Will Antifreeze Kill a Rat [What You Have to Know]

Antifreeze is a well-known chemical used in vehicles as a coolant and break fluid. But, you may be wondering whether antifreeze is poisoning – and if it is poisonous, will antifreeze kill a rat?

Yes, the antifreeze will kill a rat because it contains ethylene glycol, a highly toxic chemical that is known to kill or make anything living very sick. That is why you must take proper precautions and evaluate other options.

So, in this article, you will learn whether antifreeze kills rats, precautions to take, how to use antifreeze to kill rats, alternatives, and more. 

Let’s dive right in.

The antifreeze will kill a rat in a relatively short amount of time. Research has found that rats may not like the taste of antifreeze, but luckily you don’t need that much antifreeze to kill a rat. 

The rat will more often than not, get sick and die instead of dying immediately since that will not drink a lot of the antifreeze poison. 

This will make them dangerous because if a cat takes a bite out of the rat, your cat will be very unwell. But, with the right precautions and methods, you can more safely kill the rats.

So, now you may be wondering, exactly how much antifreeze will kill a rat?

How Much Antifreeze Will Kill a Rat?

Around a teaspoon of antifreeze will kill a rat. But, even if the rat were to ingest a few milliliters, it will be dead very soon from sickness. 

How Does Antifreeze Kill a Rat?

The antifreeze will most likely cause kidney failure in the rat, causing it to die immediately or slowly, depending on how much of it was ingested.

First, the rat will vomit, then lose all consciousness (because the nervous system will be shut down), have brain seizures, then eventually die. This may be inhumane in your eyes, so this is something you will need to consider personally. 

How Fast Will the Rat Die?

If the rat ate over a teaspoon of antifreeze, it will die within 24 hours. If it didn’t, it will die a little bit later on.

Are Rats Attracted to Antifreeze?

Rats are attracted to the smell of antifreeze, but they dislike the taste of it, so it’s unlikely they will eat over a teaspoon of it.

This can be dangerous, because if a pet or child gets in contact with the rat, then they may be at risk of Ethylene Glycol poisoning. 

Pets and children are not protected from antifreeze and will have similar conditions as rats if not acted upon quickly.

Dangers & Precautions of Antifreeze

The largest danger when using antifreeze is secondary poisoning. For example, if your cat or dog were to ingest the rat, he or she will probably get Ethylene Glycol poisoning. 

It’s also a similar case with plants. If the rat were to die in the garden, then that would be detrimental to the growth of your plants. Additionally, if a hawk were to pick up the rat, that would not be good for the ecosystem.

In order to limit this, you can use a trap or a container to catch the rat. This will ensure that the poisoned rat does not get exposed to your pets, children, plants, or the ecosystem in general.

What to Do if Your Pet Eats Antifreeze?

If your pet ingests antifreeze, it is important to take them to the veterinarian immediately. Antifreeze is a very toxic substance and can cause kidney failure in animals.

Around a teaspoon can kill a small cat and 3 teaspoons can kill the average dog.

A potential self-treatment will be activated charcoal which stops anymore absorption of the chemicals.

How to Kill Rats with Antifreeze?

So, you’ve decided you want to kill rats with antifreeze and you want to know how to do it. There are a few steps you 

Find a Good Area

You’ll need to find good areas to place your trap with anti-freeze. You can look for signs of damage, such as gnaw marks, droppings, or tracks. Holes in your home will also be a good bet.

Protect Yourself

When handling antifreeze, wear gloves and long-sleeved clothing. Any contact with antifreeze will cause skin irritation and other potentially, other side effects.

Prepare The Trap

Next, you’ll have to prepare the trap. You can do this by purchasing tried and tested traps, placing them in your chosen areas, and setting bait. So, how do you set bait?

Prepare Bait

peanut butter

You can set bait in or on the trap, depending on the trap you have chosen. Bait should be something that they love the smell of because antifreeze has a very light smell that would be difficult to detect.

So, what are some bait options?

  • Peanut butter for mice (infuse the antifreeze with the peanut butter by mixing)
  • Coke (mix the coke with antifreeze)
  • Cheese (soak it in the antifreeze)
  • Bacon (soak it in the antifreeze)
  • Bread (soak it in the antifreeze)
By the way, rats don’t like onions and it can be bad for them. Read our article there to learn more.

Does Windshield Washer Fluid Kill Rats?

Windshield wiper fluid often contains Methanol and Ethylene Glycol, which are poisonous to rats. Methanol is as toxic as Ethylene Glycol and will cause kidney damage to the rats if ingested as well.

Types of Traps for Rats

There are a variety of good trap options on the market. Below are two of my favorite options.

Snap Traps

Snap traps have been used for some time and are usually relatively inexpensive. It’s a good idea to place these snap traps where you think the rats may be hiding.

You’ll want to use rat bait. A piece of cheese is commonly used as rat bait in movies. But from what I’ve seen, peanut butter works the best.

Bait Stations

Rats can eat poisoned food within a box with an entrance known as a “bait station” before leaving.

Since this is contained inside the station, it is considerably safer than leaving it outside, where children and animals could ingest it.

The rat poison listed below is, by far, the greatest I have ever discovered and used:

  • 3D leafy camo
  • Widely used by many hunters
  • Adjustable & universal design
  • Comfortable

Last Words

So, will antifreeze kill a rat? Yes, the antifreeze will kill a rat. It may take a while depending on how much the rat ingested.

It will also be dangerous if a pet or animal ingests it. But, if you use antifreeze with bait and a reliable trap, the risk will be limited.

Hopefully you got good value from this article and happy prepping!

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