Rats are infamous for being some of the hardest to eliminate pests in the entire world. A rat infestation can be very serious, and you will want to react as soon as you see the first sign of their presence as they are known to carry numerous diseases and parasites that can be passed on to humans. One method for getting rid of rats is to set traps to catch and/or kill the rodent, or you can always call professional exterminators to handle the infestation for you.
If you decide not to kill the rat once you catch it, you should opt to use a live trap. Live traps often take the form of steel cages, and they are able to trap the rats without harming them in any way. These cage traps usually work through enticing the rat with bait that is positioned over a pressure sensitive pad. Once the rat steps on the pad, the trap door will swing shut, trapping the rat in the cage. When you want to use a live trap, you have to be sure that you use one that is small enough so that the rat is not able to escape. The general rule is that if a rat is able to fit its head in between the bars, it may squeeze its entire body through the bars. There are some rats that may fit within a space as narrow as 1/2 inch or 1.278 centimeters wide.
One reason why a cage trap is a good option for catching rats is that it will not hurt the rats and it is recognized as being among the most humane options by many animal rights groups. The problem is that it is labor intensive and the trap has to be checked on a regular basis and emptied whenever a rat is caught. It is not a guarantee that the rats you take away will not come back in the future.
Also, there is a chance that the rat you catch will die anyway when you take it to a new location. They could face new predators and competition for food sources. Be sure that you get advice from professionals on the best way to go about catching and releasing rats. If you are worried about preserving the life of the rat, a cage trap is probably going to be your best option.
Go back to the How to Get Rid of Rats page or email us if you have any other questions about Are cage traps a good option for rats?
We are the Pest Education Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on wildlife and pest removal education. Our approach utilizes Integrated Pest Management, a strategy advocating prevention and humane methods.