Get rid of rats and keep them from coming back

Will Antifreeze Kill Rats? Effective Homemade Pest Remedy

The thought of a rat infestation is cringe-worthy, and you are right to search for the most efficient ways of killing these vermins. Besides the general feeling of discomfort they inspire, an infestation also comes with the risks of infections caused by pathogens, with the Hantavirus being among the most dangerous ones. In addition, rats are destructive.

Will Antifreeze Kill Rats Effective Homemade Pest Remedy

Unfortunately, there is a lot of controversy around the use of rat poison. Rats won’t eat poisoned bait once they see others dying quickly after eating it. This calls for the use of home remedies like antifreeze bait. So, will antifreeze kill rats? Yes, it will. Find out how it does and how to use it in this article.

Antifreeze Overview

Antifreeze is an additive used in engine coolants to regulate temperatures in your vehicle. It can lower a water-based liquid’s freezing point and raise its boiling point. This additive helps maintain engine functionality regardless of the environmental temperature.

How Antifreeze Kills Rats

This liquid contains ethylene glycol as its main ingredient that absorbs water, which makes it highly toxic. The chemical affects the rat’s nervous system, kidneys, and metabolic process, resulting in death.

Step-By-Step Process: How to Kill Rats Using Antifreeze

Step 1: Find an Appropriate Place to Lay the Toxic Liquid

First, you must find an appropriate place to place the poison where pets, like cats, can’t access it. The place should also be the rats’ path to access it easily. Such places include against the wall and near their burrows. Note that rodents venture close to their colonies to look for food. 

Step 2: Prepare a Suitable Container

After finding the spot, you will find a suitable container to put the toxic liquid in. This container should be small enough to prevent access by domesticated pets such as dogs but big enough for the rats to get in and consume the content. You can use a tall plastic cup or a small plastic bottle that you cut into halves.

Tupperware containers can also work in this situation but going for a deeper container would be best. The rats will get in it and can’t be able to crawl out hence ease in the disposal. In addition, the chances of the rodents drinking the liquid are high if they are trapped in it. 

Step 3: Get Protective Gear

You will then get protective gear since this liquid can irritate when it comes into contact with your skin. Additionally, the vapors can irritate the upper respiratory tract and mucus membrane. Some of the gear includes gloves and masks. Endure that you thoroughly clean your hands after handling Antifreeze because ingesting it is also dangerous.

Step 4: Set up the Bait

Armed with protective gear, you will now prepare the bait. This is essential because you will need to prevent spillage, and you also want to attract the rats to your container. Some of the baits you can use are bread, cakes, cookies, and coke.

To use bread, you will need to soak it in Antifreeze in a bowl. You will then place it in the container and position it on the rodent’s path. This method is arguably the most efficient because the rat can carry the bait back to its nest. Ensure that you use enough bread or bait of choice so many rats can get to eat it. 

You will take a few tablespoonfuls of Antifreeze and half a cup of coke to prepare your bait if you choose this option. You will then set it where the rodent will get it. However, using coke has the risk of attracting more rats than your bait can handle because of its attractive smell. Using a large amount of this bait would be best if you opt for it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes antifreeze efficient at killing rats?

Some studies, such as the one done by the University of Reading, suggest that rats develop immunity through genetic mutation and conventional poisons are no longer effective. This makes toxic liquids like Antifreeze more efficient in killing rats.

Are rats attracted to antifreeze?

No, rats won’t be attracted to Antifreeze because it doesn’t smell. However, ethylene glycol makes rats and other animals consume Antifreeze because of its sweet taste. They will readily consume it when you use it if you mix it with baits that smell nice. However, mixing it with bait like bread would be best to avoid spillage and make it efficient since the rodents will eat more.

How much antifreeze do you need to kill rats?

You can use any quantity from 10 to 20 milliliters since there is no exact volume when killing rats. However, it should be enough to work well. And note that your quantity will depend on the infestation and the bait you use.

How long does it take for antifreeze to kill a rat?

It will take a few days for ethylene glycol to kill the rats because it is a slow-acting toxin. This feature is beneficial because many rats will eat the bait before others start avoiding it.

What are the risks of using antifreeze to kill rats?

Ethylene glycol is risky to humans and domesticated animals like cats or dogs, and using it comes with the risk of accidental poisoning. Therefore, you need to carefully choose where you put the container used to hold the bait. In addition, you should put on protective gear when handling it. Intoxication, seizures, abdominal pain, vomiting, and headaches are some of the symptoms you will experience in the event of accidental consumption.

What are the alternatives you can use instead of antifreeze?

Other than Antifreeze, you can use a windshield washer or brake fluid. These substances also contain ethylene glycol, and the component makes them equally toxic and efficient in killing rats.


Rats can cause embarrassment due to their destructive nature. Furthermore, they carry pathogens that can cause diseases. You, therefore, need an efficient way to kill them and stop the infestation. Antifreeze is one of the liquids you can use to make homemade remedies to deal with rats.

However, it would be best to be careful when handling it due to its toxicity caused by ethylene glycol. Use the information in this article to correctly use the liquid and rid your house of rats.

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