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How to Bait a Rat Trap

Updated February 21, 2017

Rats can be a real nuisance when you have them in your home. They can chew things, leave fecal droppings and leave gnaw marks on wood, cabinets or furniture. One of the best ways to handle such a problem is to trap the rat. There are several kinds of traps for rats. Two kinds of traps are the snap trap and the cage trap. One will kill the rat immediately; the other one lets it live. The idea of a cage trap is to be humane in trapping the rat so you can set it free somewhere else. In order to trap a rat, you must be able to lure the rodent with bait.

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  1. Place the trap in a place where you see the rat most often. They tend to have a particular route they take and leave evidence with trails of fecal matter and chewed items. Put the trap where you notice the most activity.

  2. Determine what kind of bait you want to use. Peanut butter can be a good choice because it is sticky and will remain fresh for several days. You can try something hard such as an apple or nuts, but it can become old within a day and may not be as enticing to the rat. You can also try using a string wrapped around the trigger of the trap with a few drops of vanilla extract on it. The smell may bring the rat toward the trap and the string is something they may see as something to chew on.

  3. Position the bait in the trap. For cage traps, you will want to use a strong-smelling food on the trigger to encourage the rat to actually walk into the cage. Peanut butter will be the best choice for this type of trap. For snap traps, you can use a harder type of food, but you will need to use a small string to tie it on so it stays in position on the trap. If you choose to use peanut butter, you won't need the string.

  4. Test the trap. You don't have to set the trigger just yet. Place bait out for the rat to eat to make sure it will take the food. If it becomes more familiar with the trap sitting out it will increase your chances of trapping the rat.

  5. Set the trap. Once you tested the trap to make sure the rat will eat the food, you can set it to trap the rat. Pull the trigger back and set the bait where it needs to go so it will snap when the food is removed.

  6. Tip

    Once the rat takes the bait, set the trap. Try different types of baits if the rat doesn't take the food within the first two days. For several rats in one place, you may need to put out several traps. Using snap traps in this case would be better and more feasible because cage traps are larger, take up more space and will catch fewer rats. You can lay out snap traps about 10 feet apart, depending on how big the place is.

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Things You'll Need

  • Rat trap
  • Bait

About the Author

Laura Hageman has written varied articles on real estate to entertainment topics for the past three years. Hageman wrote a romantic comedy novel entitled Her Desire listed on ebookmall.com. She has written for Web sites such as CurrentForeclosures and Triond over the course of 7 years. Hageman holds a Bachelor's degree in Arts.

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