Get rid of rats and keep them from coming back

How to Get Rid of Burrowing Rats (Suffocate, Trap & Poison)

If you are trying to figure out how to get rid of burrowing rats, I have a few ideas to help you solve your problems.

Those burrows are caused by Norway rats and are used for nesting and traveling in protection.  Here is a look at how the rats make these burrows.

How to Kill Rats In Your Yard

When it comes to killing these rats, you have all of the tools used to kill rats outdoors as well as a few other tricks.

Outdoor Poison for Rats

If you want to use rat poison to kill your rats, you will want a pet-friendly product.

Your first option is to use a Tier 1 bait station.  A Tier 1 station contains a traditional, highly toxic rat poison but it is housed in a plastic container that is child tamper-proof and cannot be chewed open by dogs.  The poison takes 1-2 days to kill the rats after ingestion.

Tamper Proof Rat Bait

Your second option is to use a poison that is non-toxic to dogs but kills rats through dehydration.  This poison is called RatX and is advertised to kill rats without leaving an odor since the rat dehydrates from the inside.

Here is a video that gives more information about the product.

Outdoor Traps for Rats

When it comes to outdoor rat traps, I recommend the Havahart live traps or the various five-gallon bucket traps.

The Havahart traps are highly effective and will not harm any cats, squirrels, or other critters that get caught.

No Kill Rat Trap

When I catch rats in these traps, I will usually finish them off with a pellet gun.

The downside of the Havahart traps is that you will only catch a single rat per night.  If you have a large rat infestation,  the rest of them will figure this trap out before catching them.

The other outdoor taps that I like are bucket rat traps. There are many versions of this trap. Some work by dropping a plank that resets, while others work by spinning the rat on a rolling log. The basic principle of all of the traps is to trick the rat into falling into the bucket.

Plank Trap

You can use this as a live trap or partially fill it with water to drown the rats.

These traps are GREAT at catching many rats in a single evening.

Suffocation Agents for Rats

The last way to kill a rat is to use the protection of the burrow against it.  Major cities like Chicago have started utilizing this approach by filling the burrow entrance with dry ice.

As the dry ice melts, it releases large volumes of carbon dioxide, filling the burrow and suffocating the rats.

If you don’t have access to dry ice, there are other commercial products that work in a similar manner.  One alternative to dry ice is called the Giant Destroyer.

Super Gasser This product is essentially a giant smoke bomb that fills the burrow with combustion gasses (CO2/CO/SO2) which suffocate anything inside the burrow.

Keep Rats From Coming Back

Killing the existing rats is only a short-term fix unless you take active measures to make your property less attractive to new rats.

Your existing rats came to your yard for a reason.  If you don’t fix that reason, then expect new rats to take their place.

Some simple steps to take to prevent future rat problems include:

  • Tightly secure all trash cans
  • Pick up any dog poop daily (a disgusting but readily consumed food source)
  • Minimize the use of bird feeders (spilled seeds are a great food source)
  • Eliminate debris piles
  • Get rid of any sources of food and water
  • Contact local rodent removal services in your area

I hope you picked up a few tips to help with your problem.

Good Luck!

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