Does Coke Kill Rats?

Rats are pesky creatures that can cause havoc in our homes, but have you ever wondered if the popular myth—perpetuated online—of killing rats with Coca-Cola holds any truth? 

In this blog, we dive into the origins of this DIY soft-drink-turned-poison and examine whether Coke or any other carbonated beverage can indeed be an effective rodent exterminator.

Does Coke or Coca-Cola kill rats? We’ll discuss the potential risk associated with using such unconventional methods to tackle rat infestations and explore safer, proven alternatives for rat control.

Key Takeaways

Coke does not kill rats. This is a myth popularized by anecdotal stories on the internet.
Neither the carbonation nor the phosphoric acid found in Coca-Cola are truly dangerous to rats.
Setting out coke to kill rats will not only not kill them, but can be a source for other pests. Rats will track the sugar in the coke around your house which can attract ants, roaches, and other unwanted insects.
Rather than coke, use rat traps or rat poison. You can also try natural deterrents such as mothballs or peppermint oil.
When all else fails, you can effectively get rid of rats by contacting a pest control professional.

The Myth of Coke Killing Rats

The myth that coke can kill rats is not based on any scientific evidence and likely arose from the fact that rats cannot burp. Despite this, no carbonated beverage will kill a rat. It’s purely a myth. 

Different Types of Coke on a White Background

The Popularity of the Myth

The myth of Coca-Cola or other carbonated drinks killing rats has been circulating online for years, intriguing many as it spread through urban legends and word of mouth. 

A possible explanation for the origin of this myth lies in the fact that rats are physiologically unable to burp or vomit, which led some individuals to believe that drinking a carbonated drink would cause gas buildup in their stomachs and ultimately lead to death.

As people shared their anecdotal experiences with using Coke as a rat killer on online forums and social media platforms, the myth garnered even more attention. However, experts in professional pest control and pest management have long since debunked this urban legend.

Lack of Evidence

The myth of Coke killing rats has persisted for years, but it’s essential to understand that there is a lack of scientific evidence supporting this claim. Many people believe that because rats cannot burp, they will die when consuming carbonated drinks like Coca-Cola due to the buildup of gas in their stomachs.

In fact, some recent research has shown potential adverse effects on rodents who consume soft drinks such as brain damage; however, these findings do not prove any fatal consequences related strictly to the consumption of carbonated beverages alone.

The absence of concrete scientific data puts into question the effectiveness and safety of using Coke as a rodent control method.

The Role of Carbonation and Phosphoric Acid

Carbonation and phosphoric acid are two key components in cola drinks, playing significant roles in both their taste and acidity levels. 

Carbonated beverages get their fizzy nature from the presence of dissolved carbon dioxide, which creates small gas bubbles when released, resulting in the characteristic “burp” after consumption.

The myth surrounding Coke killing rats is primarily centered around these two components. Proponents mistakenly believe that because rats cannot burp like humans, the carbonation in Coke would cause a dangerous buildup of gas within the rodent’s digestive system, eventually leading to its death.

Moreover, they argue that phosphoric acid could potentially cause oral mucosal damage or other health issues for rats due to high acidity levels. However, there is no scientific evidence supporting these claims as lethal rat control methods; thus far all research refutes this popular urban legend.

Dangers of Using Coke

Using coke as a rat killer can cause potential damage to your property – and simply isn’t an effective DIY method for rodent pest control. 

Potential Damage to Property

Using Coke or any other harmful substances to kill rats could have unintended detrimental effects to your property. 

These liquids, when left exposed for rats to walk through – could end up tracked through internal parts of your home. If these rats are chewing through walls or in ventilation, adding a sticky beverage to the mix could spell electric fire. Similarly, if the rats get stuck in dried soda or some DIY concoction, they can die in hard-to-reach places like walls, attics, or crawl spaces.

Effective Rat Control Methods

We will advocate for the need for professional pest control services – especially if you aren’t sure where the rats are entering your home from, or if you’re got a larger infestation. If you only spot one mouse, consider using rat control methods like commercial traps or poison – but with caution.

Rat Traps

Rat traps are an effective and humane way to control rat populations in and around homes, garages, and other structures. Snap traps are popular because they kill instantly without causing unnecessary suffering.

The spring-loaded trap is triggered when the rat takes the bait, resulting in a quick death.

It’s important to note that while rat traps can be effective on their own for small infestations, they may not be sufficient for larger pest problems. 

In such cases, it would be best to seek professional pest control services or consider combining different control methods such as sanitation practices and bait stations with trapping efforts.

Commercial Rat Poison

Rat poison, also known as rodenticides, is a common method used to control rat infestations. However, it’s important to use these products with caution since they can be extremely toxic and harmful to both pets and wildlife.

Rat poison contains various chemicals that work by disrupting the rodent’s internal systems.

It’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when using rat poison and keep it out of reach from children and pets. Additionally, homeowners should consider alternative methods such as traps or safer homemade baits that don’t contain toxic chemicals like sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).

Professional Pest Control 

If you’re dealing with a rat infestation, it’s important to turn to the professionals for safe and effective rat control methods. Professional pest control services can offer a range of solutions tailored to your specific situation, from identifying entry points and sealing them up to setting traps and using targeted poisons.

Not only do professional exterminators have the experience and expertise needed to get rid of rats quickly and efficiently, but they also understand how to do so without putting other wildlife or pets at risk.

This is especially important when dealing with dangerous poisons that can be fatal not just for rats but also for animals further up the food chain.

Sanitation and Hygiene

Keeping a clean and hygienic environment is crucial in preventing rat infestations. It’s important to ensure that all food sources are properly stored and disposed of and that garbage cans have tight-fitting lids.

Regular cleaning should also be done to eliminate any potential hiding spots for rodents, such as cluttered areas or piles of debris.

Sanitation practices not only help prevent rodent infestations but also reduce the risk of diseases spread by rodents. Rodents can carry various bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can affect humans through their urine, feces, or bites.

Salmonella and Trichinella are examples of diseases commonly transmitted by rodents. Practicing good hygiene habits like washing hands regularly after handling potentially contaminated materials is essential in reducing these risks.

Other DIY Rat Control Methods

Other rat control myths include using mothballs or peppermint oil to repel rats – while these are unlikely to provide a permanent solution, they can help repel rats from your property in the interim, while you wait for professional pest control solutions. 


Mothballs are a common DIY remedy for repelling rats and other rodents. However, their effectiveness is often overestimated, and they come with significant risks. Mothballs contain either paradichlorobenzene or naphthalene, both of which can cause health problems in high concentrations.

While paradichlorobenzene is generally considered safer than its counterpart, even small amounts of naphthalene can be toxic to humans and animals if ingested or inhaled.

Moreover, mothballs may not effectively deter rats as the smell does not last long enough to be an effective repellent.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is often touted as a natural and gentle approach to repelling rats, but the truth is that there is no concrete evidence to support it. While rats are sensitive to smells, studies have not shown that peppermint oil has any significant effect on deterring them from entering treated areas.

It’s important to note that while peppermint oil may be considered a more natural and gentle option for rat control, it won’t kill or get rid of the rodents entirely. Additionally, mice are also believed to be repelled by this potent aroma due to their sensitive sense of smell.

Ultrasonic Devices

While some people may swear by ultrasonic rat repellent devices, there is no scientific evidence to support their effectiveness in controlling rodent infestations. These devices emit high-frequency sound waves that are supposed to repel rats and pests, but research has shown that rodents can quickly adapt and become immune to the sounds.

In fact, the Federal Trade Commission has warned manufacturers of these devices not to make unsupported claims about their efficacy.

Choose Safe and Proven Rat Control Methods

The myth that coke kills rats is just that – a myth. While using soda to deal with rodent infestations may seem like an easy and cheap solution, it can have harmful effects on other wildlife and infrastructure.

Plus, there’s no guarantee that it will actually work. Instead of relying on unproven methods, it’s best to stick with safe and effective rat control measures such as traps or professional pest control services.

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Sean is the founder of Conquer Critters. With more than 17 years of experience in dealing with various pests, he is passionate about spreading his knowledge to help everyone manage their pest problem in the fastest, most effective manor possible.

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