Written by Terry Smith
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UK’s best rat traps: professional humane rat traps (and kill traps) for indoor/outdoors
This article was last updated on February 3rd, 2023 at 5:59 am
UPDATE: A lot has happened since I last updated this article. Firstly I thought I had an infestation of rats but it turns out it was mice. It also turns out the best mouse traps are also the best rat traps so I’ll need to update that article too. I cannot believe how sensitive the trigger was on the Gingbau Humane Rat Trap when I tested it. It could literally nab little mice no problem so for that trigger sensitivity alone I am giving it best rat trap as well (you can see in the background of the pictures below I am testing those as well). If you’re looking for a quick kill humane way of dealing with rodent infestations you want to go for the Roshield. My testing showed me these really work instantly with as little suffering possible. You can take a look at the product review itself where I give a quick rundown and even a video showing how this works. But let’s have a look at the success I had with Gingbau first:
Original: With the increase in mouse and rats activity, I recently wrote about the best rat poison but some wanted and alternative; either a more human option or a cleaner and quicker kill citing the worry of a rat dead in their loft as a result of the poison not acting fast enough and I quite agree with that sentiment, so I decided to put together a list of the best rat traps with some humane options in the UK for you including the most humane instant kill traps I could find from my testing:
Our picks for the best rat traps in the UK after testing:
Best rat trap overall: Gingbau Humane Rat Trap [personally tested and proven] It is also humane but if you want something that is quick and efficient (A kill rat trap) I would recommend the ASPECTEK or Roshield
ASPECTEK Large Size Rat Trap, Reusable Rodent Solution – best rat trap in the UK overall
Professional pick and quickest kill: Roshield 4 x Rat Traps – Professional Quality & Heavy Duty Pest Control Traps for Instant Kill [cleanest and most humane kill from my personal use and testing]
Baban Mouse Trap of 6 – best for infestations of rats
Rat trap I’d personally use indoors: IAGORYUE Humane Mouse Trap for Indoors, Rat and Rodent Trap – best rat trap for indoors
Other rap traps worth a look:
I’d personally use this for an infestation (assuming I wanted a live trap and not a humane option): Baban Mouse Trap of 6 – best for infestations of rats – hoping this comes back in stock soon as it
Before we jump in though, let’s just clear up a couple of things.
UPDATE: Pro tip: If you want to dispatch a rat quickly it’s all about power. If you want to trap one, the door needs to be really really fast. My personal testing and actually catching small mice shows me that the Gingbau is definitely up to the job.
Protip 2: When you’re deciding where to place your traps think about walls and how they move in the cover. The absolute best places to set them are in corners or against walls. This is their natural safety path. Here’s a clear example of that from my testing – I caught a rodent a night:
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). If you want to let them go, I’d take them to a nearby woodland area and free them there. Be warned, if that area isn’t a good 2000 yards away they will actually find their way back!
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. They also have handles:
Whenever I carry a mouse or rat in a trap the snap back handle provides a safe way to carry the rodent even if your unit doesn’t have handles specifically. Please see a picture of that here as I demonstrate it for you:
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: 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: Froboo Rat Reaper – Rat Trap That Kills Instantly Indoors & Outdoors) that will still humanely kill the rats whilst also being reliable and strong.
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.
1. Gingbau Humane Rat Trap Live Mouse Cage Trap (Best outdoors humane)
This is the third time I have updated this article and have to say this deserves top spot. I absolutely love how easy the trigger works and it is exceptionally good against even the smallest of rodents that can easily disturb the trigger. And being as heavy duty built as they are, the trap door comes down like a bullet – nothing is getting out. Here’s a short video of me demonstrating that as it’s far more effective than just talking about it:
So as you can see I tested it for a week and I thought my problem was rats – but as you can see I landed a mouse every night, I didn’t actually get a chance to snare a rat because there were so many mice. I am going to have to make one of those home made jobbies that can catch many many rodents at once. However, with that said, lets take a look at these.
Firstly they are extremely well made. The steel construction thus far hasn’t rusted outdoors and no issues with the trigger becoming stuck or the door not operating properly. I do feel like since the first time I bought these years ago they have remarkably improved in testing. If you look below in the original review you can see my more ages ones. But for now here’s a closer look at the newer models setup and ready to go:
Now when I compare this to the other rat traps I have to say live traps present a bit of a dilemma. You probably want to have a look at my what do I do with rats I catch?section for that. There’s anecdotal evidence that they don’t last long when re-located to woods but surely nicer than the kill traps if you’re sensitive to this kind of thing, and I throughly appreciate that.
Straight up out the box you’re ready to go. Just pull them out and set them up. The instructions are jammed inside each unit but if you watch my short video demo then you’ll see preparation doesn’t require anything other than setting the trap itself. I would absolutely avoid rat poison on the trigger, just use peanut butter as I do in my tests. The reason being other wildlife might go at it like squirrels. Especially this time of year when food scarce. If you’re going to use rat poison then make sure you have quality bait boxes that would the bait down so mice and rats can’t simply drag it away and store it – they must ingest it.
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.
2. Roshield 4 x Rat Traps - Professional Quality & Heavy Duty Pest Control Traps for Instant Kill
UPDATE AFTER TESTING: Previously I had the ASPECTEK as top pick but after testing these I am pretty happy to say that they will nail a rodent hard. Whilst I triggered it with a mouse first then nailed a rat – when I compared it to the smaller specific mouse traps you can see the power difference. What we really know of interest though, is even a small mouse is capable of triggering this so there’s no chance a rat will get away. I used peanut butter in the trap so they have to push and prod to get it off. This to me is the most effective method by far
I’m not going to put graphic images up but you can absolutely trust me when I say the rodent was lights out immediately.
I set them around the edges of my garden because the rats and mice always move on a path of cover. They also always seem to feed better in corners or underneath cover. Here’s a look at that. You’ll also see mouse traps in the background as I was running a split test. In all honesty I’d just go for these for mice as well now after throughly comparing them in a head to head test.
Original review pre-test:
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.
2. 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.
3. Baban Mouse Trap of 6 (Best for infestations)
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.
4. Froboo Rat Reaper – Rat Trap That Kills Instantly Indoors & Outdoors
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.
5. IAGORYUE Humane Mouse Trap for Indoors, Rat and Rodent Trap (Best indoors)
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!
Why buy rat traps?
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 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 pests, so I wanted to update it to offer the latest advice and expertise on the rat traps currently available.