What Kills Rats Instantly? Contain Disease & Make it Quick

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Rats are one of the most common pests found in homes, backyards, and buildings. They can gnaw through just about anything – from walls to kitchen cabinets – leaving a trail of disgusting urine and feces behind them. 

Not only does this smell bad, but rats are notorious carriers of various diseases (including listeria, salmonella, hantavirus, and Weil’s disease) which can be spread to humans through contact with rat feces or contaminated food.

Rats were also reportedly one of the main spreaders of the Black Plague pandemic, so it makes sense why people don’t want them rummaging around their homes. 

Here’s the thing – nobody wants to kill rats. Ideally, the best cure for killing a rat is preventing the rat from entering your house at all, but we are dealing with clever and determined rodents.

Sometimes, if you’re worried about the spread of bacteria or the quality of your household, the kindest thing you can do for your family, is kill the rats. 

Here is everything you need to know about what kills rats instantly and how to kill rats!

So…What Kills Rats Instantly?

When you’re looking to kill rats, you don’t want the death to be a slow and painful one. It sounds awful, but the most “humane” way to kill a rat is to do it quickly.

You also don’t want dying rats wandering around your home, urinating, defecating, salivating, during a lengthy, inhumane death. You want them killed as quickly as possible and you want them to stay in place to contain any potential pathogens. 

There are actually only two surefire ways to kill rats instantly: snap traps and electric traps.

Snap Traps

Snap traps are undoubtedly the fastest way to kill a rat easily.

Let’s be honest, there is no way to kill a rat without it being gruesome and unkind, but at least this method doesn’t involve using harsh chemicals that could kill a rat slowly. 

The way these traps work is that when a rat stands on the trigger point of the snap trap (usually coerced by food on the other side of the trap), the trap will immediately snap into action, “Snapping” the rat’s neck and spine in less than a second.

If properly snapped, the Rat cannot feel the pain and death is all but instantaneous. All that’s left to do is to remove the bodies. These traps can be placed anywhere in a home where you think rats occur, such as underneath kitchen counters or in the garage. 

Of course, every method of killing comes with its disadvantages. While these traps don’t use harsh chemicals that can be harmful to human hands, if you mishandle the traps in any way, you can end up trapping your finger.

Due to the strength of these snap traps, this will almost definitely result in broken fingers. This means that if you have kids or pets, you need to keep them away from the traps to prevent injuries. 

Another downside to snap traps is that the rats might be sneaky. They might walk over the trigger instead of standing on it as they eat the bait, resulting in a partial trap.

The rat is likely to run (or hobble) away with nothing worse than a wound or injury. 

Aside from these disadvantages, if you’re looking to kill a rat in the quickest way, snap traps are the way to go. 

Here is a product we think you might like: Large Indoor Rat Traps

Electric Traps

The other way to kill rats instantly is to use electric traps. Snap traps are great, but with the downside of rats potentially running away with injuries means that they are not the most foolproof method of killing anwelcome rat.

Electric traps, however, leave little room for escapees. 

The concept is similar to a snap trap. The electric trap will have a piece of bait at the end of the box-like trap.

Once the rat goes to eat the bait, it will stand on a metal plate that triggers the electrical circuit, thus electrifying the rat.

Each electric rat trap will have varying strengths of electrocution, but most products will electrify the rodent at 6,000-9,000 Watts. 

If you compare the snap trap to the electric trap, the electric trap takes perhaps 1-2 seconds longer to kill the rat.

However, this comes with a better success rate than with a snap trap, which could easily result in the escape of the rat.

Not only will a rat struggle to escape in an electric trap, but the death is clean and doesn’t involve any broken bones, making it the more humane option of killing. 

Here’s a product we think you might like: Thanos Electric Rat Trap

What Doesn’t Kill A Rat Instantly?

So, we’ve given you the best ways to kill a rat instantly, but what about the methods of killing to avoid?

Rat Poison

Rat poison is one of the slowest and most inhumane ways to kill a rat. If a rat comes into contact with poison, it can carry the poison in its body for several days, which can lead to contamination of food.

dead rat

This often results in other animals in the food chain getting poisoned too, such as the owls and foxes who eat the rats. As these predators are beneficial and essential to their ecosystems, make sure to avoid rat poison. 

Plus, if you have domestic pets, there’s always the risk of your dog or cat consuming the poison, not to mention how rat poison can harm us.


Possibly the most inhumane way to kill a rat is to drown it in a bucket of water. People have created various ways to drown a rat, but none of them are successful in killing a rat instantly.

Rats can swim, so they will try their hardest to stay afloat. This method can take several minutes to over an hour to kill a rat. 

Glue Boards 

Glue boards are another inhumane and cruel way to kill a rat. People will often use glue boards to kill spiders and other insects, because these boards work to adhere the rat to the board to starve and dehydrate them to death.

However, some rats have been recorded to bite off their own limbs to escape the clutches of the glue board, making this the least successful method of killing rats. 

Even if it doesn’t manage to bite its own limbs off, you catch it on a glue board, approach it completely alive…then what?


Killing rats should be a last resort. It should never be “the lazy way out” of a chronic rat problem. If you have a rat infestation, get rid of the source, secure the perimeter, and your problem should be solved.

But, rats are carriers of disease and you should not decide to live in harmony with wild rats inside your home. So when you have to kill them, do it as instantly as possible using the snap or electric traps.

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