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Rat Trapping - Tips on How to Trap Rats

Rat trapping - all you have to do is get a mousetrap, put a small square of cheese on the pan, set it on your countertop, and voila, your rat problem is solved! No need to read further.

You're reading further. So, you've realized that your cheese-laden mouse trap won't do the trick. Okay them, I'll tell you the truth about rat trapping - as with many endeavors, it's not terribly hard once you know how it's done. First of all, you'll want to use a proper trap. I will outline them below. But first, a few photos:

Click the below photographs for examples of how to properly trap rats:

Set the trap over a high-activity area, a wire

Screw traps into the wall at a ceiling entry hole

Traps set on a roof at an eave gap entry hole

Traps set in an attic over a heavily used area

1st Photo: Set the trap on the path next to the chewed wire, where the rat frequents.
2nd Photo: Traps bolted to the wall on the pipes the rats were climbing into the attic.
3rd Photo: Traps set on a roof, right near the gap they were using to get into the house.
4th Photo: Lots of rats in this attic - set lots of traps on the ducts, and get them all.

If you need professional help, consult my list of National Directory of Rat Trappers, which is especially helpful for more complex tasks which require full building and attic inspections and exclusion repairs, such as when you have rats in the attic.

Now here is an analysis of the various types of available rat traps:

Snap Trap: I'll start right off with the best type of trap. Snap traps are compact, they kill the rat instantly (and are thus the most humane of the lethal traps) and they can be set in abundance. They are very effective if set correctly. There's several types and brands of rat traps, most of them invented in an effort to "build a better mousetrap", but the truth is that the old wooden standby is actually the best, in my opinion. And this is coming from someone who really likes the latest in high-tech gadgetry. The reason the wood ones are so good is because the pan tension can be set very light, to catch those smaller rats or the ones who cautiously nibble at the bait. Also, when trapping in an attic, the flat wood bottom sits more firmly on insulation (where rats travel) than other brands. Other fancy brands tend to have a single high tension setting and molded plastic bottoms that don't fit as firmly on insulation. Oh yes, and use a full-size rat trap, one that can break your finger, not a dinky little mouse trap.

Glue Trap: Dumb type of trap. Pointless, ineffective, and cruel. Why use a large sticky, glue board, when a snap trap is so much more effective? Rats step foot on the glue, then pull their way off, leaving bits of fur or a leg behind. Then they'll never go near a glueboard again. If they do get stuck, they suffer as they suffocate or starve to death. Just dumb, in my opinion.

Cage Trap: Yes, I've used live cage traps many times to successfully trap rats. Yes it works, but it's harder to catch them with cage traps, and oftentimes there's many rats, and it's not always feasible to set dozens of cage traps in an attic. Plus, if they're dead, less chance that they work hard to chew their way back in. And really, who wants to relocate a disease-spreading rat that's acclimated toward living in a house?

What Bait to Use? This is actually not a very important matter. Some less intelligent trappers will make a big deal about bait, but really, the primary factors are trap location, type of placement, and leaving rats no choice but to enter a trap. But if you must have an answer, it is: peanut butter. Nothing will perform better. Sure, you can use chocolate or bacon or slim jims or pineapple or whatever floats your boat, but bait really doesn't matter much, and peanut butter is easy to apply, stays on, stays fresh, and it's downright tasty to all rodents, including rats.

How To Increase Success? Now here's the key: rats tend to travel the same routs over and over. They have amazing path memory. That's why they do so well in mazes in experiments. If you set the trap in the middle of nowhere, you probably won't trap the rat. Set the trap on the path that the rats use over and over again! These paths are easy to see for the experienced rat trapper - paths and tunnels in attic insulation, areas marked with brown grease stains, urine, droppings, footprints, etc. Set traps right on these pathways, and I guarantee you do not need any bait at all. Oh, and if you've sealed up the building, blocked off the ways in and out, and they're stuck inside, they'll get caught really easily, as they run around with no way out and get desperate for food.

I also have a lot of information on rodent control - rat and mouse control, on these pages:
How to get rats out of the garage
Do rodents like rats and mice feel pain?
What does rat feces look like? Where is it found?
Do rodents eat insects?
Do rats eat cheese? Do they like it?
Do dogs keep rats and mice away?
Do rats dig holes?
Do rats destroy insulation in the attic?
Will a rat chew through the ceiling?
Do cats keep rats and mice away?
Can rats swim?
Do rats have bones? How can they fit in such small holes?
What if you are bitten by a rat
Do rats bite sleeping babies?
How to get a rat out of your bedroom
What attracts rats?
Will a rodent in the attic have a nest of babies?
Do mothballs or ammonia help repel rodents?
What should I do with a rodent after I catch it?
How big do rats get?
Do rats carry rabies?
How long does it take rats or mice to die after eating poison
Do rats hibernate?
How smart are rats?
Are rats dangerous to cats, dogs, or other pets?
What should I do with a rodent after I catch it?
How to get rid of rats outside
How to get rats out of your car
Do rats kill mice?
What animals do rats kill?
Do rats jump?
How to get rid of rats in the attic
Humane rat traps

I operate a professional Orlando rodent control company, specializing in the extermination and complete control of rats in the house and especially, the most common problem that we deal with trapping rats in the attic. If you hear noises coming from the attic, or hear rats in the ceiling, it's important to address the matter right away. The problem will only get worse if you leave it untreated with time. You may want to know how to kill rats, but it's important to know that it's not just about rats extermination, but rather rat prevention. Yes, the rats must be removed via rat trapping, but they must be sealed out of the building entirely for the job to be complete with full success rate. We deal with all rodents, including mice. If you have a mouse problem, such as mice in the attic, and need to get rid of mice, we can provide that service as well. We are experts at Orlando mouse control, where the same rodent trapping and exclusion principles apply.

Click here for my rat control photo galleries.

For more rat control and trapping information, go back to the Florida rat control page.

If you don't live in Orlando FL, click here for the National Directory of Wildlife Trappers.

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