No matter where you live, rodents/pests, more specifically mice and rats will more than likely be a problem for you. It is estimated that in New York City, there is one rat for every four people; and that isn’t even the worst case recorded. On a more global level, as of 2014, Paris has a ratio of 2.5 rats per human . Though the rat global takeover is not imminent, they are a part of life and one should arm themselves with a little knowledge to handle a situation if and when it does occur. In this article, we will discuss some of the options for types of traps to use in certain situations, how well they function, and their costs. We will also discuss, where they should be placed, how humane the different traps are, and the ease of use.

Factors in decision making

So you have a rat problem in your home/apartment and you decide you’d like to take the situation head on and buy some traps of your own. Great! Now where to begin? Factors that you will need to consider are the following:

  • Style – What kind of trap will be best for my situation?
  • Cost – Will this break the bank?
  • Humane – Will the animal suffer during death? Do I care?
  • Simplicity – How easy is it for me to set up?
  • Fear – Am I okay with seeing a dead/alive mouse? Am I okay with disposing the rodent?

Let us take a look at a couple specific traps from each of the five main styles to help us better answer these questions and determine what type of trap will work best. The styles are Spring, Sticky, Electric, Poison, and Catch and Release.

Styles of traps

Spring traps

Snap-E Mouse Trap

Snap-E Mouse Trap

When we think of a mouse trap, the first thing we probably think of is the spring trap. It’s simple, effective, and affordable design has been around for over a century. This kind of trap is very affordable, reusable, and relatively easy to use. Here are two spring traps that we have tested and researched ourselves:

  1. The Snap-E Mouse Trap is a top seller on Amazon and it is easy to see why. The new-age design has made is super simple to arm in comparison to some of the more traditional traps and the preformed may help prevent the trap from going off prematurely. On a more humane level, there is a chance the rat can live through the trap and suffer a slow death or be found alive (caught by the tail, etc.), though it is unlikely, it is something to consider. Also, you will 100% have to see the rat in this style of trap and will need gloves (or a brave soul with a lot of hand soap) to remove the critter for you. Overall, this trap is something we highly recommend as the rating speaks for itself, and if nothing else, it is an inexpensive first step in ridding yourself of your rodent problem.
  2. The Victor Mouse Trap is a slightly less expensive alternative to the Snap-E listed above. They are likely what you first thought of when you imagined a mouse trap. As of right now, they average a 5-star rating on Amazon every other review. The traits are similar to the Snap-E in terms of how humane it is, effectiveness, etc., however, this trap is smaller, lighter, and made of wood. An issue many users, including myself have had, are that the traps are very difficult to set at times. Also, you can run the risk of injuring your finger, which isn’t too fun! Overall, a decent choice when looking for a cost effective trap that is about as discrete as a mouse trap gets.

Sticky traps

Catchmaster Mouse Trap
Another form of trap that is very popular, especially in commercial applications, is the sticky trap. These traps are a thin, take up little space, and due to their cost, are a top option when a bulk amount is required to handle a large space or a large infestation. Take a look at some sticky traps that we feel offer the best value to the consumer. Please note that in these traps, similar to the snap traps, you will have to see the dead OR alive rodent/insect you have caught. The squeamish/humanitarian might want to keep scrolling!

  1. Catchmaster is currently the top sticky trap on Amazon with a 65% 5-star rating. They come pre-scented with a peanut butter smell that helps to attract the rodents. As mentioned above, these applications are great for large areas/infestations of mice/rats and even insects like roaches, scorpions, and spiders. However, there are downsides as well. Negative reviews show that the traps aren’t holding the rats as consistently as people have approached pre-laid traps only to find their bait is missing. Also, areas that are dusty or contain a lot of hair can impact the effectiveness of the stick. To add, colder temperatures and the elements can negatively affect the traps as well. A nice feature to limit some of these issues is that these traps have a ‘roof’ to protect against falling debris.
  2. An alternative to the Catchmaster is the JT Eaton pre-baited sticky traps. If you don’t wish to use up all of the peanut butter in your pantry, then this trap might be for you. This trap comes pre-baited and scents and is primarily used in rodent applications. This trap has no ‘roof’ on it so it can be put in tight spots and offers a larger surface area than the Catchmaster. This product is great for under your major appliances (stove, refridgerator, etc.) and works best in indoor applications. Downsides to this trap are those similar to the Catchmaster; inconsistent glue results, dust/dirt affect the trap power, and this trap will not work well outdoors in rainy climates. Overall, this product is great for indoor applications in hard to reach areas and for those who have trouble setting the traps.

Electric traps

Rat Zapper Classic Mouse Trap
The electric trap is a lesser known option in the rat trap industry but they are still very effective and a great alternative to some of the other types. Electric traps are seen as more humane due to the instant death of the critter that gets too close. Also, in many applications, the user can simply dump the trap without having to see the dead animal itself. Another positive to this form is that these traps look more so like technology and can pass for something else aside from a rat trap for the buyer who is a little more self-conscious about the situation they may be in (but for what it’s worth, it happens to MANY people!). With that said, let’s take a look at a couple top options on the market.

  1. The Rat Zapper Classic is a top electric trap on the market. It requires 4 AA-batteries and has an LED indicator to let you know when something has been caught. Users have found success when the trap is near walls and in darker locations as it will look similar to the surroundings and the rat will naturally enter. To clean up, simply get a plastic bag and dump your catch in it; simple, and sight-free clean up. Some downsides to this product is the steep price as well as some users stated it has stopped working after a few uses. It is unclear where it was put and whether any weather or other factors affected it, but it needs to be said about 16% of the users on Amazon have expressed discontent.
  2. An alternative to the Rat Zapper is the Victor Multi-Kill Electric Mouse Trap M260. This trap is a top-level electric trap boasting the ability to kill up to 10 mice per reset and up to 150 per battery set. It offers multiple entrances for the rodents as well as a storage bin for everything that’s been caught and killed. It also comes with a safety feature that will shut it off if any door is opened on the trap; great for pets and kids! This product has similar negative reviews to the Rat Zapper claiming that it doesn’t work for a long time or that it stops catching the rodents after a while. If price is an issue for you, we may suggest starting with the spring traps.

Poison traps

Tomcat Rat Killer II Mouse Trap
Poison traps are another form of trap that are commonly seen in urban settings. They offer the ability to take out a large quantity of rodents with one use at a very low cost. In fact, they are arguably the most cost effective solution to a large infestation. The downside to these types of traps is the use of poison which offers a slow 2-3 day death (not too humane) and the fact that children/pets could accidently get a hold of the bait and get very sick or even die themselves. Let’s look at a poison trap that has provided much success to its users.
The Tomcat Rat Killer II is the top poison trap on the market. Each trap comes with 15 bait blocks which can kill in total up to 45 rats! The trap comes with a window to keep track of the bait and is also tamper proof from pets and small children, decreasing the chance of an accident (pets still need to be monitored as they can accidently eat the dead or soon-to-be rodent and get poisoned themselves!). These traps do very well in outdoor climates of all sorts, including the rain. We must reiterate, the poison in these traps is very harmful and could impact your pets as well as other wildlife in the area. The poison, Bromethalin, targets the central nervous system resulting in paralysis, convulsions and death. Use caution when using these product types.

Catch and release traps
 The Mouse Hotel Trap

Last, but certainly not least, we have the catch and release traps. These are the perfect traps for your humanitarian who does not intend to physically harm the rodents in any way. They work using a trap door system where the animal can get in but not out without human intervention. Let’s have a look at one. The Mouse Hotel is Amazon’s top catch and release trap boasting a 60% 5-star rating! Its green transparent color makes it easy to check on your progress as well as if your bait needs a refill. To add, its light weight and small stature makes it a good addition in many tight spots where your problem seems to be occurring. This type of trap also has the longest shelf life as there are no springs, circuits, refills, etc. The only issue we have seen is that the rodent sometimes is too big for the trap and can escape with the bait. Also, the traps are sensitive and can accidently be triggered by outside forces. Overall, this style of trap is a inexpensive, easy-to-use, and humane way to catch a mouse without the need for violence!
Now that we have reviewed the types of traps and some specific models, let us now look at a general overview of the products for a simple at-a-glance of what they all offer!

Mouse trap comparison chart

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Other anti-rodent products

Eco Defense Mice RepellentNow that we have seen all the major trap types, it is important to note that there are alternatives to trying to keep rodents away. Here are a few products to consider before buying:

  1. Eco Defense Mice Repellent This product is a pet/human friendly spray that is to be used in hot rodent areas such as pantries, points of entry, etc. It is composed of essential oils like peppermint, castor, and cinnamon which are supposed to act as scent and taste deterrents to mice. This product comes with a 60 day money back guarantee from the manufacturer.
  2. The Ultrasonic Electric Indoor Pest Control Repellant“Strategically combines ultrasonic & electromagnetic technology to force away rodents, cockroaches, spiders, roaches, ants, mice & rats quickly & easily so they simply leave your home & never come back again. Most customers see fast results in just 7-10 days! In extreme cases, it may take up to 21 days to see complete results.” It requires a power outlet and once inserted, nothing else is required on the user end. This product offers a 21-day money back guarantee.

As you can see, the market offers many different options for different types of rodent situations. We understand that the buying process can be confusing and perhaps, overwhelming at times, so we hope this article was able to provide some clarity to our readers. If you have any further questions or comments, feel free to post below!