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

​Individuals 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 techniques –  Rats nibble cautiously at new foods and can be rather particular about what they eat. Plus, there is a readily available food source, the rats will ignore 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. 

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