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Can You Catch a Rat with a Mouse Snap Trap?

By Chris Williams on January 8, 2016.

We get this question quite a bit, or we see the results after a customer tries to use a mouse trap to kill a rat. There’s quite a size difference between a mouse and a brown rat. A mouse weighs in at only about one ounce compared to up to 18 ounces for the rat. A rat is also a lot longer, head and body about 8 inches long, compared to the head and body length of a house mouse at just 3 inches. A rat’s tail alone can add another 8 inches to its length. Lay a rat down next to a mouse trap and you could see why it could be a problem!

A rat would rarely be killed if caught in a mouse snap trap and a mouse trap is lightweight, so the rat would simply drag the trap away to who knows where. The rat could later die of his injuries or exhaustion but the problem is you may not know where he ended up. Then you could have a serious odor problem from the carcass. Avoiding that situation is the main reason we use traps in the first place.

Mouse Glue Traps Don’t Work Either

There is a similar problem with glue boards or sticky traps which might catch young rats while adults escape from the glue. There’s just not enough sticky surface for a rat’s bulk. If a rat does get stuck on a mouse glue trap, he again will drag the trap away in an effort to get loose. Although they’re harder to find, there are rat-sized glue traps which must be anchored in place to prevent walking traps.

The good news, I guess, is that there is such a thing as a rat-sized snap trap. It’s much bigger and stronger and should have an expanded trigger or pedal. To prevent walkaway traps, you’ll still need to anchor your rat trap by wiring it to a large or heavy object (see Trapping Rats). In some situations when children or animals are around, you will also need to place the trap inside a protective bait station. A rat trap has serious snapping power and can break a finger or injure a paw.

Better to Contact an Exterminator

The final consideration if you intend to trap rats is what are you going to do when you have a still alive, injured, angry rat stuck in your trap? Neither dispatching him nor releasing him is going to be easy. You definitely don’t want to be bitten by a rat, for many reasons. Better to call a professional exterminator. We know how to get rid of rats, no muss or fuss for you…and our work is guaranteed. Call Colonial Pest!

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