Most of us have been visited by the notorious rodents we call rats. And although they might be common, they are anything but popular. Fortunately for you, there are plenty of ways for you to get rid of these unwanted house guests.

How To Trap Rats
How To Trap Rats

Snap Traps

There are many types of rat traps available. The most common types of rat traps include snap traps, spring traps, glue traps, cage traps, and electronic rat traps. While all of these types have their own set of pros and cons, snap traps are the most popular option for a number of reasons discussed below.
Snap Traps

Snap traps are the most common type of rat traps available. This type of traps is triggered when the bait on it is disturbed. The trap then traps the rodent and kills it almost instantly. While all snap traps have a similar mechanism, you still need to be careful when choosing the right one for dealing with a rat infestation.

Snap traps can be used for both rats and mice. The ones used for rats are generally bigger and have a heavier catch. Rat snap traps are also comparatively less sensitive as rats are heavier than mice. So, when purchasing snap traps to deal with an infestation, make sure you are getting the right kind.

Snap traps are probably one of the most effective means of trapping rats. The rodents are killed almost immediately and as such they are considered as some of the more humane rat trapping options available. Moreover, snap traps are relatively inexpensive. This is a very favorable trait of snap traps because when trapping rats, you need to be generous with the number of traps you set up in order to be successful in your rat trapping efforts. Finally, since the rats are trapped under the snap trap’s metallic bar, they are stuck in place until you dispose them off. This makes them a better choice than other types of traps because you don’t need to go hunting for the foul-smelling dead rat’s body

Snap traps can further be categorized into two types, namely wooden snap traps and plastic snap traps. Wooden snap traps consist of a metal snap bar fixed on top of a wooden platform. Plastic snap traps, on the other hand, have a metal snap bar fixed on top of a plastic platform. While both have a similar trapping mechanism, the major difference between the two types of snap traps is the ease with which they can be set up. Wooden snap traps are generally harder to set up and can even hurt the person setting them up especially if they are a first-time user. Plastic snap traps are easier to set and are also cheaper and more easily available.

Snap traps don’t come without their own set of flaws though. The major drawback of such traps is that they can only trap one rat at a time. When dealing with a rat infestation, it is safe to assume that there are plenty of rats present. Because of this, you will need lots of snap traps in order to successfully handle the infestation. The good thing though is that snap traps can be reused. All you need to do is remove the dead rat, clean it up and it is ready to be used again.

Another drawback of snap traps is that they are not children or pet proof. The trap will be triggered if the bait or the trigger plate are touched, and this can easily be done by pets or children.

Cage Traps

Cage rat traps, as the name suggests, are cage-like devices that lure the rats and then prevent them escaping. Food bait is kept in the cage and the door is left open. Since rats are naturally attracted towards enclosed spaces, they are generally curious enough to venture inside. The presence of the food bait only improves the likelihood of success. Once the rodent enters the cage, the mechanism of the cage’s door is triggered causing it close. This way, the rat is trapped inside but not killed. You can then take the cage out and release the rat anywhere else or kill it.

When choosing bait for cage rat traps, it is better to avoid poisoned bait. Using poisoned bait beats the main purpose of cage traps which is to trap hurts without harming them.

A variation of cage rat traps is one in which a cage-like device is made using wires. The wires are shaped like a funnel. The rodent can safely enter the funnel but can’t exit as the sharp end of the wires are now facing it and would end up poking it.

Apart from the obvious benefit of cage rat traps that they don’t kill the rats, another advantage is that they can be used to trap more than one rat at a time. However, it is important to remember that rats are by nature very cautious creatures. They would automatically be wary of a new object in their environment, so chances are that they won’t wander inside the cage for a few days. Moreover, if one rat is caught in it then others would avoid it.

Glue Traps

Glue traps are simply pieces of cardboard that have a heavy-duty adhesive on them. This adhesive is, in most cases, non-poisonous. Sometimes a bait is also attached on the cardboards to attract the rats. These traps are placed in areas with a high rat activity. When a rat passes over it, it gets stuck to the trap. Eventually, the rat dies of asphyxiation and dehydration. Because of this reason, glue traps are considered a highly inhumane method of rat trapping.

Glue traps are perhaps one of the least popular forms of rat traps. This is because since the rat is left to die, it is considered a very cruel method of trapping rats. Moreover, if the traps are not checked frequently, then the dead rat might end up emitting a highly foul smell. Another drawback of glue traps is that they too only target one rat at a time. Finally, glue traps aren’t child or pet proof. It is easy for either of these to end up stuck on the trap.

Electric Rat Traps

This type of rat traps is similar in theory to bug zappers. The electronic trap detects when a rat is present and delivers a high voltage electricity that, in most cases, is enough to kill the rodent. Sometimes though, the electric shock doesn’t kill the rat, but rather only paralyzes or maims it temporarily. As a result, you are then left with the responsibility of either transporting and releasing the rat elsewhere or of killing it before disposing of it. Either way, electronic rat traps are considered a highly inhumane method of trapping rats. Moreover, they too aren’t child and pet friendly and accidents can easily occur with these that might lead to serious consequences.

Other Types Of Rat Traps

Other less common types of rat traps include the self-resetting traps and spring traps. Self resetting traps detect a rat’s presence and kill it with a carbon dioxide powered piston. The piston is then reset automatically for the next rat. Since the rat is killed almost instantaneously, such types of rat traps are considered a much more humane choice. Moreover, since one such trap can target several rats, self-resetting traps are gaining more and more popularity. On the downside though, like most of the other types of rat traps, such self-resetting rat traps aren’t child or pet proof either.

Spring traps, on the other hand, are similar to snap traps and are designed to kill larger rodents such as rats and aren’t as effective against mice. The downside of these traps is that they are hard to set up and can easily hurt the person or even break their finger while setting it up. Because of this, it is probably not a good idea to take the risk of using spring rat traps if you also have children or pets in the area.

Dusty Showers has been in the urban nuisance wildlife and pest control field since 1993. Taught by Garon Fyffe, a pioneer in humane nuisance wildlife management, Dusty has a passion for finding humane solutions to human & wildlife conflicts. Dusty was the only individual invited by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission in the lat 1990's to help write legislation for legal protection of Florida bats. With an instinct for solving wildlife, Dusty found pest control to be an easy "add-on interest". Dusty started his first business "Animal Instincts Wildlife & Pest Management" in the Tampa Bay, Florida area in 1995. Eventually selling Animal Instincts in 2002, Dusty went on to start Creepy Creatures Termite and Pest Control in 2009, which he still owns and operates today in Palm Harbor, Florida.