Mention the subject of rat trapping and people get that look on their face like they just smelled something bad. Visions of crawling in insulation filled attics, removing smelly dead rodents has a way of instilling procrastination in anyone. But if you’ve been invaded, then getting rid of rats can be a necessary evil.
Usually when people think about catching rats, they think of the gold standard, the wooden Victor snap trap. If you have a pest control company come out to your house to trap your rats, odds are they will set lots and lots of these. They are the least expensive trap normally, and they do kill rats. The newer Victor traps have a large yellow trigger pad which is easier to set than the old all metal traps and can be adjusted for sensitivity. One of the key strategies in trapping rats is to set out a large number of traps at once. This is to achieve a significant kill hopefully eliminating the bulk of the rodents before they become trap shy and can breed again. The wooden snap trap is perfect for this due to it’s low cost.
There are newer versions of the snap trap such as the Tomcat which are made of plastic. They are easier to set than the wooden traps and more convenient when removing dead rats. But their cost is noticeably higher than the wooden trap. If price is not an issue, they can be a good way to go especially if setting out just a few traps for just a few rats.
Then there are the rat zappers. This is luxury rat trapping. They are super easy to set. Drop some bait inside and flip a switch. When it comes to removing dead rodents, the zapper has no peer. You just upend the trap over a container and voila, the rat slides out. No muss, no fuss and a lot less gross. But, the big drawback is the price. They can run from the mid thirty dollar range to the sixty dollar range. That could buy an awful lot of wooden traps. There is no denying their effectiveness and ease of use though.
Also there are the live traps such as the Havahart. Some people just can’t kill anything and insist on live trapping. It works and you can definitely catch them in a live trap. The problem is, be prepared to drive the captured rat a good distance from the home or they will head right back to where they came from. It is best not to release them near other people’s homes as you are giving someone else your problem. This is not a practical method if there are a lot of rats as the cost for many live traps would be prohibitive.
Lastly, there are glue boards. They work well if you have the stomach to confront a screaming dying rat stuck to a thick layer of glue. That doesn’t always happen, but be prepared. Out of all the trapping methods this is the least humane and has a greater chance of the rat dragging the board off and dying somewhere that you can’t access. Some may disagree, but I say pass on this method.
As you can see, there are several choices for rat trapping with most having their unique strengths and weaknesses. Getting rid of rats is never fun, but arming yourself with knowledge of what’s available is the first step in becoming free from the furry pests.