Rats can be a nuisance and health hazard if they invade your home. If you’re looking for an effective, non-toxic way to get rid of them, using peanut butter and baking soda may do the trick. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through exactly how to use this homemade rat poison.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with enough peanut butter to make a thick paste. Place small amounts around areas where you’ve seen rats. The rats are attracted to the scent of peanut butter and will eat the paste.

The baking soda reacts with their stomach acid to produce gas, causing them to die.

Understanding Why This Method Works

Peanut Butter Lures Rats In

One of the main reasons why using peanut butter to kill rats is effective is because of its strong scent and taste. Rats have a keen sense of smell and are attracted to the aroma of peanut butter. When placed as bait, the rats are enticed to come closer and investigate.

The sticky and creamy texture of peanut butter makes it difficult for rats to resist. It acts as a powerful lure, enticing the rodents to the trap.

This method has been proven to be highly effective by many pest control experts. According to Pest World, the official website of the National Pest Management Association, peanut butter is one of the most commonly used baits for rat traps due to its attractiveness to rodents.

Its high fat and protein content make it a desirable food source for rats, making them more likely to approach the trap.

Baking Soda Causes Deadly Gas Production

Once the rats are lured in by the peanut butter, the addition of baking soda becomes lethal. Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a common household ingredient with a variety of uses. When combined with an acidic substance, such as the stomach acid of a rat, it creates a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide gas.

Rats have a different digestive system than humans, and the reaction between the baking soda and their stomach acid causes excessive gas buildup within their bodies. This gas buildup leads to bloating and discomfort for the rats, eventually resulting in their demise.

It is important to note that while baking soda can be effective in killing rats, it is not an immediate method. The rats may take some time to ingest the baking soda and for the chemical reaction to occur.

Patience is key when using this method, as it may take a few days for the rats to succumb to the effects of the gas buildup.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Ingredients Needed

To effectively use peanut butter and baking soda to kill rats, you will need a few key ingredients. Firstly, make sure you have a jar of peanut butter. Rats are attracted to the smell and taste of peanut butter, making it an excellent bait.

Additionally, you will need baking soda, which can be easily found in most grocery stores. Baking soda works by causing a buildup of gas in the rat’s stomach, leading to a fatal rupture. Lastly, you will need small bowls or containers to place the bait in, as well as gloves for safety.

Mixing the Bait

Once you have gathered all the necessary ingredients, it’s time to mix the bait. Start by putting on your gloves to protect your hands. Take a small amount of peanut butter and place it in a bowl. Next, add a teaspoon of baking soda to the peanut butter and mix it thoroughly.

The baking soda should be evenly distributed throughout the peanut butter to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Placement Tips

Proper placement of the bait is crucial for successfully eliminating rats. Rats are known to follow specific routes or paths, so it’s important to place the bait along these areas. Look for signs of rat activity, such as droppings or chewed wires, and place the bait nearby.

Additionally, rats are cautious creatures, so it’s best to place the bait in hidden or secluded areas where they feel safe. Ensure that the bait is not accessible to children or pets to prevent any accidental ingestion.

Setting Traps as Backup

While using peanut butter and baking soda can be an effective method to kill rats, it’s always wise to have a backup plan. Setting traps in conjunction with the bait can increase your chances of success. There are various types of traps available, such as snap traps or live traps.

Snap traps are designed to kill the rat instantly, while live traps allow you to catch the rat alive and release it elsewhere. Choose the type of trap that suits your preferences and set them up near the baited areas.

Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper trap placement and handling.

By following these step-by-step instructions, you can effectively use peanut butter and baking soda to kill rats. It’s important to remember that rat control should be approached with caution and should comply with local laws and regulations.

For more information on rat control and prevention, you can visit www.cdc.gov/rodents.

Safety Precautions

When it comes to dealing with rats, it’s important to prioritize safety. While using peanut butter and baking soda can be an effective method for rat control, it’s crucial to take certain precautions to ensure the safety of yourself, your family, and your pets.

Keeping Pets Away

Pets are naturally curious and can easily be attracted to the scent of peanut butter. To prevent any accidental ingestion or exposure, it’s essential to keep them away from the areas where you’re using peanut butter and baking soda to kill rats.

Here are a few tips to keep your pets safe:

  • Confine your pets to a different area of the house while you’re setting up the bait.
  • Make sure the bait is placed in inaccessible areas, such as behind furniture or inside enclosed traps.
  • Consider using pet-proof bait stations that allow rats to access the bait while keeping pets out.
  • Monitor your pets closely and seek veterinary attention if you suspect they have ingested any of the bait.

Proper Cleanup and Disposal

Once the rats have been successfully eliminated, it’s important to follow proper cleanup and disposal procedures to minimize any potential hazards.

Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Wear gloves and a mask to protect yourself from any potential contamination.
  • Use a damp cloth or paper towel to clean up any peanut butter or baking soda residue.
  • Dispose of the contaminated materials in a sealed plastic bag and place it in an outdoor trash bin.
  • Thoroughly clean and sanitize the area where the rats were present to eliminate any remaining traces of their presence.

It’s worth noting that if you have any concerns about using peanut butter and baking soda to kill rats, it’s always advisable to consult with a professional pest control service. They have the expertise and knowledge to handle such situations safely and effectively.

Other Effective Methods to Kill Rats

While using peanut butter and baking soda is a popular and effective method to kill rats, there are other options available as well. Here are some other effective methods to consider:

Traditional Mouse/Rat Poison

Traditional mouse/rat poison is a commonly used method to eliminate rodents. These poisons contain chemicals that are lethal to rats when ingested. They are typically designed to attract rats with a bait, such as flavored pellets or blocks.

Once the rats consume the poison, it works to disrupt their internal systems, causing them to die.

It is important to use caution when using rat poison, as it can be harmful to other animals and humans if not handled properly. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully and keep the poison out of reach of children and pets.

Electronic/Ultrasonic Pest Repellers

Electronic and ultrasonic pest repellers are devices that emit high-frequency sound waves or electromagnetic pulses to deter rats and other pests. These devices are designed to be safe for humans and pets while being irritating to rodents.

The sound waves or pulses are believed to disrupt the rats’ nervous system, making it uncomfortable for them to stay in the area.

While some people have reported success with electronic and ultrasonic pest repellers, their effectiveness may vary. It is important to note that these devices may not work in all situations or for all types of rats. It is recommended to use them in combination with other methods for better results.

Natural Predators like Cats

Natural predators like cats can be effective in controlling rat populations. Cats are natural hunters and are known for their ability to catch rodents. Having a cat around can discourage rats from entering your property in the first place and can help eliminate any existing rats.

If you don’t have a cat of your own, you can consider borrowing a neighbor’s cat or even adopting one from a local shelter. However, keep in mind that not all cats have a strong hunting instinct, so it’s important to choose one that has a proven track record of catching rats.

Remember, when dealing with rats or any other pests, it’s important to consider the potential risks and choose a method that is safe and effective. If you’re unsure about which method to use, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional pest control service for guidance.

Preventing Future Rat Infestations

Rats are notorious for their ability to find their way into homes and buildings. To prevent future rat infestations, it is important to take proactive measures. Here are some effective methods to keep rats out of your property:

Sealing Entry Points

One of the first steps in preventing rat infestations is to seal off any potential entry points. Rats can squeeze through small holes and gaps, so it is essential to inspect your property for any cracks or openings. Pay close attention to areas around pipes, vents, windows, and doors.

Seal these entry points using caulk, steel wool, or other appropriate materials. By blocking their access, you can significantly reduce the chances of rats finding their way into your home.

Cleaning Up Food Sources

Rats are attracted to food sources, so it is crucial to keep your property clean and free of any potential food temptations. Store food in airtight containers and promptly clean up any spills or crumbs. Make sure to secure trash bins with tight-fitting lids and take out the garbage regularly.

By eliminating their food sources, you can discourage rats from entering your property.

Natural Rodent Repellents

In addition to sealing entry points and cleaning up food sources, you can also use natural rodent repellents to prevent rat infestations. One popular method is to use peppermint oil. Rats dislike the strong smell of peppermint and will avoid areas where it is present.

Soak cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them in areas where rats are likely to enter. Another natural repellent is the use of predator urine. The scent of predators, such as fox or coyote urine, can deter rats from approaching the area.

These natural repellents can be effective in keeping rats at bay.

By following these preventive measures, you can greatly reduce the risk of future rat infestations in your home or building. Remember to stay vigilant and address any potential entry points or food sources promptly.

If you continue to experience rat problems, it is recommended to seek professional help from pest control experts who can provide additional guidance and assistance.


Using a mixture of peanut butter and baking soda can provide an inexpensive, non-toxic way to effectively kill rats that find their way into your home. By luring them in with the tempting peanut butter and then neutralizing them with the gas-producing baking soda, you can eliminate an entire nest of rats without putting your family or pets at risk.

Just be sure to take precautions during cleanup and disposal. Combine this method with sealing up entry points and removing outdoor food sources to prevent future infestations.

We’ve covered everything you need to know to successfully use this homemade rat bait. The detailed instructions and safety tips outlined above will help you protect your home and family from these disease-carrying rodents. Let us know in the comments if you have any other questions!

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