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Should you use electrocution traps for rats and mice?

There are a number of times where electrocution-style traps might be a good idea for rats and mice. They are usually more expensive than their simpler and more traditional rat and mouse snap traps, but they're a little more enclosed, often making life easier for the homeowner who needs to retrieve and dispose of the tiny rodent carcasses. Also, no snap-trapping action takes place. This means no sign of death - blood, etc.

Rats and mice are quite cautious animals, but rats are considerably worse. They have a tendency to learn or evolve, and some of them can even be considered trap-shy. If a rat has been in contact with a rat trap already, it might already be cautious of yours, and it is likely to NOT take the bait. If the rat doesn't take the bait, you're never going to trap it. You can try moving the trap around, and also try leaving the trap down with no bait and un-set for a while to allow the rodent to get used to it, but it still might not work.

This is where other styles of trap come in. We would never recommend that you try poison to get rid of a rodent infestation, and glue traps are incredibly inhumane. Electrical rat traps both kill and contain the animal, and in a supposed humane manner too.

Usually powered by batteries, they are usually sold with a claim to kill around fifty rats. You should lower your estimations - they usually only kill somewhere in the region of ten to fifteen rats before the batteries die, and even then it might be quite that high a number.

The idea is that you use a really tasty bait on the main entrance to the trap to lure the rat in, and then smear some of that bait on the back wall too. This ensures the rat gets a really close look. In some ways, this can work but in others, when you bear in mind that the rat usually has quite a cautious nature about it, you may find that the rat isn't silly enough to get that close. If they can learn and evolve enough to not use rat traps, they;ll know not to walk into a big black box that seemingly offers them food on a plate.

Rats are smarter than we give them credit for.
Most electric rat traps have a light that comes on to indicate when an animal has been caught within it, and that takes away some of the gruesome factor that comes with traditional rat traps. Getting rid of a slightly messed-up rat body is never going to be a pleasant experience. This electrical style trap takes away some of that.

Before you make your final decision, you should know about the disadvantages:
You will need to keep checking the batteries. They will often die much quicker than you anticipate they will, and you will need to keep paying out for more to keep the rat traps going. Remember that traditional rat traps cost barely anything to buy, and nothing to run.

Most electric rat traps will only have the capacity to kill just one rat at a time, although there are more expensive, larger units that are designed to kill more than one. The larger ones are often counterproductive. If a rat sees another rat, dead in the trap, or senses that might be the case, it's probably not going to come close enough to get hit.

There are seemingly both pros and cons to using electrical style rat traps, although we would always recommend going with the conventional snap rat traps. You will still have a disposal issue to deal with, regardless of which of the two traps you use, but the electrical, boxed-in units are obviously going to be ‘prettier' to deal with.

For more rat information, visit our rat removal tips page, or for more specific how-to instructions, read the how to get rid of rats page with 6 step-by-step instructions. If you have a problem with rats above your ceiling in your house, read my rats in the attic guide. The most important part of rat control is sealing shut entry holes into the building, but after you've done that, you'll want to know how to kill rats humanely to complete the rat control job. If you need to hire professional help in your city, click on my directory of over 200 rat removal companies servicing 95% of the USA. we can help your with your rat problem!
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