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The Best Rat Traps of 2023

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rat-killer

Are you tired of playing hide-and-seek with rats on your property?

Do you find yourself searching for the best rat trap that will end the invasion once and for all?

We know the feeling, and we’re here to help.

In this blog, we reveal our top product recommendations to tackle this pesky problem.

With years of experience saving homes from rat infestations, we’ve tried and tested these products, and we can confidently say they get the job done.

Best Runner-Up
Summary:
A no-frills, ultra-effective snap trap, this powerhouse kills rats quickly and is ideal for controlling even large infestations.
Summary:
A sleek plastic, T-rex-style trap, this model offers strong snap strength and compatibility with tamper-resistant bait stations for increased effectiveness.
Summary:
A convenient, clean, user-friendly electric trap. It’s concealed in a no-touch, no-see box, which makes it easy to use and reuse.
Editor’s Choice
Summary:
A no-frills, ultra-effective snap trap, this powerhouse kills rats quickly and is ideal for controlling even large infestations.
Best Runner-Up
Summary:
A sleek plastic, T-rex-style trap, this model offers strong snap strength and compatibility with tamper-resistant bait stations for increased effectiveness.
Best Electric
Summary:
A convenient, clean, user-friendly electric trap. It’s concealed in a no-touch, no-see box, which makes it easy to use and reuse.

Our Top Picks

  1. Editor’s Choice: Victor Professional Expanded Trigger Rat Trap
  2. Best Runner-Up: Trapper T-Rex
  3. Best Electric: Victor M241 Indoor Electronic Humane Rat and Mouse Trap
  4. Best Humane Trap: Catch and Release Traps
  5. Best Glue Trap: JT Eaton Stick-Em Rat Traps
  6. Best Bait: Kaput Mouse Blocks
  7. Best Bait Station: Protecta EVO Express Bait Station
  8. Best Budget Option: Victor Rat Traps M200
Editor’s Choice
Victor Professional Expanded Trigger Rat Trap

Summary: A no-frills, ultra-effective snap trap, this powerhouse kills rats quickly and is ideal for controlling even large infestations. 

Type: Snap trap 

Disposal method: Manual disposal of dead rat and trap

Reusable: No

The Victor Professional Expanded Trigger Rat Trap is our favorite snap trap for many reasons. These traps are affordable, easy to set, and highly effective. 

Compared to other snap traps, these have a larger bait pedal that looks like cheese and features sensitivity settings that prevent the trap from deploying due to environmental changes, like vibrations caused by heavy machinery. Each trap is made from wood, measures 7 in. x 3 1/4 in. x 1/2 in., and is designed to kill rodents like rats and mice. 

We also like that once the trap catches a rat, you can dispose of the entire thing for quick, clean removal. 

Our Experience: We found these traps to be easy to use and set. The plastic trigger on these traps is much more sensitive and powerful than other wooden snap traps, which allows them to kill rats instantly. Plus, the large feed plate increases the likelihood of the trap deploying when a rodent steps on it. 

How to Use: Use sticky bait, like peanut butter, to bait the bait pedal. Pull the bow back, and position the locking bar in the center of the spring. Place multiple rat traps anywhere you’ve noticed rat activity, and check and change them daily. We like to place them in active rat paths for the best results. To keep everyone in your household safe, place them away from kids and pets. 

Effectiveness:
5.0
Safety:
4.0
Ease of Use:
5.0
Pros:
  • Kills rats quickly
  • Affordable
  • Comes in bulk packages
  • Easy to use and set
  • Disposable
  • No poisons or chemicals
Cons:
  • Can snap fingers or hands during setting
  • May trap non-target species
  • Can be a danger to kids and pets
  • Not reusable
Best Runner-Up
Trapper T-Rex

Summary: A sleek plastic, T-rex-style trap, this model offers strong snap strength and compatibility with tamper-resistant bait stations for increased effectiveness. 

Type: Snap trap 

Disposal method: Manual disposal of dead rat, trap is reusable

Reusable: Yes

The Trapper T-Rex Rat Trap is made of durable black plastic, designed to kill large rodents like rats, and available in one- or two-unit packages. A strong runner-up to the disposable Victor snap traps, this t-rex trap offers superior trapping power, a convenient size (each trap measures 5 ½” x 3”), and a removable bait cup. For use in areas where safety is a concern, we like to pair this trap with a tamper-resistant rat bait station. 

Our Experience: Compared to other t-rex traps we’ve used, these offer superior performance. The interlocking teeth hold rats securely, while the sensitive trigger and powerful snap ensure a quick kill. We’ve also found these traps to be sturdier and safer than traditional snap traps (less risk of snapping your fingers or hands). We recommend not using the included bait cup since rats can steal bait out of it without triggering the trap. Instead, place bait directly on the trap’s trigger. 

How to Use: Place your bait on the trap’s trigger. Do not use peanut butter in these traps since the oil in peanut butter can damage the trap. Once the trap is set, place it near baseboards, in corners, along walls, or in a bat station. If rats travel vertically, use adhesive to secure the trap to beams that rats use as walkways. 

Effectiveness:
4.0
Safety:
5.0
Ease of Use:
4.5
Pros:
  • Kills rats quickly
  • Increased safety
  • Reusable
  • No poisons or chemicals
Cons:
  • More expensive than snap traps
  • Not as powerful as some snap traps, which may mean kills are not immediate
  • Can be a danger to kids and pets
Best Electric
Victor M241 Indoor Electronic Humane Rat Trap

Summary: If you’re looking for a convenient, clean, user-friendly electric trap, this is a great option. It’s concealed in a no-touch, no-see box, which makes it easy to use and reuse. 

Type: Electric trap 

Disposal method: Manual disposal of dead rat

Reusable: Yes

Victor’s M241 Indoor Electronic Rat Trap is a unique change from traditional snap and t-rex traps. Made of durable black plastic and measuring 9.2 x 3.8 x 4.3 inches, this trap delivers a humane, high-voltage shock to rats that venture inside it. 

Wondering how you’ll know there’s a rodent inside? This trap features a green LED light to notify you of a catch, so you’ll never have to check it manually. It also offers a built-in bait cup which can be accessed via the back door of the trap. 

Our Experience: When we tested this product, we were impressed by the no-touch disposal feature, which allows you to discard dead rodents by lifting the removable lid. This trap can be difficult to clean, so we recommend avoiding sticky baits like peanut butter. Additionally, the opening of this trap is large enough to admit other rodents, like squirrels, chipmunks, and more, so we found that it also kills non-target species. 

How to Use: This trap requires 4 C batteries to run. Once you’ve installed batteries, we recommend placing this trap alongside a wall where you’ve noticed rat activity and turning it on. The trap will attract and kill rodents quickly. Check and change the batteries regularly to keep the trap running. 

Effectiveness:
4.5
Safety:
5.0
Ease of Use:
4.0
Pros:
  • Clean, tidy, and user-friendly
  • You’ll never have to see or handle dead rodents
  • The trap can kill up to 50 rats per battery set
  • Kills rats quickly
  • No poisons or chemicals
  • Safer for kid- and pet-friendly households than snap traps
Cons:
  • More expensive than snap traps
  • Larger and more difficult to place
  • May be less effective for outdoor use
Best Humane Trap
Catch and Release Traps

Summary: Looking for an option that allows you to catch rats without killing them? The Kat Sense Clear-Sided Humane Rat Trap is an excellent choice.

Type: Live trap

Disposal method: Catch and release live rats

Reusable: Yes

Available in large or small sizes (large measures 9.4 x 3.2 x 3.6 inches and is ideal for rats, while the small measures 6.7 x 2.5 x 2.6 inches and is ideal for smaller rodents, like mice), this trap is cruelty-free and perfect for providing quick, effective rodent control.

Conveniently, this trap also features an integrated bait cap, which holds bait securely to attract and catch more rodents. The trapdoor-style entry door swings shut securely behind mice and rats and will contain them until you can release or relocate them. Thanks to the trap’s open design, it’s also easy to clean and maintain. 

Our Experience: We recommend using humane methods whenever possible, and we’ve found this to be an excellent option for anyone looking for live traps. When we tested it in the field, we liked this trap’s large size and clear, ventilated panels, which allow it to catch and contain multiple rats. 

How to Use: To use this trap, place your bait in the middle of the bait door. We like to use peanut butter or another sticky bait material. Next, push down the trap door until it clicks, and place the trap anywhere you’ve noticed rat activity. When rats walk into the trap and step on the trap door, their weight will trigger it to swing shut behind them, trapping them until you can relocate them. 

Effectiveness:
4.5
Safety:
5.0
Ease of Use:
3.5
Pros:
  • Humane, no-kill trap option
  • Made from durable plastic that allows you to see your catch
  • Easy to use, bait, and re-set
  • No poisons or chemicals
  • Safe for use in households with kids and pets
Cons:
  • Requires you to release rats and mice
  • May be too short for large rats
  • Not as effective as snap traps
Best Glue Trap
JT Eaton Stick-Em Rat Traps

Summary: Glue traps are a time-tested way to get rid of rats, and can be used in conjunction with other rat control methods, like bait stations. 

Type: Glue trap

Disposal method: Manual disposal of dead rat and trap

Reusable: No

We like to use glue traps to eradicate large rodent populations, and these JT Eaton Stick-Em Rat Traps are among the best we’ve found. 

Unlike other sticky trap varieties we’ve tried, these traps maintain their effectiveness in various temperatures, including cold climates, making them great for use in garages, sheds, and outdoor spaces.

Made of large plastic sheets that measure 1” x 10” x 5”, these traps are perfect for catching and containing rats and can be used in places that may not be compatible with conventional traps, like inside cupboards. Our tests showed these traps to be streamlined, practical, ultra-sticky, and ideal for use without bait or in conjunction with bait stations. 

Our Experience: We found these sticky traps to be effective overall. That said, these traps aren’t foolproof. Rodents can escape the trap (especially if they only have one foot in contact with the sticky surface). Additionally, rats can and will drag unsecured sticky traps all over your property, so securing these traps to the floor before you use them is essential. 

How to Use: To use these glue traps, place them anywhere you’ve noticed rodent activity, such as under appliances, in cupboards, or attics and crawl spaces. Unlike traps, you don’t need to bait these glue boards. Leave them in place for several days to a week, checking and changing them as soon as they catch a rat. 

Effectiveness:
4.0
Safety:
5.0
Ease of Use:
3.5
Pros:
  • No dangerous poisons or chemicals
  • No toxic odors
  • Safe for use around kids and pets
  • Will also catch and eliminate other rodents, insects, and pest species.
  • Affordable and easy to use
  • Works well outdoors
Cons:
  • Glue traps are a high-contact method. They require you to handle rats that may be trapped but not dead
  • Strong peanut butter scent
  • Unsightly
Best Bait
Kaput Mouse Blocks

Summary: If you use snap or live-catch traps, you must bait them. Kaput Mouse Blocks are an excellent option for this. 

Type: Rat bait

Disposal method: Hazardous waste disposal service 

Reusable: N/A

This granulated bait formula is designed to kill rats, mice, voles, and other rodents quickly and humanely. This bait contains .025% Warfarin, an anticoagulant popular in the pest control world for its efficacy. 

Warfarin-based baits are unique because they’re effective against rodents even at very low concentrations – meaning rats only have to consume a bit of this bait to ingest a lethal dose. 

The manufacturers added paraffin to the formula to make the granular bait more moisture-resistant and durable. These bait blocks are also rigid, which encourages rodents to gnaw on them. 

Our Experience: We found this brand of bait blocks easy to use and effective. Without a doubt, they’re the best bait for rat traps today. We like to use them in existing traps or to fill bait stations since they’re effective at eradicating large rodent populations. They don’t smell, and our tests showed they provide quick knockdown and easy handling. 

How to Use: Place 4-16 blocks in intervals of 15-30 feet to use this bait. Use the blocks in existing traps or bait boxes. Maintain the fresh bait supply for at least ten days.

Effectiveness:
5.0
Safety:
3.0
Ease of Use:
3.5
Pros:
  • No smell
  • Does not kill rodents on contact, so you won’t have to dispose of dead rodents
  • Works well with other trap options
  • Affordable
Cons:
  • Unsafe for use in households with kids or pets
  • Rats who consume this bait may die in hard-to-reach areas, like wall voids
  • May position non-target species
  • Requires careful handling and placement
Best Bait Station
Protecta EVO Express Bait Station

Summary: This bait station is roomy, easy to use, and made of durable plastic, which means it’s ideal for use indoors or outdoors. 

Type: Bait station 

Disposal method: Leftover bait should be disposed of via a hazardous waste disposal service

Reusable: Yes

A bait station should be large enough to contain rats and secure enough to keep the bait inside away from kids, pets, and non-target species. Fortunately, the Protecta EVO Express Bait Station meets all requirements. 

This bait station is tamper-resistant. It provides best-in-class security and durability and will help keep your baits where they belong. Each model is 10” x 12” x 12”.It’s durable and weather-resistant enough for use outside and streamlined enough for use alongside your home or foundation. 

Our Experience: We found that this bait station was large enough to attract rats and provide a roomy dining experience for them. We also liked that this station came with duckbill anchors, allowing you to attach it to a fence. We were also impressed by how secure this station keeps the bait inside: thanks to its ramped entries and baffles, it’s impossible for kids, pets, and other species to reach the bait.

How to Use: To use this bait station, fill it with the bait of your choice. The station contains four vertical bait positions large enough for eight 1-ounce blocks. Once you’ve filled the station, place it wherever you’ve noticed rodent activity. While you can secure this to a fence, we like to use it on the ground, in active rodent paths. 

Effectiveness:
4.5
Safety:
5.0
Ease of Use:
4.5
Pros:
  • Durable
  • Secure
  • Weather-resistant
  • Ideal for use indoors or outdoors
  • Keeps poison bait safe and out of reach from non-target species
Cons:
  • More expensive than other methods
  • May be challenging to set up
  • Can be confusing to re-bait
  • Rats may consume the bait and die in hard-to-reach areas, like wall voids
Best Budget Option
Victor Rat Traps M200

Summary: Powerful, durable, and affordable, these traditional snap-style traps are easy to use and set and lethal for rats. 

Type: Snap trap

Disposal method: Manual disposal of dead rat and trap

Reusable: No

If you’re looking for a quick, affordable way to eliminate large rat populations, look no further than these classic Victor Rat Traps.

Each trap measures 7” x 3.15” x .5” and features a wood base with a wire snap trap. Bulk packages contain 12 traps and are excellent for eradicating a rat infestation. Ideal for use in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings, these traps are durable, easy to use, and highly effective, delivering a strong snap and an immediate kill. 

Our Experience: We like these traditional wooden snap traps because they’re quick, easy to set up, and powerful enough to kill rats and mice instantly. We’ve found them particularly effective when placed perpendicular to the wall. These traps are suited for use both indoors and outdoors. 

How to Use: To set this trap, remove the included packaging staple from where it holds the locking bar against the trap’s wood base. Place sticky bait, like peanut butter, inside the curl at the end of the bait pedal, being sure to remove excess bait. Pull the bow back and hold it down with your thumb. With the other hand, slide the curved part of the locking bar beneath the V-shaped lip on the bait pedal. Once the trap is set, place it against a wall, with the bait pedal facing the wall. 

Effectiveness:
5.0
Safety:
3.5
Ease of Use:
3.5
Pros:
  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Easy to set and use
  • Available in bulk packages
Cons:
  • Requires you to dispose of traps containing dead rodents
  • Unsightly
  • Can be a danger to hands, kids, or pets

Buyers Guide

Looking for a rat trap that will meet your needs? Here are a few factors to consider as you shop around:

1. Consider the design of the trap

Your trap’s design will determine how you set, use, and dispose of it.

While wood snap traps are easy to set, use, and dispose of, they also expose you to the sight of dead rodents.

Electric box traps offer no-touch, no-see disposal features but are larger and more expensive than wood snap traps.

T-rex traps work much like traditional snap traps except that they’re reusable. Keep all of this in mind as you shop for rat traps.

2. Assess pet and child safety

If you have kids or pets, choose a control method that will be safe for use around them.

We recommend live-catch traps, bait boxes, or the Victor M241 Indoor Electronic Humane Rat and Mouse Trap.

These traps won’t expose kids or pets to injury or poisoning and are safer to use in busy households.

3. Choose a trap based on placement location

Have rats behind your appliances or under your cupboards? Low-profile traps like snap, t-rex, and glue traps may be your best option.

Are you looking to control rats outdoors? We recommend a bait station or live trap.

When you match the type of trap to the location of its intended use, you’ll see better, faster results.

4. Consider the construction of the trap

When you invest in a rat trap, you want something long-lasting and durable.

Plastic and metal are two of the best choices for outdoor traps, while single-use wood traps are sufficient for indoor use.

5. Decide on your preferred catch method

Here at The Pest Dude, we always advocate for humane eradication methods, but understand that when it comes to rodent control that might not be the best option for everyone.

Any trap you use should kill rats quickly and humanely and be approved for use under local wildlife regulations.

If you use live-catch traps, check them daily and release all trapped rodents promptly. Be sure to check your local trapping regulations for specific catch-and-release guidelines.

Bottom Line

Shopping for rat traps can be complicated and confusing. After all, there are so many varieties out there – it’s tough to tell what works and what doesn’t. Fortunately, we’ve personally tested each product on this list and can attest to their efficacy and quality.

By combining various rat control methods, like trapping, baiting, and habitat modification, you can eliminate your rodent infestation effectively and completely. If you still need help after using DIY methods, we’re here for you.

Contact us today to get in touch with a pest removal professional in your area or learn more about rodent control services that can help you eliminate rats once and for all.

Why Trust Pest Dude?

When you consider a product recommendation, trust is essential. You want balanced information based on real-world experience. Here at the Pest Dude, we’re committed to giving you both. Our teams research and test every product. We compare results with other licensed pest control professionals, and we double-check our findings.

Zachary Smith, our company founder, has over 25 years of field experience. He runs his own company, Smith’s Pest Management, serving home and business owners throughout the Bay Area. Zachary has the final say over featured products. The goal is to give you the knowledge you need to solve pest problems like a pro. It’s our pleasure to put our expertise at your service.

Rat Control FAQs

We recommend baiting rat traps with substances like peanut butter, chocolate, seeds, nuts, or pet food since rats tend to be very attracted to these foods.

That said, the idea that rats are ravenous, food-driven creatures is a misconception. Trying to catch rats with food and food alone often backfires.

Here’s why:

Rats are crafty, adaptable pests, and highly versatile eaters, which usually means they have more than enough food. Assuming they’re hungry and using that as the basis of your trapping strategy won’t be effective.

Instead, you’ve got to zero in on rat behavior. Rats are creatures of habit, and they hate new things in their environment. Trapping rats effectively requires the use of many well-placed traps.

If you’re not catching anything in the first few days after placing your traps, reposition them and add additional traps until you start to see results.

Yes. Rats are experts at evading and avoiding traps, especially if the traps are improperly placed. To avoid trap aversion, pest control professionals often season the traps with rat scent and focus on putting them carefully. Traps set in main rat runways have the highest chance of success. To make your trapping efforts as successful as possible, place multiple traps and check them often, moving and repositioning them as needed. To prevent trap avoidance, place your traps out, unset, without bait, for 1-2 weeks so rats can get used to the scent.

The best place to put a rat trap is directly along the “highways” rats travel daily. Because rats have relatively poor eyesight, they use scent trails to navigate their environments, they travel the same paths over and over. Because of this, we recommend placing several traps directly in these rat highways and securing traps on vertical surfaces where rats travel up and down.

Sanitation and exclusion are your first lines of defense against rats. Focus on cleaning up and removing all food sources and nesting supplies and using steel wool or wire mesh to patch all entry holes that may allow rats into your home. Rats can squeeze through holes just 2” in diameter (about the size of your thumb), so it’s essential to patch even small holes to keep them out.

Author Bio: Zachary Smith

Zachary Smith is the founder of PestDude.com. Zachary is a licensed pest control professional with 25+ years of hands on experience eradicating pests from homes and businesses. Zachary earned his Bachelor of Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2002. He specializes in rodent and insect infestation management of structures and landscapes. His passion is to share his extensive knowledge with the world.

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