About humane rat traps
What is a humane rat trap?
A humane rat trap is a great way to remove rodents from your property without killing them. Live rat traps are often designed either as a cage that snaps shut when triggered from inside or as a device that tips rodents into an inescapable container, like a bucket.
The rodents can then be relocated to a site away from their nest. This ensures that they are removed from your property, but are completely unharmed in the process. For animal-lovers, this is a great alternative to lethal methods and other traps or rodent control tools.
A non-lethal rat trap also removes any need for best rat killer poisons, electronic or mechanical traps, which can be hazardous to have around your home. Accidental poisoning or injury can occur with traditional methods of rodent extermination, which is a particular worry if you live with children or pets!
Humane rat removal is the perfect way to safely and kindly eliminate rodents from inside or outside your home. Unlike some other methods of removal, live traps are usually completely weatherproof, making them ideal for outdoor use. If you have a problem with squirrels or chipmunks, many traps are large and sturdy enough to take care of these, too!
Who uses humane rat traps?
Humane rat traps are popular among people who want to know how to catch a rat without bringing harmful substances and traps into their home. They are also a hit among animal-lovers – just because you don’t want to cohabit doesn’t mean you want them dead!
Live rat traps are not only much safer (and kinder) than traditional methods of rodent extermination, they are also easier to maintain.
Cleaning up and resetting traps is very easy and doesn’t require you to handle rodents, toxic substances or snap traps. Just remember to release the rodent at a site well away from your property – rats can roam up to 1.5km from their nests, so make sure you move them far enough away!
- Families with small children: Kids get into everything, making traditional methods of rat eradication risky to have around! A humane rat catcher, on the other hand, doesn’t require any kind of poison or harmful trap, making it 100% safe to have in your home.
- People with pets: Keeping toxic substances or traps in your house can pose a threat to non-target animals, such as cats and dogs. Rodenticides are toxic if swallowed and snap traps are easily triggered, which can result in injured paws. A live rat trap, however, is not in the least bit dangerous for any animal!
- Animal lovers: If you want rid of your rats but don’t want to go on a killing spree, a humane trap is the best way to handle the situation. This allows you to harmlessly remove rodents from your property without exterminating them.
- People with escaped pets: It may not be a traditional mode of use, but a humane rodent trap can be highly effective for recovering runaway pets. If you have an escaped hamster or an absent gerbil, live rat traps can be a great way of getting them back in their cage – without harming them!
If you are trying to remove rats from an area that sees a lot of traffic from the general public, humane traps are one of the safest ways to do so. With a live cage trap, there’s no need to bring toxic substances or dangerous traps onto your property. This allows you to effectively deal with your infestation, without putting customers at risk of exposure to hazards like snap traps or poison.
How do humane rat traps work?
The main purpose of a humane rat trap is to capture and contain rodents without harming them in any way. Many use a cage with a door that springs shut when the mechanism is triggered, harmlessly enclosing the rat or mouse within. Cages are usually large enough to allow the critter to move around inside, their mesh construction allows for a steady airflow, and internal structures are often rounded to prevent injury. The rat or mouse can then be relocated and released at a site away from its nest.
If you need to capture and remove multiple rodents, there are many types of humane trap that allow you to do just that. These usually consist of a device (such as a rolling rod) that can be placed atop a large bucket. When a rat or mouse triggers the trap they fall into the bucket below, with no need to re-bait or reset the trap.
The key advantage of using humane methods of mouse control is that they require no use of poisons or harmful traps. This makes them 100% safe to have around your home or business, even if you have children or pets present. They are also completely weatherproof and suitable for use both indoors and out. This is handy if you have a problem with squirrels or chipmunks in your garden – just make sure you buy a bigger, sturdier trap for larger rodents!
Piece by piece
- The cage – The best live rat traps have cages that are built from sturdy, durable materials. This not only ensures the longevity of your trap but also means rodents are unable to chew their way out once captured. If you need a trap capable of handling larger rats, chipmunks, and squirrels, it is best to buy a heavy-duty cage that won’t tip easily. Most humane traps are also weather resistant, so they won’t rust or corrode if used outdoors.
- The bait platform – Baiting a live capture rat trap usually means placing the food item on a small platform towards the back of the cage. This platform will be fitted with a trigger mechanism designed to go off if the bait is disturbed. This causes the door to quickly spring shut, effectively trapping the animal inside.
- The door – The door of your rat trap will usually be operated by a spring mechanism or will rely on gravity to close. The weight of the door and strength of the spring is important for ensuring a successful and humane capture. If it’s too weak or flimsy, larger rodents will be able to push it open from the inside!
- The trigger mechanism – The trigger mechanism of humane rat traps varies from model to model. Most are easy to set, and not sensitive enough to be triggered by mistake. However, they must be sensitive enough to be set off as soon as a rodent takes the bait, or your rats will escape!
- Spring – Most cage traps have a spring mechanism that causes the door to slam shut when the trigger is set off. The strength of the spring will, in most cases, determine how effective your trap is. If the spring is too weak, animals (especially larger rodents) may be able to push it open from inside. If the spring is very strong, however, it can injure the rodent when the door slams shut, which defeats the object of using a humane trap.
- Bait – it is used to tempt rodents to approach and enter your humane rat trap. As the aim is not to kill the critter, the bait used is usually completely benign, containing no harmful substances whatsoever. For best results pick a high-protein bait, such as cheese or peanut butter, as these will appeal most to rats and mice.
Use humane rat traps instead of
Humane rat traps are an attractive alternative to…
Poison is the number one method of eradicating rodents. However, many people are turning their back on rodenticides due to a number of reasons. Rat poison is toxic to any animal that may swallow it, including household pets and children. What’s more, some poisons have no known antidote, making them highly hazardous to have around the house.
Poison also gives you little control over where your rodents die. Although many will go outside in search of water, many more will return to their nests and die there. These are often located in inaccessible locations (such as in wall cavities), making retrieval tricky. The decomposing rat will cause a terrible smell in your house, and clean-up will often require handling dead rodents. It’s no surprise that poisons don’t appeal to many people.
2. Mechanical traps (e.g. snap traps)
Mechanical traps are often more humane than poison, as the rodent will usually be killed instantly. However, they are not 100% effective and can be triggered by mistake. This can cause serious injury to the rat or mouse without actually killing it, meaning you have to finish the job yourself.
They can also cause injury to fingers if triggered during set up and are especially dangerous to have around children and pets. No-kill alternatives are often much safer and kinder, while still effectively ridding your home of rats.
3. Glue Traps
Glue traps are very simple to use and consist of a strip of very sticky glue which can be baited to encourage rodents to walk over them. The rodent is then held firmly in place, where it will usually die of thirst or suffocation.
This way of killing rats probably the least humane. Not only do glue traps result in a long, uncomfortable and drawn-out death, they also require direct handling of the dead rodent.
4. Electronic Traps
Dispatch rats with one quick zap using an electronic rodent trap. These enclosed devices have electrified components that are triggered when a rat or mouse enters the ‘kill chamber.’ These deliver a powerful electric shock to the rodent, killing it within seconds.
Electronic rat traps are fairly safe to have around your house, as they are usually designed to prevent paws or fingers from coming into contact with the electrified plates. Clean-up doesn’t require you to touch the dead rodent at all and traps are easy to re-bait and reset. Electric traps are considered fairly humane, as they kill the rodent quickly. However, if you’d rather remove rats without exterminating them, a live trap is a much better option.
Humane rat trap buying guide
- What kind of rodents are you dealing with?
- Do you need a trap for outdoor use?
- How many rats do you need to remove?
Rats, mice – or something bigger?
Most live cage traps are perfectly adequate for entrapping small critters, such as mice. However, if you have a problem with large rats, squirrels or chipmunks, you should shop around for a suitably sturdy trap. Once captured, rodents will do everything in their power to break free! It is, therefore, important to choose a trap with good, thick mesh, so your prisoners don’t chew their way out. Lightweight traps can also be easily tipped over by a thrashing squirrel or chipmunk. This can result in injury to the animal, which defeats the point of using a humane trap in the first place.
If you have large rodents on your property choose a heavy-duty trap to ensure a safe and successful capture!
Are your pests inside or outside?
Most live rodent traps are designed to be weatherproof and will withstand both rusting and corrosion. This is an important feature to look out for if you intend to use your trap outdoors! It may be worth spending a little extra on a sturdier design if this is the case, to guarantee the longevity of the device.
How many rats do you have to relocate?
Many live traps can only capture one rodent at a time, which must be released before the trap can be reset. This is fine if you only have one or two intruders, but not if you’re dealing with an infestation. Rats and mice breed with alarming speed, so removing them one at a time is fighting a losing battle if you have large numbers of them!
Fortunately, some traps (such as the Rolling Log and Walk the Plank models) can be used to capture multiple rodents with each individual setup. Choose a live bucket trap over a cage trap if you have many mice to remove!
Additional features to look for
Although not present on every model, a handle is a useful feature in any live cage trap. This allows you to transport the cage with ease, so there is no need for you to put your fingers anywhere near your captor. This can make emptying the trap a lot more convenient and comfortable, and eliminates any risk of nibbled fingers!
Most cage traps have only one door, so rodents must make their way to the back of the trap to trigger it. Some models, however, have dual doors. This can make the trap more appealing to rodents, as they can enter without feeling completely enclosed, and may result in a higher capture rate.
Humane rat trap accessories
Buckets and ramps
If your live trap is of the ‘drop’ variety, you’ll need to purchase a suitable receptacle to contain your rodents. This is the case with designs like the Rolling Log and Walk the Plank traps, which are designed to be set up atop a 5-gallon bucket. You will also need to set up a ramp leading to the trap, so rodents have easy access to the bait.
Top brands you can trust
- Havahart: Havahart has a great reputation for producing sturdy, effective live rat traps. Their designs are durable and well thought-out to guarantee a quick and safe capture that doesn’t pose any threat to you or your rodents. Havahart models often include handles and dual entryways, making them all the more effective and easy to use!
- Kensizer: Another reliable brand of humane rodent trap is Kensizer. The sturdy design of these cages is sufficient for trapping and containing larger rodents, so it’s a top purchase for people dealing with big rats, chipmunks or squirrels.
Expert tips for using humane rat traps
Use appealing bait
Bait your trap with a high protein foodstuff that is appealing to rodents, such as cheese or peanut butter.
Maintain your trap
Dusty old bait won’t appeal to rodents, so keep it fresh! If your bait is beginning to become icky, switch it for some new bait – you’ll attract far more rodents by making your human trap appealing.
Place it properly
Look for areas with a high level of rodent activity in your property and place your trap accordingly. Traps must be placed along rodent trails in order to attract rats inside. If your trap is in an area without a high level of rodent activity, you’re unlikely to catch anything!
When you bait your trap it’s a good idea to use an implement to do so. Using your bare hands will leave a human scent, which may discourage rodents from entering your cage trap. When placing bait, use a toothpick or Q-tip for the best results.
Check your traps regularly
Humane traps are only non-lethal if you check them regularly. A rat or mouse will not suffer from being stuck in a cage for a few hours, but if you forget to check on them they may be in there for days. Rats perish quickly without water, which defeats the purpose of using live traps. Check your cage every morning to make sure there are no critters inside!
This removes any need for toxic substances or harmful traps, both of which can pose a threat to members of your household. Humane rat traps are often the best way of clearing unwelcome visitors from your home in the kindest way possible, and require absolutely no handling of dead rodents!