Written by

David Floyd

David Floyd

Reviewed by

Brett Ehlert

Brett Ehlert

Easily The Best Bait For Rat Traps! – Testing Popular Baits!

When I moved into my new house I found signs of rats and mice in the garage and basement, and I knew I was going to be spending some time getting rid of these rodents. But I took it as an opportunity to truly test for the best bait for rat traps. With 20 years of experience in the pest control industry, we generally stick to the same 1-2 different baits, or just use commercially available rodent hotel traps. But over the past few weeks I took the time to test these different baits for my rat traps, and I finally found the most effective bait!

My Favorite Rat Trap Bait:

Rats are scavengers so they’ll pretty much eat any food that they can find, but there are definitely better options for rat bait, and different foods are going to be much more effective than others. That being said, rats are attracted to high-protein foods. Here are some of the best baits to use for rat traps:

  • Peanut Butter – Most Effective In My Experience, Especially If You Mix Seeds In The Peanut Butter!
  • Hazelnut Spread/Nutella
  • Bacon
  • Sunflower Seeds and Other Seeds
  • Peanuts and Other Nuts
  • Cereal
  • Cheese Whiz

Although most food will attract rats to some extent, you want food that will also force the rats to step on the pressure pad to trigger the trap. Certain foods rats can remove from the trap without triggering it, leaving you with an empty trap in the morning.

bait for rat traps

All the food above can be good options, especially peanut butter because it’s sticky enough that it will stay on the trap and force the rats to spend time eating it, which improves the chances of triggering the trap.

In my experience, I found the most success with mixing peanut butter with something solid, such as sunflower seeds or bird seed. This makes it slightly more difficult for the rodents to get their snack off the pressure plate, making it more likely that they trip the trap.

What To Put On Rat Traps

Rats, including black rats, brown rats, and house mice, are opportunistic eaters and can find food from various sources. When it comes to food preferences, rats are known to favor fresh and easily accessible options. They have a particular affinity for foods that are rich in protein and carbohydrates.

peanut butter on rat trap

In households, rats are attracted to a range of food sources. This includes pet food left out and easily accessible, open garbage cans, fruits and vegetables in gardens or fruit trees, and bird feeders that are not properly maintained.

Rats tend to enjoy fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains. They are also known to target food items such as nuts and cereals. Brown rats, on the other hand, are less picky and will consume almost any type of food available, including meat, grains, and pet food. House mice typically consume grains and seeds, but they, too, can adapt to eating a variety of foods.

If you have rats in your walls then you’ll have to find the entrance they’re using before you place the traps.

Removing Other Food Sources:

To effectively trap rats, it is crucial to eliminate other food sources and select a bait that is more enticing to them. Peanut butter, for example, is a popular bait choice because of its strong smell and taste. Other effective baits include bacon, and beef jerky. It is important to consider the preferences of the specific species of rodent you are trying to trap.

By removing competing food sources and using an effective bait, you increase the chances of attracting and capturing rats in baited traps. Remember, rats are creatures of habit, so consistency and persistence are key when it comes to rodent control.

Using Scents To Attract Rats To Traps

Using strong smells as bait for rat traps can be a highly effective option. Rats are attracted to powerful scents, making them more likely to investigate and get caught in the traps. Certain smells can trigger the rat’s natural instincts, drawing them towards the trap and increasing the chances of successful trapping.

rat sniffing smells

Stuart Flynn, the owner of Bug-N-A Rug Exterminators, says “dark chocolate is a great bait for rodents. Rats find the smell irresistible. Its strong aroma and sweet taste can grab the attention of rats, making it an excellent choice for attracting them.” Furthermore, they find it difficult to resist its sweet flavor, leading them right into the trap. As a result, using dark chocolate as bait for rat traps can be a highly effective option. Similarly, peanut butter is another strong-smelling bait that rats are highly attracted to. Its rich and oily scent can lure rats toward the trap, increasing the effectiveness of trapping efforts.

In addition to dark chocolate and peanut butter, beef jerky is also known to be enticing to rats. The strong meaty odor of beef jerky can grab the attention of rats, enticing them to approach and get caught in the trap.

To maximize the use of strong-smelling baits, it can be beneficial to incorporate them into bait boxes. These bait boxes help contain the scent of the bait, making it more concentrated and enticing for rats. By placing the bait box near the trap, it can serve as a magnet, leading rats directly into the trap.

Rats Can Be Deterred By Human Scents

When selecting bait for rat traps, it is important to consider the role of human smell. Rats have a keen sense of smell and can be deterred by the scent of humans on the trap and bait. The presence of human odor can make rats wary and less likely to approach the trap.

To increase the success of trapping rats, it is crucial to minimize human odor on the trap and bait. One strategy is to wear gloves when handling the trap and bait, as this will help prevent the transfer of human scent. Additionally, using scent-neutralizing sprays can help mask any lingering human smells. These sprays are designed to eliminate odors and make the trap more enticing to the rats.

Using Dental Floss On Rat Traps

When it comes to baiting rat traps, using dental floss can be an excellent option for securing the bait. Dental floss provides a strong and durable method to tie the bait securely to the trap, ensuring that it stays in place and increases the chances of catching the rat.

To use dental floss to secure the bait, simply tie it tightly around the bait and then onto the trigger plate of the rat trap. This method ensures that the bait remains securely in position, making it more enticing for the rat to approach and ultimately get caught in the trap.

Clever rats can often remove bait that is not properly secured, diminishing the effectiveness of the trap. However, using dental floss to tie the bait prevents it from being easily removed, increasing the chances of a successful catch.

Final Thoughts On The Best Bait For Rat Traps

Dealing with rats can be annoying as well as gross. But thankfully dealing with these rodents on your own is possible. By using the best bait for your rat traps, you’ll increase the rats attraction to the trap, and improve your odds of catching the rodent!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide on the best bait for rat traps and that it aids you in dealing with your rat infestation.

Resources:

http://npic.orst.edu/pest/rat.html

David Floyd:

David Floyd has 20 years of experience working as a pest control technician as well as running his own pest control company. David is Quality Pro certified and is a certified Structural Pest Control Operator in the state of North Carolina, and the owner of NCPestControlExperts pest control company.