Rat traps are often surrounded by a lot of controversy as a lot of types and designs of rat traps are very inhumane. Electric rat traps are on the better end of that scale as they are largely lauded as quick-killing and humane devices that don’t torture the rodents and kill them cleanly and without much pain. As far as the convenience is concerned, electric rat zappers are generally very easy to use as all you need to do to set them up is plug them in a power outlet or insert their batteries, load a piece of bait in them, and set them up wherever you want.
Emptying them is also very easy as it often doesn’t require to even touch or even see the dead animal. The cleaning of the traps is still necessary, of course, but that’s inescapable. As far as the difference in quality is concerned, electric rat traps have a large amplitude of quality between the high quality and poor quality traps. Subpar rat zappers are often ineffective as they give the rodents time to escape which completely ruins their purpose.
Alternatively, medium-quality rat zappers might kill their rodents more often than not, but they do have the significant drawback of often taking too long to successfully down rats. And since 2 – 3 minutes of continuous high-voltage zapping to death can hardly be called “humane”, some might argue that this defeats the purpose of supposedly “humane” rat traps.
For those reasons, it is highly advisable to only go for high-quality electric rat traps as they offer guilt-free and inescapable rat kills.
To help you find those high-quality rat zappers we’ve prepared a list of the several best electric rat traps on the market right now, followed by a quick guide on how to find them, buy them, and use them properly.
Victor Electronic Rat Trap
We are starting things off with this Victor Electronic Rat Trap. A state of the art device, you don’t need to read too many Victor electronic rat trap reviews to see how this item is different from most others on the market. With dimensions of 11” length and 4” width, the trap is large enough to catch anything from the smallest mouse to the biggest rat. This is one of the best electronic rat trap options on the market for a lot of reasons. For one, it comes with an app that not only alerts you of the status of the rat traps but also remembers their history and kills count, as well as their battery life. This electric rat trap works by delivering a humane high-voltage shock to the animal once it’s been captured. The shock is designed to kill the rodent almost instantly (depending on its size), which is the most humane possible option.
What’s more, because rats are known to survive electrical shocks and restart their hearts after a minute or two, the trap delivers its initial shock for not just several seconds but for two straight minutes. This ensures the kill and that the rat won’t just get up a minute later. The trap uses 4 “C” batteries that aren’t included with the machine. One set of batteries is enough for around 50 successful rat kills.
The app controls all traps you control simultaneously, allowing you to name them and easily recognize them on the app. The traps themselves also have a convenient built-in bait cup. The cup is accessible through the back door. Use high protein bait such as peanut butter for maximum results. The trap actives itself the moment a rat steps on the electronic plate in front of the bait cup. This guarantees a kill and leaves the rodent no chance to escape before the electric zap has finished it off. The “kill chamber” is also removable from the trap allowing you to cleanly and easily dispose of the rat’s corpse without even to look at it once.
- The flexible app allows you to follow multiple rat traps, as well as keep track of their kill scores and battery life
- The rat trap’s dimensions of 11” x 4” are large enough to allow for even the largest rats to be caught and killed
- The electric shock lasts for up to two minutes, ensuring that the rat’s heart won’t start beating again after a minute or two. It still kills the rodent quickly and humanely, it just keeps zapping to ensure the kill
- The Victor electric shock rat trap uses 4 “C” batteries that can last for 50 kills per set of batteries
- The removable kill chamber allows you to easily dispose of the dead rat but is annoying to clean. And it needs to be properly cleaned after each kills not just for cleanliness’s sake but also so that it doesn’t repel future rats
Abco Tech Electronic Humane Rat Zapper
This Abco Tech battery operated rat trap utilizes 7000v of power for quick, humane and clean kills. It uses an innovative wireless circuit sensor that detects when the rodent has entered the trap and eliminates it instantly with no possibility for escape. The trap works equally well with mice, rats, squirrels, and chipmunks. The 7000v power is enough to cleanly kill any rodent that’s large enough to enter the trap instantly with no unnecessary pain or suffering is caused.
You can easily dispose of the rodent’s corpse by simply lifting the trap’s lid and emptying it in a dustbin or wherever you’ve deemed fit. The trap requires no poison or toxic materials to operate, making it safe for homes with children or pets (as long as the pets aren’t small enough to enter the trap, of course).
The Abco Tech electronic rat zapper runs on 4 alkaline D batteries that are not included with the product. Each set of batteries is enough for about 30 clean kills, which makes this trap a very energy efficient and eco-friendly option for homeowners. The trap also sports an efficient design. Its dimensions are 11” length per 4.5” width per 5” height. The width and height of the rodent tunnel are 3.23” per 3.42” which makes it big enough for anything from the smallest mouse to the largest rat.
- The Abco Tech rat electrocution trap employs 7000v of power which is enough to instantly kill any rat that can fit into the trap
- The Abco Tech electronic rat killer has dimensions of 11” x 4.5” x 5” which is large enough for even the largest rat
- The Abco Tech rat zapper runs on 4 alkaline D batteries that have a collective lifespan of 30 clean kills
- The trap’s alert isn’t consistent and doesn’t always signal off when the trap has been sprung
- As any electric shock rat trap, the Abco Tech is a pain to clean after each kill
PestZilla Electric Rat Trap
You won’t need to read too many electronic rat trap reviews to figure out that the PestZilla offers a quality that’s much better than most others. This electronic rat zapper comes in dimensions of 11” length per 4.5” width per 5” height which is large enough to capture all kinds and sized of mice, rats, squirrels, chipmunks or other rodents. The rat zapper employs 7000v of power each time a rodent enters it, which is enough to instantly kill even the largest rat right on the spot.
The PestZilla electric rat trap is ideal for homes, commercial kitchens, warehouses and any other enclosed space where rats might crawl into. The trap is very easy to set up – all you need to do is insert the set of batteries (which aren’t included in the trap), put some high protein bait (such as cheese or peanut butter) in the bait cup, and wait. The trap has a power indicator light which alerts you every time the trap has been sprung. This makes it much easier to observe its effectiveness without having to actually check inside the trap, which can be especially annoying when the trap has been employed in hard-to-reach spots.
Once the trap has been sprung, all you need to do is pick up the trap, slide the lid off and dump the rat in the trash or wherever you choose. The whole process doesn’t require to touch the dead rat even once, nor does it require you to even see it if you don’t want to. Of course, you’ll still have to clean the trap afterward, as the smell of a dead and electrocuted rat isn’t unnoticeable – if you want the trap to attract more than one rodent you’ll need to clean it well but there’s no going around that.
Additionally, the PestZilla rat electrocution trap can also be plugged in an electric outlet via its 5 feet long plug-in adapter. If you opt for using batteries instead of the plug-in adapter, the trap can be operated by 4 “D” batteries which allow for up to 30 clean kills per set of batteries.
- The PestZilla is one of the best electronic rat traps on the market right now thanks to its large dimensions and powerful zapping potential
- The PestZilla comes with the option of using either battery (4 “D” batteries, not included) or the 5 feet long plug-in adapter
- The PestZilla allows for easily getting rid of the dead animal without having to touch or see it at all
- As any electric shock rat trap, the PestZilla is a pain to clean after each kill
OTHER PRODUCTS TO CONSIDER
Obviously, 3 quick reviews don’t exhaust the rather large niche that electronic rat traps are. There are indoor and outdoor rat zapper options, there are thousands of rat zapper reviews to be read, but much fewer adequate candidacies for the „Best electronic rat trap” title. After much research and deliberation, here are our 5 “Runner-up” suggestions for electric rat traps. Each of these five options are very good, effective and efficient devices, they just didn’t make it into our Top 3.
It takes just a few electronic rat trap reviews to figure out that the PestNoMore Rodent Zapper belongs in a list of good electric rat traps. This isn’t an outdoor rat zapper but as most similar products are intended for indoor use. It can use either batteries or AC to be powered, it kills rodents instantly, cleanly and humanely, it’s environment-friendly, and the kill chamber detaches for an even easier disposal of the dead rats. It does have a tendency for false alarms, however, so keep that in mind.
The classic Rat Zapper Classic Rat Trap also easily passed the electronic rat trap reviews test. It employs high voltage bursts to effectively and humanely kill any prey that manages to get inside of the trap. It has blinking red lights that serve as indicators for a catch and it’s easy to empty out – just tip it into the trash and you’ll rid yourself of the dead rodent. Each set of 4 “AA” batteries (which are not included) is enough for about 20 rat kills. One major drawback is that the dimensions are enough for average-sized rats only. Of course, this isn’t an outdoor electronic rat trap either, unless you can provide it with enough cover to stay dry in an outdoor environment.
From Hoont we have this powerful Hoont Powerful Electronic Rat Killer. It utilizes a smart advanced rodent detection technology which ensures that all mice, rats, squirrels, and chipmunks that dare enter the trap are killed instantly without a chance for escape. The trap can be used either with batteries (not included) or with its own adapter. Either way, it efficiently delivers 7000v of power to each victim, which is enough for a clean and humane death. The set of 4 “D” batteries is enough for about 30 kills by itself. With dimensions of 11” x 4.5” x 5” the trap is large enough for most rats. A couple of minor drawbacks is that the red “ready” light has a tendency of scaring rodents away and the battery hatch often opens as you’re emptying the rat into the trash.
A great option as both an indoor and outdoor electronic rat trap, this Pestrax Electronic Rodent Zapper that has standard dimensions of 11” length per 4.5” width per 5” height which is enough for most rats. Its smart circuit technology eliminates escape attempts entirely and kills any rodent instantly as soon as they get close to the bait. The trap is very easy to empty as all you need to do is slide the dead rats into the trash and the trap also has an adapter in case you don’t want to use batteries. However, the power cable is quite short (about 3’) so it isn’t very easy to use.
The Victor Rat Zapper is very similar to the Victor Electronic Rat Trap. It uses the same set of batteries, it can kills rats instantaneously, it uses Victor’s patented design, it’s easy to empty and reuse and each set of batteries is enough for 50 kills. The drawbacks compared to the previous Victor model are that this rat zapper is smaller (8.5” x 3.5” x 4.5”) and that it doesn’t come with Victor’s app.
GENERAL INFO ON ELECTRIC RAT TRAPS
A quick breakdown of electric rat traps
Electric rat traps work on a very simple principle – they have a similar design to rat cages, but once the rodent gets inside the trap and steps on the plates in front of the bait, a sensor triggers and shoots the rodent with a powerful jolt of electricity. Ideally, the electric zap is strong enough to kill the animal instantly, leaving it no time or opportunity to escape.
Unfortunately, a lot of zap traps are simply not powerful enough and don’t manage to kill the rodents quickly enough. A weak electric zap trap can often turn into a torture chamber for the animal as it continuously zaps the rodent with thousands of volts, slowly cooking it alive. Avoiding this is easy, however, as you can make a point of buying a high quality and powerful product.
Aside from the electric jolt that kills the rodent, there really isn’t much more that goes into the making of an electric rat trap. They have bait cup at their backside, just as rat cages do. They are easy to empty as all you typically need to do is take the trap and slide the dead animal off of it, often without even having to touch or look at it. This is very convenient for the user, but it needs to be mentioned that the rat trap still needs to be cleaned after each usage.
Most product descriptions of rat zappers make a point of how mess-free they are, which is true if you compare them to something like a snap rat trap or a glue rat trap. But still, an electrocuted dead rat isn’t exactly “mess-free” and there’s plenty of burned fur, skin, and often blood that needs to be properly cleaned after each kill if you want other rodents to want to get into the trap afterward.
After all, mice and rats are highly intelligent animals as much as we often dislike them and you can’t expect them to get inside of a small box that stinks of their dead brother or sister.
Furthermore, leaving the corpse in the trap for too long before emptying it can also have the added effect of attracting the attention of other rodents. If you don’t empty the trap soon enough, the smell and the sight of the dead animal will catch the eye of the other animals around and they will learn to avoid the trap. Even just the sound of the zap is often enough to attract the attention of other mice and rats.
To avoid this “learning effect” as much as possible you’ll need to do three things:
- Empty the trap as soon as it triggers and kills the rodent
- Clean it as well as possible
- Place the trap in a new location
How do electric rat traps compare to other rat killing or catching alternatives?
High-quality electric rat traps are no doubt more humane and more effective than the traditional snap rat traps or the monstrous glue rat traps. However, lower quality rat zappers can prove to be is inhumane and even more ineffective than glue or snap traps, so be careful with your purchase.
As far as no-kill traps are concerned, good ones are, obviously, still more humane than zap traps (as they don’t kill the animals) and they are often more effective than zap traps as they can catch multiple rats at once, depending on their model. The benefit of zap traps to no-kill traps is that disposing of the dead rats is much easier than disposing of alive ones.
ELECTRIC RAT TRAP BUYING GUIDE
Buying the right electric rat trap can mean the difference between an effective rat killing humane device and a monstrous rat torture chamber. So, needless to say, the choice needs to be done carefully and with enough deliberation. On the bright side, most electric rat zappers work on a very similar way so quality can remain your one main concern.
To properly find the right trap of a high enough quality your best bet is to either ask a professional or read as much consumer reviews as your time allows. We wish there was a better way, but with new electric rat trap models being made every year online reviews remain the best way for the average user to distinguish the higher from the lower quality products. User reviews can be tricky to read as they are often subjective, imprecise, incomplete, or just plain wrong.
Industry reviews, on the other hand, are usually full of much more information and much more comprehensive, which makes them more informative. However, they can sometimes have a rather strong bias which makes them hard to trust.
Regardless, a detailed and extensive read of both types of reviews is a good way to get a grasp of the niche and know what you’re looking for. Another good marker of distinguishing between good and bad electric rat traps is by looking at their brands. This isn’t a surefire way to make a decision as even famous brands can produce subpar rat traps and even unknown brands can make outstanding products, but it is a good starting point. The brands we’d recommend include: PestNoMore, Rat Zapper, Victor, Pestrax, PestZilla, Hoont, Abco, and others.
Of course, there are some minor differences between different rat traps that you might want to consider when making a choice. Here’s a quick list of the ones you might want to keep in mind:
- Do you want a trap that’s strictly for indoor use or for both indoors and outdoors use? Technically speaking all electric rat traps should be viewed as indoors only, but some products claim to be used outdoors as well. We’d strongly recommend that you use any such product with caution when placing it outside – make sure that you put it on an elevated surface that can’t be flooded and under a roof that will keep it from getting wet.
- Do you want the option of an AC cable and adapter or do you want to use the trap on batteries only? Power adapters aren’t always usable anyway since you want to place your trap strategically where it has the highest chance to catch a rodent and that isn’t always near a power outlet. Still, if you can make a good use of a nearby power outlet this can be a good option.
- Do you want the “kill chamber” to detach from the main body or not? This doesn’t make that much of a difference as either way you get to easily slide the dead rat off the container into the trash. And either way, you’ll still need to clean the container properly before using it again however detachable kill chambers are often easier to clean.
- Do you want your electric rat trap to come with a mobile app? Mobile apps make it much easier to find out when your trap has caught a prey and save you the time of frequently going to the trap to check it out. Very few models come with this options, however.
- Size matters. Try to find out how large are your rodent pests to figure out how big of a trap you’re going to need – there’s no need of buying an enormous trap for small mice but buying a small trap will stop you from catching a big rat. Also, keep in mind that a big but weak trap may fit a large rat but not be able to kill it. Instead, the rodent will either manage to escape and not enter the trap ever again or will take minutes to die in a slow and agonizing manner.
- Do you want the trap to have a door that closes when the trap is sprung or not? In the ideal scenario, this doesn’t matter as the zap is meant to kill the animal on the spot. Weak traps fail at achieving this, however, and some animals are able to escape before the zap has managed to finish them off. That being said, you don’t want to get a weak trap anyway, so the trap door should be inconsequential. An effective trap door on a weak zap trap just ensures that it will function as a torture chamber.
HOW TO USE ELECTRIC RAT TRAPS
Using electric rat traps is lauded as something that’s very easy – you just set them up, plug in the batteries, load the bait, and wait for the rats to start dying.
Well, that’s not quite so. For starters, the main principle for other traps goes here as well – location, location, location. Mice and rats like to walk around in the dark but they generally keep to the edges and corners of the rooms they are in. So every time you set up a trap you’ll need to be mindful as to where you’re setting it up. A poorly placed trap will catch much fewer rodents than a well-placed one.
Additionally, you should make sure that you empty the traps as quickly as possible after they are sprung. A dead rodent that’s left in the trap for too long will catch the attention of other rodents in the area and they can quickly learn to avoid the trap.
How to catch more rats?
A key thing to remember when hunting rats or mice is that they are actually highly intelligent animals. Treat the hunt as an actual hunt and not just as setting up traps for pests. Roaches are stupid, rats – far from it. Rats learn from their own experience as well as from observing others, they are cautious, and they are known to evaluate situations before going in.
The trick to catching as many rats as possible is to use their intelligence and behavioral patterns against them.
Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind:
- Place the traps next to walls or fences where the rodents are running, with the opening being as close to the vertical surface as possible
- At first, leave the trap turned off for a couple of days. This will give the rats a couple of nights to dare to get close to the trap, to get to know it and to feel comfortable with it
- After every couple of successful uses, leave the trap turned off again. This will once again reassure the animals that it is actually safe to walk into it. You can play even more mind games with them by placing bait in the turned off trap
- Change the location of the trap every several uses (and repeat the whole set up process), as the rats will eventually learn to not go near it in its original location
If you’re not having much of a success, you can set up a video camera with night vision, pointed at the trap and review the recordings to see what’s going wrong
Trap cleaning tips
Lastly, but also most importantly, you should remember to clean the trap properly after each use. That’s something that ads won’t tell you, but cleaning after dead rats isn’t easy. Even though rat zappers kill them relatively cleanly, an electrocuted rat still leaves quite a mess behind it. Properly cleaning the trap is vital as otherwise, no other rodent will want to get near it.
To efficiently and safely clean the trap, follow these steps:
- Put on a mask and rubber gloves
- Turn off the trap
- Remove the trap’s batteries
- Take the trap and a trashcan outside
- Damp a lint-free cloth with hot water and start wiping the inside of the trap. Use several cloths if necessary
- Leave the trap to dry off for a while
- Reinstall the batteries and load it with a new bait
- Place the trap back to its location or to a new one
Electric rat trap zappers provide a good alternative to the messy glue and snap rat traps that are often – and arguably deservedly so – branded as too non-humane for use in the 21st century. Good electric rat zappers kill their rodent victims almost instantly, without giving them a chance to escape or to realize what is happening. Rat zappers are also very easy to use as all you need to do to set them up is to plug in the batteries and put in some delicious bait.
Still, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows – rat zappers need to be cleaned extensively after each kill as rats are intelligent enough not to go into a trap that stinks of a dead rat. Even though rat zappers clean without blood and mess, the smell of an electrocuted rat is strong enough to be hard to clean, so prepare your good rubber gloves. Additionally, rats are generally very intelligent animals, so, if you leave a dead rat for too long in the rat zapper, chances are that the other rats will see it and remember not to go inside even if you clean it properly.
This leads us to another benefit of electric rat traps, however, as they are much easier to keep an eye on. Some come with their own app that connects directly to your mobile device, while most others have indicator lights and sound signals that alert you every time a rat has been caught and killed. This allows for easier maintenance and faster turnaround.
And while rat zappers are lauded as more humane than snap or glue traps, there are still the concerns that lower-quality electric rat traps are not actually that humane. When the rat zapper is not powerful enough it can often either not kill the rodent with the zap or let it escape or instead – zap the rodent for minutes, frying and killing it slowly in the most horrific way imaginable. To avoid this, make sure that you’re buying a rat zapper that is true of a high enough quality – even if you don’t care about how the rats die one quick zap is simply more effective and efficient than a continuous zapping for several straight minutes.
So, to wrap things up, here are our Top 3 suggestions once again:
The Victor Electronic Rat Trap is a large and powerful rat zapper that can easily catch and kill even large rats and rodents. Each set of 4 “C” batteries is enough for up to 50 clean rat kills. More interestingly, the trap also comes with its own app which connects to your mobile device and alerts you every time the trap has been sprung. The app can also work with multiple traps and keeps track of each trap’s kill streak and battery life separately.
The Abco Tech Electronic Humane Rat Zapper is a large rat trap that kills its victims with powerful 7000v bursts of electricity. This is enough to fall even the largest rat in seconds. The trap is easy to empty as all you need to do is slide the lid off and drop the rat wherever you want.
The PestZilla Electric Rat Trap is also large enough to take care of even large rodents and is also powerful enough to kill them in seconds with its 7000v of power. The trap can work on either battery or through its 5 feet long plug-in adapter. Either way, it is a powerful and humane option for any home or storage area.