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Best Rat Traps

Updated on October 15, 2014
Wild Rat
Wild Rat

Wild Rats DO NOT Make Good Pets!

As a former Pest Control Technician, ie: "Bug Man", both in the residential and commercial arenas, I can speak with authority on the health dangers and physical damage that rats cause. This article will discuss your options in controlling these vile rodents.

If you happen to be of the general mindset that says "All creatures deserve to live in their own environments" then you have never been in the situation I have seen many homeowners and business people find themselves - rats living in YOUR environment!

Modern pest control gives you many more choices than in the past. When the subject is the control of rats (and mice) however, there are steps you can take to eliminate an infestation or better yet, prevent one. Protecting your family, customers and property should be your goals.

Just a plug for your local Pest Control Service Provider. If after reading this article you are totally grossed out and could not imagine dealing with a rat problem yourself then PLEASE call a local professional and ask for help!

Go High Tech! - The latest in rodent control technology!

Electronic rat traps are easy to use and very effective. Just bait it with common pet food and check it once a day. Dispatched rodents are easily and cleanly disposed of for your protection!

How does it work?

Well, the device uses a battery to charge up a capacitor that then will hold enough of a charge to terminate a rat (or mouse) when they step inside. The floor of the device has metal plates that conduct the current from the capacitor through the rodent's body. Part of the floor will be attached to the positive side of the capacitor and part attached to the negative thus completing the circuit.

So it electrocutes them. Sounds terrible and I suppose from the rat's point of view it is but they are terminated much more humanly than a standard trap.

Wild Rat
Wild Rat

Why Rats are Such a Problem

They are smart and resourceful

Rodents in general are much smarter than most people think and rats are very smart. They are able to puzzle out problems and make flexible choices which are the main reasons they have survived and flourished over time.

They are also flexible physically. Even a large rat can get through a 2 inch (or less!) hole or opening with relative ease. Rats also have a nasty habit of gnawing with their large front teeth and they really do not care about damaging their teeth on hard word, plastic and even metal. In fact, they must gnaw regularly to prevent their teeth from growing too long!

Rats normally are more active at night but if you are seeing them during the day then you likely have a very big rat infestation. Showing themselves during the day means they do not feel threatened in any way. Otherwise they would only venture out at night.

Once rats make an entryway into a building they enlarge it by gnawing, bring their friends and start families! These entryways are usually very secluded and difficult for humans to find. Once inside a building, they find comfortable abodes within walls, ceilings and untraveled areas of storage to set up living quarters. That means more physical destruction of adjacent areas as they chew up materials for nests in which to raise their young (which means even MORE Rats).

Low-Tech Rat Traps - No batteries needed!

A friend of mine mentioned that her father once used a brick to kill a rat - Aren't Dad's AMAZING! That brings to mind the thrifty among us who would rather spend as little as possible. I can understand that mindset, and it does lead one to think of all kinds of crazy ways you can use ordinary objects to get rid of rats but I do not want to encourage foolhardy behavior by sharing them.

If you do not have a nice brick handy or you have plenty of bricks but are hitting every thing BUT the rat(s) then we have to consider "Plan B," the classic "Snap Trap!" These are not my first choice but they are inexpensive and they work! Do not use these if you have children or pets in the infested area! Children and pets are inquisitive and could be harmed butting a hand or nose close to a snap trap.

Your choices include the traditional Snap Trap and Glue Boards. Glue Boards do work well and are inexpensive. Also you do not have to use bait if you place the glue boards along the edges of walls where rodents tend to run. They do not work in dusty or wet areas however.

The best baits for Snap Traps include peanut butter and (strangely enough) cardboard. The rats like cardboard as nesting material. A piece of cardboard sticking up on a glue board will entice most rats to investigate out of sheer curiosity and you do not have to worry about refreshing the bait.

I have also included the live trap for any of you that want to capture the rats and move them to the "wild" where they can live free and happy. If that is your plan, all I have to say is "What have you been smoking?"

Catchmaster 402 Baited Rat, Mouse and Snake Glue Traps Professional Strength, 2-Pack
Catchmaster 402 Baited Rat, Mouse and Snake Glue Traps Professional Strength, 2-Pack

These are referred to as "Glue Boards" in the pest control industry. Not good for dusty environments.


My Experiences

Former "Bug Man" Tells All!

I have worked in the pest control industry at various times in my life and I'm proud of it. Pest control is a very important industry and the people who do that type of work are often not appreciated. When you do your job right, the customer never sees much in the way of insect or rodents so they sometimes do not understand that the technician is the reason. Then they see one little ant and get all upset!

I didn't have much of a problem in that regard because I regularly communicated information to my customers to educate them as to what I was doing including recommendations on actions they could take to help themselves.

For example. Do you want a rat problem? Ok, here is what you do! Live in a home near the water and have fruit trees in your yard but let the fruit ripen and fall on the ground and do not clean it up! Guaranteed Rats!

Here's another idea, live in a large apartment complex and pick a ground floor apartment near the dumpsters then put out bowls of cat food on your patio to feed the homeless kitties. Guaranteed Rats!

And finally, make sure your building has lots of junk piled up next to the walls (especially near a leaking water faucet!) then make absolutely sure that branches of any trees next to the building grow full out to touch the walls or even better, hang over the roof! Guaranteed Rats!

What you can do to protect yourself!

This informative video shows you the plan of action I would use to eliminate a rat infestation.

Rats That Can Make Good Pets!

Not the wild kind!

I have know people who kept rats as pets but NOT the wild variety. Still, they are not for me but if you get one from a local pet store where you can see they are raised and cared for as pets should be, then it is up to you.

When our daughters were you we had a couple of Gerbils that lived about three years. They sure were cute and seemed very smart. My daughters called them "Gribblers" for some reason. I liked that name better than Gerbils!

What do you think now?

Do you know more about controlling rats than before you read this article?

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    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      I hate rats and do every thing I can to prevent them. My daughter has two bought rats from a pet store. How long do you think pet rats live?? Great informative Hub, Stella

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      Every winter, and a few times during the summer, we get field mice in our house. When that happens, I put out traps like the metal pedal Victors you show. They work very efficiently. I hate having to do it, but though field mice can look kind of cute, they are destructive and unsanitary. They're definitely not pets.

    • profile image

      glassgaragedoors 4 years ago

      This was very informative. I had no idea rats could cause so many problems, and thanks for adding links to buy the different types of traps sold that work!

    • lilymom24 profile image

      lilymom24 4 years ago

      I have pet rats and just want to say that they are much cuter, cleaner, and less destructive than wild ones. Fortunately, we don't have any wild ones hanging around which may be due to our cats and the dog. We do however, have a gopher or a ground hog that we think lives under our shed that likes to dine in my garden. He's not so cute either, even though the kids named him "Gophee". lol =)

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 4 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      @stylishimo1: Video or it didn't happen! :-)

    • Titia profile image

      Titia Geertman 4 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      I live in the country where rats out and (sometimes) in the house are not a strange thing to see and one of my Border Collies (clever dogs who get bored so easily) has developped the skill of catching rats. It has become almost an even more exiting thing to do than herding my sheep. He has killed three big rats in the last few weeks, two inside the barn and one outside. I don't like traps that won't kill a rat instantly, because I think rats too don't deserve a long lasting painful death just because I gave them the opportunity to find food or shelter in my house. But I don't mind a fair fight between the dogs and the rats. After a while they will learn that our home is not a healthy environment for them.

    • stylishimo1 profile image

      stylishimo1 4 years ago

      Yes I have, luckily my boyfriend at the time was a gypsy so the rats were quickly delt with using a dog and a catapult. We had 3 huge rats out of that shed, I was surprised at how big and angry they were compared to my pet rat.

    • profile image

      CatJGB 4 years ago

      We have a rat in the back courtyard of our place, he lives under the neighbours porch (the edge of this is the edge of our courtyard.) He was attracted to the chook food but the chooks are absent at the mo and I've seen him nosing around during the day. Sans tail, we did catch that in a trap once!

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 4 years ago

      Very good information. I have a cat, but think she would run and hide if she saw a rat. Sort of like me.

    • Expat Mamasita profile image

      Expat Mamasita 4 years ago from Slovakia

      Thanks for the info on the best rat traps......hope I never need them!!!

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 4 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      @sockii: Now I won't be able to sleep tonight sockii with visions of bloodthirsty chickens running around!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 4 years ago

      Oh my, rats! I have a recent picture that I took of a large rat squished on my neighbor's driveway. Where did that rat come from? The field? Well, that's the first rat I have seen around these parts although when I was staying with my mom in Brooksville, she had "rats for Christmas!" She has a lens on that -- they were hiding underneath the house and would run to the bird feeder each day. Had to call pest control. They set a trap like a havahart ... and I saw one captured unhappy rat in there.

    • sockii profile image

      Nicole Pellegrini 4 years ago from New Jersey

      @robertzimmerman2: She's pretty sure it's rats not mice some of them have been catching, but mostly babies (I've seen 'em. What the cats don't get, the chickens are bloodthirsty enough to finish off.) But, that's good to know about groups of rats (I'll pass it along, and also share this lens with her to see if she might want to try some of those electric traps.)

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 4 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      @KathyMcGraw2: If it's outdoors and not near any other homes you can always play "Big Game Hunter" with a pellet gun!

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 4 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      @sockii: That is true for mice but most cats will avoid rats especially in groups. Thanks for the feedback!

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 4 years ago from California

      Pretty darn good info! I moved into a house by a wash and have seen rats. Glue boards are OK, but the stupid rat ate his foot off, and his tail and ran away! There was a nest inside an old Oleander just creeps me out and staying on top of it is a full time job! I sure would have appreciated having a "bug man" tell me about the fruit trees. So, I will say thank you from all homeowners that live near a wash!

    • sockii profile image

      Nicole Pellegrini 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Great information - seriously! I say this as a landlord who has not had to deal with rats, but mice. And gee, why is it so often my first floor tenants (with a basement) are always the ones who have mice problems? Because they don't listen to me or real the rental agreement where it says "Don't store empty cardboard boxes, old furniture and bags of clothes in the basement." Because guess what? Guaranteed MICE!

      Of course, you've left off one good natural rat trap: CATS! :) Whenever I've had tenants with cats, they never seem to have a mouse problem. My mom has regular problems with mice and rats in her chicken barn and coops, too. While she tried trapping for a long time with mixed results, she then trained her cats to hunt for the rats (without hurting the chickens). It's amazing what a thorough job they've done!