How to Catch a Rat

Updated April 17, 2017

Having a rat loose in a home or office can be frightening, but there are several ways to catch it. You can catch a rat in a way that will kill it instantly, or you can trap it so it can be released later.

Find the areas where the rat is likely to have been. Look for rat droppings and items that have been chewed on. Look behind boxes and under furniture for signs of the rat.

Catch a rat in a snap trap if you are not looking for a way to catch the rat alive. A snapping rat trap is designed to break the rat's neck as soon as the bar is snapped. This is the same mechanism as a standard mouse trap, but is made in a larger size for rats. If you want to use a snap trap, be sure to use one that is made for rats rather than mice. A rat caught in a mouse trap will probably be injured rather than killed and could become frightened and dangerous.

Set a rat snap trap with a small amount of peanut butter, meat or candy to attract the rat. The trap should be set where the rat is known to have been. Be sure to keep the trap behind larger items and away from places where humans will be. A rat trap can injure anyone who steps on it.

Use glue traps. This is one option if you don't want to kill the rat. Keep in mind that a glue trap can result in a frightened, angry rat that will attempt to bite whoever takes the glue trap outdoors. Glue traps are often placed inside a box for that reason. Once the rat has been caught in the glue, the entire box can be taken outdoors so that no one comes in contact with the rat.

Get a live trap if you prefer to catch the rat live and unharmed. These traps are large boxes that feature an inner chamber that traps the rat alive. The rat is unable to escape from the trap and must be released by a human. Set these traps up inside with food bait next to a wall.

Use several traps, all near walls. Rats generally travel as close to walls as they can. Place enough rat traps to catch the rat as quickly as possible. With more traps, it's more likely that the rat will smell one of them and become trapped.

Things You'll Need

  • Rat trap
  • Glue trap
  • Live rat trap
  • Bait (peanut butter, meat, cheese, etc.)
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