Best Rat Trap
Best Rat Trap Overall:
Rats have been the bane of human civilization since recorded history. In fact, disease carrying rats have killed more humans than anything else, so when rats invade your living space, they need to be taken care of as quickly as possible.
One of the best ways to deal with a rat infestation is to trap them out. Unfortunately, rats are very intelligent and they learn quickly. If one rat sees another get trapped, it will never venture near that trap again, so you may have to employ each and every type on this list to fully take care of the problem. Unless you are dealing with one or two rats that have just entered your living space, the chances are that only one type of trap is not going to solve the problem. That said, the rat traps on this list were selected because they are the easiest to set and place, easy to empty and are highly effective.
The Raticator Max Infrared Sensing electronic rat killer uses 4-D batteries that will last for 1 year or 50 kills. A red light on top, signals when a rat is inside. Simply tip the trap downwards and the rat will fall into a disposal medium of your choice. Read Full Review
The Victor Metal Pedal Rat Trap is proven by over 100 years of use. Easy to set, easy to bait with a success rate that is second to none. Inexpensive enough to dispose of the entire trap, rat and all.
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The Catchmaster 402 Baited Rat Glue Traps Professional Strength is non-toxic and safe to use around kids and pets. The professional strength adhesive will catch and hold even the largest rats. Read Full Review
The Snap E Rat Trap 6 Pack is easy to set and it is highly effective. The large bait cup lets you fill it once and use the same bait over and over again. A new idea on an old design. Read Full Review
Best Humane Rat Trap:
Humane rat traps are essentially live-catch traps that allow you to release the rodent at a given time and place. No harm comes to the critter, and once caught, they are at your humane mercy.
The humane rat traps on this list were chosen because they are easy to use, easy to set and effective at capturing a rat without doing it any harm. But just remember that no matter how well a trap is engineered, if another rats sees one get caught, the chances are it may never venture near that trap again. These trap wary rats may have to be caught using a different method to fully eradicate any substantial population, and humane traps may not be the answer.
The Havahart X-Small One Door Trap is easy to set, easy to bait and once trapped, the rat cannot escape. Just lift the door while standing behind the trap when it is time for release, the rat will run away, and you can reuse the trap as many times as needed. Read Full Review
The Pied Piper Multi Catch Rat Trap 8x8x24 is a convenient solution to catching more than just one rat. Each time a rat enters, the door silently closes behind them, and once inside, they cannot get out. Read Full Review
The Advantek Multi-Animal Catch & Release Rodent Trap has no moving parts. Just bait and place the trap in an area with known rat activity. A hinged door on the bottom allows humane release. Read Full Review
The Tomahawk Trap XLKR - 13 x 3 x 3.5 has solid aluminum sides to reduce the stress of capture and offer a hiding place that rats will want to enter. One of the best made traps available. Read Full Review
The Havahart X-Small 2-Door Trap has been a staple in trapping hardware because of ease of use and effectiveness. A solid metal top shields your hands from claws and teeth, and an easy pull door bar makes release virtually effortless. Read Full Review
Rat Trap Buyer's Guide
Rats have been the bane of human civilization for as long as there have been humans. These enterprising rodents were originally forest dwellers that took their rightful place in the animal kingdom. However, as the human population grew and developed civilizations, rats adapted to a life of living off human food waste. The rats targeted by rat traps have become pests and are known specifically as black rats, taxonomically named rattus rattus.
Even though no one truly knows the origin of the black rat, the earliest traces of human co-habitation come from Southeast Asia, although there are fossils of the black rat from prehistoric times in Europe. Needless to say, this symbiotic relationship between rats and humans happened early on, and the species has become so specialized, many scientists speculate that if the human population ever died out, black rats would go extinct too.
These animals host a variety of parasites and diseases easily communicable to humans. These are the creatures that started the Black Plague in the Middle Ages, by harboring fleas that carried the bubonic plague bacteria, among other types like typhus, trichinosis, pneumonia and others. They are also very intelligent creatures, able to perceive the dangers of a trap if rats have been trapped and killed beforehand.
Rat Trap Types
The first rat traps were inevitably made by hunters that fashioned snares to catch them with, much like the snares made to catch rabbits, squirrels and other small prey. The Middle Ages brought with it the first spring loaded traps, and variations of these are still in popular use today.
The most common rat trap going is essentially a giant sized mouse trap using a spring mechanism mounted to a flat piece of wood. It has a bait cup or a bait station which when disturbed, releases a spring-loaded arm that snaps shut onto a rats neck with sufficient force to cause instant death. These “snap traps” are available in different shapes and sizes, but all employ a spring-loaded arm that snaps shut when a rat takes the bait.
You will physically need to pull back the spring to “load” it, once you have placed the bait on the bait holder, and then carefully set it on rat-runs, or occupied areas where rats are known to travel. They must be checked several times per day, because if one rat sees another rat that has been caught, you'll never catch another.
Live traps are a variation of the common wire cage with a trap door. Most live rat traps can also be used for other small rodents and animals like weasels, chipmunks, gophers and similar-sized creatures. Once the rat is caught, you can release it into an area away from your home or business, or you can dispose of it manually in a humane way.
In either scenario, these are the most labor intensive types of traps, but they are effective. They aren’t widely employed mainly because these traps are designed for catch and release; in many communities it’s illegal to release a wild black rat.
The newest type of rat traps are electronic. Most of these are made to use food as bait, but hormone drops or other non-food rat attractants can also be used. Simply put, they are all shaped much like a large can, with one side open and one side closed. The rat goes into this “can” to investigate, and once inside, a powerful electric current kills them.
There are both plug-in models and battery operated models, so that they can be used virtually anywhere, with or without an external power source. These traps must also be checked regularly, and many types feature a bulb that lights up on the trap exterior when the trap is occupied. When a rat is caught, you merely empty it out into the garbage or other place for waste disposal, and place the trap back where you want it.
Although silent and effective, these traps need to be emptied regularly or other rats will become “trap wary” and either avoid the area completely, urinate on them as a marker, or tip them over to render the trap ineffective.
What Trap System is Best for You?
The simplest and the least expensive of these traps are the snap traps. You can get dozens for the cost of a good electronic rat trap, and if you have a major rat infestation, snap traps would be the cheapest way to go. Because they are all so simple and easy to use, they are also deadly reliable, and as long as the rats do not become trap wary, they will keep catching rats every time.
Live traps, on the other hand, always mean you'll have to deal with a living rat. Many locales have passed laws that ban releasing a living rat, and if that'sthe case, you'll have to kill it first before disposal. If that’s an uncomfortable proposition, skip this option
Electronic traps are quick, safe to use and are a very humane way to kill a rat. They are also highly effective but also highest priced rat traps available. They also must be checked regularly, but the best ones have a warning light to let you know that a rat has been caught. You can check it from a distance, and if the light is on, you can empty the trap. However, like all stationary rat traps, be careful that the rats don't become trap wary. You may want to move the trap to a different location after every successful kill.