When it comes to a rat infestation, the likely outcome is usually death for the rodents. This might not be a pleasant outcome for you or the rats involved, but for you, it’s the best outcome. Rats are pests and their populations are getting absolutely out of control. Without a little help — people like you and I trapping and killing rats on our property — the local city and country workers would be literally overrun with rat-related problems. In fact, many of them already are.
There are actually a number of different types of traps that kill rats. Things have come a long way since the traditional rat trap, and that makes life easier for you. With many different ‘kinds’ on the market, there is bound to be one that helps you solve the problem. Sadly, not all of them are going to work for every situation.
Regular Snap Traps
The typical “snap trap” is a staple trap in any rat trappers box of tools, with effectiveness and cost-efficiency on its side. These traps are very simple, very cheap to buy, and you can use many of them in one area, making them perfect for larger infestations.
Regular snap traps are not good for homes that have kids or pets. If you use snap or kill traps for rats in a house where there are kids or pets, you must make sure that they can’t come together. Those traps will hurt little fingers and claws, and may even require medical treatment to rectify. (In turn, this can be costly, whether it’s your pet or your kid!)
Kill traps, regardless of type, need to be checked regularly, and any contents disposed of immediately and properly. If you leave dead rats in snap traps, you are going to attract other scavengers, particularly those that also act as natural predators for rats.
These glue traps are often used by homeowners who do not want the mess and unpleasant sight associated with regular snap traps, but the reality is, these traps are even worse than snap traps. Glue traps do not kill a rat (or other rodent), but just uses a very sticky and strong glue to stick the rodent in place. The rodent is then literally stuck, with no way of breaking free, unless it rips itself free or gnaws through a limb. Either way, there will be a mess and the animal will die before long. It’ll probably die somewhere in your home where you can’t find it.
Glue traps are very inhumane, and are just strips of cardboard, plastic or similar, with a strong layer of glue over the top. If snap traps were bad for your kids and pets, glue traps are even worse. These strips can rip skin from your fingers if you are not careful with them. We do not recommend that you use these.
Electric Rat Traps
These can be quite effective, but only when you buy a good quality and reliable branded device. If you don’t you’re just throwing your money away on an electronic bit of kit that gives off a tiny electric shock. The cheaper versions aren’t always enough to kill the animal, but instead gives it an unpleasant shock that it may or may not recover fully from. There’s a chance, just like with glue strips, that you’ll need to “finish off” the job.
Good quality electric rat traps can range from one-rat to multiple-rats in size, allowing you to buy something that is more tailored to the size of rat infestation you have. It makes much more sense to spend $100 on a device that works, and that will kill 5 rats in one go, than paying $30 or $40 each for a bunch of different devices, intended to trap just one rat at a time.
Mains-operated devices are going to be slightly better than battery-operated ones, which can run out and get forgotten about. If you’re going to use electronic devices to rid your home of pest animals, we highly recommend putting notes on calendars or on your phone to remember when to check them, not just for the dead rats, but also to replace batteries or move the devices if necessary. A device that has run out of battery will either not work at all, or will only give the animal a partial shock, effectively not finishing the job.
We do not recommend using poison to kill rats under any circumstances, just because there are far too many things that can and usually do go wrong. You are more likely to kill a wild animal or domesticated pet than you are a wild rat, and that’s even more so the case in this day and age, when rats are showing an alarming immunity to rat poison. It means that they just do not work to kill rats, but poisoned rats, even when they are not sick in the slightest, can still poison predatory animals. If a neighborhood cat were to attack and feast on a wild rat that had been poisoned, for example, there is a very high chance that the cat is eating many, many times the “usually” dosage of rat poison, meaning that it will definitely get sick and may even die. The same thing can happen to any animal that chases, hunts and feeds on rats or poisoned rodents.
If you were to ask our professional opinion, we would always recommend using traditional snap traps for rats, because they are pretty much guaranteed to work every time. Although there may need to be some fiddling-around with regards to placement or positioning, or even without baiting/setting the traps for a few nights (for trap-shy rats), they generally do work to get rid fo rat infestations quickly and effectively, and without costing you a small fortune at the same time. Snap traps are the cheapest of all rat trapping options.