Pests are a common problem for homeowners in the US. Statistics show that all American homeowners are going to suffer from pests at least once in their lives, and the most common pests are rats. Rats are generally nocturnal animals that seek shelter in homes to nest and reproduce.
And if a rat has found a way into your home, you’re likely looking for ways to get rid of them. Rat traps are one solution for pest control. These devices are typically used to catch or kill rats.
There are several types of rat or mouse traps, such as toxic and nontoxic. As you can imagine, the variety of traps come with different levels of effectiveness.
In this article, we will cover all you need to know about rat traps, the best methods to get rid of pests, and the best mouse traps to use.
What You Need To Know About Rat Traps
When it comes to pests, rats are the most frequent pest infestation in the US. About 30 percent of Americans have suffered at least one rat infestation in their home. Since rats are a public health problem most people are eager to get rid of them quickly.
However, in order to eliminate and eradicate a rat infestation, there is generally not just one tried and true method. You’re going to want to research the various methods and choose the best rat or mouse trap option for your situation.
Mouse traps or rat traps are devices or tools used to catch and kill rats. It can be a simple device or a specialized version of rat traps made with chemicals, lights, or any other effective methods to catch and eliminate rats.
Beginnings of Mouse Traps
Even though there’s not much documentation about the earliest type of rat trap, the first record we have about the elimination of rats dates back to ancient Greek Batrachomyomachia.
The piece dates back to the sixth and fourth century BCE. A wooden trap described in the document serves as a “destroyer of mice.”
Mouse traps are used in writings from the 17th century as an allusion or an example. Shakespeare’s Hamlet employs the phrase, to explain the concept of a play inside a play.
The Three Musketeers uses the word “mousetrap” in a chapter title from the 19th century, but it isn’t until 1894 that we get a technical description of a functioning mouse trap.
Over the years, the rat trap hasn’t changed all that much. Today, rodent traps that you find at your local hardware store are based on a design that has been around for hundreds of years.
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Types of Rat Traps
There are several types of rat traps, the most common are snap, glue, live animal, and electronic traps. Often, the terms mouse traps and rat traps are used interchangeably, but you may find some small differences depending on what you purchase.
One of the most efficient and common methods for catching rats is the use of glue traps. A rodent glue trap is simply a really sticky glue that is applied to one side of a flat plastic board to create a glue trap.
You set the board in a rat-infested location or area where you have seen rats. When the rat crosses the trap it becomes immobilized as it gets trapped in the adhesive. As it attempts to free itself it is likely to become more stuck.
Since some perceive these kinds of traps as cruel, they are generally not recommended. Since the animal is unable to free itself it slowly dies from malnutrition or dehydration. Additionally, glue traps gather dirt, dust, and sometimes insects, which will eventually make them useless.
Glue traps are also potentially harmful to pets and other animals in which you do not intend to trap.
This is the standard rat trap, which is made up of a small piece of wood and a thick metal wire. In order to set the trap you need to set the wire by using a spring- loaded mechanism.
Bait is used to attract the pest and when the rat, mouse, or other rodent accepts the bait, the catch is released, causing the metal component to slam shut. This trap is designed to instantly kill whatever is trapped.
These traps are inexpensive and practical, but they are not always safe to use. In households with young children, snap traps should not be used since, depending on the size of the trap, they might injure or even break fingers.
Safer plastic snap traps are available and are designed not to instantly kill but suffocate the animal. This kind of trap employs a device that resembles a snake’s open mouth. The plastic jaws clamp shut when a rat enters them and consumes the bait, putting pressure on it and causing it to suffocate.
This kind of trap is safer to set than regular wire mousetrap as it poses less risk to injure fingers or toes. Although these traps are reusable, they are generally more expensive than regular snap traps.
An electric shock delivered at a high voltage is used in this lethal rat trap. The baited region along the back wall of this tunnel-shaped trap draws the rat inside. A metal plate on the interior floor discharges a shock of 7,000 volts as soon as it detects pressure, instantaneously killing the rat.
The trap utilizes four C batteries, which is roughly equivalent to the amount of power found in many battery-operated kids’ toys. Since the shock is not very strong, children or larger pets like dogs and cats won’t be harmed, but caution should still be used when setting an electronic trap.
The most compassionate way to deal with your rat problem is to use a nonlethal kind of trap. A live-animal trap is a little cage baited with a pressure-sensitive trip plate. Once the rat enters a cage the pressure-sensitive plate is tripped. This spring mechanism causes the cage door to close, trapping the rat.
The next step is to transfer the animal, usually by driving it to a location far enough away from its original location that it won’t return. The size and cost of live animal traps can vary, but are typically more expensive than other kinds of traps.
Another downside is that you might unintentionally trap other small creatures such as an outdoor pet.
What are the Best Mouse Traps?
Today, it’s important to understand rodent control if you want to keep rats and mice out of your house. One of the most efficient ways to get rid of rats is using mouse traps, but there are a few important considerations to make before putting bait or rat traps inside your house.
When a rat infestation has not yet happened, rat traps can be useful. A mouse trap can catch one or two rats but it can be a slow process depending on the success of the bait and the location of the trap.
According to Stephen M. Vantassel, Extension Project Coordinator of Wildlife Damage at the University of Nebraska, rat traps are recommended for highly sensitive environments. Such as homes, hospitals, and schools. This is because generally the rat population is low.
On the other hand, Vantassel suggests that it might be best to leave the setting of rat traps to experts. He says “It takes more effort and skill than most other approaches, despite being effective.”
Rat traps work on the idea of being able to lure the creature into the trap. Any kind of bait could be used, but there is no tried and true bait that works for all occasions.
Sometimes, home owners will choose to add rat poison, but typically non-toxic ingredients like peanut butter are effective. A combination of hazardous and non-toxic bait can be more effective when handled carefully.
However, keep in mind that in the initial few days, rats might not respond to any kind of bait. They may be wary of something new introduced into their environment and avoid it at all costs. Rats are naturally neophobic, which means they often avoid anything new that they face in their environment.
Rats can often wait two weeks or more before reacting with poisons or traps. And even when mouse traps are an efficient way to reduce the number of rats in your home, a multi-step process is necessary to guarantee that the rat population has been totally eradicated.
Here we have created a list of some of the best mouse traps, lethal and non-lethal, you can buy at your local store or online. As with most things, please follow product instructions and precautions carefully.
Gingbau Humane Rat Trap
With this trap from Gingbau, you can capture live rats and mice and humanely release them. This type of mouse trap is perfect for outdoor use thanks to its strong galvanized steel structure.
Setup is simple. The trap, which measures 10.5 inches deep by 5.6 inches broad and 4.4 inches high, is ideal for catching tiny animals like mice and rats while ensuring you won’t accidentally catch larger animals like the neighbor’s cat.
This rat trap consists of a cage, which has a pressure-sensitive pedal underneath a baited hook at the back of the cage. The arm bar is triggered when the rodent steps on the pedal; this forces the door to close and lock, trapping it.
Catchmaster Heavy Duty Rat Trap Glue Trays
These Catchmaster trays come with non-toxic, kid- and pet-safe glue-style traps. Rats and mice walk over them and are captured by a strong glue, allowing you to get rid of them afterward.
Each set contains six glue boards that can reduce your mouse population for up to a year. This is an economical option.
The Catchmaster glue traps can fold into a tunnel shape to fit into confined spaces and prevent dirt and dust from gathering in the glue. Each rat trap has a 10-inch length and a 5-inch width.
The Catchmaster glue trays are simple to use and even come with heavy-duty putty floor anchors to stop rodents from moving the tray and escaping.
Tomcat Rat Snap Trap
This snap trap from rat-catching expert Tomcat has a simple, secure indoor/outdoor trap that can catch rats.
The dimensions of this Tomcat snap trap—4.25 inches wide by 6 inches long by 2 inches high—allow it to capture larger rodents. This trap makes use of a novel snap design that resembles open jaws. Once the rat consumes bait from the pressure plate, a strong spring causes the jaws to slam close, suffocating the rat.
The Tomcat Rat Snap Trap may be set safely by hand or foot, unlike conventional traps, without putting your fingers in danger. The trap is simpler to clean than conventional wooden models because it is made of plastic and rust-resistant metal.
RUGGED RANCH RATTR The Ratinator
Standard rat traps that can only catch one rodent at a time are generally useless in rat infestations. A larger trap like the Ratinator might be more effective for multiple pests. This cage-style trap is large enough to catch up to 21 rats in a single setting and is 16.5 inches wide, 26.5 inches long, and 6 inches high.
As an alternative, the Ratinator includes an airtight plastic container that perfectly fits the entire cage for people who are less sympathetic to the fate of rats. Without prisoners, the Ratinator weighs slightly under 9 pounds.
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What to Consider When Choosing the Best Mouse Trap
It’s important to think about a few things before buying the best rat trap for you. Keep reading to learn the basics every person should keep in mind before buying a mouse trap.
Indoor or Outdoor Traps
Some glue traps are exclusively intended for use inside or outside. Because they are made of wood, traditional snap traps perform poorly outside. The wood may crack, destroying the trigger sensitivity of the trap.
Glue traps are only appropriate for indoor use because of their propensity to gather dirt and debris. Weather is a factor with electronic traps as they could malfunction or short out if exposed to rain.
Galvanized steel is frequently used in cage trap construction, making them ideal for outdoor use. Just keep in mind that using outdoor traps may unintentionally disturb local wildlife and pets.
How Many Traps Do You Need?
It might be a hard process to get rid of the rat or mouse population in your home. Despite the fact that many of these traps have been around for years, they occasionally fail.
Most experts agree that three mouse traps are recommended for each rodent you have. For example, if there are five mice living in your home, you will need to set out at least 15 traps to get rid of the infestation.
Easy To Use
Some mouse traps are simpler to use and set up than others. To set the traditional snap trap correctly and make sure you don’t snap yourself, it takes some skill.
While glue traps only need you to remove a protective cover for use, plastic snap traps and electric traps have designs that make them considerably simpler to install.
When it comes to rat traps, safety is definitely an issue. The traditional snap-style traps are harmful. While larger ones might destroy bones, smaller ones can cruelly snap fingers.
To exterminate rats, some people use toxic bait, which is dangerous to people and animals. Safer substitutes include glue traps, electric shock traps, and nontoxic bait. When choosing a mouse trap, safety is particularly crucial if you have kids or pets in the house.