How to Get Rid of Rat Pests: Rat Trapping Tips and Other Useful Information

When you stop and think about, when was the last time you spoke or heard a kind word about a rat? Rats have developed a rather unsavory reputation over many centuries, and it’s well deserved.

Like mice, rats can contaminate your food with their urine and feces. By some estimates, rats eat, spoil or destroy about one-fifth of the world’s total food output. Rats are also reported to bite more than 15,000 people every year, which can lead to diseases like bubonic plague, salmonella, leptospirosis, Hantavirus and tularemia. That’s why getting rid of rats should be Job #1 if you detect their filthy and disgusting presence inside your home. A few tips for trapping rats and using repellents such as Havahart® Critter Ridder® can help!

How to Deter Rats: Rat Repellent Tips

The best method of keeping rats out of your home is to do a thorough examination of all possible points of entry, including foundations, utility pipes and wires passing into the house. Any opening larger than a half-inch – or the size of a quarter – should be made impassible, as rats can squeeze their bodies through the tiniest of cracks.

You can also “just say no” to rats by keeping your home free of crumbs and other goodies. Place all foodstuffs in a sealed “rat proof” container and use tightly closed garbage containers. Just like people, rats get thirsty too, so eliminate potential water sources like leaky faucets.

If you have an area of your property prone to rat invasions, use a repellent. The best rat repellent is pepper-based and targets both their sense of smell and taste. You can also try breaking up toilet cakes that are used to sanitize household toilets and placing them in areas of rat infestation. Rats hate the smell, although their effectiveness wears off over time. Ultrasonic devices can also be used to deter rats from entering your home using sounds inaudible to humans and non-rodent animals.

Rat Trapping Tips for Proper Baiting

If rats have already invaded your home, use a rat trap to effectively and humanely capture and release rats. Rat trapping tips include baiting the trap with a tasty treat to make it more effective. The best bait for rats includes cheese, bread, birdseed and peanuts.

Rat Trapping Tips for Effective Trap Placement

Also keep in mind that rats are creatures of habit, and they travel the same routes over and over again. An important rat trapping tip to remember is that you’ll enjoy the best success by placing your traps along these rate “super highways” in your home, helping you to say “Adios!” to these vile vermin once and for all.

Image: the_bosshog

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  • Betty McCuiston Vandergriff

    I have put traps out, but they seem to eat the peanut butter, but the trap doesn;t release.
    I have been trying for a month to get rid of the rat or rats.

    • 9:38 am - June 21, 2012

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Hi Betty,

      Sorry to hear you’ve had some issues with your Havahart® live rat trap! In your case, it sounds like the rat was able to lightly grab the bait without touching the trigger. It’s important to place the bait in an area where they will be forced to engage the trigger in order to get the bait. One suggestion would be to place some bait on top of the trigger pan and some more under the trip plate.

      Also, you can place the bait just above the trip plate on the ceiling of the trap. You can even secure or fasten the bait to the mesh by using string or a garbage bag twist tie. This forces the animal to stand on the trigger plate in order to reach the bait. Specifically with one-door traps, it’s important that the bait isn’t placed in an area where the animal can reach it from the back of the trap by grabbing the bait from the outside.

      We hope these tips help you with your rat issue! Please let us know if we can offer more assistance!

      Thank you,

      Your Friends at Havahart®

      • 10:11 am - June 21, 2012

      • Reply
  • Cheri Raboin

    Please give me some information regarding trapping and releasing rats. I don’t know why we would release them; aren’t there too many of them? Don’t they harm every environment that they live in?

    I feel exhausted, I am so tired of thinking and dealing with this fear. I rented a house with rats. I am afraid of getting the property management company too involved. I don’t want poison that is harmful to pets etc. I don’t want to see rats stuck to glue traps.
    I just want them out!!!

    • 9:59 pm - March 18, 2013

    • Reply
    • Havahart®

      Hi Cheri,

      Sure thing! Relocating rats to a wooded area at least 1 mile away from any homes is a harmless way to remove them from your property and ensure they don’t wreak havoc on someone else’s. Rats will live comfortably in the outdoors, especially with spring coming. To ensure they survive, the best place to release them is at a permanent source of water such as a creek, river, lake or pond. Rats can make a home in most places as long as they have food, water and shelter. They will remain where they have these items as long as nothing causes them to move. Their territories only range to about 150 feet, so releasing them a mile away is a safe distance.

      We’d recommend our 2-Door X-Small Easy Set Trap: http://www.havahart.com/store/live-animal-traps/b1025 to trap and release rats. The trap should be placed where activity has been seen. We have a list of recommended baits on our website as well, but peanut butter tends to work best. Be sure to check the traps hourly as they may die if left in the traps too long. Once you catch the rat, you can keep it calm by using a towel or blanket over the trap while in transport.

      Best regards,

      Your Friends at Havahart®

      • 1:11 pm - March 19, 2013

      • Reply
  • Jimbo

    Do you want to know what is the most effective way of getting rid of rats: repelling, poisoning or electrocuting?

    • 9:43 am - August 25, 2016

    • Reply
  • Jimbo

    Do you want to know what is the most effective way of getting rid of rats: repelling, poisoning or electrocuting???

    • 9:45 am - August 25, 2016

    • Reply

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