Skip to Content

Killing Rats with Salt

killing rats with salt

Do you want to learn more about Killing Rats with Salt?

This article is aimed at anyone who is suspecting a rat infestation in their home. So, we’ll investigate the possibility of killing these pests with a common household item; salt!

Disturb The Peace

Rat. Image via Deposit Photos.

Animals, especially pests, can make a big commotion and disturb your peace. Tolerating a pet’s mischief and putting up with animals that aren’t your pets are quite different things. 

Rodents are one type of animal that can cause particular havoc. The sneaky behaviors of rats might give you a headache. Seeing them put their tongues in various foods and contaminate them, bite everything that gets in their way, and shred some pricey accessories can become intolerable.

Spreader Of Disease 

Rat. Image via Deposit Photos.

On a more serious note, these creatures are often involved in the spread of many diseases. Moreover, their nesting practices can damage the construction of infested places. However, humans cannot observe rats when numbers are low because they are covert. Therefore, it could be challenging to confirm an infestation. 

In this article, we’ll look into how you can establish if you have a rat infestation in your home. And if so, how you can get rid of them with something you most definitely keep in your spice cupboard – salt.

Signs of Rat Infestation In Your House

#1 The Sight of Rat Droppings

Gray rat. Image via Deposit Photos.

Your home may have rat droppings all over. You may see little, black pellet-shaped droppings. With this, they can also spread disease to you and your family by leaving urine and feces in your house. Rats’ limited vision makes them likely to make established pathways in the walls. 

#2 Damaged Items

Rat. Image via Deposit Photos.

If various things around your house show signs of wear and tear or destruction, you may have a rat infestation. Virtually nothing is out of bounds; they’ll much on essentially anything they can get their paws on. They are able to bite on paper and chew on furniture, electrical wires, storage containers, and leftover food. 

#3 Strange Smell Or Sounds

Wild Brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) running on log with stolen nut at night. High speed photography image. Image via Deposit Photos.

Remember that rats can smell strongly of ammonia. Since they may generate noises while moving about your home, such as scratching, squeaking, and rustling, these pests can also be rather loud. If you smell or hear something strange, your property could have a rat problem.

#4 Small Rat Footprints

Rat. Image via Deposit Photos.

If you notice foot and tail prints in the locations where the rats go, you may have a rat infestation in your house. They frequently smear grease and leave smudges. When you see these indicators, it’s time to call a pest control business right away.

What Troubles Can A Rat Inflict On Your House?

Rat. Image via Deposit Photos.

#1 They may cause structural damage to timber, drywall, insulation, and other building materials. 

#2 Rats chew through power wires, raising the possibility of fire and electrocution. According to estimations, rat and mouse damage accounts for 20–25% of all home and property fire occurrences each year, especially in the United States.

#3 Rats can even dig into the cushion batting and ruin furniture. 

#4 Their noises can become so loud that you cannot relax or sleep in your home. 

#5 They may nest in walls, below sinks, or even within appliances, like the bottom of a washer or the rear of a refrigerator.

What Is the Solution?

Rat. Image via Deposit Photos.

Rats have the power to be highly destructive since they can chew through shielding, electrical lines, and walls. Finding a long-term answer to the question of how to get rid of rats quickly is the only way to reclaim your home. 

Rat poison can seem like a simple remedy, but your pets might come across it and may get very ill – or possibly even die if they ingest rat poison. This risk is not worth taking. Then, what other choices are available? Salt has indeed been mentioned as an alternative to rat poison on the internet. Despite how absurd it may sound, salt can kill rats. It is more complex than just giving the rat a salty snack to feed on, though. Let’s investigate further.

Do Rats Naturally Eat Salt?

Rat. Image via Deposit Photos.

Sodium chloride is rarely consumed by wild rats other than what is naturally present in food. The American Psychological Association claims that because they acquire all the sodium they require from meals and don’t seek out extra salt deposits, they consume very little salt. Rats, who are naturally scavengers, will consume practically any organic item they can discover, including leftover food and animal waste. Rats will thus consume salt if it is paired with pleasant food. 

However, when given the opportunity, rats choose unsalted food over meals that are strongly salted. Their natural diet does not contain a lot of salt, which can be fatal if ingested in excess.

Salt’s Effect On Rats

Rat. Image via Deposit Photos.

Consuming salt or sodium chloride in excess can be extremely harmful. In order to maintain healthy growth and development, rats only require 0.03% to 0.05% salt of their total daily intake, according to the Journal of the American Heart Association. Anything over this point might be lethal to a rat by negatively affecting its internal organs. Rats who consume too much salt get dehydrated and develop high blood pressure. Additionally, high salt consumption impacts a number of physiological processes, such as: 

  • Renin secretion 
  • Vascular adaptation 
  • Aldosterone in plasma 

Increased salt consumption has been linked to oxidative stress and hypertension, according to Eastern Virginia Medical School. Diabetes is accelerated by a diet high in salt, which also causes hypertension.

Is Salt Poisonous For Rats?

Pet rats on a wooden background. Image via Deposit Photos.

Rats are not poisoned by salt in average concentrations. If that were the case, salty items that rats like to consume in our houses, for example, cured meats and cold cuts, would cause them to die right away. 

Also, rats can consume nearly everything that includes salt without becoming sick, including salted peanuts and potato chips. Rats, however, would pick a diet that is low in salt if given the option. A rat wouldn’t necessarily want to consume salt if it came across it. When the body consumes too much salt, it rapidly loses water and becomes dehydrated. Additionally, it stresses the organs in charge of eliminating toxins, which leads to their eventual malfunction.

Rats may be killed by using a lot of salt along with other food used as bait. You won’t likely be able to get enough rats to eat the bait to stop a population from rapidly reproducing if you have a significant infestation, though. As a result, it must be used in conjunction with other tested rodent control techniques.

The Dilemma of Using Salt

killing rats with salt
Rat. Image via Pexels.

Numerous studies have shown that when given the option between water and isotonic saline, sodium-replete rats prefer the latter and drink much more of the isotonic saline.

According to G K Beauchamp and M Bertino’s 1985 research, multiple experiments were done to see if rats would actually prefer a salt solution or a salty food over the other. In their first experiment, rats were given 1-hour open access to salted food, such as potato chips, and unsalted food. The experiment was performed on sixteen rats, and each one of them ate more of the unsalted food items.

In Experiment 2, a larger range of meals with varying salt contents was provided. In no instance was more unsalted solid food consumed than salted solid food. To conclude, more unsalted solid food was consumed overall.

The third trial introduced salted or unsalted potato chips to two groups of eight rats starting at weaning. The rats’ relative consumption of salted chips was unaffected by three months of exposure to salted or unsalted chips. Both groups chose to eat more unsalted chips when given the option. These studies suggest that rats prefer unsalted solid diets over salty ones.

Thus, we can see how rats prefer to eat unsalted food over salted food almost always. Therefore, to use it as a “poison,” one must come up with a mixture of food items with salt if it is to be used as bait for killing the rats. Let’s have a look at some of the ways to execute this.

Methods of Killing Rats With Salt

killing rats with salt
Rat. Image via Pexels.

#1 Mixing Cheese and Salt

For unclear reasons, the majority of cartoons feature rats as cheese lovers. Rats actually do not have a specific preference for cheese as a food. However, they may steal and eat cheese since they consume anything that is edible in order to survive. Rats are easily lured by cheese, thanks to its powerful odor. A rat uses its keen sense of smell, much like other animals, to track down and find its next snack. 

Other strongly flavored foods, like fatty fish and bacon, can be used as bait in addition to cheese. Just make sure the rat consumes all of the salt-containing meals, which should measure over 2.5 ounces (70g.)

#2 Mixing Detergent and Salt

In a bowl or other small container, combine flour and sugar and stir it thoroughly. To get a thick paste, continue mixing while adding water. 

Next, include salt and washing detergent into a consistent solution. A laundry detergent with hazardous compounds like bleach and phosphate is a great complement. Place the finished mixture in several tins or containers and place them in various rodent hiding places throughout the home. Before attempting further rat-killing techniques, see if the detergent and salt solution is effective. If you discover dead rats, your salt concoction has proven effective.

What Other Salt Mixtures Can Be Used?

killing rats with salt
Rat. Image via Unsplash.

Salt (table or Epsom salts)can be used with cheese, milk, chocolate, or other sugary foods. A snack or treat is used to entice rats to come and consume a combination that contains too much salt, eventually poisoning them. 

The fact that salt is widely available in most, if not all, houses is one of the key advantages of using it to kill rats. In comparison to other rat poisons on the market, salt as a rodent poison poses no threat to the health of people or pets. Although inadvertent salt eating may harm your pet, it is much less harmful than rodenticides, which frequently result in sudden death.

It’s also important to understand that salt is not one of the natural repellents for rats. Rats can only be killed by the salt if they consume it in sufficient quantities; otherwise, it will not deter them from a location.

Some Tips For Execution

killing rats with salt
Rat. Image via Pexels.
  • Rats may be killed without access to water by using salt as a poison. Since the effects are mild, a rat that manages to drink water after consuming salt or salty food may not experience any negative consequences.
  • Rats should not be poisoned with salt in tiny, enclosed areas since it becomes challenging to get enough of them to die, and the smell is unbearable. Place salt poison for rats in open, spacious areas.
  • To get rid of a rat infestation, combine salty food with something more lethal. If your approach includes salty food, traps, and commercial poison, expect outstanding results. 
  • Restricting access to food makes rats more prone to eating salted baits.
  • Cover up and close any holes to prevent rats from escaping to find other food sources.
  • Place the prepared bait along pathways that rats frequently use, preferably close to their nests if you’re able to locate them.
  • All your other foods should be stored properly in sealed metal or glass containers.

Benefits of Killing Rats With Salt

There are currently several ways to kill rats. The issue with these techniques, however, is that some of them could be more pricey.

  • It is quite cost-effective and practical to kill rats with salt and detergent. 
  • You most probably have salt and detergents in your residence. When compared to commercially available poison, salt can deceive rats into eating it. 
  • The fact that treatment options are available if your pet accidentally consumes salt is another advantage.

Some Issues of Killing Rats With Salt

Salt. Image via Pexels.
  • If you have one or two rats hiding around your house, salt will work just fine. However, when there is a larger pack of rats around, it might not achieve the desired result. It takes a lot of time (and is sometimes expensive) to make enough bait for a large number of rats. Using commercially available rat poison or other rodent control methods may be a safer option in this situation. You could also hire an exterminator to get rid of the rats for you if you need quick results.
  • You must make sure that there are no water sources around for the rats to drink from. If water is available anywhere nearby, the rats may counteract the effects of salt by consuming it.
  • Rat poison often works immediately and kills the rats before you know it, but salt won’t produce the same effect. Although salt is undoubtedly effective, it can take up to 24 hours for the rat to respond to it fully. If you don’t act quickly enough, your home could soon be overrun by rodents because rats have a tendency to reproduce fast and in great numbers.

Other Methods of Killing Rats

YouTube video

Use the food chain to your advantage. Rats are a natural prey item for cats. Bring a cat home to experience it yourself. 

Rat trapping has been done since ancient times. To make it work, you’ll need to use various baits to deceive the rats. Use inventive methods to allure the rats, such as peanut butter or savory cheese.

Another recent innovation on the market is dry ice. The creation of CO2 causes the rats to die instantaneously. However, humans are not exempt from the risk. Please refrain from using it where people and pets live in small areas.

Key Points

When in low numbers, it is hard to identify an infestation.
Rat droppings, damaged items/clothes, strange smells and sounds, and rat footprints can be an indicator of infestation.
Rats may cause structural damage and could also damage wirings and cause electrocution.
In excess salt may cause dehydration, damaged organs, high blood pressure, and hypertension.
One can mix salt with cheese, detergents, rat chow, milk, chocolate, or other sugary foods for killing rats.
Water should be kept away when giving rats salt.
Advantages of using salt as bait: Cost effective, can deceive rats to eat poison, not as harmful as other poisons for your pets.
Disadvantages of using salt as bait: Ineffective on large number of rats, availability of water around bait may make it ineffective, can take much longer to kill than poison.
Some other ways to get rid of rats could be attracting cats as they feed on rats, use of rat traps with bait, using dry ice to kill rats.


killing rats with salt
Rat. Image via Unsplash.

Rats are more than simply a bother since they may spread diseases and harm your house. If not dealt with, they could quickly become a very severe issue.

Salt is one way of curing your rat infestation. It’s a useful trick since it’s highly likely you keep salt at home, it’s cost-effective and, most importantly, won’t cause any harm to your pets if they were to ingest it. On the downside, though, it only works well if there are only a few rats in your home – it doesn’t usually prove effective in killing large populations of rats. It might also take much longer than other methods and, therefore, might not be the best option if you need speedy results. 

It is crucial to work with a pest control business if you don’t want to endanger the health of your loved ones and if you need quick results.

Thank you for reading this article! If you’re looking for similar reading on rodents, we’ve got you! Take a look at our article about What Chipmunk Poop Tells Us, or How to Choose An Ideal Hamster Cage.

Join our Forum for free today!

Animal Forum
Click Here
Grizzly Bear Spotted Feet From Alaskan Campsite Top 10 States With The Most Cougar Top 10 States With The Most Moose Top 10 States With The Most Coyote Top 10 States With The Most Elk