Rat Problem

Hello Curators,

I have rats at my house. :( I don’t want to use poison because I know that can make predators sick when they eat poisoned animals. What can I do?

Thanks for your help.

Nicole, Santa Barbara - April 16, 2018

Curator Response

Hi Nicole,

Sorry about your rats. Thank you for wanting to do the right thing. The ecologically-friendly way to kill rats is to use snap traps. This isn’t very rat-friendly, but that’s the point, right? If you aren’t prepared to bait, check, and clean up after your own snap traps, you can hire a company to do it for you. Some companies that offer bait traps claim they sell bait traps that rats only go into and don’t come out of. Unless they come very frequently to check those traps, I would be cautious about that option. If rats are still in fact coming out of those traps, you can have the problem you want to avoid, with poisoned rats poisoning predators. Another complication is that rats often take bait from traps and carry it away to eat. When they do this, they may leave a little trail of bait that could harm other animals, including small pets. So while snap traps are gruesome, they are the best way to solve your rat problem without causing other problems.

Krista Fahy, Curator of Vertebrate Zoology