc, and Carine Gennari‐Moser Ph.D.
  • Majee, S & Ramadhan, Muhammad & Monthe, W & al Rubye, Mukhallad. (2013). Long-term toxicological effects of paracetamol in rats. Iraqi Journal of Veterinary Sciences. 27. 65-70.