How to Build Homemade Live Rat Traps

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Homemade live rat traps can help eliminate rats from your home, without killing them or paying too much for store bought ones.
Homemade live rat traps can help eliminate rats from your home, without killing them or paying too much for store bought ones. (Image: rat image by Oleg Sviridov from Fotolia.com)

Rats can be annoying by chewing things up, and even frightening for some. However, killing them seems inhumane and traps from the store are expensive. Luckily, a few you can use homemade rat traps that will keep the rat safe from harm, so that it can be released outside where it belongs without the cost of bought traps.

Things You'll Need

  • Tall plastic bottle
  • Strong string
  • Ruler
  • Tall trash can
  • Metal can with lid
  • Metal strap
  • Screws
  • Tape
  • Yummy treats

The “Tipping Trap” (Bottle)

Cut the plastic bottle, or similar container, so that the hole is large enough for a rat to get inside. You want to use a tall plastic bottle so that the rat is unable to climb out. Make sure not to make it too big. Try to keep the slopped part at the top to prevent the rat from getting out. If you are still wary about the possibility of the rat getting out, then you can grease the top of the bottle to make it too slippery for the rat to escape.

Cut a few small holes at the top and tie string to the plastic bottle. Then secure the string at the edge of an elevated surface, such as a table. Make sure that you use a strong enough string, or even a small rope, so that the weight of the rat will not break the string when it falls. This also applies to where you connect the string. You want the string to be securely connected to something heavy so that it will not break or move by the weight of the rat.

Place cheese or other treats such as bread or peanut butter at the very back of the plastic bottle, and place the bottle at the very edge of the table where it will fall off when weight is added to it. The idea is that the rat will go into the bottle to get the treat. The weight will then cause the plastic bottle to fall off the table and hang suspended by the string. The little guy will then patiently sit and eat his treat while waiting for you to get home and let him outside.

The “Tipping Trap” (Ruler)

Put a treat on the edge of a ruler, such as peanut butte. Peanut butter often works best for this trap because it will stick to the ruler and not fall off easily.

Place the ruler at the edge of a table or other elevated place. You want it to be able to fall will any added weight.

Place the tall trash can, without anything in it except maybe some towels to pad the rats fall, directly below the ruler. The idea is that the rat will go out on the ruler, following his nose, to the treat. The weight will then send both ruler and rat into the trashcan below, where he will ideally not be able to climb out until you come home. If the trashcan isn't completely smooth on the inside, you may decide to grease the tops of the can so that the rat will not be able to climb out.

The Swinging Door Trap

Take a metal can, preferably one that is larger, and tape the lid to the can at the top. You want a swinging door affect. Make sure you use enough tape that it will hold up.

Take a bent metal strap and screw it on the sides of the can at the bottom of the outside of the can. You want the rat to be able to push the lid inwards to get inside, but not be able to push the lid outwards to get back out.

Place a treat inside the can to lure the rat to go inside the can. The idea behind this trap is that the rat will be lured into the can by the treat and once the door shuts behind him, he cannot get back out.

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