The Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Rodent Control Methods

Rat infestations and civilization often seem to go hand in hand. Where we find people we'll usually find rodent infestations as well. This is a huge problem given the amount of destruction rodents can cause. Rodents carry diseases, cause environmental damage and can be dangerous to people's well being.

Thankfully, state-of-the-art rat control techniques have evolved quite a bit over time. We have more — and often more effective — methods to control rat populations than ever before. What's more, we're now able to tackle pest control in a more humane way. Newer traps provide us with the methods we need to find a natural balance in our pest control efforts.

Different rat and mouse control methods offer certain advantages and disadvantages for each user. By examining the pros and cons of every option, we can determine which is the best fit for any given pest control situation.

trap comparison

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 rat trap


Snap Traps

Pros:
  • Simple
  • Cost effective
  • Reusable
Cons:
  • Easily misfire
  • More prone to injure rather than kill rodents
  • Can trigger when setting up
Durability:

Snap traps can be reused, however, they'll wear out over time and, in many cases people dispose of them with rats or mice, creating waste.

Summary:

Snap traps are what most people think of when they hear the term mouse or rat trap. They were among the first traps to offer a high rate of success. Newer options can be more efficient, but often snap traps injure rats and mice rather than providing a quick and painless end. What's more, you can easily injure yourself when setting it up. The term "building a better mousetrap" gained popularity for good reason. People were unsatisfied with these traps even when they were fairly new to the market.

Electric Traps

Pros:
  • Reusable
  • Relatively cost effective
Cons:
  • Only slightly more humane than snap traps
  • Requires clearing and resetting after every successful use
  • Only usable indoors
Durability:

Highly reusable but often require swapping or charging batteries

Summary:

Electric rat traps operate either through your home's electrical system or separate batteries. Rodents enter the trap to check out the lure you've placed within it. At this point the trap will deliver a large enough electric shock to stop the rodent's heart. The trap is reusable. However, it needs cleaning, clearing, and resetting after every use. The biggest disadvantage comes from ethical considerations. If you've ever felt a mild electric shock then you can attest to the fact that it's hardly a painless experience. An electric trap needs to send a high voltage charge to a rat or mouse to guarantee its efficacy. From a humane standpoint, electric traps simply don’t cut it.

Live-Capture Traps

Pros:
  • Cost effective
  • Easy to use and setup
Cons:
  • Require constant attention to prevent a rodent from unneeded suffering
  • Requires relocation of trapped species, which can be disastrous for animal
Durability:

Highly reusable. However, you will need to check it at least once per day during operation.

Summary:

Live-capture traps operate by simply trapping rodents. Rats and mice are tempted by lures placed within the trap. Once they're in, the trap will spring and the rodents will be unable to escape. The main disadvantage comes from the fact that rodents can needlessly suffer if you don't check on the traps once or twice a day. Otherwise a rodent might find themselves trapped without food or water. The live trap's most significant benefit can be found right in the name. 

These options are among the very few mouse or rat traps which allow for live release. After the trap triggers you can release the rodents back into the wild. Of course this isn't always the most ethical option. A house mouse may not fare very well if they are released into a wintery and snow covered wilderness, outside of their familiar habitat and food sources.

Rubber Ring Traps

Pros:
  • Cost effective
  • Relatively humane
Cons:
  • Typically requires maintenance after every use
Durability:

Highly reusable but you'll need to replace used rings and lures

Summary:

Rubber ring traps tempt rodents with a lure. Once they venture into the trap a rubber ring will spring into place around its chest or neck. The ring instantly contracts and provides a quick and humane end. The trap does need attendance and cleaning after every use. Each trap will also need to be reloaded with new rings once its supply has been fully depleted.

rat poison

Bait Stations and Poison

Pros:
  • Cost effective
Cons:
  • Inhumane
  • Poses a significant danger to pets, other animals, and children
  • Secondary poisoning risk of other animals through predation (bobcats, raptors, foxes, etc…)
Durability:

Reusable but requires frequent upkeep

Summary:

Bait stations operate by tricking rodents into eating poisonous material. Bait stations and similar options involving poison are usually best avoided. The method of action will usually only take full effect after the rodent has suffered for many hours or even days. Worse, it's quite possible for pets or even children to eat the material instead of the intended mice or rats. This means it can pose a significant danger to everyone within a household.

A24 Rat & Mouse Trap

Goodnature Traps

Pros:
  • Humane and ethical
  • Only requires maintenance once for every six months of operation
  • Higher initial cost pays itself off over time
Cons:
  • Somewhat more expensive initial cost than the alternatives
Durability:

You can expect to use it for years with only the most minimal upkeep

Summary:

Goodnature traps operate by using a lure to attract rodents. Once the animals enter the trap, it springs into action. A CO2-powered piston will trigger once the rodent's head is in position. This ensures that the process is both instant and painless. Once triggered, the trap will automatically reset. The trap uses an ALP, or Automatic Lure Pump, to attract a rodent's attention. This ALP only needs to be switched out every six months. The Goodnature traps do cost more than the other options, however, they are always in operation and don’t require resetting with an active CO2 canister. When the cost is averaged out over the entire period of operation, it quickly becomes an economical option.