Various traps are commercially available for home pest control use. Glue traps are popular and involve the rodent's being caught in a sticky adhesive. Unable to move, the rodent often dies of hypothermia.
Glue traps often are placed along frequently traveled rodent pathways. These may be identified by the grease marks deposited on the surface they travel against such as baseboards or other edges.
Multiple glue traps may need to be placed together to increase their effectiveness. Rats are capable of jumping and may clear the first glue trap. Attractants can be placed on the glue traps to lure the rats to them. Items can include food-based or nesting-based materials. Oily or greasy materials should not be used since they seep onto the glue and make it slick.
Classic snap traps or jawed traps are designed to catch and kill rats. These traps have a bar or jaw which closes very fast and kills the rodent. The placement of the jawed traps is similar to glue traps in that they usually are placed along rat travel routes. Rats avoid new objects, so, as with glue traps, these traps may require some kind of food attractant to interest the rat.
Zapper rat stations are traps that kill rats through the use of an electrical current. Since rats avoid unfamiliar objects, they may not provide quick results. They also require a battery or other power source.
Rats tend to be suspicious of anything new that comes into their habitual path. For this reason, they may avoid all of these trapping tools initially, rendering them useless. If the rodent has a bad experience with any of these devices, they will avoid them in the future.
Traps often require a lot of effort and forethought in treating an infestation. An improperly placed trap will not work and may even pose a risk to people or pets. If the trap ultimately works, the homeowner must dispose of the dead rat, which is often unpleasant. It is best to consult a pest management professional in the event of a rodent activity within the home.