9 Best Rat Traps
How do you outsmart a rat? From catch-and-release to old-school "snappers," check out this collection of top-rated rat traps.
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What To Know About Rat Traps
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 great 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). Use sticky (glue) traps or locking bait stations instead.
DIY rat trap
Making a homemade rat trap is simple. You can construct a basic trap with a five-gallon bucket.
Make a ramp with a piece of wood or 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 of 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), best to let a pro exterminator tackle your rat problem.
Best Catch and Release Rat Traps (Non-Lethal)
Made of galvanized steel and simple to set up, the Havahart (get it!) 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.
The trap is also available in a two-door version, for twice the trapping potential.
Best Smart Electronic Kill Rat Trap
Catching and killing rats can be unpleasant, no matter how you do it. With the Victor Smart-Kill Electronic Rat Trap, you 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.
The trap is made of solid, no-see black plastic. Once the rat is caught and killed, simply remove the lid and dump it in the trash.
Best Value Rat Trap
Victor’s classic Wood Snap Rat Trap is easy to work, surprisingly effective and costs around $14 for a pack of four. It features an expanded yellow plastic trip pedal to ensnare big rats.
It comes with two settings: firm and sensitive. Once you’ve caught the rat, you can throw away the entire trap, or discard the rat and reuse the trap.
Amazon reviewer Andre wrote, “Four rats in four days. Perfect, instant death, no suffering.”
Best Multi-Rat Trap
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 Ugged Rugged Ranch Ratinator is big enough to quickly wrangle up to 21 rats in one fell swoop. Another humane live trap, it’s really more like an animal cage. The Ratinator measures a hefty 16-1/2-in. wide by 26-1/2-in. long and six inches high. It weighs only nine pounds, sans varmint.
Best Large-Size Catch-and-Kill Rat Trap
The eXuby Large Powerful Rat Traps (four pack) captures and kills the heftiest rats (roof and Norway) instantly. With razor-sharp jaws and powerful springs, it comes down on prey with 40 percent 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 — 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.
Best Outdoor Rat Trap/Station
Blending into the landscape, Protecta Landscape Rat/Mice Bait Stations look like granite boulders — no more rat trap eyesores strewn around the yard.
Made of heavy-duty plastic to withstand 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 clean-up.
Pest control company owner Carl writes on Amazon, “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.”
Best Kid- and Pet-Safe Rat 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 Better Mouse Trap is a pet- and child-resistant “clear” solution you can feel good about.
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.
Best Teeter Totter-Style Rat Trap
The RinneTraps Flip N Slide Mouse/Rat Trap turns any five-gallon bucket into a rat elimination machine. Just snap the trap onto the top of the bucket and leave it.
Once the rat climbs onto the center of the lid, it tilts, and the rat falls into the bucket. The trap then automatically resets itself and is ready for the next rat.
The Flip N Slide comes with an instruction guide, a two-piece ramp, the lid and counterweighted plank (bucket sold separately). How you dispose of the trapped rats is up to you.