Selecting the Best Rat Trap: Snap, Live Catch & Electronic Rat Traps [UPDATED 2020] Buyer’s Guide

In your war against rats, you’ve chosen traps instead of other methods such as poison baits. So let’s examine all the types, compare their effectiveness, select the best rat traps and clear up which one suits you best.

What is the best rat trap? It should be an electrical device that kills quickly and for sure. No blood. No squeaking. No mess. Enclosed traps are preferable for safety reasons. The captured rat has almost no chances to escape or drag the trap away. We advise you to use Rat Zapper Classic that kills rats in seconds with high-voltage shock.

Why have we chosen it? This is a brand-name trap, produced by a well-established company founded in 2009. The device works automatically, with the indicator light blinking after each kill. Dead rodents will not be seen, nor will you have to touch them. The product is economical as one set of batteries is enough to kill 20 rats.

Most of the scientists agree that there are only two ways to eliminate rats that are truly effective: rat traps and poison baits. All poison baits work approximately equally. But different types of traps kill rodents differently, so let’s start with the types and their effectiveness.

Table of Contents:

3 Rat Traps

Rat Zapper Classic RZC001 min: photo

 Live Animal Cage Trap min: photo

Tomcat Rat Glue Trap min: photo

Rat Zapper Trap

Live Animal Cage Trap

Tomcat Rat Glue Trap (2-pack)

#1 best selling electronic trap for rats. Kills by 8,000-volt electric shock immediately.

Humane trapping without killing: rats can be released far from the house.

Cheap and non-toxic, but the death is lingering and rats may squeak loudly or free themselves.

Effectiveness: 10

Effectiveness: 5

Effectiveness: 3

Best rat traps you’ll find below in TOP-7 electronic rat traps.

Choosing the Best Rat Trap: Comparing the Effectiveness

There are many rat traps that are available on the market today: From the old-school snap to contemporary electronic rat traps. Let’s start from primitive and the cheapest — snap trap, and finish with the most effective ones — electronic traps. TOP-7 The Best Electronic Rat Traps you’ll find below.

How Do Rat Traps Work?

Snap Rat Trap: Everybody knows well these simple type of traps because our parents and granddads were forced to use them as there were no other traps on the market. The principle is simple: Change in pressure causes the bait and let it spring metal rod to snap a rat. In most cases, it only catches not kill a rodent. Snap traps might be wooden, plastic or metal. Be sure to keep your hands safe and from any sharp parts or spring-loaded trap mechanisms to save yourself from any injuries! Our verdict: Cheap but messy.

Interesting story: Our friend has told us about his trying to catch rats with the help of an ordinary trap. Once he saw how two rats were stealing the bait from the trap. One rat raised the trap’s cross-bar with the help of its teeth and returned it back after its rat-friend pulled out the bait. Rats are so cunning and adaptable that it is very hard to get rid of them. By their ability to survive they can be compared only with cockroaches.

That is why electronic traps which kill rats by electric shock immediately have become the best solution for many people. These units have a number of pros: safety, invisibility, and – which is more important – no carcasses, no smell.

Classic Rat Zapper: photo

Electronic Rat Traps: Bless the people who’ve invented such units! No blood. No squeaking. No mess! High voltage shock kills rats in seconds. The rat gets inside, completing the electric circuit with its body. There is no chance to escape. The electricity is running through its body for at least two minutes. There is no “resurrection” after impact. Easy to empty and clean. You haven’t to touch the corpses, just throw them into a trash can and clean up the tray using vinegar or dish detergent if it’s needed.

Live Catch Rat Trap: This is a trap that captures rats and keeps them trapped until you release them. It is a humane way because you don’t kill animals. You can free them into the wild, preferably from 200 to 300 feet from your home. If you really don’t want to kill rats and prefer to keep them away after the capture as soon as possible, the live rat trap is the right choice for you. Also, it’s a good solution if you have little kids in your house – you can teach them to deal carefully with any animals, even such harmful pests such rats and mice. 

Glue Rat Traps: Such traps (strips, boards or trays with natural or synthetic glue) are worse than Live Catch Rat Trap. Yes, they are cheap, but you’ll hear how the rodents are dying and squeaking.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Different Types of Rat Traps: The Comparison Chart

Type of trapAdvantagesDisadvantages
Electronic Trap

Electronic Rat Trap min: photo

Zapper Ultra Rodent Trap min: photo

High voltage shock kills rats in seconds. No blood. No squeaking. No mess.

Some electronic traps are not waterproof. But there are models like Rodent Terminator which are waterproof, so you can use them outdoors.

Snap Trap

Snap E Mouse Trap min: photo


Only catches not kills. Too small for fat rats. A rat can steal the bait from the trap and run away.

Live Catch Trap

Live Catch Rat Trap min: photo

Human. Cheap 

You have to take out and release a rat. The rat can steal the bait from the trap and run away.

Glue Trap

Tomcat Rat Traps min: photo


You are urged to look and hear how they are dying. It may take some hours or even days before they dye from dehydration and pain. А rat can free itself in an hour or two.

TOP-7 Electronic Rat Traps

1. Rat Zapper RZC001-4 Classic Rat Trap

It’s a #1 Bestseller Electronic Rodent Trap. Rat Zapper Classic trap is one of the most effective and the fastest electronic traps on the market. This opinion based on the customer reviews that are full of good words about it. Many people say that it catches more than 100 mice per battery change. And the result (first caught a mouse) is seen the next morning.

Of course, reviews differ because rats infestations differ too, but this unit has been tested by customers for many years and it has the trust of both of them.

Electronic Rodent Trap: photo

Also, customers give some helpful tips for using:

  1. It’s not recommended to use this electronic trap outdoors without any waterproof accessory.
  2. If you put sunflower seeds in the trap, it will work well for chipmunks, and bird seed – for mice and rats. Someone uses bananas and avocado as bait for this trap – and it works oddly enough.
  3. You may use rechargeable batteries in this trap such as Eneloop NiMH batteries.
  4. This trap will work better if the rodent has wet feet: you have to place a wet sponge in front of the door – and check it. More tips from customers you may read here.

Rat Zapper RZC001-4:  Find the best price

2. Rat Zapper RZU001-4 Ultra Rodent Trap

Rat Zapper Ultra Rodent Trap: photo

While the Classic Rat Zapper is designed for average-size rats, Ultra is capable of catching much larger rodents. Moreover, it is more powerful and can electrocute three times as many rats (60 kills) per set of batteries. The trap operates on 4 alkaline “D” batteries and comes with a larger chamber. A flashing light will let you know when there is a rodent inside the unit.

Rat Zapper RZU001-4:  Find the best price

3. Rodent Terminator | Waterproof Outdoor Electric Rat Trap

Rodent Terminator - Electric Mouse and Rat Trap: photoDo you need a waterproof electronic rat trap? Pay attention to the Rodent Terminator Trap. The manufacturer promises it works even in the rain. It takes 2 minutes to set up and then it’s ready to kill rats. By the way, you will never miss the moment of capture because trap can give sound and visual signals.

When it is triggered, it makes a sound for about 30 seconds similar to a smartphone in vibrate mode. If the plates of Rodent Terminator Trap get too dirty, it’ll give you a fault indication (red LED light). Some users think that getting an indication of a kill is big trouble because they don’t hear the sound indicator and need to have the ability to check blinking lights as a usual.

We recommend you that you use some different bait combos if it seems that the baits don’t work. For example, cracker with peanut butter, cat treats, peanuts, sunflower seeds or dog biscuits — choose the right one for your rats’ tastes. But don’t use a salted product (nuts & seeds), which makes total sense as it has to detect the presence of the rodent and a wet salted path can fool it. The salt also corrodes the metal plates.

The terminator is not cheap, but as customers think, is it worth it (in most cases). But you’d better not to wait for a quick win over rodents and be extremely patient. Rats are smart animals and they don’t like new things. Do you know that they may offer food (include poison baits) to younger rats at first to decide is it worth to eat it? So, it may take about a few days for the first rats’ killings.

RodenTerminator:  Check the current price

4. Victor Electronic Rat Trap M240

victor electronic rat trap: photo

When this trap catches a rodent, you’ll see the green indicator light that flashes for up to 24 hours to signal that a rodent is in the trap. Victor Rat Trap M240 is highly economical: the manufacturer promises that it can kill about 50 animals per one set of batteries (by the way, batteries are not included). It kills rats, mice, squirrels, and other rodents. As to the customers’ experience first killed rat may appear during the first day or just within an hour of placing the trap in the infested area.

The manufacturer recommends to use peanut butter as bait for this trap – users of this trap agree with this tip, but also give their ones to use:

  • kitten kibble
  • bird-feeder suet
  • a combo of cheese + walnut pieces + kitten kibble + bacon bits

Different people have their own experience, but they note that these baits work on rodents effectively enough. The pros of this rat trap are that you don’t need to purchase poison baits and put them into because no one rat leaves this unit alive. By the way, the price of the Victor M240 is equal to the average price of a good poison bait bucket and works effectively – verified by a lot of customers. Read over 1500 customers’ reviews to decide is it worth to purchase it for your home.

Victor M240:  Check the current price

5. Hoont Electronic Rodent Trap – Clean and Humane Extermination of Mice, Rats, and Squirrels

Hoont Electronic Rodent Trap: photo

This Hoont rat trap is totally different from other traps mentioned in this review, as it can work in 2 modes: it can be powered either by an outlet or by 4D batteries. Thus, when using the trap in the house, you can save money. Moreover, it is considered to be one of the best-selling Electronic Rodent Traps, and this fact encouraged us to give you more details about it.

Hoont™ Electronic Rodent Trap is supplied in two pieces which are supposed to be assembled. The idea of its functioning is the same as for any other trap: the rodents are electrocuted once they touch metal plates covering the entire floor of the trap. The trap also has an indicator which gives either a red flash (this happens when a rodent is inside, don’t touch anything if you don’t want to get electrocuted!) or a green one (when the rodent is finally dead). There is also a sound signal available.

The Hoont trap even has ventilation. All in all, the design is thought through down to the tiniest detail. Does it kill rats and mice, though? We’ll turn to the customer feedback for the answer.

According to the feedback, sometimes it happens very fast: within a day or an hour. Many also like the fact that “it’s easy-peasy” to take care of the trap: all you have to do is shake out a rat’s dead body, disassemble the trap in two parts, wipe it and re-use it!

Some of the customers are nevertheless unhappy. They claim that a rat gets electrocuted, but the charge is not lethal. It looks as if a sudden flash of light throws a rat several feet away from the trap! Other customers complain that the Hoont Trap has become a trough as there are less bait and no dead bodies. Whose opinion is more trustworthy? It’s up to you to decide. We recommend you to wear protective gloves regardless of the type of an electronic rat trap in order not to scare the rats off with your smell.

Hoont:  Check the current price

6. Raticator The S-Plus BLUETOOTH | Advanced Modern Technology notifies you on your smartphone when the trap is successful

Raticator S-Plus Rodent Zapper: photoLet’s start with the principle of operation. Raticator S-Plus e-trap uses infrared detection so it will activate only when a rodent is inside the trap. No peanut or other bait blocking again! Also, Raticator Max Trap is heavy enough with the batteries installed so the trap will not be moved by rats.

According to customers’ reviews, Raticator knows how to kill gophers too. But what about rats’ capture? Some customers are happy:  “GOT THIS IN TONIGHT and 2 hours later… BAM! Dumped him out, refilled with dry dog food, and 30 minutes later… BAM! Repeated the process and in less than an hour… BAM! A huge rat. Repeated the process. It’s now 12:30 AM and I’m waiting for another kill!”. Make your conclusions about its efficiency yourself.

Many customers noted that there are some extra useful devices for of Raticator Max Zapper in hard-to-reach places such as attic, area under the house, in the RV, pool house, shed, etc. One is  “Rat Tale monitor”. It is available in a plastic mouse form with two blinking red lights instead of eyes that notify you when to empty your Raticator trap. It’s easy-to-use for customers who don’t want to check the trap every few hours.

This trap isn’t waterproof so you have to purchase an extra water resistant cover to use the trap outdoors. You also can take a useful tip from one clever man: “I cut the top off the cardboard box the zapper was shipped in, cut a viewing hole in the top over the location of the light on the zapper, and used plastic wrap to complete the ‘window”. More tips you’ll find here.

Raticator S-Plus:  Check the current price

7. Victor Electronic Mouse Trap M2524

Victor electronic mouse trap: photo

This electronic trap is small and created only for mice. Operates as a previous trap and its red LED light only flashes about every 7 seconds. So you have to look at the trap for 7 seconds to understand if the mouse or another rodent inside or not. After the 24-hour of rat’s capture, this light stops flashing – check the mouse trap more often!

It has over 2700 customer’s reviews on that includes very helpful ones for the following users of it. First, don’t overbait thе trap because a big dose of peanut butter or other stuff can lead to the trap’ zapping the bait and de-activates then. Also, users think it’s better to use sunflower seed butter or dog food than peanut butter. Rodents’ tastes differ from humans.

You have to know that despite the fact that batteries last a very long time you need to replace them if you don’t find newly killed rodents for a long time. This can happen if your “uninvited visitors” are too big for the trap’ tunnel hole. The Victor company tells that this trap kills 100 mice per each per set of 4AA batteries, but as to customers’ reviews, it turns out that this number is a little less – about 35 killed mice in fall and winter. It’s a big or a small capture?

Victor M2524: Check the current price

Electronic Rat Traps Comparison Chart

Model  Operating modeBrief description 
Rat Zapper Classic RZC001

Rat Zapper Classic RZC001: photo

Powered by batteries

It’s a #1 Bestseller Electronic Rodent Trap. It may catch more than 100 rodents per battery change.

Rat Zapper Ultra RZU001-4

Rat Zapper Ultra Rodent Trap min: photo

Powered by 4 alkaline “D” batteries The upgraded version of Rat Zapper Classic. More powerful. Ultra-sized kill chamber for catching large-size rats.

 Rodent Terminator

Powered by batteriesOutdoor. Waterproof. The manufacturer promises it works even in the rain.

Victor M240

 Victor Electronic Rat Trap M240: photo

Powered by batteriesAccording to customers’ reviews, first killed rat may appear during the first day or just within an hour of placing the trap.


Powered either by an outlet or by 4D batteries

The possibility to choose between two different operation modes allows you to save money.
Raticator S-Plus

Powered by batteries 

It uses infrared detection so it will activate only when a rodent is inside the trap. Bluetooth.

Victor Electronic Mouse Trap M2524

Victor Electronic Mouse Trap M2524: photo

Powered by batteriesThis trap is perfect for killing mice and little rats. Don’t overbait thе trap because a big dose of bait can lead to the trap’ zapping the bait.

Need to hire an exterminator? Find the best licensed professionals in your area.

Rat Trap’s Efficiency Outdoors

When you try to get rid of rats in the open air, such as the yard or any other place outside the home, you should choose a special waterproof rat trap. The selected rat trap should only kill rats but does not harm any other wildlife. Remember that rats carry many diseases, such as rabies, and it is important that you eliminate them before they hurt you or your family.

So you’d better pay attention to simple snap traps or electronic rat traps for outdoors using which we discussed above – or use electronic outdoor rodent repellers such as Yard Sentinel if you don’t want to deal with dead rat smell and corpses.

What Is the Difference Between Mouse and Rat Traps?

Rats are heavier, stronger and smarter than mice, so snap and glue traps won’t do for them. They can co-operate to steal the bait from a mechanical trap. Sticky traps can catch a young rat; mature individuals will be able to escape from it within an hour or two. That is why electronic traps are the best solution against rats.

At the same time, if mice have invaded a small flat, buying an expensive electronic trap, which undoubtedly has many advantages (described below), but is aimed at long-term use with multiple recharges, is pointless and is unprofitable if you only need to catch two or three rodents.

5 TIPS: How to choose the best rat bait for your trap

  1. Rats are neophobic – they are incredulous to new objects. So to dupe them – leave the trap unplugged for a few days. Let them get acquainted and feed here. And only in 2-3 days activate a killing rat trap –  they will come to have lunch as usual… but it will be their last repast.
  2. Did you know that contrary to popular belief, rats prefer fresh, high-quality foods and will reject spoiled or inferior food items when given a choice? Desley Whisson, Extension Vertebrate Pest Specialist, University of California claims: Rodent baits should be made from high-quality food materials, and baits which have become rancid or insect-infested should be discarded.
  3. To find out your rats bait preference, he advises putting 3 or 4 different nontoxic baits (peanut butter, seeds, cheese, walnut pieces, kitten kibble, bacon bits, etc.) in places you have seen rodents. That way in a few days you’ll find out which food rats prefer. As rats are suspicious of new objects and novel foods – be patient – the adaption may take three or four days.
  4. One guy from says that he uses Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum for a rat bait and “his rodents” like this stuff – can you imagine this about rats’ tastes?
  5. According to the University of Florida, traps are effective usually when dealing with small numbers of rats or mice. When rats are plentiful or where unsanitary conditions exist with harborage, poisoned baits is an effective tool to use together with trapping. Read Best rat and mouse poison baits Review.

How to prevent rats?

There are a few important tips that you should use to make your home a less attractive place for rats. Some of the home remedies to get rid of rats are:

1. Place the garbage basket away from your home and keep it sealed.

2. Keep all edible things in closed containers and place them in the appropriate cupboards.

3. Keep monitoring the entry points of all the rats and seal them to block the entry of rats in the home.

4. Keep rats away from your house, garage or office with the help of electronic ultrasonic repellents. Choose the big set of proven units such as Ultrasonic Pest Repellers by Pest Venator. These devices can prevent a rat infestation and keep your rooms rodent-free.

Rat Repeller by Pest Venator: photo

But if it didn’t help you, you can contact professionals and ask them to provide services to get rid of rats in your house. You must explain your problem and ask them to professionals quote a price for the service you need to decide if you want to use any poisons to kill the rats, or just want to get rid of them manually. You can take suggestions from 2-3 experts and depend on their quotes you can decide who to entrust such a thing.

Electronic rodent repellers: Find the best price

  1. Please, tell me what to do. My Rat Zapper Classic Trap doesn’t work, it is constantly buzzing and blinking. Has it broken down completely or is there anything I can do?

    • Uh-huh, been there, done that. It looks like the problem is the dirt inside the trap. If it is buzzing, then something leads to a short circuit between the metal electrode plates in the rear of the device. In most cases, you’ll find traces of food bait, the rodent’s fur or organic liquids there. Take out the batteries, dry the inside of the trap with a wet cloth or a paper towel, let it dry and try to turn on the device again (remember to wear rubber gloves). Make sure you monitor the cleanliness of your “rat killer” further on.

  2. I don’t use any sticky rat traps or poisons. I decided to eliminate them with electronic traps; I don’t want them to suffer from a slow and painful death.

  3. Which rat trap is better: Rat Zapper Classic RZC001 or Victor Electronic Rat Trap M240?

  4. I have experience in using electronic traps. I bought two types of them, tested them and came to the conclusion that Victor is the best rat trap.

  5. An electric rat trap is fire! I bought one last month and it seems like these horrid animals won’t bother me anymore!

  6. I think the most effective electric rat trap for a country house in particular is Hoont Robust. I used it in my country houses and it worked trouble-free, and you only need to dispose of the dead bodies, so try it.

  7. Tell me; is cheese still a proper rat trap bait? Or should I follow the recommendations in the article?

  8. Yeah, I agree with the previous opinion, an electronic rat trap is the best rat control product ever! Hopefully, they’ll never come back after such a defeat.

  9. How to trap a rat if it ignores the bait in the trap? What should I do?

  10. Can the electronic rat trap be used in the backyard?

    • Water is the main threat of such devices. Only Rodent Terminator Trap of all other traps described is claimed to be water-resistant, although you never know for sure. Any moisture inside the gadget will lead to problems, so either you shouldn’t use it outdoors at all or you should cover it securely (with a case or place it inside a waterproof container). The same applies to changes in temperature: in extreme heat or cold, the tap should theoretically work, but the battery will discharge very quickly. So you can go for it, if you are ready for spending additional money on batteries.

  11. I don’t know how to trap a rat in my private house. I read this review and now I am thinking of buying one of the traps… Can anyone share their experience in using them?

  12. I think that the best bait for a rat trap is not cheese, but bacon.

  13. Where do you buy rat traps offline? I haven’t found any in department stores. Thanks in advance.

  14. Do all the batteries covered in this review require 4D batteries?

    • No, not all of them do. Rat Zapper & Victor Mouse trap are powered by 4 AA batteries and Victor Rat Trap requires 4C batteries. You’ll need 4D batteries for any other traps, though.

  15. My house or more precisely, my attic is infested not only with the nasty rats, but also with the squirrels. Can some of these traps be used for killing squirrels?

    • Unfortunately (or fortunately for you), yes, they can. You have to choose for that purpose a trap with a large entrance, such as Victor Rat Trap. After the installation you follow the standard scheme: you place the bait (fruit, nuts or seeds) inside and you wait for the electric discharge to do the trick.

  16. I can’t imagine any one thinking that The killing of rats not being humane (from this article) I understand if your meaning squirrels and such but not RATS!!
    they are the worst pest the nastiest -germs spreading- eat through your electrical wiring
    eat up your clothes and rats are mean, this is one varmint I wonder why God ever created
    I wish they were all gone.

    • I don’t know about them being mean, but the real problem is that they are very smart, which is a problem when trying to get rid of them. Like you, I would be happy if I never saw another one, but I prefer humane means to kill them if possible. Years ago I was out in the barn and heard a tiny, high pitched scream. I went to where I had snap traps set and there was a baby rat that had its back broken by the trap; it was screaming in agony. I had to kill it with a hammer. I never want to repeat that!

  17. I have had several of the Victor Traps, the Classic and the Ultra, and when they work, they are awesome. The batteries do not last as long as advertised, and unfortunately you are always going to have false triggers, as bugs, dust, and moisture can make the plates arc. The other thing is they do stop working, no matter how well you try to maintain them, but Victor will replace them if you call them. They do have an excellent customer service department. Make sure to keep your proof of purchase in a safe place. If you buy online, just keep a record of the invoice or shipping info. If you live in a rural area, you can throw the dead rats out in an area where birds can see them and they will take care of the remains for you. (Rat-cycling!) Speaking of recycling, when the batteries no longer power the trap, they are still good for other things, like flashlights.

  18. Please advise whether a young kitten can get into an electric mouse trap?

    • Most likely it can’t as its entrance is not large enough so probably a kitten won’t fit inside. The same is true for the bait. Use sunflower seeds which attract mice effectively. A kitten will hardly eat them. It can attempt to get there out of curiously, but no one is immune from that. I haven’t heard anything about pets being electrocuted by electric traps, so I don’t think there is anything to worry about.

  19. Can I use victor electronic mouse trap together with another similar trap by another manufacturer? Will it scare off mice?

    • No, it won’t repel traps, so you can easily combine two or even three types of electronic mouse traps. You can even put different kinds of bait there.

  20. Hey, I also use victor electronic rat trap. Why? Well, first of all, it is cheaper than hoont and others, which to my mind is the greatest advantage of this trap. Second, it’s effective (which is also another huge plus as with its help we’ve already trapped four rats). In general we are satisfied with this trap. Don’t hesitate to buy it.

  21. Please recommend mouse traps that work!

    • You can use victor brand traps, their performance is satisfying enough and they prove good value for money, as mentioned above. You can also test a rodent terminator trap which costs about $40 (not much cheaper than victor trap); its effectiveness is nearly the same. As for the expensive one, you can invest into Raticator Max. This trap uses infrared detection, i.e. it is only activated once the rodent is inside. You can also use live rat traps which are suitable for those who are not in favor of lethal methods.

  22. Is there an infrared sensor in victor rat zapper?

    • As far as I remember, an infrared sensor is not supposed to be there. If you are looking for this option, check out raticator max trap which has this sensor installed. Actually I think all of the large rat traps, electronic ones in particular, must be equipped with this option

  23. Can the Rat Zapper Classic trap be placed in a garden near the house?

    Leave a reply