Rat Zapper Electronic Rat Trap Reviews

Electronic rat traps are one of the latest ways to combat a rodent problem as humanely as possible. One of the biggest manufacturers of electronic rat traps is Victor, which also produces a range of other rodent control products like snap traps, glue traps, ultrasonic repellents, live traps, and rodenticides. Their line of Rat Zappers is among the best-selling electronic rat traps with a good combination of affordability, durability, and performance.

Here's what you should know about using electronic traps to kill mice and rats around your property in our Rat Zapper reviews, along with a guide to choosing the right Zapper model for your needs.

Rat Zapper Reviews

Victor produces two Zapper models: the Classic and the Ultra. Both traps have many features in common:

  • Humane method for killing rats and mice with a high-voltage shock.
  • Easy to use with batteries.
  • No-touch, no-see design.
  • Designed for indoor use but can be used anywhere the device won't be exposed to the elements, such as a garage or shed.
  • Kills one mouse or rat per set.
  • Works with the Rat Tale remote monitor.

These Rat Zapper reviews will go over important features about each model to help you decide which one is best for your needs.

Rat Zapper Classic Rat Trap Review

No Rat Zapper review is complete without covering the Rat Zapper Classic, the most popular and highest-rated electronic rat trap available. The Classic model humanely kills rats with a lethal shock after they enter the device using smart circuit technology. The Classic Rat Zapper is easy to use by inserting batteries, adding bait, and turning the device on. It also features an indicator light to let you know when the trap has been activated and needs to be reset.

Curious how many rats the Classic Rat Zapper can hold? It should be emptied after each kill. It's possible to kill more than one small rat or mouse at once, though.


  • Can kill up to 30 rodents per set of batteries. The Classic uses 4 AA batteries. You can expect 30 kills per set of lithium batteries or 20 kills with alkaline batteries.
  • Delivers a lethal 8,000-volt charge for 2 minutes when the circuit is completed.
  • Easy no-see, no-touch disposal. Tilt the device after each catch to let the dead rat fall into the trash.
  • Simple indicator light. A green light means the batteries have a good charge and the device is ready. A red light means the trap has been sprung and you need to dispose of a rodent.
  • A large kill chamber can accommodate small to medium-sized rats and mice.
  • Rat Tale is sold separately. The Rat Tale is a remote indicator light to make it easy to use the Classic in remote areas like a crawlspace or attic.


  • More expensive than other electronic traps.
  • Sometimes gives false positives, especially when small animals like crickets enter the trap.
  • Only designed for indoor use although it can be used outdoors with proper precautions.
  • Does not have an ACadapter.

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Rat Zapper Ultra Rodent Trap Review

This Rat Zapper review covers the Ultra model, a more robust version of the Zapper that kills more rodents per set of batteries. The Ultra Zapper has an easy-to-understand indicator that stays green for 2 seconds when the device is turned on. The light blinks red every 7 seconds after each successful kill. A rapidly blinking red light indicates low batteries.


  • About 60 kills per set of 4 D cell batteries.
  • Sanitary and hands-free disposal. No-touch, no-see design for easy and sanitary disposal of dead rodents into the trash.
  • LED indicator for low battery or kill.
  • Large kill chamber for rats, mice, and other small animals. The Ultra model is capable of killing the largest rodents that are too large to fit in the Classic device.
  • Sturdy design can last years.


  • More expensive than some electronic rat traps.
  • Only designed for indoor use.
  • No AC adapter.

What is the Rat Zapper electronic rat trap?

Electronic mouse traps are a fairly new solution to control rodent populations without snap traps, glue traps, or water traps that can be messy and inhumane. Electric traps all work on the same basic principle: delivering a deadly high-voltage shock to kill the rodent quickly. Electronic traps are generally for indoor use but some are also for outdoor use to control rats, mice, and other small pests without chemicals. Electric traps are typically tamper-proof and safe for use around pets and children.

While electronic traps are more expensive than other options like glue traps and snap traps, they are more effective and humane. An electronic trap can kill a rat in seconds without squeaking, blood, or mess.

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Rat Zapper Classic and Ultra – a good choice for zapping and killing rats?

So, what is a Rat Zapper, and what makes it a good choice for combating rodents? Rat Zapper is a brand of electronic rat traps produced by Victor, the leader in rodent control solutions since 1898. The company produces two types of Zappers: the Rat Zapper Classic and the Rat Zapper Ultra. They also make a Smart-Kill WiFi-enabled electronic trap. The Classic is one of the top-selling electronic rodent traps on the market and is notable for its durability and efficiency.

Do electronic rat traps really work?

Yes. Electronic rat traps are considered the most effective way to kill a rat when used properly. When used correctly, a 100% kill rate is expected for all rats, mice, squirrels, and chipmunks that enter although it is possible for an especially large rat to escape death. Most electric rat traps have fail-safes incorporated to stop a rat from escaping within the few seconds it takes for the shock to kill them.

Of course, some electronic traps are more reliable than others. Some brands are known to malfunction occasionally by failing to deliver a lethal shock but this isn't possible.

To achieve a 100% kill rate, make sure you follow these steps:

  • Verify your electronic trap is turned on and your batteries are fully charged. Old batteries are a common cause of trap failure.
  • Set up the trap strategically near an area with rodent activity.
  • The trap should be set with the entrance against a wall to encourage a rat to enter.
  • Use a bait that will attract a rat such as a peanut butter or cereal.
  • Don't use too much bait. Excess food may drop onto the metal plates inside and activate the trap. A rodent can then safely walk in and eat the bait.
  • Do not allow the device to get wet.
  • Handle with gloves to prevent leaving your scent on the device.
  • Be patient. Rats are intelligent and fear new objects in their environment. It may take a few days before a rat approaches and enters the trap.

A Victor electronic rat trap in action (skip to 1 min 50 secs)

How does the Rat Zapper work?

The Rat Zapper uses a high-voltage shock to kill rats and mice humanely and as quickly as possible. The no-see, no-touch design allows you to bait the station and, when the indicator light indicates a kill, easily dispose of the rat's body by tipping the device into the trash. How does the Rat Zapper work? It uses smart circuit technology to sense when a rat has entered the trap. Once the rat steps on the metal plates inside, the circuit is complete and the trap delivers a continuous high-voltage shock for 2 minutes to ensure a kill.

What to Look for when buying a rat zapper

Electronic rat traps vary a great deal in terms of design, durability, and reliability. Here's how to choose the right electronic rodent trap and decide if a Victor Zapper is the right choice. Consider the following to narrow down your options:

  • Kill chamber size. What type of animal are you targeting? For mice, small- to medium-sized rats, and chipmunks, the Victor Classic model is perfect. For large rats as well as squirrels, the Ultra model is a better choice.
  • Indoor or outdoor use. Is the trap designed solely for indoor use or is it designed to be used outdoors as well? Consider where you will use the trap and how much effort you are willing to invest. Indoor electronic traps can also be used outdoors if you place the trap in a plastic container and cut a hole in the side to allow a rat to get in. This will keep out the elements.
  • Cost vs durability. Victor traps aren't the cheapest electronic rat traps you can find. Still, if you want long-term production, the cost is worth it. Victor traps are made well enough that they can be used for years. Cheaper electronic traps have flimsier designs and may snap or break after repeated use when you try to replace the bait.
  • Reliability. You can read reviews to find out if the electronic trap model has known issues. The Victor Classic and Ultra models are generally considered very reliable although the Classic sometimes has a problem with false positives. This may be an issue of user error, however.
  • Ease of use. The trap should be easy to bait, install the batteries, and take apart for cleaning.

Where can you buy a Victor Rat Zapper?

A number of stores may carry electronic Zappers from Victor including tractor supply stores and home improvement stores. You will have the best luck finding the model you want online, however. The Victor store at Amazon with a selection of their best-selling electronic rat traps, including the Classic and Ultra models.

How to clean an electronic rat trap

You'll want to know how to clean a rat zapper because the scent of other dead rodents over time may deter rats from entering the trap. This is most likely if you don't check the trap as often as you should and a rat is allowed to decompose. You don't need to clean the trap too often, however; the scent of other rats can help attract rats to the device.

After several uses, debris and dust can accumulate on the metal plates in the Zapper and cause the device to fail to activate when a rat enters. You can clean the trap fairly easily with just a few steps. Always turn the unit off first and take out the batteries. Use hydrogen peroxide and a toothbrush to clean the interior surfaces of the kill chamber. A wire brush can be used to remove corrosion if necessary but do this carefully to avoid stripping away the protective zinc coating. After cleaning, let the device air dry before replacing the batteries.

where to place victor rat zapper
Place the Victor Rat Zapper along walls, where there are signs of activity.

Where to place a Victor electronic Zapper

One of the most important things you can do to increase the chances of success with an electronic rat trap is proper placement of the trap. The trap should always be in a corner or against a wall and close to evidence of rats, such as droppings or tracks.

To find the best place to place the trap, look carefully around the inside and outside of your home for evidence of rodent activity like:

  • Rodent droppings. Mouse droppings are very tiny, about the size of a grain of rice, with pointy or sharp ends. Rat pellets are significantly larger and have rounded ends.
  • Strange behavior from your pets. You may notice your cat sitting and watching the area under a stove or staring intently at a section of wall. A dog in the yard may pay close attention to a section of shrubs or fencing at night. These are signs your pets see, hear, or smell rodents.
  • Chewed wood. You may notice scratches or bite marks along baseboards, door frames, cabinetry, and other wood barriers in your home.
  • Grease smears. Rodents stay close to walls as they move around your home. You may see distinctive grease marks on the baseboards and walls.
grease rubs signs of rat activity
Looks for grease rubs alongs walls which is a clear sign of rat activity.

These signs will help you determine where the rodents eat, nest, or how they travel between the two. This will help you decide where to place your traps. The traps should be as close as possible to areas of rodent activity but in a fairly hidden, dark area such as under a stove or in a dark corner.

Always place rat traps along the wall. The idea is to encourage the rat to stop and investigate the food source as they are moving along the wall. Make sure you wear gloves when handling the traps to avoid human scent near the bait.

The following are common areas of activity for rats and good choices for placing traps:

  • Under kitchen appliances
  • Under the kitchen sink, where the rats may find a source of water
  • Crawlspaces
  • Attics
  • Pantry floor
  • Garage
  • Outbuildings such as a barn or shed
  • Near your home's foundation, including near your garage door
  • Wall cavities if you find evidence rodents are in the walls

After placing the traps, allow several days before you get a kill. It may take three days or more before a rat feels comfortable enough with the new object to approach and investigate. Do not touch or move the traps for at least a week.

If you install the Zapper in a remote or hard-to-reach area like a crawlspace or attic, it may be worth getting the optional Rat Tale remote monitor. The Rat Tale can be plugged into the Zapper and includes a thin, 12-foot-long extension cord with mouse-shaped remote indicator light. The indicator can be placed in an accessible area to let you know when the trap needs to be checked and emptied without frequently crawling into hard-to-reach areas around the house.

how to bait victor rat zapper
Use a cotton bud and wear gloves to bait the Rat Zapper so your scent isn't transferred.

How to bait a Victor Rat Zapper

You will need to know how to bait a Rat Zapper to encourage rodents to actually step inside. You can use virtually any form of mouse and rat bait you want but the most effective choices are:

  • Peanut butter
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pet kibble
  • Dry cereal
  • Dry oatmeal
  • Dry fruit
  • Bacon

Remember that rats are very cautious when moving around the environment and sampling food. A rat will be naturally suspicious of a new object in its territory and unlikely to approach a trap the first night. You will need to be patient. Don't assume the trap or bait isn't working unless the trap isn't sprung after three days. You will also want to use gloves when handling the trap and adding bait.

Does a Rat Zapper work on squirrels and other small animals?

Yes, the voltage delivered by a Zapper is enough to kill squirrels, chipmunks, and other animals small enough to fit into the trap. You may need to change the type of bait depending on the type of animal you want to catch, however. You will also need to be careful as the trap isn't designed for outdoor use. It can be used anywhere it will be safe from the elements, however, such as on a covered porch or a garage. You can also use the trap inside a plastic storage container with an opening cut in the side to use the trap safely outdoors.

Avoiding issues with your Victor Trap

Most people turn to electronic rat traps because they are humane, safe, and chemical-free. Victor electronic traps can be a safe, humane solution to a rat infestation that's child- and pet-friendly. Still, make sure you use the traps as safely as possible by setting them in areas where they won't be disturbed by children or pets. Sticking a hand in the trap and touching the metal plates will still deliver an electric shock by activating the system. This can be painful.

There are also steps you should take to reduce the risk of failure with the electronic trap. In many cases, false positives or failure to kill are the results of issues like failing to clean or dying batteries.

To ensure the device will work when a rat steps inside for a treat, make sure to clean it between kills, or at least after every few kills. Most electronic mouse traps are made with two pieces to remove the top easily for cleaning. Always turn off the device and take out the batteries before cleaning then use hydrogen peroxide as recommended by Victor. Don't use water or other cleaning solutions.

With the Classic model, you will need to guess if the batteries are still good enough to deliver a lethal shock for two minutes although the device will give a green indicator light when it turns on. The Ultra model gives you a better indication of battery life with a flashing red light when the batteries need to be changed. Don't assume you will get the number of kills advertised per set of batteries; this depends on many factors, including standby time.

If you use the trap outdoors, make sure it's carefully shielded from the elements. If any moisture gets inside the device, even from a very humid day, it can make the trap short circuit.

Conclusion – which Rat Zapper is the best?

Both Zapper models are similar and very effective at killing rodents. If you have a problem with rats and mice but they don't seem very large or in big numbers, the Classic model is a good choice. The Ultra Zapper is the best option if you're dealing with a bigger rat problem – either in physical size or numbers. The Ultra has a larger kill chamber that can accommodate even very large rats and it delivers more kills per battery set for a better value.

You may be interested in: How to Get Rid of Rats 2019

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