Of all the creatures known for infesting homes, rats are among the most difficult to deal with. They are infamous for their resourcefulness, their intelligence, and the staggering rate at which they breed. So, to put it simply, a rodent infestation is a serious issue.

Types of Rat Traps

‚ÄčIndividuals have access to a variety of traps and toxic baits when it comes to removing rats from homes. Snap, electric, live-capture traps, and glue boards are popular means of rodent control in homes and garages where rat populations are small in number.

Snap Traps

Snap traps are as old as time. In the past, they were almost always made of wood, but some companies offer modernized versions of this age-old trap that are made of plastic and reusable. Snap traps have a small bait cup into which the bait is inserted, then you pull the metal lever back 90 degrees (watch your fingers!), and the trap is set. A mouse then steps on the plate, and is a nuisance no more.

Plastic Enclosed Snap Traps

These are very similar to generic snap traps, except they are encased in a hard plastic shell, and you use a lever on the exterior of the shell to set the trap. There is also an indicator for when a mouse is caught.

Live Catch Traps

These devices are unique in this list in that they do not kill the rodent; rather, they simply hold it until you can release it elsewhere. There are two main versions of live catch traps: metal cages, and plastic tubes, both of which are outfitted with trigger-operated doors. Metal cage traps are preferred as they are large enough that the captured mouse likely won’t get overly stressed out in the time it is detained.

Electric Traps

Electric traps work by luring rodents into a chamber and administering a lethal shock. They are gaining in popularity because they are one of the more humane options, killing mice almost instantly. They are also engineered to include a no-see, no-touch disposal procedure, and a light to indicate when a rodent has been caught. They are also designed to ensure that humans and pets cannot be shocked.

Glue Traps

Glue traps (Glueboards) are very simple. They are thick industrial cards, covered in sticky adhesive. The mouse attempts to cross it and is then caught up on the sticky surface, where it dies due to lack of water and food. Then the card is thrown away. We do not recommend glue traps. They are better at catching mice than rats. Temperature extremes and dusty areas can make them less effective. Most importantly, they are not an ethical rodent control method.

What Should You Bait Rat Traps With?

>Rat traps should be baited with enticing foods like bacon, peanut butter, oatmeal, or marshmallows and placed along areas rats are known to regularly travel such as adjacent to walls or in dark corners. Toxic options, such as anticoagulant baits, may pose hazards for small children and pets. Additionally, the use of such baits often leads to rodent death in inaccessible places like inside walls or above ceilings.

Rat Bait Stations

Although they might look like a trap, bait stations or bait boxes are not a rodent trap. Bait stations contain a solid, liquid, or paste rodenticides, and increase the effectiveness and safety of rodenticides. Bait stations have two holes one for entry and one to exit. After the rodents eat the bait, they leave it. Rodenticides should be used a supplemental control option. If you need to use repeated use of baits, trapping and exclusions services are needed.

Why Are Rats Avoiding My Traps?

Rats are intelligent critters that fear changes in their environment. Successful rat control requires more strategy than a few hastily placed store-bought rat traps. Here are a few reasons rat traps are not working:

  • Wrong Sized Trap – People often make the mistake of confusing mouse traps for rat traps due to their similar design. Rat traps, however, are significantly larger and more powerful to compensate for the size difference between rats and mice. If a mousetrap is used on a rat, you run the risk of it escaping or being pinned down but still live and potentially hostile when you go to release it.
  • Ineffective Placement – An important consideration about rats is that they will typically stick to scurrying along the edges of rooms near walls where they feel safe. Placing a trap in the middle of the room will most likely not catch much. If you put the trap along the edge of the room and place the end with the trigger plate facing the wall, you will have a better chance at coaxing rats into the trap.
  • Traps Set Too Early – Rats are very aware of their surroundings, and the moment a new element is introduced, they can become weary of it. Place the traps in the room, but do not set them. This way, the rats will not perceive them as a threat yet and will be more inclined to approach your traps a few nights later.
  • Not Enough Traps – In addition to acclimating the rats to the traps early, you need to keep in mind that once the traps are shown to be deadly, the rats will stay away. That is why you should always set multiple traps. Statistically, you always trap the most rats on the first night, so by setting many overnight you increase your odds substantially.
  • Improper baiting techinques –  Rats nibble caustiously at new foods and can be rather particular about what they eat. Plus, there is a readily available food source, the rats will ingore the bait. Eliminating their food sources for twenty-four hours and baiting with a highly desirable bait can help rat traps work better.

Professional Rat Trapping

Effective use of rat traps includes proper size, bait, placement, and timing. The standard Critter Control rat trapping process takes between five to fourteen days. If the rat infestation is large, it can take longer. Once the rat population is controlled, we seal the house and disinfect the area. Rats can gnaw through virtually any material on your house. A recurring rat control plan will control any potential rat infestations. 

Learn more about rat removal.

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Customer Reviews

Kirk D.
It has been very effective at reducing the number of mice, lizard, and snake sightings. During one visit Edgar removed a rattlesnake he came across. We may see a snake maybe two to three times during the spring and summer months, but it has been far less than before.

Serivces: Wildlife & Rodent Control in San Diego
Robert B.
Full service. Excellent job of extracting raccoon, cleaning all animal waste, sanitizing, and spraying anti-parasitic substance. They closed all potential ports of entry, though the work did not match the vinyl, and it looks kind of tacky. They added blown insulation, which added a lot to the cost. They provide a one year warranty against animal intrusion, with an option to extend the warranty at the end of each one- year period. They were willing to work with me one the price. I will probably extend my warranty, and will definitely use them it the future.
Gene F.
I was really impressed by these guys. Got a call within a few hours of making an inquiry. Had a rep out to inspect the situation by the end of the week, and when they laid out the timeline they kept if not exceeded listed times.

Rob, Travis, and Jim were all professional, polite, and courteous and after months of hearing squirrels in my ceiling they are gone and the repair to my flashing looks excellent. Can't recommend these guys enough.
Bob I.

Jeff was incredibly professional and helpful. I'll use them again and would recommend them to anyone.
-Detroit, MI
Richard L.

Critter Control did a great job of evaluating our house for sites of entry after we found bats and a squirrel in our attic. They completed their work promptly and professionally.
-Seattle, WA
Kenneth H.
We heard some noise from the corner of our house. Concerned that it could be inside we called for an inspection. Jessy arrived as scheduled and conducted a complete inspection of our home. Based on a recording we made he determined we had a tree frog on our roof. I was pleased that we didn’t have any rodent in our house. And his inspection could a few spots I can tighten up around my house. I am very happy with the outcome.
-New Hampshire
Lee F.
We have a vacation home in Western Mass and haven’t been there much during the pandemic as we live and work in Atlanta, GA. On our most recent visit we noticed that we had some rodent intrusion as well as some un-welcomed wildlife who decided to make our vacation home their home.

We contacted Critter Control and Mr. Cahoon was quick to set up an appointment as we wouldn’t be in town very long. He came out and assessed our issues. He informed us of our options to both eradicate and control future intrusions. Keeping in mind that wildlife is wildlife! He quickly got to work eradicating the rodents and wildlife from our home and addressing the intrusion issues. We feel much better leaving our vacation home for periods at a time knowing that Mr. Cahoon and Critter Control did their job and did it right! Thanks again!
Mary L.
We bought an old cabin last spring , it was used for years as a summer vacation cabin, therefore maintenance wasn’t a priority. After our project to remodel started, we found evidence of mice droppings.

We immediately called Critter Control and they came and gave us a reasonable estimate to remove all remnants and insulation. They sanitized and replaced with new insulation and sealing up points of entry .

Seeing their professional work made us feel confident and secure that the problem was solved ! Everyone we worked with continued to show professional and respectful work. Highly recommend this company! We continue to use critter control monthly to be sure we are mice and bug free!


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