This picture shows a technician preparing rat traps for permanent mounting.
A wide variety of traps are suitable for rats. Some rat traps catch the rodents alive; other traps kill them. We can advise you on which kind or rat trap is most appropriate for your situation.
Live Rat Traps
Live rat traps are almost always in the form of cages. They are made of metal or heavy gauge wire and hold the live animals until they are removed from the site and disposed of. Such cages are available in many dimensions. The problem with live traps is that rats are clever animals and may become trap shy. If this happens, the cage may remain empty for a long, long time.
Kill Traps for Rats
Kill traps come in many forms. Some are called body-gripping traps. These rat traps clamp down on the rodents’ bodies. One variety looks just like a standard spring mouse trap, or snap trap, but bigger. Steel jaw traps also work well for rats when the correct size is used. Many other kinds of professional and homemade rat traps are available, some of which are very creative. We have seen several makeshift variations that cause the animals to drown.
Many foods may be used as rat bait. Marshmallows, peanut butter, and cheese are favorites, but almost anything sweet that has an odor will also do the trick.
Disposal of the Bodies
Whatever rat trap option you choose, it is important to properly dispose of the live rats or their carcasses after they are caught. Living rats carry many diseases on their bodies, but dead ones are even worse. The carcasses not only stink, but are a breeding ground for maggots and bacteria that feed on decomposing matter.
An example of a wire cage rat trap, for catching rats alive.