What is the Best Rat Bait? Pest Control Products

What is the Best Rat Bait?


Rat traps are commonly baited with cheese, peanut butter, or bacon. The best choice of rat bait, however, depends on the type of rat you are trying to catch. Here are ten easy tips for choosing the best bait for trapping and removing rats. You can find more information here How to Get Rid of Rats or if you discover you have rats in your attic then read this article: Rats in the Attic: What Do You Do?

#1 Tip – Know Your Rat

Different kinds of rats chow down on different kinds of bait. To choose the right bait, you have to know your rat.

The Norway rat, also known as the barn rat, brown rat, common rat, gray rat, house rat, water rat, wharf rat, sewer rat, and super rat, originated in northern China. It now is found over most of the USA and some of the warmer regions of Canada. It’s also the most common rat in Europe, including, as you might expect, Norway, and it is found in temperate climates on every continent except Antarctica. Norway rats are relatively large, up to about 16 inches (40 cm) tip of the nose to tip of the tail in length. They have brown or grayish-brown fur. They have small ears and a blunt nose. Their tail is shorter than the rest of their body. Their droppings are about ¾ inch (16-20 mm) long, and have blunt ends. Norway rats prefer lower locations. Soil, sewers, basements, and the ground floors of home are their preferred habitat. They aren’t picky eaters, and they survive weather extremes.

The black rat, also known as, confusingly, a house rat, or as a roof rat or ship rat, originated in tropical Asia. It now ranges along the Gulf Coast of the United States, up to about 300 miles (500 km) inland. It is found all over the North Island of New Zealand, and in coastal Australia. Black rats are also common in India. Black rats are smaller than Norway rats, just up to 12 inches (30 cm) tip of the nose to tip of the tail in length, their tails longer than their bodies. They have black fur. Their ears are large and their noses are pointy. Their droppings are about ½ inch (12 mm) long and have pointed ends. In the wild, black rats live in trees, favoring dead palm fronds and dead vegetation. They get into attics and roofs in houses, or they might come down a chimney or a rooftop sewer vent. They are picky eaters, and don’t handle cold weather very well.

If you don’t get a good look at the rodent, you may have problems identifying it or them. This is where a “rodent camera trap” can be very useful. A camera trap will capture your rats on video. They are easy to use and relatively inexpensive. Click the link above to read more about them.

According to the BBC, black rats have made a comeback in the UK and here are some facts about brown rats as supplied by the ptes.org.

#2 Tip – Know Your Bait

Once you know your rat, whether you are trapping a brown rat (Norway rat) or a black rat, then you can choose the right bait. Black rats are vegetarians. Brown rats eat both plant foods and meat. If you have more than one kind of rat to catch, it is best to use a plant food such as peanut butter as bait.

For a brown rat, the most effective baits include:

  • Bacon,
  • Chocolate,
  • Dried fruit,
  • Gumdrops,
  • Peanut butter,
  • Thin slices of hot dog or sausage, and
  • Nesting materials such as dental floss.

For a black rat, best baits include the foods black rats eat in the wild, such as:

  • Berries,
  • Dried fruit,
  • Insects such as slugs,
  • Nuts,
  • Snails or snail shells, and also
  • Peanut butter, and
  • Nesting materials such as dental floss.

It’s best to use the same bait over and over again. Rats and mice cannot vomit, so they avoid potential poisoning by eating only tiny amounts of new foods. They are more likely to take a bait they have eaten before.

#3 Tip – Let Rat’s eat the Bait before Setting the Traps

If a rat smells a food on another rat’s breath, it will eat that food. Actually, rats need to smell a combination of carbon disulphide (or “rat breath”) and a food odor to feel comfortable eating a new food. Once one rat takes a bait, others will compete for it. The best way to make sure this happens is to put out a bait food on traps you have not set for several days before you set the traps.

#4 Tip – Use Smelly Bait

Stinky, sulfurous smells attract rats. In fact, an extract of sulfur odor all by itself will encourage rats to eat wood, cardboard, and other non-nutritive materials. The stinkier the cheese, the more attractive it is to brown rats.

#5 Tip – Rats Prefer Longer and Thinner Foods

Rats hold food in the paws and eat the middle, allowing the two ends to fall to the floor. Longer, thinner foods are preferred to nuggets or pellets.

#6 Tip – Don’t Make the Bait to Big

Large pieces of food used as rat bait can be dragged off or out of a trap and consumed elsewhere. Make sure the bait fits on the platform provided with the trap.

#7 Tip – Using Rat Attractants

Using rat attractants or lures in small amounts attract rats, but in large amounts they repel rats. Most rat attractants are synthetic versions of “rat breath odor” that rats use to signal the safety of a food supply. Using too much of the rat attractant—or using commercial rat bait that has been allowed to dry out—will chase rats away from traps. You can learn more about rat poisons by reading this article The Top 3 Rat and Mouse Poison Baits.

#8 Tip – Enticing a Rat into a Snap Trap

To entice a rat to enter a rat snap trap, place bait underneath the bait platform as well as on it. It’s also useful to place bait just outside the trap, enticing the rat to step on the trap or go inside the trap to get more.

Snap or spring traps are your best option when you have identified a “runway” for rat traffic. Usually rats run along walls and under furniture or household junk to cross large open spaces. Two or three traps together will catch more than two or three times as many rats as long as they are placed in the rat runway. The kill bar kills the rat swiftly and with a minimum of pain. The advantage of these traps are that they are easy to set, there are no chemicals, they are inexpensive, and they are reusable, but you still need to make sure you don’t put them out where they can be tripped by children or pets.

When using a snap type trap, you will need to outsmart your rodent by tying the bait to the trap so it cannot nibble the edges and escape.

#9 Tip – Enticing a Rat into a Rat Zapper

To entice a rat to enter a “rat zapper,” place the bait to one side of the trap. Because of the placement of their eyes, rats have better vision of the bait when it is placed to the side of the trap than when it is put in the middle of the trap. Whether you use a traditional trap or a rat zapper, if you use peanut butter, use a very small amount, less than a teaspoon (5 g).

Rat zappers consist of an electrified tunnel that electrocutes the rat when it takes the bait. You don’t have to see the dead rat, and you don’t have to touch the dead rat. Just empty the rat zapper into the garbage when the catch light is blinking. (Don’t throw the zapper away.) There are no chemicals, no poisons, and the electric trap can catch several dozen rats before it needs new batteries or a fresh charge. You place rat zappers in the same places you place spring traps, but out of reach of children or pets who might want to see what is inside.

#10 Tip – Glue Traps

Glue traps don’t require any bait at all, and they are safe for children and pets (at least pets larger than a hamster). However, either the rat dies of starvation or thirst, or you have to take appropriate precautions to avoid getting bitten when you remove the angry trapped rat still alive on the glue trap.

A Final Piece of Advice

Be patient because rats are neophobic. They steer clear of new items in their environments. If you are going to use a snap type trap or a rat zapper, put out the bait without the trap for a day or two. Let the rats get used to the presence of the bait. Then use the same reward to bait the trap.

Keep baiting and trapping until you find uneaten baits in your traps for seven days in a row. Then seal your home and take appropriate precautions to make sure no rat ever wants to enter your home again.

Related Posts

Learn all you need to know about how to get rid of rats from your home and garden. This simple and straight-forward advice will help you get rid of your rat infestation once and for all.

In many countries & states, it’s legal to kill rats. However different rules apply to the methods you can use. Read this article to learn more.

Rats are very destructive. They will cause a lot of damage to your home and belongings. They are not toilet trained and so will defecate anywhere and everywhere and thereby transmit diseases and infections. Learn more about the problems they can cause you.

Here are 10 quick tips on rat control. Some are obvious, others are often not considered. If you follow these tips, you will be 80% along the path of getting rid of rats.

Here is a concise list of rat trapping tips. If you follow these 10 simple tips, then you will soon get rid of any rat infestation.

Filed Under: Rats Tagged With: bait

About Mark

Mark has a strong background in Engineering and a huge interest in Pest Control as a way of getting rid of rodents and other unwanted pests who can cause a nuisance in your home and garden. You can subscribe to his free daily paper on Pest Control Solutions and follow him on Facebook or Twitter

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Jane Aykut says

Help have seen a large brown rat outside my French doors climbing onto garden furniture and sniffing the glass just where I sit in my rocking chair. How can I get rid of it/ them? I have a bird feeder nearby is this the attraction? I have decking a few yards away and at the back of decking is a bank going down to a Brook.

Yes it will definitely be after the food in the bird feeder, not just that, any food and water. If you know where the rat is moving around, place some traps in its path because rats tend to stick to the same route or runway.

I have rats that are eating my pumpkins. Destroying any chance of growing vegetables.

I have live caught a few now in a cage trap. I invested in an expensive trap called A 24 where the rats have to climb up and then this triggers the co2 cartridge knocking the rat out.

The rats don’t want a bar of this expensive trap but are willing to enter the cage. Except for one that I am dealing with now. It seems to be evading getting caught. I ham using figs at the moment. Do you have any tips I can apply and the best bait.

Sounds like you are doing a good job. I suggest you use the law of averages, the more traps you put out, the better your chance of catching the rat. With regards to bait, you might want to vary that as well. Think like a rat, if there is plenty of food around why risk eating from one of your traps. So as well as traditional bait, you could use nesting material and other materials it can use to gnaw on to wear down its front teeth. You might also want to get a rat camera trap which is triggered by movement so you can watch where the rat goes enabling you to place the traps in the best place, i.e. the rat runway.

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Hi I noticed a hole in a sack of dog food in my shed( which is part of the house) then a day later I saw two rats I removed the dog food and any other food source, the next day one had gotten under my sink so I blocked the hole up, now I can here them in the kitchen ceiling, I can also here them scattering around, sounds like there in the walls I live in the UK help please

Phil it sounds like you have done the right things by removing food sources and sealing up holes. The first thing to do is double your efforts and keep looking for entry points. If it was me, I would try and get a couple of camera traps in the kitchen ceiling, this may even help you to find entry points. It will also help you to understand their behavior and the number or rats you may have. With this information you can then work out the best way to get rid of them.

Juanena Bradshaw says

I live in middle Florida and recently added a vegetable garden to my backyard it was shopping fantastic broccoli and cauliflower were reaching the point when it was about to produce. Then in one night my broccoli stalks and stems were devastated by rats the next night they got the cauliflower now they ate eating my beans. The rats ate coming into my yard from someplace else as i do not have any in my house i have a pest control company who comes bimonthly.
I’ve been able to trap several usually only one per night with peanut butter but they agree still sometimes avoiding the traps and eating my beans. Help

Have you tried setting up some camera rat traps and monitoring their activity? Once you know where they travel, you can place a series bait stations on their rat runways.


What is the Best Bait for Rat Trap that Actually Works?

Rats can get into our house through a gap or a small hole around the house, but we never know about it. Rats belong to disgusting animals that will eat anything inside your house including foods, woods, and clothes. Moreover, these rats can also bring some dangerous diseases and even can put the human to death. So, it is important to get rid of rats from your house by making a rat trap with bait. You can also use rat poison or rat repellent that can also work well. But using rat poison may not a good idea for home, especially for those home where kids and pet live. So, What Is The Best Bait For Rat Trap That Actually Works? You may consider these following best rat bait that most of the people use to trap some rats.

What is the Best Bait for a Rat Trap

Peanut Butter

Basically, all kinds of sweet foods are the most preferred food of rats. These rodents also really like grains and nuts. So, peanut butter is a perfect food in the sense of smell and taste of rats. Peanut butter brings out a sweet aroma combined with the smell of peanuts. When it is felt, peanut butter is also very sweet so it suits the taste of rats. And it’s also considered as one of the Best Rat Bait for Trap.

Pro Tips 1: Peanut Butter works great for Snap Trap, Electric Rat Trap, and Live Rat Trap.

Meat and Sausage

Do you have chicken, beef or sausage at home? You can use one of these foods for the best bait to catch rats. Do you need to cook it first? Well, it will be better if you cook it before you use it as a bait. The smell of cooked meat is usually stronger than raw meat or sausage. You do not need to put that much, just leave a small piece of meat or sausage in the trap or just place the meat or sausage near the trap and leave it overnight until the rats eat it and then they will be trapped.

Salted Fish

What to put in a rat trap? Cats are not the only animals that really like salted fish, but rats also like salted fish. So, this must be a good choice for the best rat trap bait because salted fish has a very strong smell that can attract rats. A student had conducted research to see the success of the rat trap baits. As a result, salted fish ranks first as the most successful food as the best rat bait.

Pro Tips 2: Use Live Rat Trap to catch more mice easily.


It is common knowledge that rats really like sweet foods. Honey is the most perfect bait to catch rats and mice. Its sticky texture and sweet taste are the best mixes for rat bait. To make honey a bait, just use one tablespoon of honey and place it near the trap. The sweet aroma of honey will reach the smell of rats and they will be tempted to approach it. Because of its sticky texture, rats won’t be able to eat honey quickly. When the rat is engrossed in licking honey, it will not be aware of being trapped.


Everybody loves chocolate because it is sweet and delicious. So, it is not a bad idea to make chocolate the best bait for rat trap because they also like to eat sweet foods too. Chocolate is the best bait to catch home mice or rats. You only need a small piece of chocolate stem and then put it near the trap. The mouse will bite the chocolate because it tastes sweet. If there is no chocolate bar, you can use chocolate jam or other chocolate products.

Pro Tips 3: Don’t forget to wear gloves while baiting.


The most preferred food for rats is sweet candy. However, candy with hard texture cannot be the best bait for victor rat trap. You need the soft one, soft candy, like marshmallows. Everybody likes marshmallows, especially rats or mice that may roam around you. Simply, place a piece of marshmallow near the trap. Although the aroma of the marshmallow is not too strong, a rat’s smell is very sensitive, and it will immediately approach the marshmallow feed.


As a rodent that can eat anything, rats are one of the animals that can be fed using fresh fruits. In this case, fruits can be the best food for a rat trap. However, make sure the fruit is indeed worth consuming because the sense of smell of mice or rats is very sensitive. You can use grapes, papaya, or watermelon that has been cut so that the rats can eat the fruit directly. If possible, you can use fruit with a sweet taste to attract the attention of rats.

Pro Tips 4: Use Electric Rat Trap to kill rats and mice instantly as well as humanly.


You might have watched Tom and Jerry the movie where Tom always makes a trap using cheese. Well, it is true that rats or mice like cheese. Why do rats or mice really like cheese? It is all because cheese has a very strong smell and rats also like the taste. So, it is not a bad idea that you follow what Tom does as shown in the movie to trap your disgusting Jerry at home.


Do you have cereal at home? Anyway, cereal can be the best bait option for a rat trap. As you know, cereal is also made from wheat which also comes from nuts. So, the aroma of cereals can make the rats come into the trap. How to use it? Simply, you can provide a trap and then put some cereals in the trap. Leave it overnight and check back in the morning.

Pro Tips 5: Use longer and thinner bait to catch more rats.

Sweet Potato

The natural sweetness makes sweet potatoes also become the most preferred food of rats, especially if it is boiled or burned first which will make the distinctive aroma reach the smell of the rats. In the countryside, the people made their own rats traps by using sweet potatoes as best rat trap bait. It is not only inexpensive, but you can also find sweet potatoes anywhere. So, you can just buy sweet potatoes, process them for a while, then make this sweet potato as a bait to attract the attention of rats.

Some Other Baits to Catch Rats

Here are some other options you can try to catch mice.

    Beacon Gumdrops Dried Fruits Nuts Berries Slices of Hot Dogs Dental Floss Slugs Corn Meal Dog Food Chicken Feed Oatmeal Cake Sugar Cubes Sunflower Seeds Pumpkin Seeds Jelly Beans Cat Food Almond Butter Brown Sugar Cookies

Final Words

In conclusion, what is the Best Bait for Rat Trap ? Anyway, those are the best food for the rat trap that you can try. In fact, there are so many other foods which are also good for baits just in case you really want to get rid of rats from your house.


Ten Essential Rat Trapping Tips

On several pages on this site, we provide you with the three essentials for successful use of rat traps. Place any rat trap against a wall. That is because rats don’t like to scamper across open spaces. Place rat traps parallel to the wall. When a rat approaches a trap from the side, it is not likely to be caught. And don’t handle rat traps with bare fingers or with gloves. Both fingers and gloves carry human scent. It’s necessary to pick up rat traps with several thicknesses of paper to avoid transferring your odor to the trap and alerting the rats to your presence. You can read more by visiting How to get Rid of Rats.

But if you really want to be successful using a large number of traps to clear out an abandoned house, a storage room, or a garage, there are a few more things you can do to hasten the day you make the space rat-free. Here are ten essential rat trapping tips.

1. Use rat traps in enclosed spaces.

It doesn’t do any good to use rat traps if all you are doing is to clear space for new arrivals. Following the suggestions in our article Rat Control Tips to ensure that the space you are clearing of rats will not be infested again as quickly as you trap weaker and older rats.

2. Choose the right place for your trap.

Probably the worst placement of a rat trap is under a light fixture in the middle of a room. Rats are thigmophilic, that is, they like to be touching a surface as they move. Only the hungriest and weakest rats will venture out to the examine the bait in a trap in the middle of a room. It’s essential to place the rat trap against a wall or in a corner, parallel to the direction rats travel along the wall.

Good locations are underneath furniture, or in a closet you have left open. Alternatively, cut out the ends of a box to make a tunnel in which to place your trap. Start setting out traps in the corners farthest from the door to the outside and work your way toward the door with additional traps.

If you are not sure where the rats travel, you may want to spy on them first using a “camera trap”. These are modern video cameras which are very good at detecting movement and recording what rats are up to. They use infrared sensors so they can film in the dark, and they can send you alerts direct to your mobile phone everytime they detect a rodent.

3. Choose the right bait for your trap.

Black rats are vegetarians. Brown rats are omnivorous, eating both plant foods and meat, the ADW describes its habitat and distribution. If you are getting rid of black rats coming in from trees and off the roof, peanut butter is a good bait. If you are getting rid of brown rats coming up from the sewer or in from the garbage, cheese is a good bait. Rats also like foods that have natural aromas, such as nuts, shrimp, stinky cheese, pieces of chocolate bars, and even beer.

4. Leave baited traps out for several days before setting them.

Rats and mice are neophobic, that is, they don’t like new things in their environments. If a pack of rats encounters baited traps that are not set to capture or kill, a taster rat will sample the bait first. If the taster rat is unharmed, then other rats will eat food put in or on traps.

5. Never add poison to “people food” used as bait.

Even the best rat traps are sometimes not sprung. Rats carry off food to eat it in safer, enclosed spaces. Dragging poisoned food across the floor makes the room hazardous for pets, children, and adults who walk around barefoot, and rats often die in inconvenient places, under stoves and refrigerators, in toy boxes and sand piles, and closets and cupboards. Only use rat poison which is specifically made for the job and only with a rat bait station. Click the link to read about The Top 3 Rat and Mouse Poison Baits.

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6. Choose the right size trap for your rats.

Mouse traps and mouse cubes aren’t big enough for rats. A traditional spring-loaded trap for rats such as the Victor rat trap is about twice the size of a mouse trap.

7. When using a Victor rat trap, hang the cheese in the right place.

Victor makes the world’s best rat traps, but the Victor M326 Rat Trap is so easy to use that many people set it up in the wrong order. Pull the spring trap back. Then lay the hook so it is flat on top of the spring. Finally lift the “cheese” until it just barely catches on the hook. If you raise the yellow plastic cheese on a Victor trap higher than about 30 degrees above the surface on which you place the trap, it won’t go off.

Victor advertises that its traps never have to be baited because rats will bite the plastic “cheese” used for the tray. Sometimes they will. Sometimes they won’t. Smearing some real spreadable cheese on the plastic cheese (chunks of cheese will be thrown off the trap when it is sprung) or some peanut butter will increase the number of rats caught in the traps, but you should introduce the cheese and the traps to the room where they will be used several days before setting them, as explained above. Every time you touch the trap, however, it needs to be rinsed with hot water, and you need to spread any bait on the trap with a knife or a spoon while holding the trap with several thicknesses of paper. Human scent on a trap will scare rats away.

8. Place cardboard tunnels over rat traps.

Rats prefer enclosed spaces. A rat trap place parallel to a wall, inside a box, cut out to make a tunnel is ideal.

9. User a “rat zapper” if you don’t like to set traps.

A rat zapper, for instance, the Agri Zap RZU001 Rat Zapper Ultra, is a metal tunnel surrounding rat bait. When a rat enters the zapper to take the bait, it is killed with a quick jolt of electricity. The unit then sends a signal to a “rat tale” pager that informs you the device needs to be emptied and reset. It’s never necessary to handle a dead rat. Just lift the back door of the device and dispose of the rat in the garbage.

It’s helpful never to touch the rat zapper with bare fingers or even with gloves. Handle it with a few thicknesses of paper to catch perspiration from your hands. The makers of the rat zapper suggest using pet food for bait, but many users find that combination of pet food and peanut butter, placed slightly to the side of the trap, works best. You might even place a little peanut butter on the grill outside the unit to entice the rodent to go inside.

10. If you have the heart to capture rats alive, use the Havahart Two-Door Squirrel Trap, which is equally useful for squirrels and large rats.

The secret to success with the two door Havahart traps is to make sure there is bait both on and beneath the bait pan. The rat will go after the bait beneath the pan and the door will shut trapping it inside with no chance of stealing the bait and escaping. Be sure to relocate your rats at least 2 km/1 mile from your home.

Related Posts

Learn all you need to know about how to get rid of rats from your home and garden. This simple and straight-forward advice will help you get rid of your rat infestation once and for all.

In many countries & states, it’s legal to kill rats. However different rules apply to the methods you can use. Read this article to learn more.

Rats are very destructive. They will cause a lot of damage to your home and belongings. They are not toilet trained and so will defecate anywhere and everywhere and thereby transmit diseases and infections. Learn more about the problems they can cause you.

Here are 10 quick tips on rat control. Some are obvious, others are often not considered. If you follow these tips, you will be 80% along the path of getting rid of rats.

Using the correct bait and placing the bait in the right place are the most important facts you need to know if you want to successfully trap rats.

About Mark

Mark has a strong background in Engineering and a huge interest in Pest Control as a way of getting rid of rodents and other unwanted pests who can cause a nuisance in your home and garden. You can subscribe to his free daily paper on Pest Control Solutions and follow him on Facebook or Twitter

Leave a Reply Cancel reply


ni holds draficevic says

I have now set a rat trap with bait also a wire trap to catch a rat both times in the morning I have found the rat traps have been moved a bit good distance from the area they were sat are the rats moving these traps out of the way

Yes, they are on to you. Some people try to fix them in position by nailing them to a large piece of wood. However, you could try putting down sticky rat traps either side of the trap.

whats the best way or trap to get rid of barn rats…..

Same way as you get rid of a rat in your house. Remove all food, water and nesting materials and set out your traps. Read all the articles under the “Rat” category on this site for more specific tips.

Is there a bait-style box for snap traps to limit access to roof rats? Exterminator wants to put snap traps in attic. I don’t want feral cat, opossum, or squirrel caught in traps.

Yes, you can get bait boxes for snap traps, or you could just put a cardboard box over them, with two small holes opposite each other. The holes need to be large enough for the rats. However, you don’t want feral cats, opossums, or squirrels in your attic either so block any holes where they can enter.

I had problems with rats going up the corner of the vinyl of my house. I have since caught then blocked the corners. But, there is still one or two in my yard because I check for droppings almost daily. The droppings are in the open near some plants. I have set the standard style traps, humane cage traps, and buckets. I have been unable to catch it. Suggestions?

Think like a rat. Why would it avoid your traps? Is it because it doesn’t like the bait, are they in the wrong place or can they smell your scent on the traps? You could use a camera trap to see what they are doing.

Hi… I’ve been hearing noises at night in my bedroom for the last while and thought it was just our cat. I have boxes packed under my computer desk and finally pinned the noise to that area. Last night I noticed an awful smell coming from that same area and so I went to investigate. I heard some soft squeaking and then I knew it wasn’t our cat. I was expecting a mouse to jump out. Instead of a mouse I heard a noise like growling and hissing and caught a quick look at a good sized rat that was really pissed off at me. She’s right in the corner and has a nest, but I didn’t stick around to look for the babies. I could bring my cat in and the rat would probably leave or she may kill it, but I have a problem with the babies. I don’t feel right just throwing them outside. To be honest the idea of killing them makes me feel sick. Is there anyway I can get them out of here, without killing them. Ditches outside our house were taken out last year and we’ve had a lot of rats since then, but my cat usually deals with them. I’ve never even seen a baby rat… does a cat go after them too? Yikes.

Hi Sandra, the short answer is, if you don’t want to handle the rats, then hire a local pest control company. Hopefully, they won’t be too expensive as you have located the nest and all you want them to do is remove the rodents. If your cat usually catches rats, then yes, they will go after and kill the babies and you are also correct in thinking the mother rat may attack your cat. If your cat is not use to killing rats, then don’t let it in the room.

Hi we have decking in our garden and not a problem for over 12 months until past two weeks our terrier dog is totally obsessed by something under the decking she won’t stop sniffing looking listening and just watches all day. No sign of poop no sightings. Do you think it’s rats ? Bought mouse and rat traps should I set both ?

If you want to know what’s under your decking, you can get a “camera trap” which can take pictures day and night and see what’s happening on your mobile. Click on “Trap & Repellent Reviews” at the top of this page and then select “Rodent Camera Traps” to read more about them.

…and please let us know how you get on.

I would suggest that if a rat is trapped and still alive the trap with rat can be submerged in water to kill the rat

Hi, I am not sure what I have. I have had mice in the past, and pretty successful with regular snap traps and peanut butter. I always keep them baited and always check them. I plug any spaces they might get in when I find them. Now, about 3 nights ago, I heard a trap go off, and scampering, and awhile another on the other side of the room went off followed by lots of squeaking (about 4am) Whatever it was got itself free before I could investigate. Both traps were tripped but empty. I reset them and sat for a minute deciding if I should do anything. I saw a mouse (maybe a rat) only the face, looked at me, then disappeared. It’s face looked like mice caught previously, but maybe larger, also it was 4am so maybe I did not get a great look.
I got a tin cat trap, put peanutbutter inside, and set it in the same room. Last night I heard lots of scampering and scratching, it sounded like something was trying to get in the tin cat, but maybe it was too small. I have seen absolutely no droppings of any kind, anywhere. Could this be a rat, maybe? Or a large mouse? I do live in a 100+ year old 2 story house. Should a rat trap be my next try? Thank you for any help!

From your detailed description, it could well be a rat because a rat will escape a mouse trap. So yes, certainly try rat traps and let us know how you get on.

Karri Case says

Will rabbits be attracted to rat poison, like bar bait?

It is a possibility. To avoid poisoning other animals like rabbits, always place rat poison in a bait station.

Hi Simon,
You have a lot of great advice…thanks!
I have a spot on the outside of my house near my chimney where there are rodent droppings left nearly every night. Last fall I did catch a fairly large mouse near the area and for a few days there were no more droppings, but then they were back. Whatever it is, it also climbs up the screen door, poops on the handle and then climbs up to the top rim of the door and poops some more. I have seen no droppings on the garage roof part of which hangs over the door. The droppings are never far from the corner of the door which is close to the chimney. As the weather got cold the droppings did disappear and nothing was there during the spring but then the droppings reappeared about a month ago. Is there any possibility that the nest isn’t inside my house; that the critter(s) have just taking a liking to that spot for a nighttime party? We have had mice in the basement here and there but we haven’t seen any evidence of them in quite awhile. I have tried a variety of deterrents and tried different traps always wearing gloves when handling them. I will add the newspaper from now on though. I am tired of this and just got some bigger traps, though the size of the droppings looks to be from mice from what I’ve seen myself and on line. I baited a ratzapper and a Victor original wooden trap tonight but didn’t set them. I’m going to see what happens tomorrow and then maybe set them both tomorrow night. I’ve never seen a rat or heard of any neighbors w them, but mice have definitely been in the area. Maybe I should set several more traps instead of just those two? Any help would be appreciated!!

Definitely the more traps the better. To find out what exactly is going on, why don’t you get a camera trap? Click on the “Trap and Repellent Reviews” menu at the top of this page and then click on camera traps to read more about them and how they work.

Is it illegal to place rat snap traps nailed around a base of a coconut tree to kill rats that rats that eating the coconut from tree.
My main concern is non target animals.

If you are worried about targeting the wrong animals. Put the snap trap in a rat bait station.

Thanks for the tips. One I’d like to make its please don’t suggest lives traps unless killing them is part of the equation. I drop the live trap into a full stick tank.

Trap and release spreads rats into new territory and transfers the problem to someone else. Not ok. Not cool.

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As rural resident who has had numerous cats and even put bellied pigs abandoned on her property, I suspect this is how I came by my rat problem. Please be an advocate for responsible control, that is trap and kill for rats. Thanks.

Yes, I agree with using kill traps, as I also believe it is the best solution.

Hi I live in the uk live next to woods detached house we have been troubled by one rat for last 6 months confirmed by professional with cameras various traps …… Not taking bait. ….. Why only one rat …probably field rat…. Seems to be active between 4-6 Can hear gnawing……now sleep deprived …are their any type of smoke bombs that can be used….friend has offered to put 2 pet ferrets in loft
Grateful for any advice

You want to make sure all holes are plugged so no more rats can enter your loft. Remove all water and food sources. If you are using a professional pest-control company, I would sack them. If you have camera evidence of the rat’s movements, place the traps where the rat travels. Think like a rat and you will be successful.

Good luck to you. It sounds like my house a year ago. The traps were disappearing; I only found one with a dead rat in it, outside of the garage. The trap was originally set in the attack. The rat got caught, but managed to find its way outside while still in it, but didn’t die until completely outside. You have to find out how the rats are getting in, and that is not an easy job. If your neighbors are all having a problem, you will have to work together to identify any holes in the roof, siding, chimney, etc. and then fix it correctly, and fast. Count your traps and know where you put them. You don’t want anything dying in your walls or the smell will be deadly.

Yesterday we found out we have rats in our loft, apparently our neighbours have had sightings in their kitchens. Anyway at first we set mouse traps thinking we had mice to begin with, three of the four traps have disappeared, where on earth do they take them? We have now laid one Rat bait station and two spring traps with nutella in. If successful in trapping one or more, is it advisable to move spring traps to different area’s of loft? Or will they get wise after first time? Also how long till poison works and where should we look for dead bodies, as it seems our loft is possibly their nest

Many Thanks

If a rat gets a leg caught in a mouse trap it will just drag it away with them because they are too small to kill the rat. Yes, I would move traps to different parts of the loft. I would also use 10 to 20 traps and mix them up so add some glue traps.

Poison will work after a couple of days. Follow the rat droppings to find the rats.

My friends says he used to nail his rat traps to big boards and still get the rats without the traps being dragged away. Good luck

We had both mice and rats and set traps for both. Sometimes, if we caught a mouse, the rat would come by later and drag off the carcass and trap to eat somewhere. I found several traps in our crawl space with mouse remains.

I set two rat traps in my attic. The next morning I checked the traps and had one dead rat. I removed trap and rat. I then placed the un-tripped trap in the same spot as the first one. Went back to check it the next night and found that apparently a rat has covered up that trap with old newspaper. The trap is still set and still has bait in it. Do you supposed a rat was trying to trip the trap in order to make it safe to then eat the bait?

Older rats will send out younger rats to test food and check for predators. If the older rat saw the younger rat in the trap, then its on to you, and yes, they are clever and could well be trying to trip the trap. I suggest you put out a lot more traps, different types of traps and different types of bait. Remember to wear gloves when handling the traps and bait so you don’t transfer your scent. How many traps will depend upon the number of rats you think you have. I would put out a minimum of 10.

I have two traps, we have caught 39 rats, now all the sudden we are not catching anymore, but they are still here. Help

It sounds like they have learned how to avoid your traps. I suggest you put the traps in different place, change the bait and see what happens.

We have caught 6rats in 2 weeks – 4 of them were last night ! But the rats are each getting smaller and smaller…. Does that mean the big ones are hiding out now or are we getting smaller rats because we are nearing the end of the rat pack ?

It could well be the younger ones are venturing out because the parents aren’t bringing the food back. The other thing to remember is that rats are very clever, they will send the newest members of the pack out first to see if they get caught in a trap! So it always very important not to leave the rat in the trap for very long.

Hi i live in the uk, I’ve had trouble in my place with rats i purchased a rat trap that doesn’t kill them and it cost me nearly £20! & i caught one rat in the first night! But there’s one more rat I’ve tried all sorts to catch it I’ve tried to tice the rat with peanut butter it’s just to clever. I have had my hands on the trap when setting it up and my scent must have been all over the trap but i still caught one, so if my scent is on the trap whats the best way to get my scent off of it, thanks any help would be greatly appreciated.

If it’s an electronic trap, gets some gloves and rub dirt all over it. If it’s not an electronic trap, place it in boiling water for 1 minute.

Jane robinson says

Hi im leavin rat traps down my drain and 3 of them have gone disapeard? God knows what is happenin ive got rats in my bathroom.kitchen roof i hear them runing up the cavites?i have u 2 diffrent traps and there gone pls help me im havin my roof took of next week

If your traps are gone, make sure you are using rat traps and not mouse traps. You can’t catch a rat with a mouse trap because they will just walk off with it, which could be why they are disappearing.

I am using Victor snap traps with peanut butter with great success on our deck outside. We have a pet rabbit living out there too, which has attracted the rats. Every night I get two rats or more. Should I keep trapping until I stop getting rats? My trapping skills greatly improved after watching a YouTube video on properly setting rat traps. I am just wondering when to stop. I feel like this is becoming a massacre.

I would keep going for as long as it takes. Your objective should be to drive out beyond the boundary of your property. Congratulations on becoming an expert rat trapper.

Paul greenhalgh says

I have caught 3 small rats. Do they live in packs and how many could there be. They are in my walls but I don’t want to fill the hole till they are gone. Is this the right thing to do

If you caught three small rats, then I guess there are larger rats still around. I understand your point about filling holes. What you could do is fill all the holes apart from one and with that one hole, put a one way flap over it so rats can get out but can’t get back in again.

Hi Simon,
I have set both mouse and rat traps. Last night when I walked into the house the rancid smell was unbelievable. The pro set traps behind the couch, so I moved it, and there was one big rat, dead. It was horrendous. The dogs never let me know, and there were never any flies. The pro said there would always be flies. I have one of those horseshoe shaped electric traps, and what happened with it was, in some ways, funny. I had two blisters on the inside of my palm. I took out the batteries to replace the bait. I thought the batteries might have been dead and that’s why it wasn’t catching anything. Well I got the shock of my life when the batteries were OUT of the trap. I didn’t think that was possible but it hurt like hell. I’m guessing it was because of the open skin. I cant find any other openings in the house other than the doggie doors, but the dogs need those for when I am out for long periods of time. If I cannot close those off, then I have no idea what else to do. Any thoughts, please?

Look again and very hard for gaps or holes where rats and mice can get in. They can dislocate their joints and get through very small spaces, if you have air vent or air bricks check those.
I don’t think it is beyond the wit of a rat to climb through a doggie door. Remember rats and mice leave a scent trail everywhere they go, so if one has done it, others will follow.

You can buy doggie doors that can be activated by an electronic collar around your dog’s neck so it might be worth checking those out.

Hi Simon, I just saw this. I wish Id get some sort of tickler notice when you respond. Its been several months and no rodents in the house, but I’m finding rat poop in the garage. There are traps set in the garage, high up, where the dogs cant get to them, but I’m finding poop on the floor. I’m at my wits end. Suggestions? PLEASE?

If your traps are high up and the poop is on the floor, you are never going to catch them. Keep the dogs out of the garage and put the traps on the floor. Alternatively employ the services of a rat catcher who uses Jack Russell’s to catch rats.

I am at my wits end. I have been finding evidence ( rat poop) in places I don’t normally see. I had a professional exterminator come in, set traps in the attic, etc. They never caught any. My two pit mix dogs cornered one in the middle of the night, in the living room, behind the couch. Another night they pulled everything out of my closet, in my bedroom, while I was asleep. I’m so stressed out I don’t sleep now half the time. I’m in Florida and my neighbors don’t pick up rotting citrus fruit; that is how this started. If there is a rodent, or snake in the yard, they kill it immediately. I bought my own Victor traps and set them in the house in places where I’ve seen poop, and places the dogs cannot access. I’ve used beef jerky as bait, after letting it sit out in the sun, baking it onto the bait holder, per the professional. The bait is disappearing from every trap, and NOT going off. I don’t touch the trap with bare hands. When this first started I caught one in the garage and threw out the trap with the mini rat. It was small. Please help! I’m desperate. Thank you.

I think the first thing to do is double check you are using rat traps and not mouse traps. You might want to try using the electronic traps. The next thing to do is plug all the holes in your house so the rats can’t enter your home.

I have had rats in my garden for some time now, so before trying to eradicate them I did some research on how to do it, after reading all the gumph I got some traps, put them out for a few day without being set, up against a wall, blah, blah, blah, all the things I was advised to do, I still have rats, they just walk around the traps, 10 days the traps have been set and not one rat has been trapped.

Yes, they are very clever. One thing that will deter rats from going near a trap is the smell of humans. If you touched them with your bare hands, then your scent will be left on the traps. If they are the basic snap traps, try leaving them in hot water for 30 seconds. Use gloves or three sheets of newspaper to place and set them.

You may also consider the type of bait are you using. Is there plenty of food around for the rats to eat and so aren’t interested in your bait? You could try using nest building material as bait.

The best rat catchers are the ones who think like a rat.

Please keep us posted on your progress.

All the best, Simon.

Hi Christine,
Have a read through this page. It will point you to where you can buy them from:

Let me know if you have any questions.
Kind regards,

Christine Oosthuizen says

PLEASE let me know where to find one, even if I have to import, can’t find in SA


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