Soda Can Kill Rats
There’s a common urban legend that says soda can kill a rat. Rats aren’t able to burp but there’s not enough carbonation to affect a rodent, says Tim Husen, a technical services manager with Orkin.
“There simply wouldn’t be enough carbonation to affect a rodent,” Husen said. “Using Coca-Cola or another soda as a control tactic is not a recommended strategy. Instead, you may unintentionally attract rodents to your home, as they are attracted to sweet, sugary substances as a food source.”
Caffeine is certainly harmful for rats, too, but a rat would have to drink near a full 12-ounce can of soda to have serious consequences.
Major Cities Have a 1-to-1 Ratio For Rats to People
This plays off another thought that people are never more than 6 feet away from a rat, which is simply impossible. The myth comes from a study published in 1909 in England. W.R. Boelter conducted the study and came up with a guess that England had one rat per acre of cultivated land. England had 40 million acres of cultivated land and a population of 40 million at the time so it kind of fit that there’d be one rat to every person.
In 1949, Dave Davis studied the rat population of New York City and determined that there were really about 250,000 rats in the city—a ratio of one rat for every 36 people.