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Why Does Baking Soda Kill Rats?

Will Baking Soda Kill Rats?

(Last Updated On: June 4, 2022)

Pest control methods can be expensive, and rat poisons are dangerous to everyone, not just rodents. So, many of us are seeking natural solutions to get rid of rats, such as baking soda.

Baking soda can kill rats. When ingested, baking soda comes into contact with stomach acid, creating gas. Because rats can’t pass gas, it builds up in the stomach, eventually leading to death.

However, rats are clever creatures and may learn to avoid baking soda. So, you must position it correctly and replace it regularly.

Let’s explore the different ways to use baking soda to kill rats.

Why Does Baking Soda Kill Rats?

Baking soda is among the most common DIY methods for killing rats in the home.

That’s because baking soda produces gas when ingested. Since rats can’t pass gas, it’ll build up in the stomach. The stomach will enlarge and press up against other organs, eventually causing the rat to die.

Also known as sodium bicarbonate, it’s an alkaline compound. When it comes into contact with acid, it forms carbon dioxide.

In bread and cakes, this acid can be yogurt, buttermilk, or lemon juice. This gas is necessary to provide rise to bread. However, acids in the stomach are just as effective.

When rats ingest baking soda, it’ll react with their stomach acid, creating gas.

Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder

Baking soda and baking powder may sound similar, but they’re different. Baking powder contains baking soda, acid, and cornstarch.

If you’re using sodium bicarbonate as rat poison, you can use baking powder instead of baking soda. Just remember that it’s sodium bicarbonate that kills rats, and baking powder still contains this component.

However, it’s still better to use baking soda instead of baking powder

Baking powder contains much less sodium bicarbonate than baking soda, which is made purely of sodium bicarbonate. If you use baking powder, you’ll need to use far more of it.

Rats will have to ingest a lot of sodium bicarbonate for the poison to be effective. For this reason, you may want to use baking soda to increase the chances of your homemade poison working.

How To Use Baking Soda To Kill Rats

Baking soda is less effective than commercially available rat poisons.

The median lethal dose for sodium bicarbonate in rats is 7.3 rats. For a rat of average size, it’ll need to ingest about 3 grams or ½ teaspoon to kill the rodent.

For this reason, you’ll need to find a way to get rats to ingest a lot of sodium bicarbonate.

Likewise, baking soda takes a while to affect rats. Before rats die, they’re likely to squeeze into corners and crevices. If they’re not removed, they’ll begin to decompose and smell.

When placing a baking soda mixture in your home, block off any hard-to-reach places.

how to use baking soda to kill rats

Baking Powder And Peanut Butter

Mixing baking powder or baking soda with peanut butter is one of the most common methods of using sodium bicarbonate to kill rats.

Peanut butter is a great way to mask the taste of sodium bicarbonate. It also smells attractive to rats, making it an excellent bait.

This method creates a mixture that you can easily roll into peanut butter balls. This makes it a great method for small, enclosed spaces.

For this method, you’ll need the following:

  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup baking soda

You might want to crush the baking soda in a separate container using the back of a spoon to ensure there are no clumps. Then, mix it with the peanut butter until achieving a smooth consistency.

Wearing gloves, shape the peanut butter into small balls. Gloves will ensure that your scent doesn’t get onto the mixture, as your scent can throw off rats.

Place the peanut butter balls on a disposable plate or a piece of cardboard and distribute them around the house. Place this mixture near entrances and exits to hiding areas and rat nests.

Sugar And Baking Soda

Peanut butter balls are a good method for small areas, like those that provide an entrance and exit for rats. However, what if you’re dealing with a larger, open area?

If you notice rat feces around your home, it is recommended to use this method. It creates a powder mixture that you can easily sprinkle and sweep away.

For this method, you’ll need the following:

  • ½ a cup of sugar
  • ½ a cup of baking soda
  • Spice/coffee grinder or mortar and pestle

Baking soda has much finer particles than sugar, so it’ll be very hard to mix both without them separating.

The easiest way to incorporate baking soda into sugar is by placing it into a spice or coffee grinder. Pulse the mixture for about 20 seconds to turn them into a fine powder.

You can manually grind the sugar with a mortar and pestle if you don’t have a spice or coffee grinder. Remember to crush the sugar particles against the sides of the mortar to grind it instead of pounding it.

Alternatively, you can place the sugar in a Ziplock bag and crush it with a rolling pin.

Cornmeal, Sugar, And Baking Soda

An alternative to the above mixture is adding cornmeal. This is a good idea if you do not have a spice or coffee grinder or if you are having trouble getting the granules uniform. Adding cornmeal will help the granules bind together so that the baking soda becomes coated in sugar.

For this method, you’ll need the following:

  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup baking soda

Grind the sugar as finely as possible. Then, incorporate it with the baking soda and cornmeal. This method will create a denser powder and heavier than the previous one.

Cornmeal, Chocolate Powder, And Baking Soda

An alternative to sugar is chocolate powder. This contains sugar and other ingredients that may entice rats, especially chocolate, which has an attractive scent.

There are many chocolate powder mixes, but choose one with the sweetest scent. Don’t use unsweetened chocolate powder or baking chocolate powder since this won’t be appealing to rats.

You may not need to include the cornmeal, depending on the consistency of your chocolate powder mix. If your chocolate mix is on the powdery side, omit the cornmeal. In this instance, your mix may already have cornstarch included. Otherwise, include the cornstarch.

For this method, you’ll need the following:

  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup chocolate powder
  • ½ cup baking soda

Mix the ingredients together, and sprinkle it in areas where rats frequent.

If a rat eats enough baking soda, it can die within days, but it can take longer.