How To Get Rid of Rats 2019 | Traps, Poison, Humane Methods

How to Get Rid of Rats 2019: The Ultimate Guide

Your definitive DIY pest control guide to preventing and getting rid of rats.

When sneaky pests such as rats and mice start to invade your home, yard and property, it’s important that you seek a solution that will rid you of these rodents for good. These destructive pests are renowned for wreaking havoc, causing untold damage and unsettling your peace of mind.

Sightings of rats and mice are becoming common occurrences in our towns and cities, so it’s more important than ever that we fight these foes and eliminate them for good. Here you will learn everything you need to know about rats and the best ways in which to eradicate them, in this comprehensive guide to getting rid of rats for good.

How to get rid of rats for good

There are 4 steps you should follow to get rid of rats in your home or business for good: 1. Identify the type of rats you have. 2. Prevent rats from accessing your property. 3. Use traps or poison to get rid of them. 4. Call an exterminator.

  • Identification

Identify which type of rodent you have

Although rats and mice may, at first glance, appear similar, a closer look will reveal that they do in fact have different characteristics and habits. It is important that you identify which rodent is invading your space in order to work out the most effective pest control solution.

Mice

Quite often a mouse gets confused with a young rat due to its size. Averaging 1-4 inches in length, the main differences are that mice have floppier ears, larger whiskers and longer tails. They also produce smaller droppings that have a pointed end and although they consume the same types of food as a rat, they require a lot less water in order to survive.

How to get rid of mice

Infestations of mice tend to be large, as these small rodents breed at an earlier age to a rat and produce much bigger litters. In order to catch a mouse, you will need smaller traps and different strength poisons to those used when catching rats.

Norway rat

Norway rats are also commonly referred to as brown rats, as their shaggy fur is brown or grey in color. Stocky in stature, these rats can grow up to 16 inches. Whilst they may be big, their tails are short and stumpy and usually covered in bumpy scales. These rats prefer to live outdoors, burrowing holes and scampering into small spaces around our properties. Their yellow teeth provide the perfect tool for gnawing through cables, wood and other hard materials. Out in the country you’ll find these rodents taking over garbage dumps, sewers, and fields and although they only live for around a year, they are able to reproduce countless times, enabling them to build big colonies.

How to get rid of Norway rats

Norway rats are drawn to areas where there is ample food and drink. Therefore, cutting off these supplies and creating less urban mess is a great starting point for deterring Norway rats. Starving them out, however, is probably not a long-term solution so traditional methods such as traps and poison should also be deployed.

Roof rat

Also known as black rats, roof rats are typically found along the east and south coast of America. Dark in color, they are easily distinguishable against the Norway rat due to their long tails, big ears and round eyes. Their fur is dense yet smooth and likely to leave a slick of grease along walls and surfaces as they scurry around. Favouring warmer climes, these rats prefer to be cosy and live indoors, making their nests in the attic, ceiling and up near the eaves. Therefore, it is not uncommon to hear them before you see them!

How to get rid of Roof rats

If you suspect that you have roof rats, then the best way to remove them is through a combination of methods and multiple placements as these rats are wanderers. As these rats prefer indoor living, you need to be aware of what else may come into contact with your chosen method of pest control, such as cats, dogs and children.

Wood rat

Although not nearly as common as Norway or Roof rats, Wood rats can be found in northern parts of Florida. Although they are roughly the same size as a Norway rat, you can identify them thanks to their hamster like features, fine fur and fluffy tails. Not only will these rats thrive on your food supplies but have even been known to sneak other small items away such as jewellery and buttons.

How to get rid of Wood rats

A small population of Wood rats can be neutralized through trapping but for larger infestations, poisonous bait is recommended to be placed where the rats frequent. When dealing with wood rats, the most important thing to remember is that you must be thorough, as these rats breed at a startling rate.

Different ways to get rid of rats

Everyone has their own view on the best way to control rats and mice. I personally believe that if you know the species that you are dealing with first and foremost, you stand a better chance of evicting it from your property.

Norway rats prefer to lie low, making their rats runs across the floor, between boards and behind kitchen appliances. Therefore, placing traps and baits in these areas tends to lead to higher success rates. Roof rats, however, are the opposite and prefer to indulge in a good feast whilst under cover of shelter where they can keep warm. Generally taking their food back to their nesting areas to consume, you are more likely to discover a roof rat scampering up high. Therefore, placing traps overhead as well as near food sources is the best form of attack.

Are rats dangerous to humans and pets?

For over decades rats and mice have been responsible for spreading diseases, some of which had fatal consequences. Today, however, thanks to advancements in medicine, sanitation and pest control programmes the threat of disease passed on from rodents is not as troublesome as it once was. That is not to say that rats do not carry diseases, because they do.

Due to the lifestyle and habitats rats live in, they still house a host of diseases which can be passed on to humans and pets. Most of these are transmitted through infected bites or scratches or from unknowingly eating and drinking food and water that has been contaminated by rat faeces. That said, these diseases are treatable with medication when caught in time.

What diseases can you catch from rats?

When considering the best way to get rid of rats in your home, garden or property it’s important to know the seriousness of the situation. You should always seek medical advice if you think you have been exposed or could be at risk of any of the diseases listed below.

Diseases that are specifically harboured by rats include: –

Rats host a number of ticks and fleas, some of which may be infected with murine typhus. This disease mainly occurs in sub-tropical climes and develops when infected flea faeces gets into cuts or scrapes on the skin.

Signs & Symptoms of Murine Typhus – symptoms of murine typhus generally present themselves 2 weeks after contact with the infected fleas. Signs you could be infected included a fever, chill, muscle pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, cough or a rash.

Treatment of Murine Typhus – mild cases may not need any treatment, but more severe cases will require antibiotics. Serious cases, if left untreated, can result in organ failure to the liver, kidneys, heart, lungs and brain.

What is it?
Rats are often carriers of leptospirosis and spread the disease through their urine. If you are around contaminated water and it gets in your eyes, cuts or mouth, then you could be exposed. Those who enjoy outdoor pursuits on lakes, rivers and reservoirs are at greater risk from this disease.

Signs & Symptoms of Leptospirosis
You usually start showing signs of leptospirosis within 2 weeks, although in some cases, symptoms may not show up for a month or simply not at all. When it does start to develop it will hit you like a fever and you may get other symptoms such as headaches, jaundice, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Treatment of Leptospirosis
This disease is unpleasant but generally not life threatening and a good dose of bed rest and increased fluid intake is recommended.

What is it?
Weil’s disease is a severe form of leptospirosis, caused by the same bacteria. You may find you start to get better and then get incredibly sick again.

Signs & Symptoms of Weil’s disease
If leptospirosis develops into Weil’s disease you will start to see more serious reactions occurring, such as chest pains and swollen arms and legs.

Treatment of Weil’s disease
If you are diagnosed with Weil’s disease, then chances are you will have to be hospitalized to stop the bacteria from damaging your lungs, heart, liver, kidneys and brain.

What is it?
Rats can carry the salmonella bacteria that causes illness to both humans and pets. Infection occurs by the consumption of food or water that has been contaminated with rodent faeces.

Signs & Symptoms of Salmonellosis
Symptoms can start to present themselves as quickly as 12 hours after exposure. These include diarrhoea, vomiting, fever and abdominal cramps.

Treatment of Salmonellosis 
Most people recover within a matter of days without medical intervention, however it is extremely contagious and can be passed from one person to another through poor hand sanitation and hygiene.

What is it?
Rat bite fever was first reported in the United States in 1839. Although historically wild rats were the cause – predominantly amongst the poor – today pet rats are the most likely reason for someone to develop rat bite fever. Rat bite fever is not contagious and can therefore not be transmitted from one person to another but can be deadly and has a 10-13% mortality rate.

Signs & Symptoms of rat bite fever
Streptobacillus moniliformis is the most common form of rat fever reported amongst American’s and symptoms include headaches, fever, extreme tiredness, red skin rashes, severe muscle pain and vomiting and diarrhoea. These will generally occur around 3-10 days prior to being bitten.

Treatment of rat bite fever
This disease can easily be treated with a course of antibiotics, although if left untreated it can cause pneumonia, heart inflammation and meningitis.

What is it?
This is a classic rat disease that has been evident for decades, having wiped out large proportions of the population. The plague is caused by a bacteria called yersinia pestis, which cycles between rats and fleas. In Western America, several species of rodents are known carriers and the California Department of Public Health has set up a plague surveillance programme to test wild rodents for the disease. The plague is spread through flea bites, the handling of contaminated animal fluid and infectious particles that are air borne and inhaled.

Signs & Symptoms of the Plague
Depending on how the Plague was transmitted, symptoms can include swollen and painful lymph nodes, fever, muscle weakness, shock, diarrhoea and vomiting. In extreme cases it can cause your skin to turn black, pneumonia and breathing difficulties.

Treatment of the Plague
When caught in time, this is easily treatable with antibiotics, however treatment should commence immediately after diagnosis.

You should always seek medical advice if you think you have been exposed or could be at risk of any of the diseases listed above.
  • Prevention

Prevent a rodent infestation in the first place

Our rodent problem is spiralling out of control, and not only are our infestations growing but the rodents themselves are ballooning in size. It is therefore imperative that we act fast. If you’ve identified a rat infestation, there are several methods you can use to help get rid of rats in your house fast.

Below are three basic rules that we always abide by in order to secure a property from the invasion of pests. These include:

Step 1 - Inspection

Rats and mice like to live in areas that provide them with the basic means in which to survive. This includes food, water and protective shelter. Therefore, the first step in ridding yourself of rats is to play a game of hide and seek and identify where they are living.

Where do rats like to live?

Rats are clever climbers and when they have their sights set on a place to call home, they will leap, chew and burrow their way to get there, often causing serious damage along the way.

Lofts & Attics

These dark spaces are generally unoccupied, so provide the perfect place for a nocturnal rodent to live. They offer many a hidey hole, cossetted corners and readily available resources in which to make a nest such as attic insulation, cardboard boxes and electrical cabling.

Basements and cellars

Dark, dank basements provide great storage places for our food and drink. However, these lesser-frequented areas also offer refuge for rats seeking shelter, nourishment and plenty of entry points.

Walls

Cavity walls provide rats with the freedom to travel out of sight. Accessing small gaps and scampering through pipes, they can effortlessly move from the top to the bottom of the house.

Sheds & garages

Out houses such as garden sheds and garages not only provide shelter but are full of useful materials and equipment for rats to use to hide and nest.

Kitchens & laundries

Large appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers radiate heat and provide a temperate place to live, whilst cracks and openings near pipework offer an easy way in for rats.

Backyards

Large shrubs, ponds, trashcans and bird feeders provide rats with security, food and a constant water supply, which is all they need to live, feed and raise a family.

What are the signs of a rat infestation?

Rats are nocturnal so they sleep during the day and forage for food at night. However, if hungry enough they will risk scurrying around in daylight hours in order to seek out supplies. Therefore, there is a chance that you may see a rat scampering across your kitchen floor. And where there is one, there will be many more as rats are social rodents who like to live in packs.

If you don’t see a rat, chances are that you might hear them tip toeing across floor boards, scratching inside the walls or chewing through cables.

Other signs of pesky night-time visitors include droppings. On average a normal sized rat will produce up to 40 stools a night! These droppings will be dark brown in color and around the size of a single grain of rice. You are most likely to spot rat droppings around food sources, pet dishes and trashcans.

Finally, rats thrive in dirty conditions, so tend to have greasy bodies. Due to their poor vision, they rely on their other senses such as smell and touch, so look out for oily smudge and smear marks along surfaces and walls.

How do rats enter your property?

Pests such as rats and mice can easily access a property, and when they do, they can spread disease and cause serious damage. Rats often damage structures by burrowing, biting, and gnawing at insulation, wiring, and wood. Over time, their efforts can produce gashes and holes that allow entry for more rodents and pests. Check your home for these signs of damage and take the following steps as needed.

Rats in the attic
Signs of a serious rat infestation in an attic.

Step 2 - Exclusion

Before we talk about the best ways to get rid of rats, you need to ensure that you have rat-proofed your home in order to prevent a re-infestation. Afterall, why waste time and money on traps, baits and poisons only to allow more rats to move back in?

Rats are not only sneaky, but they are incredible contortionists – able to squeeze their bodies through the smallest of gaps. Therefore, in order to outwit a rat, you need to ensure that you detect every possible entry point, no matter how big or small.

How to rodent proof your home

Replacing seals, covering air bricks, inserting door sweeps, adding chimney vents and installing automatic entrance closers are much cheaper options than employing professional pest control services. It is important that you inspect your property making sure that you:

  1. Close all holes and cracks greater than ¼ inch with expandable foam.
  2. Seal all pipes leading to outside water supplies, garden hoses and hot water tanks with steel or bronze wool like this from Xcluder (see at Amazon).
  3. Check and maintain all vents and gaps in attics and under window sills to ensure that they do not provide easy access points.
  4. Examine your roof to make sure that it is in a good state.
  5. Cap or screen your chimney to stop rodents climbing up and down.
  6. Store firewood well away from your home, ideally in a lockable outbuilding.
  7. Add door sweeps to the bottom of the garage and outbuilding doors. As the weather changes you may find that their frames are likely to swell and decrease, leaving large gaps for rats to enter.
  8. Maintain your garden as cutting your grass regularly will make it easier to spot rats running around. Make sure that you trim back branches that could potentially form a bridge to your property and try not to plant shrubs or greenery too close to your house as it encourages rats to dig under the foundations.
  9. Use natural rat repellents around your home such as peppermint oil, onions and chilli oil in order to deter rodents from entering. Simply place them where you think the rodent may be entering.
  10. If rats are persistently frequenting your property then you may need to protect your home with an effective pest control solution such as rodenticides, bait stations, traps, or have some fun with an air rifle. Details of which can be found below.

Find out more detailed information on keeping rodents out of your home for good.

steel wool for getting rid of rats
135 Reviews
Xcluder Rodent Control Steel Wool Fill Fabric
  • Xcluder rodent control fill fabric fills gaps, holes and openings throughout buildings to create a barrier that mice, rats and other pests are unable or unwilling to Gnaw through
  • Includes everything you need to start filling rodent entry points: one roll of Xcluder stainless steel wool fill fabric, shears and sturdy work gloves
  • Stop mice, rats and other rodents from entering homes, offices, and other spaces using our innovative rodent control fill fabric
  • Effective protection against rodent entry through weep holes, gaps around pipes, attic vents, siding, and other vulnerable spots in your home or office
  • Tested and proven effective by the usda’s aphis lab, rodent control fill fabric creates a protective barrier against rodents and insects without Reliance on harmful chemicals or harsh pesticides

Last update on 2019-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

door sweep to stop rats
50 Reviews
Xcluder Residential Pest Control Door Sweep
  • Residential Pest Control Door Sweeps are filled with Xcluder Rodent Proof Fill Fabric, a polyfiber stainless steel wool blend that won’t rust and springs back to maintain maximized, flexible fill
  • Creates a strong, sturdy barrier that rats, mice, and other pests are unwilling and unable to gnaw through
  • Durable and weather resistant, Residential Pest Control Door Sweeps are composed of sturdy clear aluminum and reinforced rubber to provide and ensure protection from numerous pests and rodents
  • Non-toxic, non-corrosive Rodent Proof Fill Fabric will not harm pets or induce pain in animals; Tested and proven effective by the USDA’s APHIS Lab, Sweep can be used confidently and safely
  • Easy to install, 36inch Residential Pest Control Door Sweep can be cut to fit smaller doors

Last update on 2019-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Step 3 - Sanitation

It is no surprise that rats enjoy living in close proximity to us as we inadvertently provide them with sustenance and shelter. But, by becoming more aware of how we live, behave and the environment around us, we can start to deter them away from our property and eradicate them for good.

Check out our easy-wins to ensure that your home does not become a live-in cash and carry for rodents.

  • Do not leave food or leftovers out on display. Rats are scroungers by nature and will take any scraps they can find. By making sure that you clear away and wipe down all areas after food preparation will prevent rodents sniffing out their next meal.
  • Make sure that you store all foods in cupboard or in glass, metal or plastic containers. And the higher you can place it, the better.
  • Try and ensure that you ventilate your home regularly by opening windows. Excess moisture and damp only attract pests to venture into your home.
  • Avoid hoarding and excess clutter as it provides places to hide, shelter and materials to nest.
  • Seal your garbage bags before disposing of them and make sure that your outdoor trashcans are located well away from your property. Stinky, overflowing bins are incredibly tempting to all sorts of pests and will attract rats from far and wide.
  • If you have pets such as cats and dogs, make sure that their food bowls are not left unattended. Some bowls now come with a timer you can set to limit the amount of time the food is exposed. Make sure you wash the bowls thoroughly after every meal so that the smell does not entice rodents in.

Prevention is always better than cure and if you discover an infestation in a specific part of your house then take a look at our guides for further reading and advice:

6 natural remedies for getting rid of rats

If you are against the killing of rats and would prefer a more natural approach to poisons and traps, then take a look at these effective yet non-toxic remedies to repel rodents:

Peppermint Oil

Rats rely on their acute sense of smell as their eyesight is so poor and find the minty fragrance of peppermint overpowering. Place a few drops on a piece of cotton wool and situate it around the areas you think the rats may be accessing.

Chilli Oil

Chilli oil is a common ingredient, known for causing irritation when ingested or inhaled. For this reason, rats and mice tend to steer well clear of areas where chilli oil may be situated.

Onions

Onions make us cry and they have a similar effect on rodents who can’t bear the strong aroma they let off. Place a cut open onion around the house and see what effect it has.

Steel Wool

No know really knows why the smell of steel wool if so offensive to rats, but it is. A great investment, you can use steel wool to plug entry holes, safe in the knowledge it is repelling them at the same time.

Pet litter

Every animal has it place within the food chain and cats can be fantastic rat-catchers, hunting at night when rodents are at their most active. But rather than investing in a cat to start off with, why not buy a bag of cat litter and strike fear into those troublesome foes.

Cats

Not all cats are hunters but even if they aren’t, sometimes their presence and smell can be enough to send rats scampering in the other direction. Find out if cats can get rid of rats.

Natural ways to get rid of rats - myth busting remedy!

Ammonia – studies have been conducted and there is compelling evidence that suggest ammonia has no impact of deterring rodents from entering buildings. Not only that, but ammonia, when used in large quantities, can cause side effects in humans and other animals. So, stay well steer of experimenting with it!
  • Treatment

Methods for treating your rodent infestation

Once a couple of rats decide to take up residency, the situation will soon spiral and get out of hand as breeding gets well underway.

Although rodenticides and rifles are often the most favored form of pest control for many, there are some who prefer to use more humane ways such as ultrasonic rodent repellents or live traps. Once caught unharmed, however, it is up to you to find an appropriate place to release the rat. Below I list my top products for humanely catching rats:

1. Best live traps for catching rats

Live traps are effective for small infestations, as they are good for the environment and the animal’s well-being. These mechanical traps look like common pet cages; and are equipped with a mesh opening and spring-loaded doors. The doors are activated by sensitive triggers which snap shut once the rat has been lured in by some tempting bait.

Once safely ensconced, it is your responsibility to dispose of the rat well away from your home. This makes live trapping a good method for collecting a couple of rats, but if you have a chronic infestation, it is likely to be incredibly time consuming.

Trapro Humane Live Rat Trap Cage
787 Reviews
Great for trigger sensitivity - Trapro Humane Rat Trap Cage
This live trap is made of galvanized steel making it rust and corrosion resistant. So, no matter where your rodent problem is, this trap can be placed inside or outside the home. Whether you have a mouse to catch or a rat to trap this cage can be purchased in a number of different sizes and has an ultra-sensitive trigger which can be adjusted. Plus, its quick locking door not only ensures that there are no escapees but that your fingers are safe too, thanks to its safety catch mechanism.

Last update on 2019-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

CaptSure 2019 Upgraded Humane Smart Mouse and Rat Trap
2,721 Reviews
Best value for money - CaptSure 2019 Upgraded Humane Smart Rat Trap
This plastic transparent trap may not be quite as sturdy as some of its counterparts, but it is great value for money. Just like all traps, the rat is persuaded into the waterproof cage by a freshly laid meal and once inside it is trapped behind a spring door. Here it will remain unharmed and receiving oxygen through a number of ventilation holes, until you are ready to relocate it.

Last update on 2019-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sale
CaptSure 2019 Upgraded Humane Smart Mouse and Rat Trap
300 Reviews
Recommended for relocating rats - Humane Live Rat Trap Cage
This trap was designed with both human safety and the welfare of rodents in mind. Access to a tantalizing treat is provided via a door either end, making it twice as likely to catch a rat. Once inside the wire mesh allows the rodent to breathe whilst the convenient handle on the top of the cage makes transporting them feel effortless.

Last update on 2019-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Ultrasonic rodent repellent devices

These ultrasonic devices offer an alternative solution to repelling rats. There are mixed opinions on whether these devices actually work as they are meant to drive rats away by emitting a high frequency sound that is painful to rodents, however one major flaw is that they can’t transmit through walls. Therefore, what you tend to find is that you simply end up driving the rat from one room to another or having to invest in multiple devices.

No products found.

Getting rid of rats with killer traps

Rat traps have been used as an effective standalone form of rodent control for decades and offer a great alternative to poisons as they are toxic free, safe to use and work on rodents who may be bait shy.

That said, just like the humane version, they are very time consuming and labor intensive as they require constant supervision. Rat traps are not for the faint-hearted, as you will have to deal and dispose of rodent contents which can, of course, be unpleasant and rather messy. Click here for more advice on how to dispose of dead rats safely.

Different types of rat traps explained

Just like anything, one trap does not suit all. So, depending on your requirements and the size of your rodent challenge we would strongly advise that you look into the pros and cons of each type of trap.

Below we will talk you through the benefits of snap, electronic, gas and glue traps; all of which are readily available to buy.

When you think of a rat trap, the snap trap probably ‘springs’ to mind as it is most commonly seen on TV for hilarious effect. But catching rats should not be scoffed at, as it can take both time and money.

Snap traps are so popular because they offer a cheap and effective way of getting rid of rats and can be used multiple times. They work by luring the rat onto a block of wood, plastic or metal using some form of tempting bait which is attached to a trigger. Once the rat decides to take a bite, the trigger releases, killing the rat instantly. The drawbacks to snap traps are actually obviously in that they are tricky to set and messy to deal with. They are also not suitable for households where children or pets reside.

1. Snap Traps

***Top 3 snap rat traps available to buy***
Victor Metal Pedal Rat Trap
462 Reviews
Great value for money - Victor Metal Pedal Rat Trap
Based on the classic snap trap, this version is not only cheap but effective too. The Victor Professional snap trap allows you to set it to different sensitivities by pulling the spring back, although care should be taken to watch your fingers! Find your rats food heaven, load it up and off you go.

Last update on 2019-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Easy and safe to set - Tomcat rat snap trap
20 Reviews
Easy and safe to set - Tomcat rat snap trap
The Tomcat snap trap is one of the safest to use as its clever design means that the bait cup is removable and replaced on the opposite side to the trigger. It is effective in killing rats, but be warned, it is lightweight so you may find a rat or two wandering around with the traps still attached to their heads! And that’s not a pretty sight!

Last update on 2019-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sale
Simple rat disposal - Intruder The Better Rodentrap
511 Reviews
Simple rat disposal - Intruder The Better Roden Trap
This is a modified version of the traditional wooden spring trap noted above, but this trap is made of plastic and is much easier to bait. Rather than killing by the snap trap action, this design suffocates the rat for a less messy kill. Although this means that death is not instantaneous, it does make cleaning up easier as you simply press to eject.

Last update on 2019-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Electronic Traps

Electronic traps tend to be made of sturdier material and are far more effective than snap traps – which often injure but do not kill rats outright.

These types of trap work by delivering a high voltage electric shock to the rat, killing them instantly and in a more humane way. Thus, leaving you with little or no mess to clear up and an easier carcass to dispose of. The only downside to these traps, are that they can only be used indoors as they are not weatherproof.

***Top 3 live electronic rat traps available to buy***

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Advised for severe infestations – Rat Zapper 2
1,154 Reviews
Advised for severe infestations – Rat Zapper 2
You get what you pay for, and although this trap is more expensive, the Rat Zapper claims to kill up to 60 rodents per set of batteries so is great for enduring infestations. This trap delivers 8,000 vaults to those who dare to scamper inside and is simple to setup. Easy to use, it informs you of a kill and when the batteries are starting to run out of juice.

Last update on 2019-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sale
Victor No touch No see electronic rat trap
243 Reviews
Zero mess and easy to clean - Victor No touch No see
As its name suggests, this trap allows you to dispose of dead rats without the distress of seeing or touching them, thanks to its nifty removable chamber. A powerful trap, the Victor can exterminate up to 50 rats per set of batteries, s is good if you have a lot of rats sniffing around.

Last update on 2019-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. Gas Traps

Relatively new to the market, rodent gas traps like the A24 offer an alternative way to rid your property of rats in a more humane way. They can also be used outdoors, whatever the weather. These traps work by enticing the rat to investigate further thanks to an in-built flavored bait. Upon entering a strike tube, a CO₂ powered shot is emitted, killing the rat instantly without experiencing a drawn-out death. The rat is then deposited on the ground, whilst the trap automatically resets, ready for its next rodent victim.

***Best gas trap available to buy***
automatic gas rat trap
110 Reviews
Recommended by experts - Goodnature automatic humane trap
Designed and researched in New Zealand, this trap has been put through its paces in the most dramatic of locations including Mt Taranaki and is manufactured by Goodnature who work in partnership with the Department of Conservation. An all-weather appliance, this gas trap can be mounted to either a wall or tree, and contains a sweet, nontoxic bait that lures its victims in. Its CO₂ powered piston, administers a powerful shot that kills on impact whilst its “hit-counter” calculates each extermination.

Last update on 2019-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Glue Traps

Glue traps are probably the least humane of all rat traps, as rodents who come into contact with them endure long and painful deaths. Glue traps are wooden or plastic platforms coated with a thick adhesive covering, which to the poor sighted rat, simply looks like an extension of the floor. Once trodden on, the rats’ paws will stick and unable to wander free it will be left to die of dehydration. It is for this reason, that I do not advocate using these types of traps to eradicate rats or mice.

***Best glue trap available to buy***

No products found.

How to set a rat trap

The biggest issues with rat trapping, are not laying enough traps, placing them in the wrong locations and not monitoring them regularly.

When it comes to setting rat traps, it is all about clever positioning. There is no point in laying out a trap if it is not part of the rat run. And, if you have done your inspection correctly, you’ll know from the droppings you see, the noises you hear and the grease marks that keep appearing, where the rats are travelling to and from.

Depending on the severity of the infestation, you should place at least a dozen traps in and around their living areas and access points and monitor them regularly in case of a kill. Click here for more advice on how to dispose of dead rats safely.

  • Top tip for setting rat and mouse traps

Rats are curious but not stupid, and they will often go out of their way to avoid dangerous situations. Therefore, resist the temptation to set your traps live on day one. Instead let them sniff it, nudge it, and even feed off it unscathed in order to instil trust and encourage their return. Afterall, it won’t take long for your furry foe to get their comeuppance.

To find out more about the different types of traps available to buy, where to place them and how to set them up, please read our complete guide to the best rat traps available to buy.

Best bait to use in a rat trap

Rats and mice can be incredibly fussy. So, if you don’t want to buy lots of different baits, or are looking for some that are toxic free, then take a look at my top tips on what types of food make the perfect appetisers to serve your unwanted guests.

Below we list some tasty everyday treats that are sure to lure even the pickiest of rodent eaters – most of which can be found in your fridge or cupboards.

  1. Peanut butter – the sweeter, stickier and crunchier it is, the better.
  2. Cheese – it might be a cliché, but rats and mice really do enjoy a nibble on a smelly bit of cheese.
  3. Chocolate – if you can spare a square of chocolate or a dollop of hazelnut spread, these rodents will receive more than a sugar “hit” thanks to your generous sharing.
  4. Cured meats – for the discerning rodent palate, why not choose a slice of salami, a cut of chorizo or a piece of prosciutto.
  5. Syrups & Jams – For rodents with a sweet tooth, syrups, jams and even honey are a tantalizing treat when served by the spoonful.

Getting rid of rats with poison

As rats are natural scavengers, they will eat anything, and everything, put in their path. In fact, I firmly believe that it is thanks to our poor dietary habits that we are creating what are being dubbed “super rats” of the future. These are rats that rush to consume our fast food and are now ballooning in size! So, in order to gain back control, one of the easiest way to kill a rat is to provide it with food that has been laced in poison.

As rats are natural scavengers, they will eat anything, and everything, put in their path. In fact, I firmly believe that it is thanks to our poor dietary habits that we are creating what are being dubbed “super rats” of the future. These are rats that rush to consume our fast food and are now ballooning in size! So, in order to gain back control, one of the easiest way to kill a rat is to provide it with food that has been laced in poison.

Rat poisons and rodenticides work due to their toxic ingredients such as anticoagulants, that are designed to thin the blood and prevent it from clotting. Depending on the strength of the poison, both single and multiple feed baits are available to buy off the shelf. It is important to note however, that certain states in America such as California and New York have now banned to use of second-generation poisons.

Animals and children are also susceptible to the side effects of rat poison, so it is really important that you use alternative methods. See our blogs for more advice on minimizing the dangers of rodenticides around adults, pets and children.

***Top 3 rat poisons available to buy***

Contrac All-Weather rat bait Blox
150 Reviews
Recommended if you have neighboring pets – Contrac All-Weather Blox
Contrac All-Weather Blox Rodenticide is favoured by those who are concerned about neighbouring animals or pets, as it contains a less toxic ingredient and has a known Vitamin K1 antidote. For added peace of mind, this subtle peanut butter bait can be securely affixed and is weatherproof so can be placed indoors or out. This rodenticide is only available to purchase by the bucket load and is not available for use in California.

Last update on 2019-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Easy and safe to set - havoc rat bait poison
121 Reviews
Simple and easy to use – Havoc Rat and Mouse Bait
This bait comes in handy little packages, safely secured until the rat starts to gnaw. Made from a brodifacoum anticoagulant formula, it is powerful enough to kill a rat once digested. Water resistant, it enables you to target rat problems both in and out of the home. Although this poison contains the lowest lethal dose of any anticoagulant on the market, it is not for sale in the state of California.

Last update on 2019-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Simple rat disposal - Intruder The Better Rodentrap
959 Reviews
Recommended by Pest Control Experts - Tomcat Bait Chunx
Tomcat produce a number of different poisons, depending on where your infestation is located and how severe it may be. From weatherproof bait to fast acting pellets their powerful ingredients prove to tasty for rodents to turn their twitching noses up at. Sold in a variety of sizes, Tomcat rat poison is favoured by many pest control experts thanks to its fast acting yet deadly components.

Last update on 2019-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How to place rat poison

As mentioned above, care should always be taken when laying any form of poison as it can be extremely dangerous to both children and other animals if consumed in error. Therefore, you need to consider the environment in which you are placing the poison before purchasing, as other pest control solutions may be more suitable.

If you do decide to use rat poison as your preferred method of pest control, then it is important that you administer it correctly whilst always remembering to follow the product instructions. Below are top tips for laying poison. Always make sure that: –

  • You have successfully located all areas of the infestation.
  • You place an adequate amount of bait and poison around the property.
  • You remain patient. It may take time for the rats to trust the food source and start feeding.
  • You don’t give up straightaway. Poison takes time to enter a rat’s digestive system, so results are not likely to be immediate.
  • You check for dead rats regularly around your property as once ingested they are likely to stray before dying. 
  • You do everything you can to prevent a re-infestation, as per our sanitation steps above.

If you are interested to find out more about the different types of poison available to buy, then please read our comprehensive guide to rat poisons.

Shooting rats with an air rifle

Rat shooting, although considered by some to be controversial, is an effective for of getting rid of rodents. When executed successfully, using the correct equipment and techniques, shooting rats with an air rifle can be more humane than other methods as it ensures a quick and instantaneous death for the rat without releasing toxins that are harmful to surrounding wildlife.

Shooting is a highly efficient solution for depleting the number of rats you have roaming your property; however, it does require a steady arm and a good aim. Air rifles must always be handled in a responsible manner, and you should check the firearms regulations that apply to your state beforehand. Always ensure that the pellets are kept locked away and within your own boundary as failure to follow these stringent rules can result in penalties.

Air guns can be safer to use then shotguns (as they fire pellets and not bullets), are quieter and tend to be smaller and lighter to handle. Another reason that air rifles are so popular in America is because the requirements for owning one are much more relaxed than if you were to purchase a shotgun, however in most states you still need to be 18 years or over.

***Top 3 air rifles available to buy***

rws air rifle for shooting rats
219 Reviews
RWS .177 Cal Pellet Model 34 Combo
This rifle is expensive in comparison to its counterparts, but this classy looking gun comes with a lifetime warranty and a plethora of handy extras such as a scope and dust covers. Its straight wooden stock is made of hardwood, which not only makes it look stylish but helps it to fire fantastically.

Last update on 2019-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

gamo Varmint air rifle for shooting rats
960 Reviews
Gamo 6110017154 Varmint Air Rifle .177 Cal
This single cock breaking barrel air pistol has a powerful spring piston for a more accurate shot. Great for close range shooting this air rifle comes equipped with many additional features and its hard-wearing materials allow you to venture out come rain, wind, fog or snow. A great rifle for beginners and enthusiasts alike it is the perfect rat hunting machine.

Last update on 2019-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

shoot rats with the crossman air rifle
407 Reviews
Crosman M4-177 Pneumatic Pump Air Rifle .177Cal
This lightweight gun certainly looks the business and with its multi-pump pneumatic system, it means business too. Able to fire single shots and at just over 33 inches long, this lightweight air rifle is easy to operate and carry and looks pretty good on the arm too.

Last update on 2019-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best time to shoot a rat is at night

Rats are nocturnal, so the best time to catch these rodent foes is at night. Shooting in the dark is like shooting blindfolded, unless you invest in the right equipment. Night vision kits are so effective as they provide you with a thermal vision scope which penetrates through darkness and allows you to spot rats using heat sensors. Many night vision scopes can work in light fog and rain and simply attach to your current air rifle.

  • Professional extermination

Use a professional pest control company

DIY methods of pest control can and do work effectively, however there may be circumstances when you need to call in professional help. If rats have started to contaminate your property, are spreading diseases to you or your family, have started to damage your belongings or are putting your business reputation at risk, then it is time to stop ignoring the destruction and seek the help of a professional pest control service.

Rats and mice can be persistent, and it is not uncommon to think you have solved a situation, only for it to reoccur a few days later. If you feel that your pest problem is too overwhelming to tackle on your own, then you should seriously consider calling a professional exterminator.

Benefits of hiring a pest control expert

Although professional pest control services may seem expensive at the time, it’s a small price to pay to save your business reputation and rest easy in your own home. For more information, why not check out my informative blog on why and when to call in help from professional pest control services.

Bottom line

Rats are pesky pests that like the same things we like. But, if you are unwilling to put up with sharing your home and food with these furry foes any more, then it’s time to show them the door. Why not try these simple but effective DIY solutions for yourself or if you feel your infestation is out of your control, seek advice from a pest control specialist.

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