Realizing that you have a rat in your home can come as a nasty shock, especially when you consider how quickly these critters can breed. One pair of rats can produce up to 15,000 offspring in a year. So, if you suspect you have a rodent in your house you must take action immediately!
The vast majority of extermination methods on the market (rodenticide, mechanical traps, electric traps) are lethal to rodents. But what if you don’t want (or need) to resort to killing your furry invaders? Animal lovers have long derided traditional methods of pest control as being cruel, inhumane, or even ineffective. Furthermore, using poisons or mechanical traps means bringing toxic and potentially harmful substances and contraptions into your home. This can present a significant danger to yourself and especially children, pets and other, non-target animals (such as squirrels).
Fortunately, there’s an effective solution! Removing mice from your home needn’t involve bloodshed.
Humane rat traps can be used to harmlessly remove rodents from your property. By trapping the rat inside a benign chamber, these contraptions allow you to simply relocate the rodent to an area away from its original nest.
So, what are the best humane rat traps on the market, and which should you choose for your home? Read on to find out!
Kensizer Humane Rat Trap Cage
The Kensizer Humane Rat Trap Cage captures mice, rats, squirrels, chipmunks and any other small rodents in and around your home. The device couldn’t be simpler to use – lay your bait and lie in wait!
The cage is made of strong, durable material that can easily withstand the gnawing of your captor’s teeth. The trigger mechanism is highly sensitive, causing the door to shut and lock the moment the bait is taken. This harmlessly encloses the rodent, shutting it safely inside without injuring the creature in any way. Once you’ve caught your rat, simply relocate it at a site away from your property!
This trap is especially effective if you’re dealing with smart rats who have evaded your other attempts to capture them. Simply leave the door open for a few days and load the trap with bait, to allow them to get accustomed to the cage. Then, once they’ve let their guard down, set the trap – you’ll have them contained in no time!
Solid yet lightweight, the Kensizer Humane Rat Trap has a sturdy construction that’s large enough to contain even squirrels and chipmunks. As it uses no poison or ‘kill traps,’ it’s also completely safe to have around the house, even if you have pets or small children. Unfortunately, however, this model has no handle, which can make transporting the cage difficult.
- Lightweight and sturdy
- This aluminum cage is lightweight and easy to transport, yet very sturdy. The bars are strong enough to easily withstand the teeth of your captors, so there’s no chance of escape
- Large enough for large rodents
- Whether you’re dealing with mice, rats or even a chipmunk, the Kensizer can handle it. The cage is large enough to comfortably contain even a big rodent, making this trap more versatile than many others on the market
- The trigger mechanism of the Kensizer is very sensitive, instantly locking the door when the bait is taken. This ensures a quick capture and no escape, even for the quickest of critters
- No handle
- The Kensizer trap has no handle on top of the cage, which can make transportation tricky. Carrying the cage with a rodent inside can mean putting your fingers a little closer to your captor than you want to! Rats reluctant to enter
- Rats may be reluctant to enter the trap for a few days, especially if they are older and wiser. You may have to leave the trap unlocked and baited for a few days before setting it properly to lure them inside
Havahart Live Trap For Rats
The Havahart Live Trap works in much the same way as the Kensizer model. Its gravity-action door is operated by a sensitive trigger, which is tripped as soon as a rodent takes your bait. This quickly and harmlessly traps the critter inside. Suitable for mice, rats, chipmunks, squirrels, voles, and weasels, this trap humanely takes care of any and all pests on your property!
The Havahart humane trap is built to last and made with durable materials that resist corrosion and rust. This is a bonus if you plan to use the trap outdoors, as it will easily withstand wet weather conditions. Furthermore, the Havahart model has a handle on top for easy transportation, giving it an edge over the Kensizer trap.
Bait must be placed with care when using this trap, however. The sensitive trigger mechanism can be easily tripped by rodents attempting to reach the bait through the wire mesh of the cage, causing it to shut with no rodent inside.
- Weather resistant
- This live trap is made from durable material that is completely weatherproof. This means you can use the Havahart live cage trap outdoors without any risk of rust or corrosion
- Suitable for all types of rodents
- Havahart is the best live trap for humanely removing mice, rats, squirrels, chipmunks, voles or weasels from your property
- Effective and humane
- This live trap works extremely well, harmlessly capturing any rodent that ventures inside.
- Easily tipped
- This lightweight cage is easily tipped over, which may be a problem if you’re trying to remove rats or other large rodents from your property. They often become panicked when trapped inside and begin to thrash around, which can cause the cage to fall and may even result in escape
- Overly-sensitive trigger
- The trigger mechanism of the Havahart cage trap is a little too sensitive and can be easily tripped during setup. It can also be falsely triggered by critters clawing at the bait through the mesh of the cage
Rolling Log Bucket Rat Trap
A no-kill rat trap with a different design, the rolling log rat trap is a great way of catching multiple mice. This simple trap consists of a lightweight, rolling log that can be set up atop a large bucket. Smear the rod with a sticky bait (like peanut butter) and rodents will walk across, only to be dropped into the bucket below as the rod rotates.
This device is very easy to set up and highly effective but requires a little more home assembly than other live traps on this list. The bucket is not included and you must also set up ramps to allow rodents access to the rod. However, once you have all the pieces in place, this no-kill trap can be used to humanely clear large numbers of rats and mice from your home. Clean up is incredibly simple – just dump out the rodents in a location away from your property and reassemble the trap to catch more!
Although this humane live trap works great for mice and smaller rats, you may have a problem with larger rodents. Large rats, squirrels, and chipmunks may be able to reach the bait without stepping on the rod or might jump out of the bucket.
- Multiple captures
- The rolling log bucket trap can be used to catch several mice per setup, unlike cage traps, which can only trap one rodent at a time. This makes it ideal for clearing large numbers of rats or mice from your property
- Easy to set up and maintain
- This bucket rat trap is incredibly easy to use and maintain. Setup couldn’t be simpler and clean up is as easy as dumping out the rodents in a location away from the nest
- Effective, humane
- This no-kill rat trap is highly effective in catching large numbers of rodents without harming any of them
- No suitable for larger rodents
- Larger rodents (such as big rats, squirrels, and chipmunks) may be able to escape the bucket once they’re inside or reach the bait without stepping onto the rod
- More elements required
- This live catch rat trap requires a little home-assembly to complete the setup. Once you have the rod, you’ll also need to find a 5-gallon bucket and something to use as a ramp up to the rim
OTHER PRODUCTS TO CONSIDER
Another live cage trap to remove rodents from your home, the AB Traps Live Catch Rat Trap can be used to humanely remove mice, rats and larger rodents from your property. Unlike other models on this list, this humane trap has a dual entrance, allowing rodents to enter from either side. This open design is great for encouraging critters inside. However, the AB Live Catch Rat Trap is less durable than other models and may be damaged by your captors’ escape attempts.
The heavy-duty StarMiUp Humane Rat Trap is built to last, with a sturdy mesh reinforced with steel that resists rust, weather and escape! The StarMiUp live rat trap can be effectively used to capture rodents of all sizes in and around your property and is sturdy enough to withstand dogs and any other animal interested in the contents. Unfortunately, this trap is very lightweight and can easily be tipped or moved by the panicked thrashing of a captured critter.
The Trapro Humane Rat Cage Trap is a highly effective way of harmlessly removing rats, mice, chipmunks, and weasel from your garden and home. However, this trap is no good for catching squirrels! Despite having a reinforced steel structure, the wire mesh of the cage is too thin to withstand the gnawing of squirrels. If you accidentally catch one, it may ruin your trap by chewing through it!
This Harris Catch & Release Humane Cage Trap for Rats inexpensive cage works well as a humane trap but is a little flimsy for sustained use. Although it is able to effectively capture mice, rats and other small rodents, the construction is not solid enough to last very long. In fact, some customers have found that larger rodents, such as squirrels and chipmunks, are able to easily chew their way out!
Make your mice walk the plant with FABUTA Walk the Plank Rat Trap, a trap that can be lethal or non-lethal depending on how you set it up. For humane capture use an empty bucket; to eradicate your rodents, add water. Like the Rolling Log trap, this bucket rat trap requires you to build a ramp to allow mice to access the bar. It has the potential to capture multiple mice, but many customers report that the magnet in the trap is not strong enough to pull the plank back into place once it has been triggered.
The dual entry of the Havahart Live Animal Cage Trap is an attractive feature. With a door at each end, the trap has an open appearance when baited and set, which encourages rodents to venture inside. The sensitive triggers work instantly to trap critters and the trigger rod is located outside of the cage, so your captures won’t be able to chew through it. Although this device is good for catching most small rodents around your home, the cage is too small to effectively contain larger rodents, such as chipmunks.
With a strong spring and a sturdy design, the Trap Top Rat Trap is a highly effective way to trap invading rodents. It can be used to effectively relocate rats and mice but is too small to accommodate larger rodents. If you have a problem with chipmunks or squirrels this model is unlikely to work for you!
GENERAL INFO ON 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 of pest control.
A non-lethal rat trap also removes any need for 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 deal with their rodent infestation 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.
Common terms associated with humane rat traps
- Trigger – Most humane rat traps operate using a trigger mechanism, which causes the door of the cage to swing or drop shut when the bait is disturbed. The sensitivity of the trigger is very important! Too sensitive, and your trap is likely to be set off accidentally. Not sensitive enough, and your prisoner will be able to take the bait and escape – particularly if you are targeting larger rodents!
- 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.
- 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.
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 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 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!
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 is an effective way to kill rats and mice but is probably the least humane method of doing so. 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
When choosing the best live rat trap for your needs, there are a few things to consider.
- 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!
In the case of live cage traps, bait is usually placed atop a small platform attached to the trigger mechanism. Once a rodent disturbs the bait (usually placed at the back of the trap) a door will quickly shut behind it to trap the creature inside.
The trigger mechanism of most humane rat traps is attached to the bait station and is tripped when a rodent goes to feed. The mechanism is attached to the door, causing it to swing or snap shut behind the rat.
An enclosed space
Most live rat traps have a cage design that encloses the rodent when the trap is triggered. Some models, however, are designed to drop the rat or mouse into a large bucket below. Whatever method of containment you choose to use, it is important that the rodent is unable to escape. Choose a device with a sturdy cage, or use a large bucket – 5 gallons is usually big enough!
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.
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.
OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT HUMANE RAT TRAPS
Expert tips for using your humane rat trap
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.
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.
LIVING WITH & USING HUMANE RAT TRAPS
Keep it clean
If your bait is dusty, dirty, damp or musty, it will start to lose its appeal to rodents. This may harm the effectiveness of your humane trap, as rats may not be tempted to eat your bait! Make sure you entrap plenty of rats by keeping bait fresh and replacing uneaten bait at least once a week.
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!
If you have rodents overrunning your home but you don’t want to resort to rodent massacre, a humane rat trap can be the best way to deal with the problem. Non-lethal rat traps can be used to safely and harmlessly capture rats or mice on your property, which can then be released at a site away from their nest.
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!