No one wants to have rats in their home, and there are many popular methods of dealing with them. Many people turn to rat poison as their first reaction, given the ease of use of poison and the fact that you do not have to directly interact with the rodent.

Why Make Rat Poison Yourself?

There are a few key reasons that many people choose to make their own rat poison instead of buying one.

  • Budget Reasons – Homemade rat poison can be much more affordable than store bought ones. 
  • Safety Reasons – Most store bought rat poisons contain harsh chemicals that can pose a risk to your health, the health of your family, or even that of your pets.

There are a few common recipes available to help you make your own rat poison, each of which uses different active ingredients. 

Homemade Rat Poison with Boric Acid

In this recipe, the chicken broth will attract the rats while the boric acid should kill them. 

Always wear a pair of gloves before making this rat poison.

What You Need

  • Boric acid
  • Chicken broth


  1. Place a cup of boric acid in the bowl.
  2. Add chicken broth slowly, just a half teaspoon at once. Stir the mixture repeatedly after each bit of broth is added. You want to end up with a thick paste. 
  3. Roll the resulting paste into marble-sized balls.
  4. Place the balls into small containers that are disposable. This way, you can easily relocate the bait if you want. 

Homemade Rat Poison with Baking Soda

box of baking soda

Another common rat poison method is to use baking soda. Despite the fact that you regularly use baking soda in your daily life, it is still smart to wear disposable gloves. 

What You Need

  • Cornmeal
  • Powdered chocolate mix or sugar
  • Baking soda


  1. Start by mixing a cup of cornmeal with either a cup of powdered chocolate mix or sugar.
  2. Add in one cup of baking soda.
  3. Blend well.
  4. Fill jars with the bait mixture until they are about half full.
  5. Place the jars in the areas where the rodents frequent. 

This homemade rat poison attracts the rats with the chocolate or sugar and kills them with the baking soda. The baking soda creates carbon dioxide gas when it reacts with the stomach acids of the rodent. Rats cannot pass gas, so the carbon dioxide has nowhere to go and eventually leads to ruptures or internal blockages. 

Homemade Rat Poison with Plaster of Paris

plaster texture

This homemade rat poison recipe is nearly identical to the one with baking soda, but it uses plaster of Paris instead.

Always wear a pair of gloves before making this rat poison.

What You Need

  • Cornmeal
  • Powdered chocolate mix or sugar
  • Plaster of Paris


  1. Start by mixing a cup of cornmeal with either a cup of powdered chocolate mix or sugar.
  2. Combine the above mixture with plaster of Paris.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Place the mixture in empty jars until they are about half full
  5. Place the bait jars in the areas where the rodents frequent. 

This poison will theoretically attract the rats with the chocolate or sugar before killing them with the plaster of Paris. The plaster of Paris combines with fluids inside the rats, causing it to harden within their gastrointestinal tracts.

TIP: Alternatively, you can pre-moisten the plaster of Paris with water or milk and turn it into balls. Place the balls in strategic areas. Just remember that if the balls have hardened, which typically takes a few days, you will need to replace them.

Homemade Rat Poison with Instant Mashed Potatoes

bowl of creamy mashed potatoes

Another option for homemade rat poison involves instant mash potatoes.

What You Need

  • Instant mashed potatoes
  • Water
  • Sugar (optional)


  1. Prepare the instant mashed potato flakes as usual.
  2. Place the flakes in some disposable lids or bowls. You want to place a minimum of a half cup of the instant potato flakes in every bowl to ensure the rats eat enough. (If the rats do not seem to be eating the instant potato flakes, you can also add one or two spoonfuls of sugar.)
  3. Supply the rodents with water to drink after eating the potato flakes. The rats should be able to find water themselves, but this ensures that they will definitely be able to. 

The combination of the instant potato flakes and the water will lead to excessive bloating inside the rat’s stomach. Since rats cannot pass gas, they will die from the bloating. 

Combining the Various Homemade Rat Poison Recipes

You can also try variations of the above homemade rat poison recipes based on what you have in your home. You can also use peanut butter as the attractant instead of chocolate or sugar. 

Why Any Rat Poison, Even Homemade, Is Not the Best Answer

Using rat poison may seem like the simplest solution to get rid of the rodents, but there are some caveats that should give you second thoughts. 

Poisoning Yourself, Pets, or Children Is Always a Risk

Anytime you use an ingredient that would be harmful for people or animals to consume, there is a risk of pets or small children eating the poison and getting sick. Depending on the quantities consumed, it can even be fatal. This is particularly a concern with commercial rat poisons that use strong chemicals. 

You Will Need to Find the Dead Rats

Some people mistakenly believe that poisoning rats to take care of them is the simplest method because you just have to lay out the poison and wait. In reality, the cleanup process for using poison is very challenging. That is because rats do not typically die out in the open. Since the poison will not kill the rats instantly, this will give them time to go into hiding. 

Rats prefer to die in the comfort of their nest or another secluded location. This makes it understandably challenging to find the dead rats that you have poisoned. If you were to leave the dead rats alone, their carcasses will start to decay. That decay leads to a foul stench and encourages flies to accumulate and breed. 

Alternatives Exist

Instead of using poison, consider hiring a rodent removal expert to take care of the rats for you. They will likely use a trap such as a snap trap, which kills the rodents instantly so they do not suffer and are easier to find.