Even if you loved watching Mickey Mouse when you were young, there’s a good chance that you probably wouldn’t want to share your home with their real-life counterparts. Most homeowners have an innate dislike or fear of rats, and given how vicious they are, it’s totally understandable.
Rats have the potential to spread deadly diseases to humans, ranging from Hantavirus to rat bite fever and salmonellosis. Let’s not forget the Bubonic plague, which in the 14th century, wiped out nearly 30% of Europe’s population!
>> Also read: Best Rat & Mouse Traps
There are several approaches of getting rid of rats, but one of the most humane and effective ways is using traps. You don’t even have to buy pricey rodent traps. Instead, use readily available materials to make homemade traps.
If you’re not sure of how to get started, we’ve highlighted a few homemade rat trap ideas.
#1) Bucket Rat Trap
For this setup, you will need:
- A 5-gallon bucket
- Dowel – a metallic rod is preferred but you can also use a wooden one
- Peanut butter
- Piece of wood for the sloping surface to be used for ascent
Start by drilling two holes on opposite sides of the top the bucket. Make more holes at the centre of every flat side of the soda tin. Push the rod through the holes of the bucket and those of the soda tin. This means the soda tin will be right in the middle of the bucket. Your final setup should look like this:
Wrap the soda container with rat bait- such as bacon or peanut butter- and add water to the bucket. On one side of the bucket place the wooden ramp, which the rats can use to climb to the top. If the rat attempts to jump onto the can to feed on the food, they’ll fall into the bucket and drown.
#2) Flip Plate Rat Trap
What you need:
- 5-gallon bucket
- Wooden ramps
- Styrofoam or paper plate
- Thread of wire
This works in a fairly similar manner to the rolling can above. The major difference is that instead of using a soda can, you’ll be using an upside-down plate.
First, drill tiny holes on the top of the bucket. This is where the wire will go through. Drill equally tiny holes on the plate and insert the wire. Use the wire to connect the plate to the bucket, allowing one edge of the plate to be supported by the bucket. See the illustration below:
Place the wooden ramp on the side where the plate is in direct contact with the bucket. Finish off by adding bait on the opposite edge of the plate. The idea is to lure to the rat to climb onto the plate and attempt to access the bait on the unsupported edge. Since the rat won’t be able to balance on that edge, it will easily tip over.
#3) Glass and Coin Easy Mouse Trap
If you don’t want to spend too much time on your DIY rat trap, this glass and coin setup is a superb idea. The only caution you need to take is to use a heavy duty glass like a mason jar. This will prevent the rat from tipping the glass and finding its way out.
What you’ll need:
- A glass container (could be an oven dish or drinking glass)
- Kitchen towel
Take you preferred glass container and smear rat bait on the bottom section (in the inside of the jar). Preferably, the glass should have a bit of depth to it. The rat baits we recommend using are peanut butter or cheese spread.
Place the glass on the towel so that it’s upside down. Use a coin to prop or support one end of the container. It might be a little difficult to balance the glass on the coin, so you have the freedom to use other objects.
The idea is to lure the rat into the glass. When that happens, the coin will fall and cause the glass to come down, trapping the rat inside.
>> Related: Best Rat & Mouse Bait Lures
#4) Bottle Neck Trap
This is another straightforward trap that you can easily create at home.
What you’ll need:
- Plastic bottle
- 2 Toothpicks
Start by cutting the bottle so that the top third and the bottom two-thirds are partially separated as shown in the video below. Next, take the top of the bottle with the opening and drill tiny holes on opposite ends.
Drill two equally-sized holes on the bottom part of the bottle as well. Insert one toothpick to run from one end of the drilled hole to the other. Insert another toothpick to connect the drilled holes on the bottom unit.
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Remove the bottle top and insert a string through the opening before putting the bottle top back. This way, a large portion of the string will be left hanging outside the bottom. Use a rubber band to connect the toothpick on the top unit to the toothpick on the bottom unit of the bottle. Do the same on the other side.
Attach the bait to a clip, then place the clip on the rear of the bottom unit. Place the clip in such a way that it sticks out slightly to the bottle’s exterior. Use the hanging string to connect the clip to the bottle top. This will force the top part to remain in a vertical position; hence serve as an entryway for the rat.
>>Related: Best Rat & Mouse Poisons
If the rat attempts to eat the bait, it will try to pull the food from the clip. Pulling the clip further inside will force the string to become loose; thus, close the top unit shut and trap the rodent inside.
#5) Countertop Paper Roll Trap
If you’re always finding rats in your kitchen, this is the ultimate trap to use. It’s also one of the easiest to set up as all you’ll need is an empty tissue paper roll and rat bait.
>> Also read: Best Weep Hole Covers To Keep Rodents Out
Start by flattening one side of the toilet paper roll. Attach it to the edge of your countertop. Find that sweet spot where the tissue paper roll is just slightly balanced. Next, place your bait at the end of the tissue paper roll.
Set up a bucket or bin right below the tissue paper roll and wait for the rat trap to do its magic. When the rodent comes, it will be attracted to the food on the edge of the roll. But once it gets to this point, it will tip over and fall inside the bucket since the tissue paper roll is not balanced.
>> Related: Tomcat Rat Poison Review
For this trap to work, ensure the bucket or bin is tall enough; hence, making it difficult for the rodent to climb out.
When you discover you have a rat infestation in your home, the first thing that you probably think of is rat poison. While these rodent products are effective, they’re not the most humane way of ridding your home of rats. If you have kids and pets, these chemical-filled rodenticides pose a major health hazard.
>> Also read: Best Ways and Methods to Get Rid of Rodents
A better option is to use homemade traps. Not only will these save you money but they also give you an opportunity to release the rats back to their natural habitat. Besides, they are not difficult to set up. Some homemade rat trap ideas include the rolling soda can, flip plate, tissue paper roll, bottleneck and the glass and coin traps.