How to Catch a Rat

Discovering rats in your home or business can be a traumatic experience. In addition to the physical damage they can do to the property, rats can spread disease and create unpleasant odors throughout the area. Thankfully, once you identify the problem, there are many options available for catching a rat.

Begin by identifying the type of rat that is causing the problem, determining its high traffic areas and selecting the rat trap that best meets your circumstances and needs. The following information will guide you through the process of getting rid of rats in your home or business.



What Does the Rat Look Like?

Norway Rats

  • Larger
  • Grayish-brown fur
  • Small ears
  • Blunt nose
  • Tail is shorter than body
Norway Rat
7-10" long (additional 6-8" tail)

Roof Rats

  • Smaller
  • Dark gray to black fur
  • Large ears
  • Pointy snout
  • Tail is longer than body
Roof Rat
6-8" long (additional 7-10" tail)


Where are you seeing signs of activity?

Roof Rat

  • Nests in higher elevations
  • Outdoors: shrubs and trees (dead palm fronds)
  • Indoors: attics, ceiling voids and upper portions of buildings
  • Nocturnal

Norway Rat

  • Nests in lower elevations
  • Outdoors: burrows in soil and sewers
  • Indoors: basements and lower portions of buildings
  • Nocturnal



Norway Rats

with blunt ends

Roof Rats

with pointed ends

Other Signs to Look For

  • Smudge marks from fur along baseboards or travel paths
  • Gnaw marks on corner of walls, floor joists, and wall studs
  • Strong musty odor
  • Unusual scratching sounds

Trapping Options

Once you have determined whether it’s a Roof Rat or a Norway Rat and identified its activity areas, use the information below to determine the type of rat trap that will best meet your needs.

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Baiting Tips

  • Use only small amounts of bait for the best results
  • It's best to leave traps baited, but not set, in high activity areas for 2-3 days, this will allow the rats to become comfortable with the new object

Baits for Norway Rats

Hot dog, Bacon, Beef stick, Peanut butter

Baits for Roof Rats

Nuts, Peanut butter, Dried fruit, Berries

  • Kills per set of batteries
  • Batteries Required
  • Battery Life
  • Kill Method
  • Kill Chamber Size
  • Accessories

Trapping Options

Electronic Traps

Benefits of Electronic Traps

  • Humane, high-voltage shock kills rodent
  • No-touch, no-see design
  • Easy-to-use: Bait, place, turn on, empty
  • No chemicals or poisons
  • Trap is reusable or disposable
  • High efficacy
Electronic Trap Tips
  • Place along walls or in high areas for best results
  • Electronic traps are designed for indoor use only
  • Use with caution around children and pets
Rat Zapper Ultra
  • Shop Rat Zapper Ultra
  • 60
  • 4" D" batteries
  • 2 years in standby mode
  • Humane, 8,000 volt shock
  • Large
  • Rat Tale Remote Indicator Light
Electronic Rat Trap
Rat Zapper Classic
  • Shop Rat Zapper Classic
  • 20
  • 6 months in standby mode
  • 1 year in standby mode
  • Humane, 8,000 volt shock
  • Large
  • Rat Tale Remote Indicator Light
    Rat Pack Battery Pack

Trapping Options

Snap Traps

Benefits of Snap Traps

  • Consistent quality from a century-old brand
  • No Chemicals or poisons, can be used around children or pets
  • Proven design
  • Traps are reusable or disposable
  • Ideal for runway trapping
  • Economical
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors
Snap Trap Tips
  • Best used in clusters of 2 or 3 in high activity areas
  • Be sure to secure the trap to the floor
  • Use with caution around children and pets
Metal Pedal or Easy Set® Rat Trap
  • Original, wood-based, wire snap trap with metal trip pedal or scented, swiss cheese pedal
  • Uses FSC® certified wood
  • Made in the U.S.A.

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Power-Kill Rat Trap
  • High-impact kill bar for a quick, humane kill
  • Set and release with just one click
  • Large trip pedal is easily activated by rat

Shop Power-Kill


Trapping Options

Glue Traps

Benefits of Glue Traps

  • Victor® proprietary glue formula
  • Catches rat and holds them securely
  • No baiting or setting, just place and catch
  • Economical
  • Made in the U.S.A.

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Glue Trap Tips
  • Glue works best when placed along a wall
  • Safe to use around children and pets
NOTE: While Glue is an available option for control, Victor® brand recommends more humane and efficient options such as Electronic Traps and Snap Traps.

Prevention Tips

The best way to handle a rat infestation is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Eliminating the opportunities for rats to enter your home or business and making it unpleasant for them to nest or feed there are the best ways to stop an infestation before it begins. Here are some tips for making sure the infestation doesn't recur.

Prevention Tips


  • Thoroughly clean kitchen and other areas where food is stored and consumed
  • Make sure all food storage containers (including pet food, bird seed, etc.) are tightly sealed
  • Store belongings off of floor to eliminate potential shelter areas
  • Rodent-proof hard to reach areas that are often neglected
  • Clean pet bowls at night


  • Trim overgrown vegetation and shrubbery until ground underneath is visible
  • Remove debris such as rock or brush piles and old equipment
  • Elevate lumber and firewood at least 18 inches and away from the house

Seal Off Entry Points

  • Keep garage doors closed
  • Trim tree branches back from roof line
  • Screen off chimneys and vents
  • Fill in any hole larger than a quarter

Sealant Materials

  • Steel wool
  • Caulk
  • Sheet metal
  • Concrete

Prevention Tips

Ultrasonic Repellers

Emit a high frequency ultrasound at varying volumes and varying frequencies that is inaudible to humans but unpleasant for rats and other rodents, causing them to prefer to nest and feed in areas where the sound is not present.

The Victor® PestChaser® is available in several sizes and is the only electronic rodent repeller backed by more than 20 years of laboratory research and proven field results.

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PestChaser® Ultra Rodent Repeller