There are many ways to deal with rat problems. Poisons are not always the preferred option since they can harm pets or toddlers. Sometimes the use of poisons indoors might also be toxic to you, and some of them cause slow and painful deaths for rats. Furthermore, sometimes you do not want to kill the rats; you just want them out of your house or property.
There are ways to remove rats without killing them or using poison. The best possible humane route is to find the entry point and install a one-way door to evict them humanely. But it’s not easy finding the rat entry points into a home, sometimes there’s many.
Most of the time as a property owner or tenant, you might have to rely on live traps to catch the rats when they are already on your property. Alternatively, you can adopt some measures that will make your home uncomfortable for the rats.
This article will tell you about the various types of live traps you can set up around your property to remove rats without killing them. Then we’ll talk about the different measures you can practice to ensure rats don’t bother you anymore.
Live traps to remove rats without killing
Here are some different types of live traps you can set up, allowing you to trap rats without killing them. With these traps, you can release the rats elsewhere later.
The bucket trap is a mechanism that lures rats into falling into buckets they can’t get out of. It involves setting up and adequately baiting one or more ladder-like structures to allow the rats to climb to the bucket’s top. At the top, a portion of the bucket cover will, in reality, be a false cover ensuring the rats fall into the bucket once they get on that section. Inside the bucket, you can rub some oil on the sides to make it more difficult for the rats to get out of it.
This live trap is, in our experience, very effective when baited properly. It can catch multiple rats at a time, and you can set it up in different areas to deal with an infestation. You can find how to build your bucket rat trap here or purchase one here.
We don’t recommend the other live traps on this list as much as the bucket trap, but as other options you can also consider.
Most repeater traps are designed to prevent already captured rats from escaping while catching more rats. Their design often employs multiple cages, with the capture areas separate and inaccessible from the holding area. Some repeater traps also allow you to keep rats in the holding area for several days by making the feeding area accessible to rats in the holding cage. Repeater traps, like most traps, use baits to attract the rat. A mechanism around the bait is often triggered when rats approach, causing rats to fall into the holding cage after falling for the bait.
Pitfall traps are common, not only for rats but for other rodents and even small mammals. The mechanism for pitfall traps is similar to bucket traps. However, most pitfall traps require digging actual pits instead of the ladder-like structures necessary for bucket traps. Once you dig the pits, you place a collection container in them. You then cover the pit with a spinning platform not strong enough to support the weight of a rat, and bait is applied. This way, once the rat approaches the bait, the platform spins and dumps the rat into the pit.
Cage traps are a lot like repeater traps and are the most common form of live traps. However, regular cage traps are not separated into compartments and will only capture one rat or animal at a time.
In 1974, there was a study to see how rats reacted to the bottom three traps on this list, and they discovered that the repeater trap was, to an extent, the most efficient. You can read more about that study here. We still primarily recommend the bucket trap since it is highly effective and cheap. However, you can opt for the repeater trap if you want something else.
Live traps work great and often get the job done. Nevertheless, they might not always be the best choice. A study from the University of Chicago has shown that rats could work together to free another trapped rat due to their empathetic nature. They are also neophobic and can learn to avoid traps.
Trapping when the need arises is not always the best formula. As they say, “prevention is better than cure,” and there are a few steps you can take to ensure rats never bother you.