We spent over 100 hours researching and testing more than 15 different types and brands of rat traps and found that performance, ease of set up, and ease of disposal were the most important factors that consumers looked for when shopping for rat traps. Abco Rodent Trap scored high marks in all categories we did comparisons on and is our overall top pick. This easy to use, easy to maintain rat trap makes fast work of getting rid of the rats in and around your home. The high-voltage shock that is used to eliminate the rats is humane and kills them quickly and without having to hear them or see them struggle the way they can on sticky traps and other methods. Disposal is easy and mess-free too.
Rat Trap Buying Guide
There are several things to consider before you purchase the best rat trap for your needs. With all the different models available, your specific needs play a large part in choosing the right one. We’ve listed these considerations below.
Make sure you actually have rats and not mice – Mice are a lot smaller than rats so it is important to make sure that you are actually dealing with rats and not mice. Mice will typically be anywhere from 2-3 ½ inches in length. Rats can be much larger and look different than mice do so if you can get a good look at what you are dealing with you will have a better idea of what trap to purchase. The electronic zapper types work well with rats AND mice but the snap traps are very different in size so you would need to downgrade to a mouse trap rather than a rat trap which is much larger and heavier and simply not needed when you are trying to kill mice.
Durability – The rat trap you choose needs to be very durable. The two best methods of eliminating rats are rat bait and rat traps. Many people do not like dealing with bait, especially if they have pets and children because there is always worry over them getting a hold of the bait. Most traps are inexpensive, especially the snap traps but even the more advanced electronic traps are fairly cost effective as well. Make sure that the trap is long lasting and can stand up to a rat messing with it. Some super cheap traps can break easily.
Quality to Price Ratio – Although rat traps overall are not too expensive you don’t want to search for the cheapest traps on the market because they will more than likely be made cheaply too with malfunctioning parts. Snap traps are fairly simple to set up and use and they are very effective. You do need to exercise caution when it comes to setting up a snap trap so it does not accidentally go off, catching your fingers in the process. Look for a reputable brand that is durable and strong and does not have flimsy parts.
Different Types of Rat Traps
There are several types of rat traps available to choose from. We have listed the different types below along with some information on how they work.
Snap Trap – The snap rat trap has been around the longest and is the type that most people remember their parents and grandparents using. A rat snap trap looks just like a mouse trap but is much larger, more powerful, and packs a much bigger “snap” to kill the larger rodent. The process of a snap trap is simple. Set it up with good bait and place it somewhere (carefully) that you have seen rats such as in the corner of your garage, in the attic, basement or even under your counters. Snap traps for rats can be made of wood, metal, or even plastic. Metal and wood are the most durable. When setting up the trap, keep your fingers away from any parts that are sharp and don’t get in the way of the spring-loaded mechanism or you could set it off. Be prepared that a snap trap may not always kill the rat right away or at all if it catches just part of it. This is one of the disadvantages of a snap trap and the number one reason people will look for another alternative. Rats are super smart at figuring out how things work so if you have a really cunning rat you may have to resort to one of the other, more effective methods of getting them.
Live Catch – Some people don’t want to kill an animal even if it is a diseased rat. This kind of trap is humane and catches the rat in a cage without hurting them at all. Once the rat has been caught you can release it out in a field or the country. Beware of just letting it go outside as the rat will more than likely end up right back inside your home. Live catch traps are a good choice for those who do not want to kill anything or that have sensitive children that would be upset by traditional traps.
Glue Traps – Out of all the different rat traps on the market this is the one that is the most controversial. A glue rat trap has a strip, board, or tray that has a strong glue that the rat gets stuck to when they walk across it. Glue traps do not kill the rat they simple stick the rat to the trap so you still have to figure out what to do with it. It can take hours or days for a rat to die on one of these glue traps which is cruel despite the animal being a pest that you don’t want in your home. Most people avoid this type of trap but they are still sold in stores.
Electronic Zapper Traps – This type of trap is becoming much more popular due to its effectiveness, humane method of eliminating the rat, and the ease of disposal. Electronic zapper traps use a high voltage of electricity to instantly electrocute the rat once it has gone inside the trap. There is no suffering, no blood, and the rat is dead in seconds. The electricity continues for two minutes to ensure there is no jumpstart after the initial jolt. (rats can restart their own hearts so the two minute time limit ensures that this does not happen) You do not have to touch the dead rats at all with these types of traps. Just tip it up once you see the flashing light that indicates a kill and dump out the contents in the trash away from pets and kids. You can clean the tray if necessary using dish detergent or vinegar and reset it for the next kill. It is important to get rid of any dead rat smell because it will work as a warning for the rats to avoid the trap which defeats the purpose of it being there.
Outdoor Rat Traps
If you are trying to get rid of rats around your home, outdoors, you need to use one that is resistant to the elements. If you want an electronic trap make sure it is designed for outdoor use so it does not get ruined if it rains. Snap traps made of galvanized steel are resistant to the elements and work well outside. The main thing to ensure is that you get a trap that is designed for outdoor use for the best results. Rats can be very dangerous for your pets and children so do not think that killing them is a bad thing. It is your choice to use a humane catch cage and many people do but your family and pets are in danger when there are rats around and it is much better to kill them than have them bite a child or pet and end up getting severely sick.
Rats are a common nuisance that can end up around your home and in your house even in the best of conditions. There are many things you can do to deter rats from showing up at your home and many sites online give these suggestions so make a point of looking up some of those sites so you can get some tips on preventing rats.
If you already have a problem take heart because there are many things you can do to get rid of them. The most important step is purchasing the right rat trap or traps so you can start eliminating them from inside your home or around the premises.
The three top-rated selections we have featured in this guide are excellent choices if you want an easy and effective method for eliminating these pests. We have offered one electronic trap and two traditional style snap traps. In the summary section we have listed 7 more types of rat traps including more electronic versions so you have plenty of options available.
Take into consideration the number of rats you are dealing with, if possible, as well as how you want to dispose of them (humane live catch, electronic, or snap). Use the information in this buying guide to sort through the different types and options and match it to your specific needs. Although it is not necessarily simple to get rid of rats, if you get started the minute you see one and you choose a high quality rat trap like the ones we have listed here, you’ll be well on your way to a rat-free home and property.