Rats are renowned for causing chaos – gnawing through cables, spreading diseases and leaving filth and destruction in their wake – so, the quicker you can eliminate these bothersome rodents with a rat bait station, the better.
Rat bait stations are a great option if you have children or pets living in your property, where leaving out bait unattended or traps lying around could cause serious harm. But, with so many rat bait stations available to buy, which ones offer the best value for money?
The best rat bait station reviews and where to buy
When you need to get rid of rats from your property, then a rat bait station offers a safe place to put your poison. Bait stations prevent animals and children from coming into contact with toxic rodenticides. We recommend the following best rat bait stations:
1. Tomcat Bait Stations – Overall Winner
Tomcat Rat Bait Station Review
Tiny fingers and dog and cat paws are kept safely out of reach, whilst rodents are actively encouraged in, thanks to this tamper resistant rat bait stations from Tomcat.
The Tomcat rat bait station can effectively kill 3 rats with just one bait block and can be used in or out of the property thanks to its weather-resistant coating.
Small and easy to set up, the compact Tomcat rat bait stations can be placed in hard to reach places, such as under utilities, inside garage doors or close to window ledges – which are all places that rats like to live.
Plus, its clear lid on the very top of the bait station allows you to monitor if the rats are feeding on the bait block or whether other enticement is required.
Tomcat Disposable Rodent Bait Stations
Tomcat also sell a number of disposable rodent bait stations, which are great if you do not want to be handling toxic rodenticides, as they come pre-loaded and can be thrown away once consumed.
Disposable rodent bait stations are not recommended for large rat infestations however as it will not be a cost-effective solution.
2. Protecta Bait Stations – Best for outdoor use
Protecta Bait Stations Review
Protecta are manufacturers of a variety of heavy-duty rat bait stations, that are made of injection-molded plastic so that they can be used throughout the seasons, both indoors and out.
Protecta bait stations also come with water drain holes and liners to protect the bait from getting wet and making it easier to clean out once chomped
These rat bait stations are tamper-resistant and come with a locking screw and Allen key and can be staked to the ground for added security.
Please note, however, that some Protecta rat bait stations cannot be positioned vertically, making it tricky to place them against walls – which are often main runways for rats.
3. E-Z Klean Bait Stations – Best for commercial use
E-Z Klean Rodent Bait Station Review
If you are a business trying to tackle a severe rat infestation, that we would highly recommend purchasing some E-Z Klean rat bait stations as these are the most durable bait stations ever tested.
Providing you with years of use, you will have plenty of time to find the perfect bait as E-Z Klean do not manufacture or supply any bait blocks (these have to be purchased individually).
Just like the other rat bait stations, these are pet and child friendly and come with a lockable lid that requires 2 keys. Again E-Z Klean only supply 1 key, so you will need to buy an additional one separately.
How to use rat and mouse bait stations
Firstly, it is important to note that rat bait stations are not like traps and will not keep rats inside. They simple lure rodents in to feast on toxic bait, before heading back to their nest to die over the course of a couple of days.
It is therefore important to know which rodent you are trying to control as rats and mice will require different sized devices and varying amounts of bait.
Once you have identified the type of rodent, the next thing you need to know, is how many you are dealing with. If it is a manageable number, then we would suggest only investing in a couple of disposable rat bait stations. This way, you won’t have the hassle of handling the bait and can simply place them in the areas that you have seen rodent activity.
If, however, you are dealing with a chronic rodent infestation, then it is much more cost-effective to use re-fillable rat bait stations.
How do rat bait stations work?
Rat bait stations are effective as they contain toxic lures that encourage rodents in to eat. Most rat bait stations contain wells for pellets and liquid bait, and whilst some supply this bait as well as the station, others expect you to purchase it separately.
Some rat bait stations have see-through lids that allow you to check whether the bait has been consumed or not, giving you an indication of when it needs to be replaced. Rats tend to be more cautious than mice, however, and may take a few days longer to take the bait.
The ideal situation would be that the rat, whilst seeking out food, stumbles upon your perfectly placed bait station, crawls inside and nibbles the bait. Having had enough, it scampers back out to its nest where the poison starts to take effect and within a couple of days it dies.
It is important that you known where the rats are running too, as you will need to dispose of any dead rodents as soon as possible, to prevent secondary poisoning to other animals and to ensure your home remains stench free.
Please note that all the bait stations recommended within this guide are designed to resist tampering from pets and children, ensuring that they are not harmed during the extermination process.
And, whilst rat bait stations can be used as a standalone pest control method, if you find them to be ineffective or you are unable to locate the dead rats afterwards, you could always include a snap trap inside – although this is not consider to be humane and is not for the faint-hearted as it can be messy.
How do rat bait stations open and lock?
Tamper resistant rat bait stations generally have a locking system in place that requires a key for added peace of mind. These are supplied when you purchase the bait stations themselves and some can also be secured with a padlock.
Some of the locks (especially on the Protecta) can be quite stiff and difficult to master, but then that’s the whole point of them!
What is the most common poison bait used?
Poison, when administered correctly, is a rodent’s number one nemesis and there are several types on the market that are readily available to purchase – although most rat bait stations come with bait included.
Most rat bait stations use what are classed as single feed poisons. These do exactly as their name suggests, and only require one dose per rat as the poisonous level are highly toxic.
Rodent baits are categorized into two groups: anticoagulants and non-anticoagulants. Some baits disrupt the ability of the rodent's blood to clot (anticoagulants), and some interfere with the rat's nervous system or calcium levels in their blood (non-anticoagulant).
For this reason, when loading bait in refillable stations, we recommend that you always wear disposable gloves. For more information, please read our guide to the top 7 best rat poison baits.
When placing bait blocks into the cartridge, make sure that you push the cartridge into the station until it clicks into place. Extra bait blocks should be stored in areas that children and pets cannot access, and bait blocks should not be used without a bait station.
And remember, what can be thought of as food heaven for one rat may be food hell for another, as just like children, rodents can be painstakingly picky. You could also try rolling the bait in something sweet and sticky, such as jam, peanut butter, honey or syrup. Just make sure that you monitor the bait and mix it up a bit if it does not seem to be working in the first instance.
Finally, in the State of California, a motion was passed forbidding the general use of second-generation poisons but allowing the sale of first-generation anticoagulants either online or via home improvement stores. Please check the laws in your state before purchasing any rat baits for your stations.
Where to put your rodent bait boxes
Bait boxes are very similar to rat traps in that they should always be placed where rodents will find them. As mice and rats are creatures of habit, they tend to take the same route back and forth as they scurry for food and water. We therefore suggest spending a few days observing their main runways before placing them in the most popular areas.
Be sure that the bait stations are positioned flat against the wall and remember to fit them in less conspicuous places such as behind furniture and under appliances. Always make sure that they are held down and cannot easily be lifted or taken away.
Some of the most common access places for rats and mice to nest, are garages, attics, basements and outbuildings so make sure that you place some rat bait stations here as well. Plus, rats tend to squeeze through entry points such as doors, windows and unsealed openings in order to get in, so try laying some rat bait stations here too.
Bait station placement depends on the type of rodent that you are dealing with. For mice, we recommend spacing each individual station 8 to 12 feet apart. For rats, however, you should place bait stations 15 to 30 feet apart, although this is dependent on the severity of the infestation. If you have a big rat problem, then we suggest placing your stations closer together in order to entice as many as you can.
How many bait boxes do you need for your home?
If you suspect your problem is down to a single rat, you’ll likely be able to get away with half a dozen strategically placed rat bait stations. If, however, there’s an infestation in your home, then you’ll probably need to place 10-12 traps all around your house, making sure they cover the main rat runways and backyard areas.
How many do you need for commercial buildings?
How many rat bait stations are required for a commercial building totally depends on the size of the property and the severity of the problem. We would always suggest using as many as possible to counteract the problem, as usually the rat situation is larger than you expected or are even aware of.
How often should you check them?
The benefit of the Tomcat rat bait station is that you can clearly see how much of the bait is being eaten and when it needs to be replaced.
If you do not have a Tomcat rat bait station, then we would recommend checking them daily to begin with to monitor activity levels. As the rat numbers start to “tail” off, you will not need to replace the bait as frequently (possibly every few days or once a week).
The key, however, is to always ensure that there is plenty of bait supply, just in case a rat comes sniffing.
You should replace bait immediately if it gets wet, goes moldy or become contaminated.
Having seen the harm that poisonous baits can do when not contained or monitored properly, we are huge fans of rat bait stations. These tamper-resistant devices not only keep pets and children safe but provide added peace of mind for those placing them.
It is important to note that whilst these rat bait boxes are effective, failure to locate the dead rats immediately or to store bait in a lockable environment, could cause unintentional harm or secondary poisoning – which ultimately defeats their purpose.