Rat traps and rat poisons are the go-to methods of ending a rat infestation. The best rat trap will either kill or trap the rat (allowing it to be relocated). But you have a lot of options:
- Snap traps
- Glue traps
- Electric traps
- Humane traps
Most traps are humane methods of killing rats, aside from glue traps, and this is just the first step in rat removal. You’ll need to seal the home properly to ensure that rats cannot reenter the home after you get rid of them.
Our rat trap reviews will help you find the best rat trap for your infestation.
Table of Contents
- Our Top Pick: Aspectek’s Electric Trap
- Top 9 Best Rat Traps Reviews
- How to Properly Set Rat Traps
- Which Type of Trap Works Best?
- Proper Rat Disposal Techniques
Our Top Pick: Aspectek’s Electric Trap
Aspectek’s electronic trap zaps rats dead. No pain and no suffering – the rats die instantly to offer a humane method of rat extermination. The trap requires four batteries, blinks when a rat is caught and can be reused.
- Instant kill – no suffering
- Blinks when rat is killed
- Reusable design
Top 9 Best Rat Traps Reviews
Victor’s metal rat trap comes in a 12-pack to allow for rapid trap deployment. Place the traps strategically around the home, office or warehouse. The traps feature FSC certified wood and are manufactured in the United States.
The trap features a basic wire snap trap design with a metal trip pedal that initiates the trap.
Rodents trip the trap, triggering the pedal which immediately springs closed to kill the rodent on impact. The trap is designed for quick removal. Victor recommends throwing the trap out, but it can be reused if washed off properly.
Setting the trap is simple:
- Remove the arm bar
- Move the bar towards the back of the trap
- Use a high-protein bait on the bait pedal, such as: Peanut butter, Hazelnut, Chocolate
- Pull the kill bar into place
- Push the arm bar on top of the kill bar
- Latch the bent arm to the pedal notch
The traps should be placed in key areas where rodent activity is taking place. Place the traps along walls in rooms where rodents like to travel. It’s recommended that multiple traps be placed – one every two to three feet for best results.
Extraordinary offers a 5-pack of glue traps that come with a peanut butter scent. The trap is also available in a three-pack, and the updated version uses a stronger adhesive. Thicker cardboard has been used on the trap to keep it from being dragged away.
The trap can catch rats, but it is also able to catch mice, spiders, ants and other pests.
Featuring a no-touch design, you can pick the trap up and discard of the mouse directly into the garbage. If placing in narrow spaces, it’s easy to fold up the trap and place it. No toxic components have been used in the design of the trap, so it’s safe for kids and pets.
You can use vegetable oil to release the rat if you want to free the rat in a park.
Highly effective, consumers have been able to catch multiple mice and rats in one night using this trap. Simply place it where you find tracks, and the trap will do the rest.
From big rats to moles and chipmunks, this trap can catch them all. Large rats, which are known to escape smaller glue traps, are no match for these.
CaptSure’s trap is the first humane trap on our list, and it comes in a small or large size. When trying to catch rats, I recommend the large size for best results. The larger size allows for easier capture, and it also comes with larger breathing holes.
The trap comes in a two-pack, and it can be used indoors or outdoors.
You can catch rats in this trap, but you can also catch mice, voles and other rodents, too. Hassle-free, you simply bait the trap, place it and that’s it. When rats enter, they’ll be stuck and need to be moved away from the home or building.
You can wash the trap and reuse as often as you like. The see-through design makes it easy to know when a rat has been caught. Releasing is easy, too.
One thing to note is that the plastic design will allow the rat to gnaw at the trap. Over time, this gnawing may break through the trap. You’ll need to check the trap daily and remove of the rat quickly if you want to prevent this gnawing from occurring.
There’s a lifetime warranty provided, and this trap is 100% humane: no electric, glue or poisons. Customer support is also available day and night to answer any of your questions.
Aspectek’s electronic rat trap is a trap that can catch all rodents and pests: mice, squirrels and rats. Professional strength, the large trap only shocks when a rat is inside. Sensors inside of the trap wait for a rat to enter, and when they do, the unit will produce a shock with 7000v of power.
When the shock hits the rat, it will die instantly.
Since the trap is black, you may not know when a dead rat needs to be removed. There’s a blinking light on the trap that will alert the owner that a rat is trapped inside. Discarding the rat requires you to tilt the trap over a garbage can.
You never need to come in contact with the rat.
Once a rat has been captured, the unit will turn off. You can try and clean the unit at this time. The unit will stop working after each catch and requires a reboot for the device to work again. All you need are batteries to operate the trap.
Replace batteries as needed or if you notice a decline in kills.
The Made2Catch trap is a heavy-duty snap trap that comes in a four pack and is made out of fully galvanized steel. The trap is reusable, and the full steel design allows the trap to be cleaned easier than the Victor wood trap mentioned first on our list.
The trap is powerful enough to kill rats, but it can also kill chipmunks and other large rodents.
A powerful spring snaps the trap on top of the mouse, killing it instantly. The traps are frost-resistant, offering better protection than plastic snap traps which often fail to work in cold weather. This is the best outdoor rat trap on our list, and it offers a humane kill.
The trap does not require any maintenance aside from occasional oiling, and it offers:
- Corrosion resistance
- Powerful snapping action
- 6.6” x 3.5” dimensions
The manufacturer claims that this trap is designed only for indoor use, but the galvanized steel allows it to remain outside for months without rusting. Consumers often use this trap for outdoor pests, but they do not kill all pests. The trap has been known to harm squirrels, yet the spring action is not enough to kill them.
Garsum’s traps come in a one- or five-pack option and are extra-large. The traps contain a strong, sticky adhesive that rats will be stuck in the moment they come in contact with it. All it takes is one second for the rat to get stuck.
Mice and other pests can also be caught with these traps.
The cardboard on this trap has also been enhanced to prevent rats from pulling the trap throughout the room. Foldable, you can place this trap in hard-to-reach places and it will still offer rat-catching protection.
Safe and professional, these traps are poison-free and do not contain any toxic ingredients.
While safe, this trap will get stuck on kids or animals, so it’s recommended that these traps are out-of-reach of animals at all times. The trap’s adhesive will be countered with vegetable oil, so it’s possible to remove the rat or get the trap unstuck from an animal.
Consumers recommend putting food in the middle of the trap as an extra incentive to go on the trap.
Some users will use a grabber to remove the dead mice and reuse the product, but the glue’s effectiveness will wear off over time.
Opening the trap is easy – not common with most glue traps. Overall, Garsum’s trap offers the utmost protection with a very strong adhesive.
Gnawing is a big issue with rats and smaller plastic traps. Kensizer offers a medium and large trap, made of metal, that offers a live catch. Rats, chipmunks, mice – every smaller rodent will be able to be caught in this cage.
The trigger sits at the back of the cage, and this is where bait is placed to lure the rat inside. Once inside, the rat will eat the bait and be trapped. The trigger is highly sensitive, and once touched, the door to the cage will lock shut.
The patented design features the following dimensions: 10.5” x 5.5” x 4.5”.
Peanut butter seems to be the ideal bait since it’s filled with high fat and protein content.
Solid and large enough, this trap can be placed indoors or outdoors. You may want to put cardboard on the bottom of the trap to keep the rat’s scent from getting in the cage. A lot of consumers claim that this helps them catch more rats.
You can also wash the cage with a disinfectant and keep using it.
Freeing the rat is also easy.
If it weren’t for the slightly higher price, this would have been our top choice for a humane rat trap.
Ebung’s trap is very similar to the previous electric trap we reviewed. This advanced version also provides 7000V of zapping power to kill rats instantly when they enter the trap. Mess-free operation allows you to discard the mouse quickly and not have to worry about cleaning up after a kill.
Dual power options are available, with the option to use four D batteries or plug the unit into an A/C outlet.
There are no complicated instructions. You simply add the batteries, place the trap and that’s it. Rats will walk into the trap looking for food and die in the process.
When you have a kill to clean up, pick up the unit and don’t touch the rat. You can simply tap the unit upside down and the rat will fall out. You’ll need to reset the trap after a kill. If you want to clean out the trap for any reason, remove the power source from the trap first.
A green light will illuminate when there’s a rat to discard. The light will flash red and green when it’s time to change the batteries. If the unit has its red light illuminated, the rat has entered the trap and is going to be shocked shortly.
Tomcat also offers a snap trap, and this model is designed with a plastic material that will not rust. You can use this trap outdoors, but you need to be careful because you may injure a squirrel or other animal that you’re not meaning to kill.
There is a single snap trap or a rat bundle that you can purchase.
Reusable, the trap is effective at killing rats and can be set using your hand or foot. The trap’s metal components are rust-resistant, and the interlocking teeth make it nearly impossible for a trapped rat to escape.
The bait cup allows you to place bait without setting the trap. The cup is removable, too.
For best results, the manufacturer recommends that you place this trap perpendicular to the wall where rats are known to travel. The setup allows for optimal rat trapping.
While the trap may seem reusable, there are a lot of users that claim it is not. The issue is that the spring action snaps the trap shut, causing the trap to break or teeth marks to get on the outside of the trap.
How to Properly Set Rat Traps
Traps can only work if you set them properly and put them in the right places. It’s easier than you think, but you do have to keep safety in mind, especially if you have young children and/or pets.
With that said, rats are smart creatures. They’re very aware of their surroundings. If something changes or something new is placed, they’ll know it.
It’s important to understand where to place traps and how to bait them to prevent trap “shyness.” Rats tend to travel the same routes over and over again. They have exceptional path memory. That’s why it’s so important to place your traps along their routes. If you place them in the middle of nowhere, you’ll never catch a single rodent.
Rat paths may be easy to spot. Look for droppings, areas marked with brown grease stains, urine, footprints, etc.
What Type of Bait Should You Use?
Once you’ve found a good place to set your traps, you’ll need to choose the right bait. Here’s the good news: rats will eat just about anything.
But for the best chance of success, you should choose a bait that’s already in the rat’s diet. Different species of rats have different diets. For example, black rats are herbivorous, while brown rats are omnivorous. Theoretically, black rats should love peanut butter, while brown rats may prefer aged cheese.
Foods with strong smells tend to work best with all types of rats.
Some of the most common and effective rat baits include:
- Peanut butter
- Hot dogs
- Raw chicken
- Cake icing
- Dried fruit
- Unshelled nuts
Rats may not be picky eaters, but they may be leary of taking your bait – especially if there are other food sources available. It may not be possible to eliminate all other food sources, but you can make sure that you’re not contributing to the problem. Make sure that all of your food (and pet food) is stored away in airtight containers or the refrigerator.
Ideally, you should use the same style traps when catching rats. Remember – rats are suspicious of change. Using different styles of traps can lead to confusion and trap shyness.
Use as many traps as necessary. For residential homes, it’s not unusual to use three or more traps to tackle an infestation.
Here are a few tips for placing traps:
- Use 3 traps side by side to create a “sandwich effect.” The two outside traps can be baited and wired open to get rats to trust the traps. The middle trap will be loaded to catch it.
- Make sure the open side of the trap is against the wall. If the rat is running along the wall, there’s a good chance that it will run directly into the trap.
- Plastic and wooden snap traps can be anchored onto a piece of wood to keep rodents from dragging them away.
- Be patient and experiment with different baits if you’re not having any luck. Some rats may prefer one type of bait over another. Also, rats may not approach a trap for several days after it’s placed.
- Once you’ve started laying traps, it’s important to check them every day and replace the bait as necessary. Don’t let the food go rancid before replacing it. Always supply fresh bait. If the food is fresh, the rats will make your traps their primary food source.
- Rats like to touch a surface as they move. That’s why it’s best to place traps along walls or in corners.
- Traps can also be placed underneath furniture or in closets that have been left open.
- Make sure that you choose the right size trap. Mouse traps may be too small for rats. Snap traps designed for rats are twice the size of those designed for mice.
- Reuse traps if you can. The dead rats caught in the trap will leave behind a scent that will attract other rats.
- Never touch traps with your bare hands. It’s best to set and bait traps while wearing gloves, or using tools or utensils. If you touch the trap with your bare hands, you’ll leave behind a scent that may repel rats.
- For best chances of success, use small bait and keep it centered on the trap. Otherwise, the resourceful and creative rat may find a way to snatch the bait and chow down elsewhere.
One last thing: don’t use poison as bait. Poison will not make your traps more effective, and it increases the risk of pets or children being harmed by the bait.
Also, don’t mix food and poison together to use as bait. What if the rat scurries off with the bait and drags it across the floor? The poison may spread to your flooring, where pets and kids may come in contact with it.
Poisoned bait also increases the chances that the rats may take off and die in the walls – or somewhere else in your home. This can make it more difficult to find the stinky, dead rodent.
How to Overcome Trap Shyness
Young rats may be quick to enter a trap out of curiosity, but older rats may be “trap shy.” They may have learned to avoid traps, or they may have been injured by one in the past. It will take more patience and coercion to get these guys to enter the trap and take the bait.
The best way to overcome trap shyness is to place the bait in an unloaded trap. This strategy is known as “pre-baiting.” By offering a continual supply of food in an unset trap, you’re teaching the rat to trust the trap. Yes, this will require some patience and time, but it will ultimately make it much easier to trap rats in the future.
To pre-bait, leave traps in the closed position or wired open so that they cannot close.
Once you feel that the rat has no issues taking the bait, you can unwire and set the trap.
Which Type of Trap Works Best?
Ultimately, the type of trap you choose will depend on your personal preference.
If you don’t want to deal with setting snap traps and handling dead rats, a zapper trap may be your best option. Once the rat has been trapped and killed, you can simply empty the dead body into a sealable plastic bag without ever having to touch the rat.
Glue and snap traps are tried-and-true options for catching rats. Snap traps kill rats on contact, but glue traps do not. With glue traps, you can choose to let the animal starve or dehydrate to death, or you can use a vegetable-based oil to remove the rat and release it back into the wild. Again, this is a personal preference, but it’s important to make sure that you always wear gloves when handling rats and/or traps.
There’s also the option of using a humane trap, which will allow you to catch and trap the rats without killing them. Once you’ve caught the rodents, you can release them far away from your home. Ideally, you should release rats several miles away from your home. Make sure that you don’t release the rat near any households. Otherwise, you’re just transferring the problem to another person who may just wind up trapping and killing the rats.
If none of these options work for you, you can refer to our article on how to get rid of rats using home remedies.
Proper Rat Disposal Techniques
You’ve successfully trapped the rats in your home. Now, how do you get rid of them? The handling of dead rats should not be taken lightly. These rodents carry disease, and you don’t want them laying in your home longer than necessary.
If a dead rat is left in the trap for a long period of time, you’ll know it. Along with a pungent smell, you may also have to deal with flies and other insects. It only takes a few days for a dead rat to start smelling.
The first and most important rule here is to make sure that you ALWAYS wear gloves when handling rats, nesting material, feces, urine or rat traps.
If you’re using a snap trap, hold the trap and unhinge it to release the dead rat into a plastic garbage bag. Place any nesting material or contaminated items into the trash bag. Seal the bag (do NOT push the air out of the bag), and dispose of it in the garbage.
Rats are crafty creatures. Trapping them will take some patience and time, but it’s worth the effort to rid your home of these rodents. Not only can rats damage your home, but they also carry infectious diseases that can spread to humans.
The traps we’ve reviewed will help you tackle your rat problem, but if the population gets out of hand, you may need to call in an exterminator to get the job done. Most homeowners should be able to get rid of rats by setting multiple traps with attractive bait.