Signs of Rats | How to Catch Rats | Homemade Rat Traps

Signs of Rats

Rats in house make life so uncomfortable and frustrating. Before you look for a suitable repellent or trap, it is important for you know that there are rats in your house. There are various signs which help you to know that rats are present in your house. 

1. Rat Droppings

Rats excrete using droppings. Spotting them is a sign of their presence. 

2. Large Chew Marks

They always travel the same runway and leave “smudge marks”. These “smudge marks” are a buildup of dirt and oil from their fur-along walls and pipes. They keep indoor runways free of dust for their travel. Footprints can be seen in dusty locations. 

3. Pet Behavior 

If you own a pet – dog, for example. If the dog gets excited for no reason, there is a possibility of the presence of rodents. They also make sounds while climbing and moving.

How to catch Rats?

Rats won’t change their territory frequently because of Neophobia – new object fear. You need to act smartly for the same. Using rat traps over several poisons is a smart move as it won’t be hazardous due to absence of chemicals.

It also eliminates the rat death at inaccessible locations and thus can prevent possible odor problems. Set traps close to the walls, behind the objects, in dark corners or the places where droppings were present, footprints were left and gnawing was evident.

They should be set in a way that the rat when following the natural course passes over it. Also baits must be replaced in a day or two to keep them fresh.

You can also be cautious and take the following steps to prevent their presence:

Find the Trouble Spots:

The most important sites are burrows, droppings, tracks, runways and food packages.

Seal Openings permitting them to enter:

Rats can enter any opening that is ½ inch wide. Therefore it is considered wise to seal any cracks and holes. All openings of water pipes, for example, should be properly sealed as well.

Eliminate food sources:

Garbage shouldn’t be stored in plastic bags. Pet food shouldn’t be left outside. Don’t put food scraps in compost piles. 

Types of Rat Traps and How they Work

1. Rat snap traps

Several improvements have been made over the years from typical wooden snap traps.


  1. It is expensive.
  2. It will instantly kill a rat.


  1. The spring on the snap trap is so strong that it could break a finger.
  2. Keep it out of reach of your pets and children.

2. Glue traps

As the name suggests, glue is used for the trapping purposes. 


  1. These are safer than the rat traps due to some of the safety measures.
  2. These have a low profile so the rat is suspicious of the new object.
  3. Less costly than snap traps.
  4. Can be used in a variety of places


  1. They need to be kept in a dry and dusty area.
  2. There is a possibility of the rat surviving the glue trap.

3. Live animal traps

These are the most humane traps for the trapping of rodents. Simply bait it and carefully release it outside.


  1. Poison rodent baits can be hazardous to children as well as pets. It could be safer by using non- poisonous baits.
  2. For smaller rat infestations, rat traps provide quick results.


  1. If the rat infestation is large and severe, trapping can be time consuming.
  2. Some of the rat traps can severely injure people, pets or children.

4. Electronic Rat Traps

These are readymade Rat Traps available. It is easy to set up, works both on rats and mice, kills quickly and humanely and is convenient for the disposal of the remains. As a matter of fact, you’d never even touch the rodent and it would be killed and disposed of as well.

It stops the rodent’s heartbeat completely. Be strategic while using the electronic rat trap. These rat traps are powered by batteries which, according to the manufacturer, would kill around 50 rats.

5. Wooden Rat Traps

This is the economical way of controlling rats. It is reliable and easy to use as well. 

6. Metal Rat Traps

These full metal rat traps are robust yet easy to set, giving the trap a solid base together with a powerful mechanism. Rat traps are an excellent way to deal with a small infestation, but we would recommend combining rat traps with poison if you have a larger infestation. Food bait which is non-poisonous is put in the cage trap. When an animal enters the cage and moves towards the bait, the mechanism triggers and the door at the entry point shut. 

7. Non-lethal trap

Another form of non-lethal trap is one where the wires it is constructed of are cut and formed into a funnel shape directed into the body of the cage. This design is usually dome shaped. Rats are extremely flexible and can push through the narrower opening into the cage, but cannot escape due to the ends of the wires poking them in the face. 

Homemade Rat Traps

An ideal home rat trap with the help of materials available at your residence could be made by using any of the following methods:-

1. Sticky traps

How to catch a rat or a mouse with glue?

This type of trap is made using a special adhesive applied to the board. The board could be of cardboard, plastic tray etc. The special adhesive often has a flavor pleasant to the rats. It’s not-advisable to put the traps in the natural environment because the glue will dry up quickly. Catching rats on such sticky traps is convenient and cheap. Do try to put some bait to attract them and therefore yield better results. 

2. Bucket Rat Trap

The following ways are possible:

Make a bucket and spoon rodent trap

This is a homemade rat trap from a ladle and a spoon. For optimal results, you need a huge bucket, a spoon and some bait. Bait could be peanut butter. Spread the bait on the handle of the spoon and put it across the bucket. The moment the mouse climbs to get peanut butter, it will fall into the bucket with a spoon. 

Make a bucket and dog food rat trap

Put some dog food in a bucket with a lid. Cut a hole in the lid. The mouse will be able to get on the lid and go into the bucket, but will have a hard time trying to hop out.

3. Trap using milk bottles

A good homemade trap could be made out of a milk bottle. To execute the same, take a bottle and pour oil on the wall in order to make it slippery. A bait should be provided inside. Also, a rail should be attached so that the mouse can climb up the rail.

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