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Can you kill mice with salt? you should?

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Rats can be scary pests, and you may find yourself needing to get rid of this infestation. While you can capture and relocate them, a more permanent solution is preferable. In this case, you may need to find effective ways to kill them. Many people are looking for a natural solution like salt. Can you kill mice with salt? should you try it

We'll help you understand how salt can be used as a form of pest control and whether you should be using the item for this project.

Why You Need to Stop a Rat Infestation

rat infested
Rat infestation can cause health problems and even house fires.

© iStock.com/Christin Lola

Before we look at the efficacy of salt as a pest control agent, you need to understand why it is important to keep mice out. Rats appear to be relatively harmless creatures, as they are usually out of sight of humans. However, when you look at their behavior, they are quite insidious rodents.

Two things rats can do to put you and your family at risk:

  • The spread of disease
  • bite the wires in the house

Rats don't need to bite you to spread disease, though. They can transmit the deadly variant of hantavirus through urine and feces. These are also found in some of the most common mouse species, including the deer mouse and the white-footed mouse.

As if that wasn't bad enough, rats also have a horrible tendency to chew on electrical wires. They don't want to burn down your house, but they do like to use them to grind away their growing teeth.

The end result is never pretty. Rats can seriously damage the electrical wiring in your home. They may also die by starting a fire or electrocuting themselves, and leaving their rotting corpses on the smelly walls. Although rare, electric fires caused by rodents are another reason to get rid of rats quickly.

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Can you kill mice with salt?

Salt
Salt is not the best choice for killing rats.

© posteriori/Shutterstock.com

Yes, you can kill rats with salt, but it's a rather difficult process . Like their rat brethren, rats can die from too much salt and too little water. They need to ingest about 80 grams of salt before they develop neurological and physical problems leading to deafness, blindness and muscle paralysis. Eventually, they will succumb to the salt that acts as poison.

Sounds good, right? Well, there are some problems with using salt as poison. First, you need mice to eat it. The problem is that rats don't really like salty food. It's very difficult to get a mouse to eat that much salt.

Another, more difficult thing to do is to cut off the rats from all water supplies. If they eat some salt and then drink water, the effect will be greatly reduced. So, killing rats with salt is a very ineffective method that requires more work than traditional poisons. It won't work unless you can guarantee that rats will eat salt and not drink water.

So, the second part of the question we started with: Should you kill mice with salt? The answer is no. Rats don't rush to a bowl of crackers and eat 80 grams of crackers. If they did eat up all that salt, their death would be quite gruesome.

What is a more effective method of rodent control?

humane mousetrap
Mouse traps are very effective in eliminating mouse problems.

©lortek/Shutterstock.com

While salt is not a good way to kill rats, more effective methods exist. If you plan to poison these small rodents, you have a number of options. Rat poison comes in small, bright lumps or granules. This poison is used to attract rats.

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They'll sneak out of their hiding places and into the storage room where you keep your poison. About 50 percent of rodents die from ingesting the poison, but they don't always die on the first try. Sometimes, they need to eat the poison several times to get poisoned.

Even if they do die, it won't happen right away. They die slowly due to the poison acting as an anticoagulant. This means the mice died of internal bleeding.

Poisons are very effective. However, they also have some disadvantages. If the rat eats the poison and is eaten by another animal, such as a pet, the pet may become very sick. Also, since most rodent poisons are brightly colored, they are attracted to children. You need to make sure you use rat poison in a safe environment.

Another very effective method of killing rats is the use of traps. Several types of traps exist, but two of them are very effective.

Old fashioned traps are very effective at killing rats. You add bait to them, the mice eat the bait and activate the trap, then the metal or plastic rod snaps off and kills them. Unfortunately, those may grab the legs instead of the head, so the rat may not get through right away.

Electronic traps work by activating a plate to shock mice when they enter. This is effective and instant. However, there are some problems with traps.

trap trouble

Trapping pests seems better than poisoning them and waiting for them to die. There are a few issues with traps, including:

  1. Traps don't always kill the target
  2. Humane traps needed to move rats to new areas
  3. Catch and release traps bring you up close and personal with trapped, terrified animals
  4. Using humane traps may not help you end an infestation
  5. Glue collectors can become unnecessarily brutal if you don't check them often
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These are some of the biggest problems that come with trapping mice. However, when traps work, they can be very effective in eliminating your rodent problems. The best thing to do is to evaluate the rodent problem you have. If you have a mouse sneaking into your pantry, use a trap.

If you have a lot of infestation, you may want to overlap your methods. This means combining traps with poisons for best results. Of course, all of these trump cards are only useful if you take measures to lock down your home. You need to prevent future intrusions at source. Plug small cracks, fix broken windows, and find holes around roofs.

So, can you kill mice with salt? You have a better chance of throwing salt at them than starving them to death. Nonetheless, many other methods of knocking out mouse populations exist. Just choose the one that suits you best.

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featured image

Northern grasshopper mouse baby (Onychomys Leucogaster) in its nest
A northern grasshopper mouse (Onychomys leucogaster) sitting in the grass.

© Liz Weber/Shutterstock.com


about the author


I'm a freelance writer with 8 years of experience. I've written in various fields such as Managed Service Providers, Animals and Retail Distribution. I graduated from Rowan University in 2014. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games, reading and writing.

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