Top Picks for Rat Traps to Rid Your Indoor & Outdoor Space of Rodents

Updated: Mar. 25, 2024

How do you outsmart a rat? From catch-and-release to old-school "snappers," these are the best rat traps.

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7 Best Rat Traps to Keep Pests Out of Your HomeVIA MERCHANT

Depending on where you live and what time of year it is, you may find pests like rats or mice lurking around and inside of your home. It’s certainly not an ideal situation to find yourself in, but there are ways to reduce and eliminate the problem swiftly should it arise.

Having recently dealt with a mouse sneaking its way into my kitchen, I can say that the first thing to do is identify how a pest has entered your home if it has. Vincent Luca, owner of On Demand Pest Control, agrees and says, “It’s important to identify the entry points rats are using to get into your home. This could be holes in the walls or cracks in the foundation. Once you have identified these entry points, seal them up to prevent further access for rats.”

After sealing entry points, you may find that a pest or two has been trapped in your home—this is the scenario I found myself in. So, if you have a pest concern, you’re going to want to set traps (whether lethal or non-lethal) to keep rodents from roaming around in your living space. Here are the best rat traps for your situation:

The Best Rat Traps

1 / 7
eXuby Large Powerful Rat Traps via merchant

Best Overall Rat Trap

eXuby Rat Traps

The eXuby rat traps capture and kill the heftiest rats (roof and Norway) instantly. With razor-sharp jaws and powerful springs, it comes down on prey with 40% more force than standard mousetraps.

Put bait (peanut butter, nuts, dried fruit or berries) in the cup at the bottom of the trap. Then set it and place it anywhere, like in the attic, under furniture, along baseboards or in the garage. When you’ve trapped a rat, just press the release button, drop the dead rat into the garbage and wash the trap out with soap and water to use again.

The eXuby rat trap come in multi-packs, so you can buy between four and 24 traps at a time to defend your entire home. These types of clamp traps are frequently used by pest control companies as a line of defense.


  • Large and powerful
  • Comes in multi-packs
  • Instant kill
  • Reusable
  • Hands-free disposal


  • May not work for smaller rats and mice

2 / 7
Victor Rat Traps via merchant

Best Budget Rat Trap

Victor Rat Traps

If you’re looking for an economic, yet effective, way to handle your rat problem, Victor’s classic wooden rat trap is easy to work. Plus, it is one of the best lethal snap traps that Luca recommends. It features an expanded yellow plastic trip pedal to ensnare big rats, and it’s easy to set with a pre-bated pedal. It comes with two settings: firm and sensitive. Once you’ve caught the rat, you can throw away the entire trap for quick and clean removal or discard the rat and reuse the trap. Users who have used this budget option describe the trap as offering an instant death with no suffering.


  • Affordable
  • Easy to set
  • Effective
  • Instant kill


  • Trigger may trip prematurely

3 / 7
Havahard Humane Catch and Release Animal Trap via merchant

Best Catch-and-Release Rat Trap

Havahart Humane Catch-and-Release Animal Trap

If you’re looking for a non-lethal way to reduce pests in and around your living space, this catch-and-release rat trap is a smart, versatile option, and it’s one of Luca’s favorite non-lethal, live traps. Made of galvanized steel and simple to set up, the Havahart one-door animal trap with smooth internal edges won’t injure trapped rats. They’ll be humanely caught and confined them until they can be returned safely to the wild—hopefully far from your home.

Designed and tested by trapping professionals, the Havahart trap uses an ultra-sensitive trip plate to capture animals. Once the trigger is tripped, the door drops behind the critter and safely holds it until you can release it. The trap is reusable and works for catching other small rodents and animals, too. It’s available in a two-door version for twice the trapping potential.


  • Non-lethal
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to use
  • Versatile and durable


  • On the expensive side, but reusable

4 / 7
Victor Smart-Kill Electronic Rat Trap via merchant

Best Electronic Rat Trap

Victor Smart-Kill Electronic Rat Trap

Catching and killing rats can be unpleasant, no matter how you do it. With the solid black plastic Victor smart-kill rat trap, you don’t have to worry about constantly checking traps. Just download the Victor Pest app and get alerts on your smartphone the minute you’ve made a snare. Once the rat is inside the trap, a high-voltage electric shock humanely kills it instantly—no slow-acting poison to torture the animal. Once the rat is caught and killed, simply remove the lid and dump it in the trash for a no-see, no-touch disposal experience.


  • Sends alert to phone when pest is caught
  • No poison
  • No-see, no-touch removal
  • Reusable


  • Some users note set-up instructions are unclear

5 / 7
Rugged Ranch Ratinator via merchant

Best Multi-Rat Trap

Rugged Ranch Ratinator

Rats often run in a pack, called a mischief, so why try to catch them one at a time when you can corral a whole slew of them at once? The Rugged Ranch Ratinator is big enough to quickly wrangle up to 21 rats in one fell swoop, and can be used outdoors or indoors in a garage or basement.

The Ratinator is another humane live trap. In fact, it’s really more like an animal cage, despite the name. It measures in at a hefty 16.5 inches wide by 26.5 inches long and 6 inches high. It weighs only 9 pounds, sans varmint. When you have caught a pest, the easy-open top lets you release critters quickly without worrying about your fingers getting nibbled.


  • Can hold up to 21 rats
  • Non-lethal
  • Versatile
  • Secure confinement
  • Two-door system with easy-release top lid


  • Expensive

6 / 7
Protecta Landscape Rat/Mice Bait Stations via merchant

Best Outdoor Rat Trap

Protecta Landscape Rat/Mice Bait Stations

If you’re looking for an outdoor bait station that’s more discreet, the Protecta landscape rat bait stations look like granite boulders and blend into the landscape—no more rat trap eyesores strewn around the yard. Made of heavy-duty plastic to withstand ultraviolet (UV) rays, the station can be anchored to the ground with stakes for extra security. Each station holds eight bait blocks and has a one-piece inner liner for easy cleanup.

Five-star Amazon reviewer, Carl, writes, “I own my own Pest control company. This landscape station has very good bait acceptance with mice and rats. I placed these in an exclusive country club, and they love them. Their members don’t even know they are rodent bait stations.”


  • Blends into outdoor landscape
  • UV rays-resistant
  • Tamper-resistant
  • Works for rats and mice
  • Comes in a pack of four


  • Expensive
  • Restricted shipping to some states

7 / 7
Doombox Better Mouse Trap via merchant

Best Kid- and Pet-Safe Rat Trap

DoomBox Better Mouse Trap

A rodent infestation is bad enough—you don’t need to worry about your kids and pets getting into rat poison or injuring little fingers and paws on top of it. The DoomBox mouse trap is a pet- and child-resistant “clear” solution you can feel good about.

While it’s technically a mouse trap, it works for small rats, too. Here’s how it works: A patented “Click-It” closure is easy for adults to open, but not for kids, dogs and cats. The see-through housing and two-hole entryway give rats the impression that they can enter, dine and leave, but there’s no way out. That’s when the “SmackDown” strike bar takes care of the rat.

The see-through housing lets you see what’s going on inside the container without having to open it, and the walls are stable enough to keep the container from popping open when you don’t want it to. Plus, the high-impact kill bar is swift and effective.

Some users note that pets, especially aggressive chewers, can get through plastic casing. So, if you plan to use these traps around pets (and kids, for that matter), you should monitor them carefully.


  • Designed to keep kids and pets from tampering with it
  • Available in multi-packs
  • High-impact kill bar
  • Oversized trip panel


  • A little expensive

What to Look for When Buying a Rat Trap

Once you realize you have a rat problem, spring into action! Here are the top things to consider when deciding which rat trap will fit your situation and sensibility:

  • Type/method: If you’re uncomfortable killing animals, “live” non-lethal traps are the way to go. If you can’t stomach disposing of an entrapped rat (dead or alive), there are no-see traps on the market.
  • Size: Rats are generally bigger and weigh more than mice, so it’s important the trap be large enough to capture and confine larger rodents.
  • Material: Traps made of galvanized steel are sturdier, making them smart for outdoor use. Plastic traps tend to be of lower quality, but are lightweight and usually cost less.
  • Safety: If you have small children or pets, steer clear of mechanical traps and those containing rat poisons (rodenticides). Instead, use sticky (glue) traps or locking bait stations.

Why You Should Trust Us

Unfortunately, I am in the thick of dealing with a pest problem as I write this article. So, I have first-hand experience with pest problems and how to treat them. I’ve learned a lot about what to do and what works from multiple exterminators and pest control experts.

But I don’t expect you to simply take my word for it, I’ve consulted Vincent Luca, owner of On Demand Pest Control, to determine what to do if you have a rat problem and which types of traps work best for capturing and controlling pests in and around your home.

How We Found the Best Rat Traps

After consulting expert Luca, I also did my own research to find some of the best rat trap solutions on the market. This involved sifting through multiple product descriptions, reading real user reviews and taking into consideration my own experience with pests and traps. From non-lethal options to budget options and even bait stations that blend into landscapes, I worked to find rat traps for every kind of home and lifestyle. If you find that your own methods aren’t working or that your pest problem is too advanced for you to control on your own, I recommend consulting a local pest control agency for additional help.


What should you do if you have rats in or around your home? 

After identifying the entry points rats are using to get into your home and sealing them, like expert Luca suggests, you should remove any food sources that may be attracting rats and other pests. “This means keeping your home and surrounding area clean and free of garbage,” Luca says.

“You should also set traps and use bait to catch the rats and consider using rat repellent sprays. Keep in mind that securing pet food and trimming trees and vegetation can also deter rats from coming near your home,” Luca explains. “Finally, practicing good sanitation habits can go a long way in preventing rats from being attracted to your home.”

Are DIY bucket traps effective? 

According to Luca, one of the best non-lethal, catch-and-release rat trap methods is a bucket trap (using a bucket and a ramp). Making a homemade rat trap is simple with the use of a basic 5-gallon bucket.

Make a ramp with a piece of wood or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and attach it to the lip of the bucket. Pour a few tablespoons of vegetable oil on the bottom of the bucket, and add a dollop of peanut butter at the bottom. (Be careful not to get any “bait” on the sides of the bucket.)  Rats will climb up the ramp and jump down for dinner, but can’t climb back out because of the bucket’s slick surface.

While solving one problem, it creates another: disposing of a bucket filled with live rats. You’ll need to take them to a remote location and let them go, or euthanize them. If neither appeals to you (understandable), it’s best to let a pro exterminator tackle your rat problem.