But does Coca-Cola really kill rats or is this another fake folk remedy?
Let’s look at how colas and soda water supposedly kill rodents as well as whether or not it even works.
See Also: Does Juicy Fruit Gum Kill Gophers?
A Possible Origin Story
Home remedies don’t just crop up without a reason, and there may be a darker origin story to using colas to kill rodents.
In the 1800s, there were several alcoholic beverages known as cocas.
The term “coca” was a reference to the main ingredient, cocaine. Cocaine is a derivative from the coca leaf.
John Pemberton made his own coca drink, later adding the kola nut for its caffeine.
The non-alcoholic version of this drink was officially released in 1886 as Coca-Cola and was sold as both a temperance drink and cold medicine.
It took several decades before the effects of cocaine use were known, and now Coca-Cola uses coca leaves that have already had all traces of cocaine extracted.
Cocaine is a dangerous drug, and it’s likely that people discovered mice and rats would die after consuming spilled Coca-Cola.
This could explain why people now believe it’s carbonation that made this an effective rat poison.
Will Coke Kill Rats and Mice?
We can tell you right now that there are have been no scientific tests to check whether soft drinks really kill these rodents or not.
Still, a lot of people have claimed they’ve been able to use soft drinks like Coca-Cola or Pepsi to kill rats and mice.
Believers claim that after drinking Coke, rats develop gas in their stomachs. Since they can’t burp, they are unable to get rid of this gas, and the pressure will slowly kill them.
Conversely, non-believers of this home remedy point out the cases where rat owners intentionally give Coke or Pepsi to their rats on multiple occasions without any side effects.
Obviously, these are directly contradicting claims.
No home remedy (or even chemical remedy) is 100% guaranteed, so there’s no harm in trying this trick out for yourself.
The sweet scent may just lure mice to their doom.
And no, sugar-free soda won’t work since the rodents have no incentive to ingest it.
How to Kill Rats with Coke
This is not a difficult process and worth a shot if you have a fear of rats.
All you have to do is pour some Coke or Pepsi in a wide lid or small, shallow bowl and keep it where rats frequent.
Rats will be attracted to the soda due to its sweetness. In theory, they’ll then drink it and slowly die.
However, there is no guarantee this home remedy will be a success, so don’t depend on soda alone and have a backup plan.
See Also: How to Get Rid of a Dead Rat Smell
Home Remedies vs Pest Control
Now that we’ve had a look at why the idea of soft drinks as a pesticide might have gotten started, as well as whether they work, it’s time to raise an important point.
Looking back at study findings for other home remedies, some simply don’t work.
Other remedies are anecdotal or work well in certain situations.
Using a soda drink or bicarbonate of soda (AKA baking soda) could very well work on some critters, just nothing as big as rats.
Even if sharing a little Pepsi could kill a single mouse, it’s useless against a major infestation.
Home remedies work best as preventatives or against small infestations.
Once they get big, it may actually be cheaper to hire a professional pest control company.
They’ll not only eliminate the problem more efficiently, but will also come up with a plan to prevent future infestations.
Even though there’s no evidence that Coca-Cola can kill rodents, there’s no harm in trying this remedy for yourself.
Also, research has shown that carbonated drinks may decrease fertility in female mice, which can help slow an infestation down.
However, as mentioned above, in the case of a full-fledged rat infestation, it’s always best to hire a professional exterminator.