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This article was last updated on August 19th, 2021 at 7:01 am

So I’ve recently been looking at rodent traps, particularly mice and moles, because of some issues I’ve been hearing about now we’re coming into the summer months. Quite a few people are seeing more and more rodents in their backyard, gardens, garages and wherever else. I’ve had a few mice (nothing overly serious) as well as spotting some moles in the garden, so I found it was suitable to place some traps down for them, but they were nothing compared to the rats I’ve seen.

I have a fairly big garden which of course is home to a few different rodents, but out of all of them, rats are definitely the worst and are easily the biggest problem in your garden if you get plenty of them. They typically go around in packs and also go around bins, even if they’re covered with bin screens or stored away in storage units. They’re honestly nasty things and you don’t want to be seeing them close to you, as they’re dirty and not overly safe to have around either.

I’ve seen a few rats in my garden, big ones as well, which I want rid of ASAP so that they don’t get worse, but I have a mate who’s currently seeing loads out in the yard of his terrace house which run by his feet when he takes the bins out. This isn’t pleasant for him, and he’s been nagging me about rat traps and what he should get because I’ve had experience with them, so I felt it was fitting to look at what rat traps there are on the market and give them all a good testing.

I actually wrote this review a year or so ago, and whilst some products are still there and have stayed the same, some have gone and others have been introduced. On top of that, I feel like I could offer you more in terms of knowledge and advice regarding rats to help you get rid of the buggers, so I wanted to update it to offer the latest advice and expertise on the rat traps currently available. Before we jump in though, let’s just clear up a couple of things.

Best rat traps list below:

  1. ASPECTEK Large Size Rat Trap, Reusable Rodent Solution (Best overall)
  2. Baban Mouse Trap of 6 (Best for infestations)
  3. Froboo Rat Reaper – Rat Trap That Kills Instantly Indoors & Outdoors
  4. Gingbau Humane Rat Trap Live Mouse Cage Trap (Best outdoors humane)
  5. IAGORYUE Humane Mouse Trap for Indoors, Rat and Rodent Trap (Best indoors)
  6. Roshield 2 x Rat Traps – Professional Heavy Duty Control Traps (Most reliable)

Why are rats such a problem?

As I mentioned above, rats typically (not always) travel in packs and so if you see one, it usually means there’s a few nearby. So already you’re dealing with more than one, but what’s actually wrong with them? Well compared to mice and moles, rats will feed on garbage and rotting fruit and any other nasty stuff they find. Mice only really eat seeds and some perishable foods, but this unfortunately means that rats will scour the bins instead and eat anything that they find really. This means that they can get really dirty and also very big, much bigger than most mice, and so they’re a lot nastier to deal with.

On top of that, rats lay babies easily and will happily set up shop close to home or by bins, so you’re likely to have an infestation sooner than you would think. Because they’re big they can bite too, which you really don’t want happening. They are much more of a problem than finding mice that’s for sure, and you really want rid of them ASAP.

Why are rats dangerous and more of a problem than other rodents? 

You might have heard of the bubonic plague, and you also might have heard that this was caused by rats. Now I doubt you’re going to get the plague nowadays, but the point is that rats carry diseases better than most animals, and so if you come into contact with them there’s a good chance you might get something nasty. This is mostly because they hang around bins all the time, but they are generally dirty animals, but still, it makes them dangerous.

On top of that they do bite like I said, more so than other rodents you might come across, and this is even more dangerous for disease transfer etc. They’re much more harmful than the odd mouse or mole, more so to you than your garden, which they can also damage in the same way mice do through eating your plants!

Can I kill rats humanely? 

Yes! You can and really, you should. They’re still animals after all so they need to go quickly and efficiently, which is why rat traps are your best option. There’s a few different types, but most are simple snapback traps that will kill them instantly. You can choose catch and release traps, but these wont get rid of infestations well.

We’ve included some humane options below, but all of these products designed to kill are designed to kill quickly and painlessly, so it’s already humane to a point. The options below will clear up the best options on the market right now and what will be best for your rat problem, so read on if you want to know what’s best as well as what’s the most humane.

Comparison table: Best rat traps with some humane options (2021 Updated Review)

ProductWhat We ThinkPrice

Roshield 2 x Rat Traps - Professional Heavy Duty Control Traps (Most reliable)

The best heavy duty traps there are, the most powerful of them all and the one that I would buy for outdoor use or for harsh terrain/weathers. It's a bit expensive, but effective.

Gingbau Humane Rat Trap Live Mouse Cage Trap (Best outdoors humane)

This is the most humane option for outside use, and whilst it hasn’t changed since the last time I reviewed it, it remains the best option for trapping rats outdoors that is humane and won't kill them. Since it's made of metal it will last, but I wouldn’t have them inside because it still exposes the rat-something which could be dirty and dangerous if you have kids or pets.

ASPECTEK Large Size Rat Trap, Reusable Rodent Solution (best overall)

The best option overall and the one I would go to out of all the ones in this list. It’s a good price for 6 sturdy, reliable traps which you can buy as a set and they should sort out your rat problems. They did well in tests, and actually had a bit more power than other traps (aside from option 6), and so they would kill rats humanely and quickly. Definitely my go to, reliable and will get the job done.

Baban Mouse Trap of 6 (Best for infestations)

Cheaper than option 1 and whilst not as strong, they will sort out any mass rat problem or infestation. They’re easy to set and pass the tests, so I would happily buy a couple of sets of these if I had plenty of rats that I needed sorted. They wouldn’t be my first go to just because of the power and the sturdiness that option 1 offers, but it’s a cheaper solution to mass rat problems.

IAGORYUE Humane Mouse Trap for Indoors, Rat and Rodent Trap (Best indoors)

Similar to option 4 in that it’s a humane trap, but this is more suited for indoor use. It’s a completely sealed trap and works really well, so it will trap the rat humanely and then you can go and release it. One of my favourites, but only for humane use around the home.

Froboo Rat Reaper – Rat Trap That Kills Instantly Indoors & Outdoors

This is the one you want if you have either rats in the house or nearby to the home in which you don’t want any kids or pets touching the traps. Bare snapback traps aren’t safe to be around pets or kids, so you want them covered, and this will do the job. It's effectively a snapback trap within some casing and it still passed all the tests, so I’m pleased with it and it would be my go to for house rats or if my pets/kids were running about the garden.

1. ASPECTEK Large Size Rat Trap, Reusable Rodent Solution (best overall)

So my first place option for the rat traps I reviewed is easily this set of 6 from ASPECTEK, primarily because of the power they have and how reliable they are. This operates in the same way as most other traps, so it snapbacks when its bait is taken by a rat and kills it instantly, but it has more power than most and they really performed well in their tests for me.

I did actually review this one last time and it was one of the best then, and whilst they have stayed the same and the product hasn’t changed, I think they deserve the top spot this time. The spring is really powerful and so it will result in a quick kill, so it’s one of the most humane traps in that sense, but also it feels nice and robust and I’d feel comfortable having it both in and outdoors. These traps will last you, probably longer than most in this list, and whilst they do cost £22 for 6, they’re worth the investment. For mass infestations it might become a bit expensive, but for a few rats or a small rat problem, they would be perfect.

They’re dead easy to set and it honestly couldn’t be easier, and the handy guide that comes with it is something I don’t remember last time, so that makes it even better this time round. Even without one its not difficult, but just wear gloves in case. Once they’re set, place them steadily on any surface, as these things can be put anywhere (garage, loft, etc).

So they have everything you need, as well as additional power to most others, and you also get a pack of 6…so are there any faults? In my experience there weren’t, but I did read some reviews that noted how a couple of rats escaped or weren’t killed instantly. Judging by the force of the snapback in my tests I found that hard to believe, so I checked the reviews properly and judging by what I see, the reviewers have just placed the traps at really awkward angles. This can be difficult sometimes in difficult spaces, but just make sure to place them flat and not at daft angles and you should be fine.

Apart from that no real complaints about these, they are 6 great traps which you should be able to reuse for quite a while without them breaking or being any less effective. I liked them for the best and they would be my first go to for a rat problem, so I’d definitely suggest them for others. They wouldn’t be that suitable to leave around the house, especially with kids and pets, because of the power they have on their snap-but if you’re looking for that sort of thing you won’t want visible snapback traps anyway, so read below to find out what’s best for you.

Overall, not suitable for kids and pets being around, but they would be perfect everywhere else. They should sort out rats in no time and I was really happy with how they performed.

So next up is another really effective option, and this is one that’s new to the market and not one that I reviewed last time. I thought I would try them out since they seem to be Amazon’s choice for rat traps and also have plenty of positive reviews. It’s dead cheap for 6 (£13.99) and so I wondered how effective they would be, and they didn’t disappoint!

These things are strong, not as strong as option 1, but still strong enough that I’m confident it would kill a rat humanely. Tests showed it had a significant amount of power and that they were easy to use, so I would be more than happy to use these ones in and about the home/garden. They have a teethed design so that they kill more efficiently, and so this humane design is that bit more effective than your standard snapback trap.

They feel robust and durable enough so that they’ll last, and I’m confident that they will be reusable for some time. They’re easy to use, easy to set up and quite frankly I was really happy with them. Since they’re so cheap I would use these for infestations, in that if I needed a lot of traps I would just buy a few lots of these, since they’re so cheap that it would be a cost-efficient way of dealing with an infestation compared to option 1. They’re not as strong as option 1, but they will be a lot better for infestations or frequent rat problems.

So this is another new trap which I’ve found on the market, and I didn’t review this last time and I wanted to try it out. It’s effectively a snapback trap but it’s covered, so the rat will go inside the hollow trap and when the trigger is released, the trap snapbacks and kills it. I liked this one overall, I thought it was a pretty good idea in that it still uses the quick and efficient snapback mechanism but you don’t see it, and it passed all of my tests so I was more than happy.

Only thing I would say is that you only get one for the price, so it’s on the expensive side. It’s suitable for both indoors and outdoors, but realistically if you have a few rats running about you’re going to need a few of them, and so it eventually will get a bit expensive. On top of that they are powerful but they don’t have as much power as our first two options that’s for sure, probably because of the mechanism (if it snaps too harshly, the plastic could snap or break).

So, I did like it but it’s not the most logistical I would say, but the one thing it is perfect for is for your home if you have kids or pets. The reason for this is because if you have pets or small kids running about you don’t want them coming into contact with the traps, and this offers a quick-killing trap which both the pets and kids shouldn’t be able to be harmed by. It’s just not ideal for infestations-so only use this if you have 1 or 2 rats about.

4. Gingbau Humane Rat Trap Live Mouse Cage Trap (Best outdoors humane)

Now this is another one I reviewed last time, and not only did I like the idea of it and how humane it was, I still do now and I feel like this is a great option for a couple of particular circumstances. Because this is different to other traps, in that it’s a very simple yet effective cage trap that will not kill your rats, it’s definitely useful in its own right…but skip this one if you need your rats dead or if you have an infestation.

Our third option above is suitable for kids and pets since the trap itself covers the snapback trap, but there’s something about this cage trap in our fourth spot that’s perfect for the outdoors and for kids or pets running about outside. You could put the froboo rat reaper trap outdoors but it might not last long, whereas this metal cage is perfect for heavy duty outdoor use. It has no threat of killing the rat too, and just means that you can catch it and release it elsewhere. This is perfect if you don’t want your kids seeing dead rats or coming into contact with them.

That said, I wouldn’t have it indoors, as the rat is still exposed to an extent and you don’t want it coming into contact at all with your kids or any pets. For outdoors however, it’s perfect. It works well based on the tests I ran and I really liked the idea of it, and whilst I personally wouldn’t use it myself (I need them dead because they keep coming back!), it’s perfect for those situations where you just need them caught and gone.

This is another one of Amazon’s choices for rat traps, and it actually is pretty much similar/the same as the humane mouse traps I recently reviewed too. It’s basically a plastic cage which completely traps the rat when it goes in, so much so that it won’t kill it, but it wont expose it to the outside world as it’s completely sealed off. They’re very nifty traps and I do like these ones, I think they have a clever design and they’re pretty reliable too.

What I would say is that I think this is the suitable indoor version of the Gingbau cage (option 4), as it does provide that protection against exposing the germs from the rat to any kids or pets you have but also won’t actually kill the rats either. With that in mind, I think they’re perfect for indoor use and if you’ve found a rat indoors (god forbid) or if one is near the bins or somewhere close by, this would be perfect for you. It just means that once you’ve caught the rat, you’ll need to drop it somewhere far away so that it shouldn’t come back.

It’s cheap too, but since it’s only one, you don’t want these for an infestation. If you do have an infestation, these humane traps aren’t really going to work for you, as the single rats that you do manage to catch will end up just finding their way back to the pack, so you really need them dead. That aside though, they are perfect for the circumstances I listed above, and as a product I was really pleased with this one, so I couldn’t recommend it more!

6. Roshield 2 x Rat Traps - Professional Heavy Duty Control Traps (Most reliable)

This is another trap I looked at last time and whilst it had no significant upgrades, its effectiveness remains the same. Some other traps I’ve looked at recently have had a few changes to their size, as rats are generally bigger than other rodents and so they needed bigger traps, but the Roshield traps already had this in mind. It was 14cm long anyway, which is the right size for a rat trap and it didn’t actually need any upgrades.

The thing that struck me last time about this product was its robustness, and because it’s a little more expensive and well made, it’s a trap that you could rely on for a long time and would be easily reusable. A lot of other snapback traps (cheaper ones mostly) have been known to break after a while, but this one just has the right amount of power alongside a sturdy feel to make me confident that it will last you.

So, these are perfect for indoors and outdoors, but I would mostly recommend them for their heavy duty aspect. By that I mean if you’ve got to put traps outside in harsh weather, or harsh terrain, these are perfect for you. They will last you and to me they’re worth the investment, and I like them just as much as I did last time I reviewed them.

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FAQ

When it comes to trapping rats, there are some crucial things you’re wanting to look for in the rat trap products that you can choose from. I would say the key thing to look for is power, because that’s what will kill mice humanely but also decide whether the trap is actually effective or not. On top of that, it’s important to decide whether you actually want the rat dead or not, so whether you want snapback traps or cage traps. Finally, the circumstances you’re in also matters, which is why the products above are suitable for certain situations (best indoors, outdoors, for kids, etc).

With that in mind, it might be difficult to tell what sort of trap you’ll need and what products are best for you. That’s why I’ve gone through the most frequently asked questions below to clear up a few things regarding rat traps, as I’ve learnt a few things over the years about the pests. This should hopefully clear up what you need to know and help you pick out the right traps for you and your rat issues.

What’s the best way to humanely get rid of rats? 

Well, there’s two options to this and one is more humane than the other. The first is that you use a cage trap which you’ll have seen above so that the rat doesn’t die, which is of course more humane than killing it. You’ll end up catching the rat, then you can take it somewhere far off and let it go. Now this is usually safe too since these traps are designed so that you don’t have to touch them, but they’re only really suitable for the odd rat you’ve seen, not an infestation. The reason for this is because rats will find their way back home if they’re in a pack, so once you’ve got more than 2 or 3 rats spotted, these traps aren’t really that useful despite being the most humane option.

That’s where snapback traps come in. Now these kill the rats, so if you don’t want them dead, don’t read this section and stick with the cage traps. However, these snapback traps are designed to kill rats in the quickest and most efficient way possible, so I would argue that this is a humane way to do so. You can get electric traps which are more expensive, but I didn’t include any on this list because in my experience they’re not as humane and don’t kill as quickly, especially since you can have more problems with electrical traps which in turn could just harm (not kill) rats. So, obviously cage traps are more humane, but reliable snapback traps are your best option if you want them dead.

What do I do with rats I catch? 

If they’re alive (so a cage trap) you just have to take them far away and let them free. If they’re dead on the other hand, put gloves on before you do anything, as rats are dirty. Either dispose of them in the garden where they can decompose naturally or simply place them in a sealable plastic bag. Spray it down and throw it in a bin (ideally outside).

Will I need to touch them? 

No, with cage traps you just need to release them, but even snapback traps are designed so that you don’t need to touch the rat. Wear gloves in case though, just to be safe.

What rat traps are best for my situation? 

It largely depends on whether you want a kill or non kill trap, but generally speaking if you have kids or pets running about, you might not want bare snapback traps lying about the home or garden. That’s why cage traps are good, but if you have an infestation or there are quite a few rats you want to get rid of, you’ll still need some form of snapback trap.

That said, there are quite a few snapback trap products that still have covers or that are safe for around the home (such as that in option 3: Froboo Rat Reaper – Rat Trap That Kills Instantly Indoors & Outdoors) and this would work for you too. It might be more on the expensive side, but if you have rats around the home and you have kids too, you’re going to want them dead and gone but in a way that is safe for the kids too. So, consider traps that are covered and you’ll be fine.

If you have outdoor rats, cages are great but they won’t deal with rat problems permanently. You can still buy heavy duty snapback traps (such as option 6: Froboo Rat Reaper – Rat Trap That Kills Instantly Indoors & Outdoors) that will still humanely kill the rats whilst also being reliable and strong.


About Terry Smith

I’m Terry Smith from gardentoolbox.co.uk, a professional landscape designer, hobbyist gardener, and barbecue fanatic with 20 years experience building and restoring. So as you go through my site you'll watch me document some of the professional garden installs I make as well as the major projects I take on at home. While sharing those experiences and guiding you, I'll be recommending some great tools I use to enable this along the way so you can really buy in confidence.

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