How to Attract a Rat

Updated February 21, 2017

Rats are large rodents that live in urban, rural and suburban areas. They are drawn to human dwellings, where they contaminate food, gnaw at wood and wiring and carry parasites that spread disease. Trapping rats is safer for other animals and young children than using poison bait, and a trapped rat may be released in the woods, far away from the house. For a rat trap to be effective, it needs to be attractive to the rat.

Locate the areas where the rats travel. Look for gnaw marks, droppings, urine stains and rat tracks in the dust.

Create bait for the rats by smearing saltine crackers heavily with peanut butter.

Place the traps in the areas that you identified as having rodent travel, but do not set them.

Place the bait in the traps, setting it as far back in the trap as possible. Live traps rely on the rat being all the way in the trap before the trap is sprang. If you are using a snap trap, cover a small wad of gauze with peanut butter and set it on a snap trap, tying the gauze to the trigger with thread. When rats bite the gauze, their teeth get tangled in it, making it harder for them to escape the snap.

Observe the unset traps over the course of one to two weeks. If you do not notice the bait being taken, move the traps to another location.

Set the traps with the peanut butter cracker baits.


Dried fruit, soft candy and nuts are all good choices for attracting rats Get the right size trap made for rats.

Things You'll Need

  • Trap
  • Peanut butter
  • Crackers
  • Gauze
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