How to Trap Roof Rats

In order to get rid of roof rats, you need to trap them. However, this is easier said than done.

It’s important to pick the right kind of trap, but it’s equally important to set up traps in the right areas. Before you begin placing the traps, ask yourself these questions:

  1. If you have roof rats inside your home, do you know how they are getting in? If so, have you sealed off that area, thus preventing more roof rats from getting in?
  2. Do you know where the “roof rat highways” are located in your home? Roof rats travel the same paths frequently, and mark these paths with urine, grease marks, and droppings.
  3. Is there anything in your yard that is attracting roof rats? Have you determined how you are providing roof rats with a food or water source?


Be Strategic

It is not effective to set traps around the home and yard willy nilly. It is also pointless to set traps when you have not determined why you have rats in the first place. The last thing you want is to continue to attract roof rats and keep setting traps endlessly. So, make sure you have stopped further roof rats from entering the home. Make sure you are not feeding roof rats in any way. And most of all, make sure that you set traps in areas that you know roof rats are likely to be.


Pick a Trap

Next, you need to select a trap. Classic snap traps and electronic zap traps are the most recommended because both dispatch quickly and humanely. Contrary to popular belief, neither of these traps need bait (cheese, peanut butter, etc.) in order to work. However, if you do decide to use a food bait, the smellier the better. Roof rats go nuts for smelly food. Remember that these type of traps will still work duct taped or zip tied to hard to reach places (such as pipelines and rafters).

Glue traps and live traps should only be used under certain circumstances, such as trying other traps first. Poison bait is never recommended, poison can harm more than just rats. Its dangerous for house pets and children as well. Plus it is a very painful death for the rat, who can die in any hard to reach place that is difficult to find. A rotting rat corpse is a very unpleasant surprise.