5 Reasons Why You Can’t Kill Rats With Salt

by | Last updated Aug 23, 2023 | Rodents

As pest control experts, you can imagine that we’re asked a lot of weird and wild questions. “Can you use hypnosis to get rid of pests?” “Is it possible to kill every single bug – except ladybugs?” “Is it possible a ghost pest is causing trouble at my place?” But today, we’re going to dive into a particularly peculiar question that is perhaps not as weird and wild as you might first think: “Can you kill rats with salt?”

Is salt really a food that kills rats?

At first glance, it’s hard to imagine how this could possibly be true. Perhaps it’s because – like us – rodents like the salty taste but will quickly dehydrate and die if they get too much of it. Well, you can dismiss that straight away – because while rats need salt and do quite like it, they’re also smart enough, just like us, to avoid eating so much that it may be fatal.

Q: Do rats like salt?

A: Yes, but not enough that they’ll consume a fatal dose.

In fact, of all the rodent species, rats are arguably the hardest of all. In other words, they’re too adaptive, resilient, and smart to die just because they eat salt.

But let’s take a slightly deeper dive, and introduce you to a term: sodium chloride. If it sounds familiar, and the word even leaves a tasty and deliciously salty taste in your mouth, you’d be dead right. Because sodium chloride is just the chemical term for table salt.

Q: Is sodium chloride rat poison?

A: In part, yes. But we’re going to have to explore further.

If ‘sodium chloride rat poison’ rings a bell, you’d be right. One of the rat poisons that most definitely contains salt is anticoagulant rodenticide, which works by causing the rat to bleed internally – and fatally. The sodium chloride is just one of the ingredients, and it’s only really harmful to rats in specific conjunction with separate anticoagulant chemicals and compounds.

Still not convinced that you can’t kill rats with salt? Have a read through our 5 top reasons why not:

1. Rats don’t like salt that much

Yes, like human beings, rats will eat salty things – because our bodies all need it. But, perhaps even more than us, rats are instinctively smart enough not to eat so much that it will kill them.

2. Rats are great at finding water

While some people think it’s dehydration rather than the salt itself that kills rats, that relies on the fact that the four-legged critters aren’t smart enough to find water. But while we get our water from the top or out of a bottle, rats are super-smart at guzzling from leaking pipes, sipping up condensation, and even seeking out foods with higher water content.

3. Rats are brilliant at adaptation

You don’t need us to tell you how resilient rats are. As conditions change around them, rats evolve and adapt a lot quicker than we do – meaning that you’re going to need something a lot smarter and more powerful than salt.

4. Salt is not a rat toxin

Sure, enough salt will dehydrate a rat. But don’t overlook the fact that it’s not a rat toxin in any sense of the word. Ok, if they eat enough of it, their health – just as ours would – suffers. But it’s not going to poison these pesky creatures.

5. Other pest control methods are 1000% better

Have you tried sealing all the tiny entry points around your home? You’ve got rid of all the open food sources? Have you looked into mouse trap reviews and baits? You’ve asked a professional pest control expert near you for help? If you’re serious about getting rid of your rats, you’ve done a lot more apart from researching the link between salt and rats.


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So forget all about salty, tasty food that kills rats, and instead send us a message right here at Pest Control Heroes. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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