In an apartment building, there's one thing you definitely share with other tenants and that's general sanitation in the apartment building. Even if you keep your eating and cooking quarters immaculately clean, there's no saying how other tenants dispose of kitchen or dinner trash. And when sanitation is a problem in the apartment building, you may be having rodents - that's rats and mice - passing through or visiting your apartment unit.

Cats to Catch Rats and Mice

If you're lucky to have an aggressive cat, then rat infestation may not be a big problem for you. That's assuming your landlord even allows pets as some landlords have a "no pets" policy. But then there may be other areas around the apartment that are accessible to rats, but not to cats. Mice, for instance are smaller and nimbler than rats and can easily pass through small entryways, crevices and high narrow ledges.

Rat Poison, Baits and Traps

There are plenty of rat poison, baits and traps in the supermarket. I particularly don't like rat traps that don't kill rats though since I'd don't like disposing of live rats. Poison in the form of tracking powder that stick to rats can be messy in the long run. Also, it may not be a good idea if you have a pet.

For these reasons, I prefer the rat bait poison that you put in bait receptacles for the rats and mice to feed on. There are several brands in the market with each touting their rat-eliminating properties. There's one that causes rats to become blind therefore forcing them to go outside. Mice won't die trapped inside your closets or cabinets. Another has chemicals that cause dehydration therefore minimizing foul odors. And still another claims anti-bait shyness so rats (highly intelligent creatures, by the way) don't suspect what's killing them. Others have a combination of these properties.

Rat poisoned baits, properly placed in an container or a dish can be effective and mess free. Here's an inexpensive homemade rat poison dish that you can make.

How to Make a Rat Bait Dish

Here's a homemade rat poison dish with bait (colored blue) that is placed on a ledge and secured to the window grill.

  • Transparent plastic cup - 1 pc (can be bought in the kitchen section of the supermarket)
  • Twist ties - 2 pcs, 3 inches long.
  • Scissors
  • Small nail

  1. With a pair of scissors, cut the top part off from the transparent plastic cup, leaving a portion of the cup that is 1 inch high from the base.
  2. Punch a couple of holes on the remaining plastic cup. Use a small nail to punch these holes. Position these holes so they are 1/4 inch from the top and 3/4 inch from each other.
  3. Slide a couple of twist ties through the punched holes.
  4. Secure the rat poisoned bait dish by tying it to a window grill as shown in the above photo.

Advantages of the Homemade Rat Poison Dish
  • Easy to monitor
    The transparent material allows you to see through the dish and tells you if there are mice feeding. It also tells you when to replenish the rat poison bait. This is especially helpful if the rat dish is located on a ledge that's above eye level.
  • Stable and secured
    Rats and mice fidget when feeding and can be messy eaters. The rat dish is high enough so the poisoned bait doesn't spill out. But it is also secured so it doesn't topple easily. You can double-sided tapes to further secure the dish or when there's nothing to tie it to.
  • Durable
    The plastic dish is inexpensive yet waterproof and can last a long time.