What food kills rats instantly? There isn’t a specific food that kills rats instantly, but there are certain foods that can be used as bait for rat poison. When combined with toxic substances, these foods can be lethal to rats.

Rats can be good pets, but having lots of rats in your house isn’t fun. Rats can give you diseases and make you allergic. Touching rats, even dead ones, can infect you with the likes of salmonellosis, rat-bite fever, and bacterial diseases like leptospirosis.

It’s not just your health that’s in danger. Rat poop and pee can ruin your stored emergency food. Rats can also bite through plastic containers, making your food no good to eat. Sometimes, using poison is the only way to get rid of rats, even though there are kinder ways to keep them away.

What Food Kills Rats Instantly?

What Food Kills Rats Instantly

The recipes here use regular stuff from your home to attract rats and give them the poison that will eventually get rid of them. But be careful because some of these can be tempting for pets and little kids, so make sure to put the poison where they can’t reach it. That said, food to kill rats instantly includes:

1. Onions

Rats don’t like onions, not even when they are cooked. The smell of raw onions bothers rats, just like it bothers us.

If a rat eats large quantities of onion, it will cause kidney failure and can kill an adult rat within 12 hours. Sometimes, it makes them very sick, even causing severe anemia. Raw onions have sulfur that rats are allergic to, and it makes it hard for them to get enough oxygen.

Rats are smart, and they won’t come close to raw onions. But if you want to get them to eat these onions, you can try mixing finely chopped onion with tasty bait, like minced meat, to trick them.

2. Instant Mashed Potato Flakes

You have probably thought instant mashed potato is not great food. Well, it turns out it’s not good for rats either.

Instant mashed potatoes can get rid of rats safely, especially if you have pets. Moreover, pets, including cats and dogs usually won’t eat instant mashed potato flakes, but rats seem to like it a lot.

After rats eat the mashed potato, they get really thirsty. When they drink water, the mashed potato flakes expand inside their stomach, which explains how this food kills rats instantly. If you sprinkle artificial sweetener on the mashed potatoes, it makes them even more tempting for rats and makes sure they eat enough to harm them.

3. Baking Soda

Many homes have baking soda in the kitchen – it is often handy food that kills rats instantly. Besides cleaning and cooking, baking soda can work as rodent poison. Rodents can’t get rid of carbon dioxide like we do. So, when the baking soda reacts with their stomach acids, it makes carbon dioxide gas. This gas builds up inside their belly and can lead to a blockage or burst, which can kill the rat.

Rats don’t normally eat baking soda by itself, so you have to mix it with something tasty to get their attention. You can use any of these as bait for your baking soda poison:

  • Take some peanut butter, mix it with baking soda, and roll it into balls.
  • Put them around your home. Rats might eat them.
  • Mix sugar, flour, and baking soda together in equal amounts.
  • Add this mixture to a shallow dish and leave it out. Rats might be attracted to it.
  • Mice can’t resist chocolate, so mix equal parts of cocoa powder and baking soda. Add a bit of sugar to make it enticing – rats might fall for it.

Baking soda is not safe around kids and pets, but it’s not very kind. Well, most poisons aren’t. Also, bigger rats need to eat a lot of baking soda before it harms them. So, you might notice sick rats moving slowly in your home.

I also made a detailed guide on how to use baking soda to make rat poison.

4. Ammonia

Ammonia stinks a lot, even for people. Now, think about how much rats hate the ammonia smell due to their acute sense of smell.

Having lots of ammonia around can be really bad for rats. In a PubMed Central study, rats exposed to ammonia all the time got sick with a bad lung disease called murine respiratory mycoplasmosis (MRM), which could even be life-threatening.

For rats, ammonia smells like the pee of animals that eat them, so they stay away from it. If you want to use ammonia to get rid of a rat, you have to put a lot of it in a small, closed space to make it work.

You can get rid of rats by pouring liquid ammonia into the holes they use. Another way is to mix about 2-2.5 cups of ammonia with 100-200ml of water and 2-3 spoons of detergent. Put this mix where you see rats coming in, and you’ll see fewer of them very quickly.

5. Cement Mix

the question hinges on what food kills rats instantly, however, cement mix isn’t. Many homes have this in their kitchen, and you can easily find one in your local store. If a rat eats the cement mix, it will harden fast when it meets the rat’s digestive juices.

Simply mix the powder with food rats like, such as peanut butter or cocoa powder. Peanut butter is a good option because it makes the mix easy to shape into balls, and you can put them in smart spots around your house. Moreover, rats can smell peanut butter from afar.

Cats and dogs love peanut butter just like we do, so if you have pets, it’s not a good idea to use this homemade rat poison.

6. Boric Acid

Some people think boric acid is a good poison for rat poison, but others say it only harms baby animals. So, if you have rats right now, it might not help. But it can still work on cockroaches and ants. Don’t buy it just for rats.

7. Vitamin D-3

Vitamin D is good for humans, but it can be deadly for rodents. It contains cholecalciferol. Vitamin D-3 is a strong poison that messes up a rat’s body with too much calcium and phosphorus, causing kidney and heart issues and bleeding. It’s so powerful they even made a spray to fight big rats in New Zealand.

For the rats in your homes (usually less than 17 oz), just one 5000 IU tablet should really help control them, considering you’d need about 100,000 IU to have a chance at killing a big 80 oz rat.

Crush the tablet or open the capsule, mix it with peanut butter, and make little balls. Put them around the house and wait a couple of days.

Remember, even though vitamins seem harmless, vitamin D-3 can hurt dogs, cats, and kids. Keep it far away from them.

8. Plaster of Paris

If you cannot find cement mix, plaster of Paris is a good substitute. Another way is to mix plaster of Paris or cement mix with cornflour and then add milk or water to make a dough. Knead it for a minute or two, then shape it into balls and put them around your home.

Both cement mix and plaster of Paris will get hard when they’re left out in the air for a few days. You need to change them regularly.

9. Lethal Substances

Below are some lethal substances that can kill rats:

  1. Warfarin. This is an anticoagulant that causes internal bleeding in rats. It’s often mixed with bait food. Rats need to consume it over several days for it to be lethal.
  2. Bromadiolone and Brodifacoum. These are second-generation anticoagulants that are more potent than warfarin and can kill rats after a single feeding.
  3. Zinc Phosphide. When ingested, it releases phosphine gas in the rat’s stomach, which is toxic.
  4. Strychnine. This is a highly toxic alkaloid that affects the nervous system. It causes severe muscle contractions and can lead to death in a short time. However, its use is restricted in many areas due to its potential harm to non-target animals and humans.

10. Black Pepper

Black pepper contains piperine which can control rats. However, it is not as strong as store-bought rat poison, but it’s stronger than some homemade alternatives. It’s still not as strong as the really powerful commercial poisons.

Even though black pepper can be toxic to rats, you can’t get rid of them solely depending on this method.

Rats may be opportunistic feeders but they are also very picky and try out new foods slowly. If black pepper makes them uncomfortable, they will stop eating it way before it could kill them. Putting black pepper in places where you spot rats might make them go away temporarily.

11. Bait Food Kills Rats Instantly

Some human foods can kill rats instantly. However, you need to use them as bait since rats are attracted to them. The top food that can instantly harm mice and rats is grains. You can also try using licorice, pumpkin seeds, or bitter almonds.

  1. Grains. A kind of mold that grows on grains, such as corn and peanuts, can kill rats. If rats eat too much of this mold, they could get tumors and eventually die.
  2. Fruit juice and citrus fruits. Fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons can hurt the kidneys of male rats, but not female rats. if poisoned, any rat will die.
  3. Peanut butter. If poisoned, peanut butter can eliminate rats.
  4. Chocolate. Some animals, like dogs, can die from eating chocolate. Rats, however, aren’t hurt by it, but it can make them gain weight. Even though you might think a chubby rat is cute, being overweight means they could be unhappy, have serious health problems, and might not live as long as they could.
  5. Dry/Raw Corn. Having a lot of mold-related stuff in dried corn can lead to liver cancer.
  6. Alcohol. Make sure to keep wine and other alcoholic drinks out of reach of curious pets. They might sip from glasses, but alcohol can be deadly because it can harm their organs.

I created an article that covers various types of food that rats find attractive.


So, what food kills rats instantly? Bait foods are the best foods to kill rats in your home. Some of these methods may not completely get rid of your rat problem on their own, but things like instant mashed potatoes are both safe and work well.

If you use rat poison, be prepared to deal with dead rats. Handling them can be risky because you might catch a disease from the animal, which is dangerous. Ultimately, rat poison can work, but it’s not considered a humane method for dealing with rodents. A humane way to handle a rat problem is to use catch-and-release traps or stop them from coming inside in the first place.

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