One of the best ways to solve your home’s rat problem is through the use of baits and traps. But did you know that not all baits are effective? You can’t just put random food items in your traps and expect them to lure in rats.
So, what are the best baits you can use for rat traps? It depends on the kind of rat you have at home.
Different rats and their diets
Different rats have different kinds of diets. For your baiting and trapping to be effective, you have to know what kind of rat you have at home, so you can choose the best baits for that kind of rat.
To avoid being overly technical, let’s just say there are 2 general kinds of rats – the brown rat and the black rat.
- Brown rats. Not surprisingly, these rats have brown to grayish brown fur. They can grow up to 16 inches and usually have tails shorter than the length of their bodies. Brown rats are not picky eaters, but they are attracted to sweet, fatty, and protein-rich foods.
- Black rats. Black rats have black to deep gray fur. They are a little bit smaller than brown rats, as they can grow up to 12 inches only. Their tails are usually longer than the length of their bodies. Black rats can be picky eaters, and they prefer foods that can be found in the wild.
Best baits for brown rats
If you are suffering from a brown rat infestation at home, you can try the following baits for your rat traps.
1. Peanut butter
We have come to believe that cheese is the best bait for rat traps, thanks to the media. But peanut butter is actually the best choice, especially for brown rats.
Peanut butter has a strong and attractive smell. It’s also very tasty and packed with nutrients. And best of all, it’s very sticky, so rats won’t be able to get it off the traps easily. The only downside of peanut butter as a bait is that you have to replace it about once a week, or else it will mold and smell bad.
Chocolate is very similar to peanut butter in many aspects. Chocolate has a bold smell. It is a sweet and high energy food. And it’s also very sticky. This makes chocolate a great alternative to peanut butter.
Like peanut butter, you will have to change the chocolate in your rat traps about once a week.
Meats are also some of the best baits for rat traps, especially when they are cooked. Cooked meat just has a stronger and more appetizing smell than raw meat, not just for us humans, but also for the pests that live in our homes.
For cooked meat, there is no better choice than smoked bacon. But you do have to change the bacon in your trap every few days.
4. Hot dog or sausage slices
if you don’t want to degrade your precious bacon to a rat trap bait, you can also go for hot dogs or sausages. It’s up to you whether to go with raw or cooked hot dogs or sausages. But as said earlier, cooked meats have stronger and more appetizing smells.
Cut the hot dogs or sausages into thin slices and place them on the rat trap. Like bacon baits, you will have to change the slices in your trap every few days as they go bad.
Best baits for black rats
If you are suffering from a black rat infestation at home, you can try the following baits for your rat traps.
1. Berries or dried fruit
Black rat baits are a little more forgiving than brown rat baits. You don’t have to replace them every few days or weeks.
One of the best baits for black rats is dried fruit. Fruits are a natural part of their diets. Because they are dried, they are preserved and therefore won’t need to be replaced immediately. You can also try berries. These fruits are attractive to rats in particular because of their sweet smell.
Nuts are great for black rats too. It’s best to crush the nuts and sprinkle chunks of them all over the rat traps. The problem with whole nuts is that they have the tendency to roll off the traps because of their size and shape.
The last thing you want to give to rats is a free meal, so crush the nuts and trap those pests.
Like fruits and nuts, seeds are a part of the black rat’s diet. It’s not surprising that they are effective baits against this kind of rat. But seeds face a similar problem to nuts. They can easily roll off because of their size and shape.
It’s best to sprinkle the seeds around the trap first to lure the rats. Put the majority of the seeds inside the trap.
4. Slugs or snails
Black rats are tree climbers and have a tendency to be vegetarians. Fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables are their favorites. But it’s not unusual for black rats to eat small invertebrates too, such as slugs or snails.
Putting slugs or snails in rat traps can be a little barbaric to some, but it can be effective.
Quick tips for effective rat trapping
- If you don’t know what kind of rat you have at home, use peanut butter or dried fruit. There are times where we don’t even know the kind of rat infesting our homes. In such cases, peanut butter or dried fruit can work. The 2 general kinds of rats find these baits attractive.
- Use gloves whenever you are handling baits and traps. Rats have a strong sense of smell. They may even be able to smell you from the baits and traps. Make sure to hide your tracks by handling the baits and traps with gloves.
- Use multiple traps at once. You can’t expect fast results if you only have a handful of traps scattered around your home. As a general rule, you should have 3 traps for every rat. Place them on areas with the most signs of rat activity.
When trying to bait rats into rat traps, you don’t just use random baits. You have to understand the diet of the rats in your home.
Rats can be very hard to trap because they are smart and cautious creatures, but with the right baits and proper trapping techniques, they become more manageable.