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Will Antifreeze Kill Rats?

If you have a rat infestation in your home, you must have come across information about using antifreeze as a pest control measure, and you must be wondering, will antifreeze kill rats?

Fortunately, the antifreeze will kill the rats, but you should be cautious when using it.

What is antifreeze?

Antifreeze is a colored liquid often found in the radiator.

It has many roles, such as serving as a coolant, preventing the water in the radiator and engine from freezing in cold temperatures, and the same water from boiling over in hot temperatures.

In addition to finding antifreeze in the radiator, you will also find it in windshield wiper de-icing solutions, motor oils hydraulic brake fluid, and in developing solutions used in photography.

Although in small amounts, you will also find it in certain paints, solvents, and other industrial products.

Why does antifreeze kill rats and other rodents?

Most brands of antifreeze have a sweet taste that is attractive to rats, chipmunks, mice, squirrels, and other rodents. The main ingredient in antifreeze brands in ethylene glycol that is highly toxic.

When a rat ingests it, within a few minutes, it begins to vomit, develop convulsions, and ultimately suffer from kidney failure.

Is it wise to use antifreeze to kill rats?

While the chemical is highly effective at killing rats, you shouldn’t use it. Just as it’s sweet and attractive to rats, it’s also appealing to dogs, cats, and young children. This means that in the event any of the above consumes it, they die.

According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, just two ounces of antifreeze will kill a dog, a teaspoon will kill a rat, and two tablespoons of the chemical will be hazardous to a child.

Due to the risk involved with using antifreeze, we highly discourage you from using it as a pest control solution.

What should you do instead?

Since it’s unwise to use antifreeze to kill rats, the best and highly effective alternative is to use rat traps. There are many types of rat traps in the market you can choose from. The cool thing is that you don’t have to be fancy about it.

When you tie a string on the trigger, knot it well, and put some anchovy paste on it, it will attract rats, and they will get caught. Yeast in peanut butter is also highly effective.

To reiterate, the antifreeze will kill rats, but it’s harmful to pets, farm animals, and small children, so don’t use it.

Homemade rat solutions

If you don’t have money to buy rat traps or you like homemade solutions, there are plenty of them you can try out. Some of the best ones are:


To humans, peppermint smells nice and fresh, but to rats, it’s highly offensive. Add 25-30 drops of peppermint essential oil to a cotton ball and place it in the areas frequented by rats.

When the rats breathe the peppermint, the smell gets into their lungs, where it shrinks them and eventually kills the rodent.


You simply need to buy mothball from a department store in your area then place them in the areas where you find rats.


The smell of onion will keep off the rats from your home. Slice the onions then place them where you find rats and mice. To get the most from the onions, change the onions every day as they rot within a short time.

Black pepper

Black pepper is also known to produce a sharp smell that is harmful to rats. In addition to keeping the rats away, it can also be detrimental to their lungs.

Baking soda

If you are one of the people asking, does baking soda kill rats? Yes, it does, but you have to make the right mixing.

To make the rat poison, combine one cup of flour or cornmeal with one cup of sugar and a powdered chocolate mix, then add one cup of baking soda.

You should mix the two thoroughly, then place the mixture in jar lids then put it in areas where you can see rat droppings.


Ammonia is a popular cleaning agent, so many people wonder, will ammonia kill a rat? Just like baking soda, when you use it properly, it will. The strong smell of the chemical gets into the lungs of the rats and kills them.

To make ammonia poison, mix 2-2 and a half cups of ammonia, 100-200 ml of water, and 2-3 spoonfuls of detergent in a bowl. You should then place the poison in the areas you see rats.

Boric acid

To make this position, you need to put 1 cup of boric acid into a bowl and mix it with chicken broth. Stir the mixture slowly as you add the broth.

If the mixture is too thin, add more chicken broth. You should make a paste that you roll into balls and use them as bait for the rats.

The smell of the broth will attract the rats, and they will die when they consume the boric acid. When preparing the mixture, remember to wear gloves to protect your hands.

Tips on how to prevent rat infestation in your home

It’s often said that prevention is better than cure, so instead of going through the trouble of making poison, prevent the mice from getting into your house.

There are plenty of ways in which you can make it possible. Some of these ways include:

Clean your house regularly

It’s a fact that rats like dirty areas. While you might not terminate existing rats inside your house with this method, you will prevent others from coming in.

When you clean the house, you eliminate all the rat attractions in the house, so you have a pest-free environment.

You should vacuum, scrub, and sweep the entire house. To have an easy time cleaning the house, make it a habit to clean as you go.

When you eat or engage in any activity that involves crumbs and clutters, get rid of them as soon as you are done.

Take out the trash regularly.

As mentioned above, rats like the area they can hide, and one of the places they like hiding is in the trash. To keep rats out of your property, take out the garbage regularly.

The frequency at which you do it depends on your trash output.

Avoid clutter in your property.

Clutter includes clothes, unwanted plates, unused electronic gadgets, cluttered garments, and many others. Just like when you keep your house clean, avoiding clutter eliminates hiding areas for the rats, so you have a pest-free home.

Seal holes and crevices

At least once a week, set out one or two hours to inspect the house. Ensure there are no crevices where pests can enter.

If present, you should seal them. During the inspection, pay attention to the basement and attic, including the garage.

Apply lawn treatments

Due to the presence of dead grass and other debris, it’s normal for rats to hide in your lawn. Regularly inspect your lawn and when you notice holes, seal them.

You also should get rid of pests that serve as food for the rats by applying lawn treatments.

Get rid of trees that are too close to the house.

Do you have trees growing too close to the house? They can serve as hiding areas for the rats. If possible, get rid of the trees. If it’s impossible, trim them.

For peace of mind, you should locate the trees as far from your house as much as possible.

On my 15th birthday, I became the designated gardener in my home.

Now at 32, I have a small garden and every day I'm out trying different plants and seeing how they grow. I grow guavas, peaches, onions, and many others. Want to know more about me? Read it here.

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