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Rat Trap: Here’s What You Must Know!

Rat traps are a widely used tool for combating rat infestations. Because rats are feared and at the same time widespread pests.

They can cause significant damage, from structural damage to buildings to food contamination. In addition, they can transmit diseases that are dangerous for both humans and pets. Therefore, it is crucial to select the right rat trap and use it correctly to ensure effective pest control.

In this post you will learn everything you need to know about different types of rat traps, their application and the differences to other methods such as rat poison or rat repellent by ultrasound. We go into their pros and cons and introduce you to IREPELL ® as a clean alternative to rat traps.

Types of rat traps

There are different types of rat traps, which can be roughly divided into live traps and dead traps.

Here are the most common types of rat traps used for rat control. We would also like to point out the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of cases.

Strike Trap

A blow trap is one of the classic and most effective methods of combating rats. It resembles a classic mousetrap, but is larger, stronger and thus more powerful, as rats are much more massive than mice.

It consists of a wooden or plastic board with a spring-loaded metal stirrup that beats the rat quickly and fatally when it touches the bait.
If you have experience with rats, the effectiveness of the trap will be very low.


  • High striking power for killing on the spot
  • Easy to use and cost-effective
  • Leaves no toxic residue and poses no environmental risk


  • Must be checked regularly and reloaded with attractant
  • Not always humane method of killing, as the rat may be injured but not killed immediately
  • Rats are smart: If they have seen a conspecific in a trap, they are quickly avoided.

Live Trap

Live traps catch rats without killing them, so they can be released later. These traps usually consist of a cage with a disposable flap that closes when the rat touches the bait.

This method sounds good. But those who have already tried their luck in this way know how rarely they succeed.


  • Humane method for controlling rats
  • Safe for use in households with children and pets


  • Requires regular inspection and species-appropriate disposal of the captured rat far away from the trapping site to avoid return
  • May be less effective if the rats are not released quickly enough – the captured rat informs their conspecifics.
  • Rats are very intelligent and often recognize live traps at an early stage. They inform their conspecifics and avoid the live trap.

Electric Rat Trap

Electric rat traps kill rats by electrocution as soon as they enter the trap. These traps are reusable and require batteries or a power connection.


  • Fast Kill Method
  • Reusable and easy to clean
  • Safe for humans and pets, as the trap is only activated when in contact with the rat


  • Higher acquisition costs compared to impact and live traps
  • Requires regular inspection and maintenance
  • If a rat has been killed and other rats have spotted the carcass in the trap, the trap will be avoided by this pack of rats in the future

Application and placement of rat traps

If you are trying rat traps, the correct placement and application of rat traps is crucial for their effectiveness – as is the attractant. A misplaced trap or improperly used bait box significantly reduces the chances of catching..

It should be mentioned at this point that catching rats with traps requires a lot of experience! Therefore, it is important to know the habits and walking routes of the rats in order to set the traps effectively.

In the following section, you will therefore find tips and instructions on how to properly place and apply rat traps both indoors and outdoors.

Place rat trap indoors


  • Identifying walkways and nests
        • Observe the frequently frequented walking paths of the rats in your house. These walkways often run along walls, behind furniture, and near food sources.
        • Look for signs of rat activity such as rat faeces, traces of gnawing, or scuff marks (tail). These hints will help you identify the preferred paths of the rats.
        • Rat nests are often found in hidden areas such as attics, basements, and behind walls. These places are ideal places for setting up traps.

  • Placement of rat traps
        • Place the rat trap along the identified walkways, preferably on walls or in corners, as rats tend to run along edges.
        • Use multiple traps to increase the chances of catching, especially in areas with high rat activity.
        • Be sure to place the traps securely so that they are not accessible to children and pets.

  • Lure and attractant for your rat trap
      • Use attractive bait such as peanut butter, bacon or special rat bait. The bait should be securely attached to the trap to prevent the rat from removing it without triggering the trap.
      • Change the bait regularly to keep it attractive and prevent it from spoiling.

    Place rat trap outdoors

  • Identifying access and hiding places
        • Look for rat holes, food traces and gnawing marks in the garden, near compost piles, garbage cans and sheds. These sites are common resting places for rats.
        • Watch out for walking paths along fences, walls, and other structures that rats use as protection.
        • Trap placement

        • Place the traps along the identified walkways and near food and water sources.
        • Protect the traps from the elements and other animals by placing them in bait boxes or under covers. This increases the safety and effectiveness of the traps.

  • Safety and maintenance
      • Check the traps regularly to quickly remove trapped rats and make the traps ready for use again.
      • Ensure that the traps are working safely and properly by checking them regularly and servicing or replacing if necessary.

    Conclusion: As you can see, working with rat traps requires a lot of sensitivity and expertise, which is why professional pest controllers prefer to work with rat traps. In order to prove his success, he ideally needs dead or captured animals as evidence for his client.

    If you are not very familiar with rats, if you feel disgust at the sight of the animals or their carcasses, there are much simpler methods of combating rats than the rat trap.

    Rat traps vs. rat venom – and why alternatives are needed

    Various methods are available to you when it comes to combating rats, with rat traps and rat venom unfortunately still among the most commonly used options. Which method you should choose depends on various factors, such as the environment, the safety of children and pets, and the desired humanity of the control measure.

    H3: Disadvantages and risks of rat poison

  • Danger to people and pets
        • Rat poison can be accidentally ingested by children or pets, which can lead to severe poisoning or even death.
        • Other wildlife entering the garden may also be affected.

  • Secondary poisoning
        • Rats that have consumed rat venom often die slowly and can be eaten by other animals. This leads to secondary poisoning in animals such as cats, dogs or birds of prey.

  • Environmental impact
        • Chemical toxins can pollute the environment, especially when used near water sources or in the soil.

  • Slow action
      • Rat poison deliberately acts slowly, which means that rats only die after several days. The reason for this is that the clever animals should not see any connection between a bait and a dead carcass. However, this also makes it difficult to find and remove the dead animals, which leads to hygienic problems. For many areas, the use of rat poison is therefore out of the question.

    H3: Disadvantages and risks of rat traps

  • Humanity and stress for the animals
        • Impact traps can be painful and excruciating for rats. This raises ethical concerns.
        • Live traps also expose the trapped rats to stress and require the rats to be released in a species-appropriate manner, which often does not happen.

  • Security Risks
        • Impact traps can also be dangerous for humans and pets if they are accidentally triggered. They must therefore be placed in safe places.

  • Maintenance and control
        • Rat traps must be checked and maintained regularly. Trapped or dead rats must be removed quickly to avoid hygienic problems.
        • Rat traps must be repositioned and the bait replaced on a regular basis, which entails additional effort.

  • Limited efficacy in case of heavy infestation
        • In the case of a massive rat infestation, traps can quickly no longer suffice. They tend to be better suited to smaller populations, while rat venom can be more efficient in larger areas and at high infestation pressure.

  • Generally limited efficacy of rat traps
      • Rat traps are still traded as the gold standard and fill the shelves in hardware stores. Often, however, the traps remain unsuccessful because the rats are too intelligent and they do not take any risks for a small bite if there is otherwise a plentiful supply of food.

    H2 Ultrasound – effective alternative to the rat trap

    Combating rat infestation in a humane and environmentally friendly way is easier than ever thanks to modern technologies such as ultrasound.

    Ultrasonic devices use high-frequency sound waves that are imperceptible to the human ear to effectively expel rats from living areas, storage rooms, and gardens. These devices emit sound waves that are extremely uncomfortable for the sensitive ears of rats.

    The use of ultrasound to repel rats is not only free of chemicals and toxins, but also particularly safe for pets and children, as it leaves no toxic residues. 

    Fight H2 rats with IREPELL®

    IREPELL® offers an innovative solution to prevent or combat rat infestation. This is because the device uses a combination of motion sensors and ultrasound to create a 360° protection zone against the pests, on a scientific basis.

    In addition, the device uses temperature and humidity sensors, with which it detects the conditions individually for each defense. Thanks to AI, these experiences are evaluated in order to continuously improve the defense strategy. Strobe light is also on board, which is switched on for even more effective defence in some animals.

    This applies to rats, but also to a variety of other animals that can be distributed with IREPELL ®. These include ticks, ants, mosquitoes, moths and cockroaches as well as martens, mice or raccoons, which – depending on the selected defense mode – are driven away. 

    The operation is very simple: a push of a button on the device is enough to activate the protection zone against the animal species, which you can set via the user-friendly app.

    IREPELL® can be operated both in mains operation and via the powerful battery, so that the device also ensures a pest-free time on the move – without chemicals, violence or noise.


    H2: FAQs

    What is the best indoor rat trap?

    The best indoor rat trap is often the blow trap. It is effective, fast and provides a humane solution through instant killing. However, we reject this for ethical reasons.

    How do I place a hitting trap correctly?

    Place the impact trap along walls, walkways, and in corners where rats are active. Be sure to populate the trap with an attractive bait such as peanut butter and check it regularly. Note that the animal will be killed, which we categorically reject.

    Are live traps effective for rat control?

    Yes, live traps are effective and offer a humane alternative. They catch rats alive so that they can be released later. They are particularly suitable in areas where hitting traps are not desired.

    Which baits work best in rat traps?

    Peanut butter, bacon, nuts and dried fruits are very effective as bait. Be sure to secure the bait securely to increase the likelihood of the rat triggering the trap.

    How do I dispose of a trapped rat humanely and safely?

    For live traps: release the rat at least 500 meters from your home in the great outdoors. In case of impact traps: wear gloves and dispose of the dead rat in a sealed plastic bag and in accordance with local regulations.

    How does a rat trap differ from a mousetrap?

    Rat traps are larger and more robust than mouse traps, as rats are stronger and larger. The impact force and mechanisms are more powerful in rat traps to effectively kill the larger rodents.

    What safety precautions should I take when using rat traps?

    Make sure the traps are placed out of reach of children and pets. Wear gloves when setting up and disposing of the traps to avoid direct contact and to ensure hygiene.

    How long does it usually take for a rat trap to catch a rat?

    This can vary, but if the trap is properly placed and equipped with an attractive bait, a catch can occur within a few hours to days. Regular checks of the traps are important to quickly remove the killed rats.

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