That is the number one question I get from people. My best advice is to make sure it is in fact rats you have. What makes you think you have rats? Did you see a rat running through your home, or hear a noise at night in the walls or ceiling? If you are not sure then do a little investigation, look in your attic space, do you see rat droppings, little black droppings that resemble large grains of rice, black in color, that is the first sign of rat activity.
Now that you have determined you do have rats, it’s time to select the appropriate trap, I like the good old fashioned snap trap, I find the best rat traps are made by “Victor” you can find this trap at most hardware stores. I have seen rat traps at Home Depot and at True Value Hardware stores. You want to select the large rat size trap. They will catch rats and mice, but the mouse size trap will only catch mice and will not kill an adult rat, so go with the rat size trap.
You want to make sure you bait the trap with the best bait. A lot of people use cheese or peanut butter. I don’t suggest these baits because after a day or two the bait goes bad and the rat will just avoid the trap altogether. You want to use a bait that is attractive to the rat and will last longer on the trap. The reason I say this is because rats are afraid of new things. What I mean by that is, if you have a rat that is running through your attic and has been for a week or two and then all of a sudden there is this new object that just appeared out of the blue, the rat will avoid it.
By the time the rat will feel comfortable enough to approach the trap, the bait may be bad, so you want to use a bait that will remain fresh for a longer period of time. I like to use beef jerky; beef jerky will last a long time and rats love meat. I made a YouTube video on how to set a rat trap. In the video, I recommend using beef jerky and I show you how to place it on the trap; check it out below. After you have the trap set and ready to go, place the trap along a path the rats frequent, this will make the trapping process quicker.
After placing the trap, leave it, then check on it in a couple of days. Don’t wait too long or the rat may become very smelly. I would wait no longer than three to four days. Trapping the rat is only part of the job, you should rat proof the structure to make sure new rats don’t come in.