What Is The Best Bait To Catch A Rat?

What is the best bait to catch a rat



What Is The Best Thing To Put In A Trap To Catch A Rat?


One of the more popular questions we get asked is what is the most effective bait for a rat?   

To understand how to trap rats, we must first understand the behaviours of the animal itself and due to their reputation of being vermin; we often underestimate their intelligence and fortitude.

Rat Behaviours

Rats are neophobic, meaning they have an innate fear of anything new or unknown. This phobia applies to all aspects of their day-to-day routine, including their feeding habits. Such a phobia makes trapping more difficult; results require patience and perseverance.

Sense of smell is critical to the survival of a rat. Not only will they use this highly developed sense to identify mates and detect predators; they can also use smell to determine whether a food is safe to eat. Within a colony of rats, if some have fed on poison and become ill or passed away; other rats are able to determine the smell of the harmful substance and will then avoid it.

So, does this mean you can’t introduce rats to a new food source? Absolutely not. Rats are highly intelligent beings and have developed complex social structures which they utilise to investigate new food offerings. Within rat colonies there are social tiers and rankings; an alpha rat will send subordinate rats to investigate a new food source to assess whether it is harmful. If multiple rats successfully feed, then the alphas will investigate themselves. Later in this blog, we will explain how to overcome this when trapping.

It’s essential to get rats feeding confidently in your trapping area. Imagine you or I were looking out in to the garden one day, only to be greeted by a large hamper filled with exotic, expensive food with no hint as to whom the generous gift provider was. It’s likely we wouldn’t go racing out to indulge ourselves, instead we would be suspicious and begin to investigate how the parcel arrived and whether it’s safe to eat.

Best bait for rat trap uk



Pre-feeding And Parallel Feeding Are Essential

Pre-feeding the area where the trap will be placed will encourage the rats to feed and build confidence. Parallel feeding is the same principle as pre-feeding, however it’s the offering of free food once the trap is in position and live. It is used for the same purpose, to increase confidence and the illusion of a safe feeding area. With the social hierarchy in mind, the more rats that return home safe and full; the more likely it is that other rats will be encouraged to feed. Rats will then begin to feel safe to enter the trap. Whilst this may create the concern that dispatched rats will put off others entering the trap; the combination of the ‘safe’ food offering, and the trap food offering means rats can’t distinguish that it’s the trap which is dispatching them. Rats are not put off by the sight of dispatched rodents, often the first animal to eat a dead rat is another rat; it’s a little-known fact that rats are cannibals. For instance, if you used the Goodnature Chocolate Lure Pouch alongside your trap, you would resist the temptation to set up the trap on day 1 and follow the below steps instead:

Mix the chocolate lure with some oats (to make it go further!) and apply small amounts to the area where you wish to place the trap.

If you want to catch a rat fast and are willing to put in the extra effort; apply the feed to all areas where you have seen rats or suspect they are inhabiting. This means the rats are coming across the bait on a regular basis allowing your trap to camouflage in with the existing food sources once placed.

Whilst this article is focused the best bait for a rat trap, trap placement is also worth a mention. Your trap should be placed closest to where the rats are living, not where they are feeding. This means that the rats have less ground to cover to reach a food source, resulting in less exposure to predators and an increased sense of security.

How to catch a smart rat



Make A Lure/bait Which Closely Reflects ‘Safe’ Food Sources Within The Existing Habitat

The best homemade rat bait will reflect the existing food sources that are available to the rats in your area. This is a great way to make to encourage rats into your trap as the bait will feel safe and familiar to any hungry rats. This will make a ‘foreign’ object feel safer and encourage trap engagement. Some specific examples are below:

Include some of your grain within the lure, with the addition of other cereals such as muesli to keep the bait as natural as possible. Adding sunflower oil will allow you to adjust the viscosity, suet is another natural ingredient that attracts a rat to a trap.

Include the boilies and pellets used by anglers within the lure, this is the food sustaining the rats and therefore won’t raise any alarm bells. A Goodnature Long-life Meat Lovers pouch could be added to allow for adjustments in viscosity whilst reflecting the meat based baits used around the lake. 

Include the chicken feed within your lure, as this is the food item which has attracted the rats in the first place. The addition of other cereals such as muesli keeps the bait as natural as possible. Adding sunflower oil will allow you to adjust the viscosity, suet is another natural ingredient that attracts a rat to a trap.

Should you wish to use a Goodnature Trap, our lure basket is a great tool for applying home-made bait. Sticking to these rules will ensure you create an irresistible rat bait!

What is the best food to put in a trap to catch a rat



The Best Bait For Catching Rats Inside

Working out which food is irresistible to rats inside the home, can be a little trickier and may end up with a ‘trial and error’ approach. The first thing to check, is whether there are any exposed food sources within your house such a muesli in the larder or open bags of food in cupboards. If this is the case, you will need to put these foods in sealed containers to limit access. If you find that rats or mice have been eating anything, then following the principle outlined within this article, create a bait which incorporates the food that rats or mice have been eating. If you have completed a thorough check of your home and not found any obvious food sources, then you will need to adopt a trial-and-error method. A good starting place is chocolate lures, or nut-based offerings. If you are trapping in multiple areas of the home, then use different lure in each trap so you can compare results. Keep in mind that rats are neophobic and make sure you give each lure a good couple of weeks trial before changing flavour.

Final Word

There is no best bait for rats, trapping them takes perseverance. Now you understand more about the behaviours and principles of lure selection, you should be well on the way.


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