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How To Trap For Rats and Mice

*trapping for rats & mice is far more effective than poisoning for the rodents               
*trapping is only 1 part of solving a Lakeland rat problem, click here for integrated pest control

Equipment     There are 3 main trap types: cage traps, glue traps, and snap traps. Of these, snap traps are the most effective. Traps are sized differently for rats and mice. In Orlando and Lakeland, FL, almost all rodent problem are rat problems and people should use rat size traps to catch the rodents. Mouse-size traps will NOT catch rats. But rat-size traps will catch mice. In general, the best trapping technique involves using 12-20 rat-sized snap traps. Occasionally glue traps are useful if small rats are spotted inside the home.

Bait     Many different types of bait can be used for rats. In my experience, the best bait is peanut butter and dog food. In most cases, I lay traps in groups of 4 - with 4 traps baited with peanut butter surrounding a plate of dogfood. Use dry dog food as bait!

Where To Set     Most rat problems originate in the attic. In the attic, rats leave runway tracks and droppings. The traps should be set where activity is heaviest in the attic. The traps need to go up in the attic as close as possible to where noise is heard.

If rats are seen inside the home proper, traps can be set where they were seen. However, snap traps inside the home are a danger to pets and children. So while adding traps inside the home proper is useful, in most cases all the trapping can be done in attic. Any rat or mouse seen inside the home will run back up into the attic.

Use 12-20 traps     Using a lot of traps is very useful. Rats and mice can be difficult to catch with only a handful of traps. Sometimes its hard to tell the exact best locations to set the traps, and using a lot of traps helps you hedge your bets by covering all of the most likely locations.
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The differences between trapping for rats and mice:    

  • mouse problems are highly unusual in Lakeland, FL, while rat problems are very common. Most people who call our Lakeland animal control service having seen a mouse have actually seen a young rat.
  • rat problems almost always involve the attic, whereas mouse problems are much more likely to be confined to inside the home or garage
  • rats are heavier stronger animals and you need to use larger snap traps to successfully catch these animals
  • small mouse-size snap traps or glue board traps will only catch small juvenile rats (if they catch any of the Lakeland rats at all), while the adults will get away.

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