What are the Best Methods of Trapping Rats?

Dan Cavallari

Several methods exist for trapping rats for extermination. Some methods include the use of poisons to kill the rats, while other, more humane methods for trapping rats include using specially designed rat traps to simply contain the rats and then release them in another location. Most people who are interested in trapping rats have an infestation that is causing damage to the home or some other type of nuisance, so it is important to stop the problem rather than just catch a few rats. The best method for controlling rat infestations starts with blocking off the entrances through which the rats are getting into the home.

Brown rats are a common rodent pest.
Brown rats are a common rodent pest.

If the goal is trapping rats rather than killing them, one can purchase specially designed rat traps that allow the rat to enter a cage but not escape it. This is usually accomplished by using a spring loaded door that closes behind the rat once it is baited into entering the trap. These traps are a humane way to capture rats without killing them, though the effectiveness of such traps can vary significantly and will not necessarily solve the infestation problem.

Blocks of rat poison.
Blocks of rat poison.

Poisons are often used for trapping rats and killing them. Poison is effective at killing some of the population of rats but may not be effective in killing the entire population. Rats will also die at various locations throughout the house, sometimes making removal difficult or impossible. Rat poison can also contaminate the carcass of the rat, making it a potential toxic threat for other animals that might feed on the rat.

When used correctly, rat traps are perhaps the most effective method of rat extermination when used correctly. They are effective at trapping rats and killing them instantly, which some argue is a more humane way to handle rat extermination. The rat traps must be placed strategically throughout a house or building, which means one must study the building carefully to find out where rats are entering or exiting the building. Those entrances must be sealed off, preferably with a material that the rats cannot chew through. Steel plates work well for such applications. The rat traps are spring-loaded devices that will swing a metal arm down onto the rat when it presses on a trigger, killing the rat instantly. The traps should be placed in locations frequently traveled upon by the rats; it may take some careful observation to spot such areas.

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Discussion Comments


I ran across a very smart rat on key biscayne, fl. set 4 small spring loaded, 2 large spring loaded, and 2 sticky trays. baited all of them with peanut butter. the rat was able to lick the peanut butter off of all of the traps without tripping any of them.

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