If you hear scampering sounds in your walls and ceiling, then there’s a chance that you may have a rat infestation.
Rats and mice love to live inside the walls of homes and in ceilings because it’s safe.
When night falls, they leave their nests to find food in the kitchen and leave messes everywhere.
If you have a rat infestation on your hands, then you may wonder how to get rid of them.
Here are 10 things you can do to get rid of rats in your walls and ceiling.
How To Get Rid Of Rats In Walls And Ceilings (10 Ways)
1. Seal Gaps With Wire Wool
If you’re looking for a relatively cheap way to get rid of rats, then one option is wire wool.
Rats use holes to get from one area to the next.
They may use pre-existing holes in your home or make them.
If you spot a rat hole, then the first thing you need to do is to block off the hole.
One way is with wire wool.
Wire wool is ideal because it’s difficult for rats to chew through.
It’s also easy to obtain in larger sizes which is ideal if you have several holes or larger holes to fill.
You can simply adhere the wool to the hole and keep the rats trapped inside of the wall or ceiling.
They’ll either leave the way they came in or die inside of the wall.
The unfortunate consequence of this method is that if the rats die in the wall, then it’s going to stink for a while.
While the smell will go away eventually, you may not like the idea of a rotting rat inside of your walls.
This then forces you to open up your walls to find the body and dispose of it.
One product to consider is HOMAX Products steel wool.
Its steel wool wire will make it extremely difficult for rats to chew through.
It also comes in a large size that should make covering all rat holes easy.
It’s a lot of work but sealing the holes with wool wire is an effective way to kill rats and get them out of your walls and ceiling.
2. Seal Holes With Caulk
While wire wool is ideal for larger holes, caulk is a better method for smaller holes.
Caulk is ideal because it forms a strong bond in the area where you apply it.
There’s a chance that a determined rat might chew through wire wool.
With caulk, you usually don’t have that problem.
For one, caulk is a bit more difficult to chew through.
Second, it doesn’t taste all that great which can deter a rat from chewing it in the first place.
Caulk is also relatively cheap, so you can apply a good amount of it to properly seal the hole.
Like wool wire, caulk will keep the rats from being able to get inside your home.
They’ll have to go back outside or starve to death.
Also, like wool wire, you’ll need to open your walls if you want to remove their bodies.
If you’re looking for an ideal product, then you should consider Gorilla caulk.
It’s perfect because it also has waterproofing properties.
This ensures that even if the caulk gets wet, it won’t deteriorate.
It also decreases the chance of mold and mildew growth.
Gorilla caulk also creates strong bonds which means it will be tougher for the rat to chew through.
If you can’t get your hands on wool wire or you want something a bit stronger, then you should consider using caulk to get rid of rats in the walls and ceiling of your home.
3. Seal Holes With Cement
The final way that you can get rid of rats in walls and ceilings is by sealing holes with cement.
While the caulk is pretty tough to chew through, there’s always a chance that a determined rat can chew through that, too.
If you really want to make sure that the rats are stuck in your walls or ceiling, then you need to cement the hole closed.
While rats have strong teeth, they won’t be able to chew through cement.
That’s especially true if you make the cement thick.
Cement is ideal for sealing holes because it’s easily spreadable.
No matter if you need to seal a hole in a corner or on a vertical surface, the cement will form in place and become tough as rock.
Like the other methods, cement is ideal for getting rid of rats because it keeps them stuck in the wall or ceiling.
They can escape through the entry point they used to get into your house or die of starvation and thirst.
Once they’re dead, you can open the wall and remove the bodies.
With the holes sealed, you won’t have to worry about rats getting into your home again.
Sikacryl is an effective cement to use for this purpose.
It’s already prepared for you, so you don’t have to worry about renting a cement mixer.
Instead, you just add water and start applying it to the rat holes.
If you want it to match the rest of the wall or ceiling, then you can easily paint it, too.
The clean-up for this particular cement mix is also easy.
You can quickly take care of your rat problem with a bit of cement.
4. Bucket Trap
If you only have a rat or two living in your walls or ceiling, then you should consider using a bucket trap.
This is an ideal solution for someone who doesn’t like the idea of killing rats.
A bucket trap is a relatively inexpensive method, too.
All you need is a bucket like the Leaktite bucket.
It has smooth walls which makes it ideal for holding rats since they’ll have a harder time climbing out of it.
You can grease the inside of the bucket to make it even more difficult for them to climb out.
A bucket alone won’t entice the rat inside.
You also need bait.
One way to do this is to place a thin, wooden spoon or some other sort of thin rod part way over the bucket.
On the far end of the spoon, you’ll need to add something like peanut butter or an apple slice.
When the rat climbs over the spoon, the rat’s weight will make it fall into the bucket.
You can then take the bucket outside and let the rat go somewhere a good distance from your home.
If you’re worried about the rat escaping from the bucket, then you can always put a lid on it and poke some holes in the top to let it breathe.
The reason you’ll want to drive a good distance from your home is that if you put the rat outside in your yard, then it will probably just find a way back into your home.
You need to force it to build its nest in a new area.
Once you’re a few miles from home, you can simply remove the lid and let the rat go in the woods.
Using a bucket trap is a great way to humanely get rid of rats in your walls and ceilings.
5. Rat Cage
Another humane way to get rid of rats in your walls and ceiling is to use a rat cage.
This method is a bit more effective than a bucket trap since it doesn’t rely on any DIY magic.
Instead, you can buy a rat cage like a Kensizer Humane Rat Trap.
It’s a relatively large cage that closes when the rat steps into it.
Like with the bucket, you’re going to need to give it a reason to get inside of the cage in the first place.
You can also make the cage a bit less obvious by covering it with a towel.
Place some apple slices or a paper plate with peanut butter inside of the cage.
When the rat smells it, it will come out of its nest and go into the cage.
Once its weight triggers the trap, the cage will close and keep the rat inside.
The rat is also more likely to step into the cage if it can’t see it.
The towel makes the cage look more like an enclosed tunnel than a trap.
The unfortunate thing about most rat cages is that they only trap one rat at a time.
As a result, it can take you a bit before you capture all of your rats.
While you can certainly use a rat cage to get rid of rats in the walls and ceiling of your home, it’s going to take some time.
That said, if you want to remove rats from your home humanely, then using a rat cage is a great option.
6. Peppermint Spray
Another humane way to get rid of rats from your walls and ceiling is to deter them with a strong odor.
Rats have very strong senses of smell.
Because of that, particularly strong odors can make it difficult for them to want to stick around.
Since it isn’t pleasant to live surrounded by the odor, they’re more likely to leave.
One of the best scents to use, according to Pest.org, is peppermint oil.
Peppermint oil is ideal because it has a naturally strong odor.
It’s also very easy to get.
One example is Mighty Mint which is a peppermint spray specifically designed to ward off pests and insects.
The reason peppermint spray is ideal for getting rid of rats is that it’s non-toxic.
While it may cause a bit of a headache for some people in the home, it won’t kill them.
It also doesn’t kill rats.
It only deters them from entering the home.
That means you don’t have to worry about dead rats in your walls or ceiling.
To use peppermint spray effectively, you need to identify the entry points in your house that the rats use to get inside.
Once you find their holes, you’ll want to spray a generous amount all around and inside of them.
Since the spray evaporates with time, a better solution is to spray or soak cotton balls with the solution.
The cotton balls will have a better chance of staying wet and will therefore keep the odor longer than something that’s sprayed on the walls.
Place the cotton balls in the holes to keep rats from using them.
As long as you continue to spray and soak cotton balls, the odor will remain strong enough that the rats won’t want to enter your home.
Using peppermint spray can get rid of rats in your home.
7. Spray Pepper Spray
If you don’t have peppermint spray laying around, then you might have some pepper spray.
Pepper spray is another great deterrent that emits an extremely strong odor.
It’s an unpleasant substance that can dissuade rats from using holes to get inside your home.
Pepper spray is also easy to find online.
One pepper spray option to consider is Wildfire.
It uses a stickier version of pepper spray which is ideal for covering surfaces.
You want the pepper spray to last as long as possible to deter rats from entering your home.
Once you’ve found their hole, cover your mouth and spray the pepper spray along its edges and inside of it.
You’ll want to spray a few times throughout the day to keep the intensity of the odor strong.
The most important time to do this is right before you go to sleep.
You can also soak cotton balls in pepper spray to make the odor last a bit longer in addition to spraying.
Like peppermint spray, pepper spray emits a strong odor that will be difficult for rats to be around.
However, pepper spray can cause a lot of problems for anyone who gets accidentally exposed to it.
As such, this method is ideal for households that don’t have children or pets.
Otherwise, pepper spray is a great way to get rid of rats in your walls and ceiling.
8. Rat Glue Traps
If you don’t mind killing rats, then you should consider using a glue trap to get rid of rats from your ceiling and walls.
Glue traps work by adhering a rat’s paws to its sticky surface.
This makes the rats unable to move.
In some cases, the rat will starve to death or die of thirst.
However, this process can take some time, especially if the rat just ate or drank.
As such, this isn’t the most humane method of killing rats.
That said, it can get rid of them.
To use the glue trap effectively, you’ll need to place it in the direct path that the rats most often use.
One area may be right outside of the hole.
As soon as the rat steps out from the hole, they’re immediately stuck.
Another place to put the trap is alongside baseboards.
Rats often like to run along baseboards for safety reasons.
By putting a glue trap there, you’re more likely to catch them.
Once you have the rats stuck to the glue trap, you can hand them over to pest or animal control.
They’ll take care of the rats from there.
One possible glue trap to consider is from Tomcat.
It uses a formula that makes its traps extra sticky.
Rats are less likely to escape as a result.
Glue traps are an effective way to get rid of rats in your walls and ceiling.
9. Mouse Trap
Another trap you can use if you don’t mind killing rats is the good old mousetrap.
This is an effective means of getting rid of rats because you can buy a large number of them.
They’re relatively cheap and do a decent job of killing rats.
All you need to do is set some bait on the trap.
When the rat takes the bait, it activates the trigger which causes the trap to smack down on the rat, killing it.
If you have a large infestation, then using several mouse traps can be a great way to get rid of the pests.
One brand of mouse trap to consider is Victor.
You can get a pack of four which increases the chances of catching a rat.
Mouse traps are a traditional, but effective, way of getting rid of rats.
10. Rat Poison
Perhaps the most dangerous way to get rid of rats in your walls and ceiling is to use rat poison.
You’ll first want to verify that you can use rat poison in your state.
Some states have banned the use of rat poison because of its tendency to get into the hands of children and pets.
Rat poison is effective, however.
You can lace some apple slices and place them close to the hole.
When the rat eats them, it will also ingest the poison and die.
If you have a large infestation, then rat poison could be a useful method to use.
Using rat poison from Victor, for example, is ideal because it’s made to attract several different types of rodents.
You can use it for rats or any other rodents you might have in your yard.
If you’re at your wit’s end, then rat poison is an effective way to get rid of rats in your walls and ceiling.
Rats can sometimes carry diseases which makes them a dangerous pest to have in the home.
Depending on your budget, you can use the methods above to either kill or safely remove rats from your home.