The best rat traps, baits, and how to use one

rat crawling on wood chips
The best rat traps are electronic traps that kill rats instantly. Other trap types include live tunnel traps, and tented glue traps. The best bait to attract rats is peanut butter because of its strong aroma.

Rats have literally plagued humans for thousands of years. To date, they’re still a menace, invading homes and being destructive. Rats chew furniture, steal food, carry diseases, leave droppings, and more.

Rats are a nuisance to homeowners, and their infestation can be devastating if not controlled. What’s more frustrating is trying to trap rats, as most homeowners find it hard to identify the right bait for the job.

There are now more options for rat bait than ever before, ranging from everyday products you probably have in your home to scientifically developed formulations. Rat traps can be an effective solution to eliminating these pests from your home and is more reliable and safer than using poison.

This article will examine the best rat traps and baits and how to use them. Read on!

What attracts rats to your house or yard?

Approximately eleven percent of households report rat sightings in their homes. This is because humans offer all the requirements that rats and mice need to survive.

Below are the main things that might attract rats to your home:

Different kinds of food

Rats have been known to be opportunistic feeders that will consume anything available. Rats are always looking for a reliable food source, so leftovers on a kitchen counter and unsealed garbage cans are like a buffet to them.

Rats outside your home will feed on grains, seeds, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Once they enter the house, they usually target cereals, oats, rice, pet food, and bird food. A rat is also known as a fierce mouse killer.

Warmth and shelter

Rats are warm-blooded animals and will always search for warmth and comfort, particularly in the cold winter months. For this reason, you’ll find rats hiding in warm areas around the heating systems and other warm appliances.

These warm areas are also ideal birthing and nesting grounds for their young. Because of this they can also cause plenty of damage.

Garbage cans and pet wastes

Always keep the garbage cans sealed and clean up after the pet waste inside and outside your home.

Water sources such as leaky pipes

Small water leaks might not seem like a big deal, but it’s a chance to provide these pests with a reliable water source.

Other factors:

  • Clutter and materials useful for nesting
  • Fruit trees, vegetation, and indoor plants
  • Bird feeders
  • Vehicles
  • Compost heaps
  • Livestock and pets
  • Entry points
rat on a piece of wood metal and hay

What is the most effective rat trap?

Conventional snap traps aren’t favored anymore because they cause unimaginable suffering to the rats. Instead of cleanly breaking rats’ necks, they maim them leaving them to die a slow and painful death.

There are numerous rat traps and not all are the same. Now, there are modern options for dealing with a rat infestation. The rat zapper electronic mouse and rat trap are the most effective rat trap.

This trap cleanly, quickly, and humanely kills rats and mice with a robust and deadly shock. It’s also easy to use, hands-free, safe and sanitary, and ideal for home use.

What is the best bait to use?

If you are resolutely determined to get rid of any rats from your home, you must get the best bait. You want the best rat traps that work; the best rat or mouse bait is peanut butter.

Other alternatives include bacon, vegetables, meats, cereals, or fruits. Peanut butter emits an intriguing aroma that rats and mice can easily detect and is also a non-toxic option.

Why is the rat not taking the bait?

Rats are skittish creatures, especially when it comes to new foods. You need to be innovative and scatter various foods so rats and mice can develop a taste for them.

This behavior is known as neophobia and involves rats being wary of unfamiliar objects and avoiding them. Once they tolerate the food and find it tasty, they wouldn’t mind munching on it on your set trap.

However, if you rush too soon with rat traps, they might avoid the bait altogether. So, be patient as the bait might not work for a few days.

Do rats learn to avoid traps?

As previously mentioned, rats are very cautious of anything unfamiliar in their environment, including traps. In most cases, rats tend to avoid traps until they’ve familiarized themselves.

Besides, mice and rats know what humans smell like. When they smell humans on or around traps, they will avoid them.

It’s therefore advisable to use gloves when setting up mouse traps. This goes for glue traps as well. Oil can be helpful to remove anything stuck to glue traps.

spring rat trap

Where to place a rat trap?

Your bait station matters! You need to place them in the high rodent activity regions, which may include behind objects and appliances, walls, darkened corners, under furniture, inside closets, and areas where droppings are present.

Place the traps accordingly as the rats have to touch surfaces as they move. It would be best to place the traps from fifteen to twenty feet apart. Live tunnel traps, tented glue traps, and electronic traps should be placed parallel to walls so rodents can walk directly into the tunnel entrances.

On the other hand, the snap traps should be placed perpendicular to walls near signs of rodent activity to increase the chances of success. Glue traps are the most common but least effective methods to trap rats.

Rats can run around with the traps, so it’s best for small rats. Rat snap traps are another faster and more humane option to live trapping.

The snap traps ensure a swift death to rats and can be reused once cleaned. Homeowners who choose not to kill rats can use live rat traps that do not cause injury to the rats and are only trapped inside.

What to do once you trap a rat?

Once you’ve caught a rat in a trap, you should:

  • Put on heavy gloves
  • Place a towel or a big cloth over it
  • Release it a minimum of a hundred yards away

Also, you can euthanize the rats by taking them to a pest control specialist or a veterinarian or kill them humanely with a sharp blow to the head. Always try to remember to wear gloves when handling these traps or rodents.

rat trap

Other ways to keep rats away from your yard or house

Apart from setting traps, there are other methods to keep rats away from your yard or house. These include:

  • Keeping your home and yard clean
  • Sealing holes and cracks
  • Maintaining your garden and yard
  • Reducing water collection in and around your home
  • Keeping an eye on the woodpiles
  • Removing clutter around the home
  • Using glue traps
  • Keeping a cat
  • Hiring a rat control expert

These methods will keep both mice and rats at bay. They may also deter other pests such as voles, raccoons, opossums, skunks, and more. 


Joseph Wales is a professional SEO content writer specializing in pest control, varmint removal, pets, and everything in nature. When not publishing, he’s busy teaching college and university students how to write admission essays and structure their academic papers. Writing has always been his passion, and he spends most of his time outdoors with his two lovely daughters in his spare time. He is also a skilled farmer, always traveling to his rural home to check on the livestock and corn field when he has the time. Armed with hands-on experience, Joseph uses his SEO writing skills to communicate accurate and engaging information that will also be valuable and educational, adding to the value of his readers.

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