Rats are a rodent which will move into any structure man builds. We have both Roof Rats and Norway Rats in America. Roof Rats are excellent climbers and prefer to live in attics or cabinets. They can scale most surfaces and may access your property by climbing up brick, stucco or wood siding. Once on the roof, they will find any small route of entry. This includes vents to bathrooms, gable vents, spaces around soffits, exhaust pipe holes, spaces between facia boards and roofs and just about any vulnerable spot. If none exists, they will chew a hole.


Norway Rats prefer to nest in the ground. They dig burrows around railroad ties, gardens, trees, shrubs and against foundations. These burrows will lead into crawl spaces and through cracks around pipes in slabs. Once inside your property, they prefer to nest low in kitchens and bathrooms. Both species have droppings about the size of a black or red bean. The Norway Rat droppings have smooth round ends but the Roof Rat dropping has pointed ends. Generally speaking, these droppings will get larger as the rodent grows bigger. As with mice, rats leave their droppings where they travel. These locations will be where rodent control programs need to be implemented.


Controlling rats is ongoing. Successful rat control programs start before you have a problem. Know your property. Look for rat problem areas outside your buildings. These areas may include dumpsters, standing water, creeks, streams, neighboring businesses, and drainage systems. The most common roof rat attractant around the average home in America include either pet food or bird seed. The smells from these items is so strong it will attract several types of animals to your yard.


Once they get a taste of these nutritious foods they will try to feed there daily. If you suspect you have roof rat activity around pet food or bird seed, DO NOT REMOVE the food until the roof rat has been successfully trapped, relocated or destroyed using any of the options which this article will detail. Simply put, roof rats are creatures of habit. If you remove their food source thinking they will go away YOU ARE WRONG. All you will do is force them to adapt. This adaptation will generally lead them to where the food is stored, where the food came from or where food similar to it is kept. The bottom line is that removing the outside food source will more than likely cause the rodent to come inside your home seeking more food.


Here is another word of advice regarding roof rat control: If you know the route of entry to your building, DO NOT CLOSE OR SEAL THE HOLE UNTIL YOU KNOW THERE IS NO RAT ACTIVITY AND THE ACTIVE RODENTS HAVE BEEN REMOVED OR DESTROYED FOLLOWING THE GUIDELINES IN THIS ARTICLE. This is another critical part of roof rat control. All too many times people will unknowingly close or seal holes thinking the rats will simply go away. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Again, rats are creatures of habit which will stop of nothing short of death to reclaim their home. Think of it like this: If you came home and found all your doors and windows boarded over for no reason would you simply walk away never to return? Of course not. You would do all you could to get inside, claim your personal belongings and find out what is happening. The same is true with roof rats. When closed out of their home, they will chew through wood, plastic, metal and cement to get back inside. Remember, rats are creatures of habit and knowing their route of entry makes trapping them or using one of our methods listed below all that much easier.


To control existing populations, first consider the options. Methods of control include poisons, glueboards, snap traps, electrocution and live traps. Interestingly, it seems as though most people want to use some kind of poison first. Maybe it’s because this has always been the common or historical approach. But this approach has some problems associated with implementation. The big one being that rodents can appear dead randomly or that they might die somewhere in the home/structure hidden away and start to smell as they decay.

No rodenticide causes the animal to seek water or to die without smelling. No product has ever had this capability nor has any manufacturer claimed such a feature. Though we may never know for sure where this old wives tale originated from, it appears that pest control companies started telling customers this would happen when rat poisons were first introduced. Customers were not likely to let poison be used if it was commonly known that death would be random; telling people rodents would either seek water outside and die or dry up and not smell when they deceased was readily accepted by consumers. Regardless of it’s origins, countless mice and rats have died in attics, crawl spaces and behind walls. That being established, many people still want some type of roof rat poison when they get a problem.

If you insist on using a rat poison for roof rat control, understand that non target animals such as children and pets are also vulnerable to these products. Only when all options fail should you use a rodenticide or if the application will be away from where children and pets have access. Vacation homes, sheds, abandoned lots and commercial buildings are better suited for the use of rodenticide. If you must use rodenticide, use a single feed active ingredient such as Bromethalin. This bait works well for roof rats. A lethal dose is consumed in one feeding so there is no chance of bait shyness.


There are many types of bait blocks on the market these days but over all the years of using them, we’ve found that only a few work well. The original bait block, EATONS ALL WEATHER BAIT BLOCKS, have been around a long time and probably killed more rodents than all the other brands combined. But are they the best? Probably not. They use an old active which takes a lot longer to affect mice and rats which means targeted animals will continue to feed for a long time following their initial ingestion. This leads to product waste. A step up (the next best bait block) is the BOOT HILL BAIT BLOCKS. These will kill faster than the Eatons and use a newer active. For small infestations, either the Eatons or the Boot Hill will suffice and should handle the job. But when it’s all said and done, we feel the best active ingredient overall is called Bromethalin.


Right now  we have Bromethalin in two forms. BROMETHALIN BLOCKS are bait blocks which are ready to be set out and placed in burrows or hard to reach places. They are weather resistant and designed to be used in moist areas like crawl spaces and water retention ditches. They will work for either roof or norway rats. BROMETHALIN PELLETS are place packs and more suited for inside applications. The semi-porous package enables odor to release so roof rats will find your placement.


For safety reasons, keeping the bait out of sight or protected is sometimes wise to do. Use some RAT BAIT STATIONS to help protect the bait and keep it secure. These plastic boxes are designed to keep the bait fresh and protected. If the placements will be in commercial buildings or outside where children or pets may find them, use some which are locked. These heavy plastic boxes can be attached to stakes in the ground. Their tops lock on and can only be taken off with a special key. These bait stations are designed to keep pets from accessing the bait. Small children may be able to slide their hands inside, but the bait is tucked away in chambers which will be out of their small hands reach. For most rat baiting programs, RAT TAMPERPROOF STATIONS will do the job.


For maximum security, get the CLEAR TOP TAMPERPROOF RAT SIZE which has several features making them the best all around Tamper Proof Rat Station. First, they have a see through top so you don’t have to open them for inspection. They also have the Bait Bars which work with Bromethalin Bait Blocks. These bars slide through the bait and when properly inserted into the station will lock the bait into each feeding chamber so the bait will stay that much more secure. These also feature an allen key bolt for the top so you don’t need any special key to get inside along with replaceable bait trays which lets you keep the station clean.


Just replace trays as they get dirty since clean stations will get roof rats to feed that much faster and consistently. Lastly, you can secure them to the ground using some BAIT STATION STAKES. This video shows how to use Bait Station Stakes on most any of our tamperproof stations.

For some jobs, you may have a unique location where stations are needed like on top of a fence pole or a round tree limb. The stations listed above aren’t the best for such applications but our TOP LOADING STATION is ideal. It’s long pipe like design enable it to be mounted via screws, nails or even long cable ties to anything round. Since roof rats will many times find their way into structures via tree limbs, placing some stations on these pathways can prove to be very effective at getting them to find your bait placements quicker leading to faster results.


Another rat poison that can be used is LIQUID BAIT. Though not too effective for mice (since they are able to derive their water requirements from the food they eat), liquid bait works well for roof rats which are a problem in dry areas. Set the liquid out in LIQUID BAIT STATIONS where roof rats are active. Like other poisons, be sure to have such placements away from children and pets.

If you have tamperproof stations installed, liquid bait can be used in small cups located in the bait station. Otherwise, the Liquid Bait Stations should be placed up high, behind appliances, in cupboards, in attics or crawl spaces or generally out of the way where only the target rats will find it. This will help minimize accidental consumption by non-target animals.


If you have a roof rat die someplace inaccessible and develop an odor problem, there are some treatments available. First, try to identify where it may have been active. If you are not quite sure where they have been traveling use either our ECONOMY BLACKLIGHT or DELUXE BLACKLIGHT to help identify scent trails. These lights are invaluable at locating exact locations where rodents have been traveling. Simply turn down all the lighting and turn on the Blacklight. Don’t be frightened at how many places you are able to see where urine and feces have been distributed. Along with excrement, there will be other bad things these lights will surely reveal. Many times these lights can reveal trails and other routes local rats were using so you can investigate likely spots where they may have died.

This video shows what a Blacklight can do.

Once you get an idea of the location where the roof rat died, use some NNZ or N7C neutralize the smell.


This video explains the difference between the two products.

If you located exactly where the rat died, wipe down the area using a sponge and rags. If you can’t quite reach the location, use one of our PUMP SPRAYERS to make the application.

If the area is large, like an attic or crawl space, use one of our FOGGERS to mist the NNZ or N7C throughout the space. And if the animal died in the wall, getting the product to fill can be tough. You’ll do much better treating the wall with our FOAMER. It pumps out a shaving cream like foam which can carry the NNZ or N7C throughout the entire space insuring good coverage. This is critical if you want to knock out the odor quickly and completely.


Rat trapping can be done with live traps, glue boards or kill traps. This next section covers all options in great detail. View the following video first for a good summary of trapping options along with some key “tips for success“.

Rat Glueboards are another method of rat control which may have seen better days. These “traps” rely on the use of non-drying glue to catch and hold unsuspecting rats. The traps vary in size and are placed alongside walls, around cabinets, under furniture or refrigerators. In general, you need to place them where rat activity is known to exist.

This video gives a good explanation of how glue boards work.

When the rat steps on the glue they get stuck and cannot pull free. They usually will not quit, however, and many times will pull a leg, tail or section of their body apart in an effort to escape. Again, this can cause a mess so be careful to use these devices where young children are not likely to stumble upon such a mess. The author has encountered several mice and rats caught on these traps which were actually screaming. It is a loud, almost human scream and anyone who has this happen in their home will never allow such a device to be used again.

ROOF RAT GLUEBOARDS must be large enough so that when the animal gets caught, it cannot drag the board away. Be sure to use enough to insure a quick catch and prevent rat glue board shyness. Use a PLASTIC RAT GLUE BOARD if you have a wet area where intend on setting them out. The paper design will quickly fall apart in such wet areas; the plastic tray glue board will work for both mice and rats and will last well in wet conditions.


And if you have extra large rats, get the EXTRA LARGE ROOF RAT GLUE BOARDS. These are made with trays and measure a whopping 10″ x 12″. They hold up well in wet environments and are sure to secure the biggest rat.

If you have a special need and want to make your own rat glue traps, get some BULK GLUE. This is a very sticky glue which is used to create traps on any type of flat solid board, plastic, etc.

Another great option is a product called HERCULES PUTTY. It’s basically a non drying clay like material which locks the rat glue traps and boards in place and can be used on most any surface. Hercules Putty is handy for use with rat glue boards as well as rat snap traps and rat bait stations. Here is a video showing some of it’s benefits.


RAT SNAP TRAPS have long been the standard kill trap for most any species of rat. Snap Traps may offer some reduction in local populations, but they have inherent problems too. Don’t waste your time with the original design which has a small metal trigger.

Instead, try using the  EXPANDED TRIGGER RAT TRAP. Since roof rats will easily clean the bait off the old style metal trigger traps, one of the newer designs will prove more productive. Some of these are shown in this short video presentation.

Another advantage to these traps is that you can use them without bait. Just place them alongside the wall where the rodent is foraging. Be sure to locate the trigger on the inside, against the wall, where the rat is likely to travel. The trigger is large and the rat will step on it as they pass. Such traps will catch one or two for initial clean outs and preventive maintenance programs, but don’t rely on them if you suspect more than a few rats.  Instead, use a lot of them set up throughout the entire structure.


And you should consider one of the two newest styles of “kill traps” we now offer. Equally effective, these traps are much safer to handle and reduce the risk of accidentally snapping your finger. The SNAP-E SNAP TRAP and the T-REX SNAP TRAP are both strong and effective on roof rats. And they’re much easier to set.


Although baiting is not necessary when using these traps, you should definitely add some TRAPPERS CHOICE LOGANBERRY when making the set. This strong smelling fruity lure will guarantee the trap will be found. However, don’t expect to catch a lot of roof rats with this style of trap. Once the population sees others dead, they will tend to avoid other similar traps which is why it’s important to set a lot out all at once. Also, these traps can leave quite a mess after a successful “catch”.


Be prepared to find rodents flattened, torn apart and in some cases having their entrails spilled. For this reason it’s important to make sure traps are placed where they will not pose a health problem. Since rat traps are spring loaded, a child or pet can easily get caught. A small child or pet catching their hand or paw in such a device could cause damage. This is certainly true of the classic Rat Snap Trap which has a nasty spring. Again, make sure to place them inaccessible to curious hands (children) or animals (pets). In some cases, the use of RAT TRAP STATIONS are warranted. They hold two traps, have small entrance holes on either side, and can be used in messy areas where traps have a tendency to get dirty or disturbed.

These Stations are both heavy and protective so they will shelter the rat traps from debris so you don’t have accidental triggering. Additionally, they will keep unwanted targets away and less likely to get accidentally caught. Use them in garages, basements, warehouses and even outside. The Stations are so strong, you can set a Cinder Block of cement on top to anchor it which insures most non-target animals won’t be able to get inside.


A recent type of kill trap now commonly used for roof rat control employ electricity. Essentially these devices shock the roof rat to death. Ideally, you will need to know where the animals are feeding or active to make the best set. This will be where you are finding droppings, pathways or nest sights. Install RAT ZAPPERS where you see such locations. Zappers are easy to use, work off inexpensive batteries and are able to deliver a powerful shot of electricity which will prove fatal to any roof rat.

This video demonstration shows in detail how one works.

You can add a RAT TALE for remote monitoring making it easier to know when the Zapper has been activated.

And for longer lasting battery performance, get the RAT ZAPPER ULTRA. It takes the larger Bait them with whatever it is around in your home they want. This is usually pet food, grass seed or bird seed. You should also add some of our TRAPPERS CHOICE LOGANBERRY for added attraction.

The lure of food will get the roof rat into the device to feed. Upon entering, they will ground out the circuit causing a fatal amount of electricity to pass through them. This will lead to a painless death. Though humane, this type of death can be messy so expect to have some cleaning up to do every now and then.


If the animal loses bodily fluids upon death, it is important to clean the Zapper in order to have the circuitry work properly. A damp rag will usually suffice; don’t submerge the unit in water or else you will ruin the electrical components which are not waterproof. Be sure to remove dead rodents as quickly as possible. This is important to insure others won’t become shy of the device. Be sure to place them away from where children or pets could have access. Though not deadly, the shock would be quite painful and prove to be a bad experience to any person or pet.

If you suspect the rodent involved may be a mouse, the smaller scaled down MOUSE ZAPPER might do the job. The following product spotlight video shows this unit up close so you can see how large it is and how to use one.


The last option (and best) is to use any of the live traps for rats. Because these devices do not kill or harm the rodent, other roof rats will not become afraid of it. Live trapping rats is easy, inexpensive and without risk or danger to non-target animals. The latest design of traps will last a long time, catch many rats and be able to outwit even the most experienced rodent.

This short video shows a common roof rat live trapped.

If you have 10 or less animals to catch, the 5X5X16 GREEN LIVE TRAP can be considered. It’s OK for small jobs and strong enough to hold any rat but don’t expect it to last forever. Also, it can be unreliable when it comes to the trigger sets. It’s simply not made with great quality so be prepared to work on it from time to time regarding the trigger adjustments. If you’re somewhat mechanical, this is a non issue. But if you want the “Cadillac” live trap that runs smooth and without any issues, get one of the models listed below.


The “Cadillac” traps are built for commercial use and commonly used by professionals. The LT5518 LIVE TRAP and the LT5518RD LIVE TRAP are made to high specs that insure they’ll function fine for many years. Either model will work well for roof rats and can be used inside or outside. The LT5518RD features a rear sliding door making both baiting the trap and releasing trapped animals easy.


For known heavy or large populations, the use of repeating traps might make sense. The 3.5 x 3.5 x 24 REPEATER and the 5x5x30 REPEATER RD are true multiple catch roof rat live traps. Both feature two one way doors. When rats enter the first door, they are caught in a holding area from which they cannot escape. Their only option is to pass through another door which leads to yet another holding area. This rear holding area is where most trapped rats will end up due to their natural curiosity.

The 5x5x30 REPEATER RD has a sliding rear door making both baiting and animal release easier and worth the extra cost. All of our live traps feature 1/2″ by 1″ wire which is mandatory when live trapping rats. The more commonly used 1″ x 1″ wire found on many live traps simply isn’t tight enough to hold most rats. The can easily pass through the 1″ square hole so don’t use a trap built this way. Instead, get one which has the 1/2″ x 1″ like this:

Rat Live Trapped

Click to Enlarge Photo


To make an effective set, try to use whatever food the animals are known to be eating. Adding some TRAPPERS CHOICE LOGANBERRY is always a good idea too. Placement of the trap should be where most activity is noted. If the animal is in the attic, try to place the trap where their droppings are accumulating. If you are finding droppings around a garbage bin or storage area in the garage or basement where you store bird seed or pet food, place your trap in this area.

Another great trap set is under bird feeders. Since roof rats will readily feed on over spill, a trap set at such locations will be productive. Another place to set these rat live traps is along pathways into your home. If you have found routes of entry you can use them as prime locations to make trap sets.

Follow this rule when determining to make a set:

  1. Try to set the trap as close to whatever it is they are attracted to or what it is they are actively eating.
  2. If you do not know what their food supply may be, use one of our attractive lures coupled with some pet food or bird seed and you will readily trap them. Place the trap where you suspect activity as evidenced by where you have found droppings, chewed entry holes or where you hear nighttime activity.


We are constantly asked how to destroy the trapped rats and though we don’t recommend one method over the other, here are some methods which customers have used to discard trapped rodents.

  • Relocation. Take the trapped rat at least 10 miles away and release it in a wooded area away from other homes or structures.
  • Drowning. This is done by placing the animal in a bucket of water while still in the trap. You can also use a stream or pond if one is close by. It usually takes 15 minutes and any rat will be dead.
  • Freezing. Placing the trap in a bag and then in a freezer will cause it to go to sleep and then to die. This is painless but does take awhile. Plan on keeping the animal in the freezer overnight.
  • Suffocating. Though this sounds humane, it can get difficult to do since it is hard to devise a way that removes all air available. Rats will prove to be persistent so expect them to hang on quite awhile.


To stop roof rats from entering your home, there are several things that can be done. First, try and seal any entry holes you know about. This might seem easy to do, but in fact, is almost a never ending job. Since rodents are good climbers, you must look high as well as low. Some holes can be sealed with wood but metal seems to work best.


Don’t use regular steel wool for this job since it will quickly rust out. Get some COPPER WOOL. This product cannot be chewed through and will not rust. It’s both easy to cut and easy to stick into holes. Be sure to get every hole you see and even those you don’t think any rat could enter. Follow up with some PUR BLACK sealing foam. This unique expanding material is durable, strong and will pretty much permanently seal any gaps through which nuisance animals can enter.

This video shows how to install some Copper Wool and then follow up with some Foam.

For large jobs where you will be needing to apply several cans, consider getting the PUR SHOOTER GUN. This tool is similar to a caulking gun but a lot better. There are several reasons. First, it has a tip shut off. In other words, the Foam you pump comes out a thin tip which is part of the gun. This tip has an internal cut off which will both make for clean starts and finishes when applying the foam. Second, it preserves the foam inside the tube so it won’t dry or harden even though you have released it from the refill can.

If you have hard to reach cracks and crevices, the PUR 24″ GUN may suit your needs better. Either gun will require the PUR BLACK CANNISTER sized can. It’s designed to fit these guns and will prove more economical and efficient to use for large jobs.

For extra protection, the PUR FOAM W/REPELLENT may be your best bet – especially when dealing with stubborn rats that just won’t quit trying to get back inside their favorite home. This Foam has a repellent rats don’t like. It’s already mixed in and may provide that extra bit of protection you’ll need to keep them out for good.

You’ll need some GUN CLEANER to keep either Gun Applicator clean when storing it for any length of time. Watch this video to see how to install the Copper Wool and then add some Foam Sealent.


The second repellent is used around the structure to repel rats. A few years ago, a product was released called ROOF RAT REPELLENT which is simply sprinkled around the building you want to protect. It has a faint odor which people cannot detect but which rodents do not like. They won’t cross it and therefore you can establish an invisible barrier around the home. It’s great for keeping rats out of closets, attics, wall voids and other small spaces. Just place a pouch where you want to protect any given area and it will keep them away for at least 30 days.

On a side note, don’t try using the repellent as your only method of control. It’s not designed to get rid of existing populations and failure to trap out the rats which are active means the repellent won’t have much of a positive impact. This is mostly because rats leave scent trails and markers where they travel and live. These trails, though invisible to the human eye, allow rodents to “smell” their way around. Established rodents won’t be quick to leave these trails. Additionally, new rodents will be attracted to them for many months even after the original population is removed. The use of Rodent Repellent seems to decrease these new rats from finding the old scent trails. Whether the repellent is masking the old scent or actually chasing them away isn’t clear. But keeping them away is obviously what the goal is so employ some repellent around the outside for extra protection.

If the rats you are trying to repel are simply “rogue” – which means you are not sure where they are coming from – the best way to use the Granules is to apply them around the area where you don’t want any activity. For example, rodents love to climb up into the motor housing of automobiles. There are two main reasons for this behavior.

First, they like the heat which it provides during the winter months and second, they love to chew and gnaw on all the small tubes, hoses and wires which can be found on virtually any car or truck. This can become both a costly and aggravating problem. You could set out some of the poisons, using the Tamper Proof stations we have listed above, or you could choose to trap them out.

However, one of the more practical options is to use a combination of two repellents.


First, set out or “hang” Evac Pouches under the vehicle. Make at least 4 placements for the average sized vehicle. These can be set out underneath the auto when parked and then removed when you need to drive.

Secondly, you will need to treat exposed hoses, tubes and wires with a liquid repellent called ROPEL. This product tastes terrible and will stop them from gnawing treated surfaces. You need to apply some twice a month on average during their active season. Ropel simply tastes bad to them and when combined with the Granules, will cause them to go elsewhere.

If the Ropel isn’t strong enough, get some 4-THE-BIRDS-GEL and wipe it over any hose or wire they’re targeting. This will no doubt stop them as long as it stays active. Depending on the heat of the hose or wire you’re treating, treatments may only last a few days or a few months.

Ultra Sound Roof Rat Repellers

Another repellent which can help to keep new rats from coming around is to set up some Ultra Sounding Devices in areas where the roof rats have been active. These devices have been out for several years and most make claims beyond their capabilities. However, we’re confident that some actually do work. Three we’re comfortable recommending are the ATTACK WAVE, ANIMAL AWAY, and the TRANSONIC PRO. There is no doubt that rats cannot tolerate the sound emitted from these devices. But like the scented repellent,  it is not likely that you will be able to “chase away” existing populations from your home with Ultra Sound alone.


When ultra sound is used for existing infestations, the rodents simply relocate to sections of the home or building where the sound is not reaching. Since there is an unlimited amount of such areas, they will inevitably find a new nesting void away from the sounds annoying range. Therefore, you must still trap out the roof rats currently living in and around the home. Once no activity is noted for a period of two weeks, you can install one of the units listed above or use the repellent granules to help keep new rats out.

When setting up, try to position one at the end of the void or space so it’s sending a signal out over the entire area. This will help let it provide wide coverage. Since ultrasound cannot penetrate solid objects, you will lose any protection in areas which are not wide open. This means foundation walls, storage and basic insulation can all serve to prevent ultrasound from getting maximum coverage. Wide open attics and crawl spaces will provide the best results; cluttered areas will require extra units to insure there are no “dead spots”.

Most homes can get great protection by installing these where the activity was most noted. This is usually in the attic or crawl space. However, it could be in the garage or living area. Remember, ultrasound will not hurt people or pets so it can be used in these areas if needed. It is important to realize that you will be best served installing them at the routes of entry first and then having extra units for back up if needed.

Roof rats have been on the earth longer than mankind. In fact, the more we thrive, the more they prosper. We cannot hope to rid the world of these creatures; like most, they  have a place in nature. However, we can do many things around the home to help minimize their intrusions. Once inside, we have several options to remove them. Which ever method you choose to employ, remember that we as a species are much more advanced and intelligent than any roof rat. If you learn to observe and use a method of control which works with the rat’s current pattern of behavior you will get great results. Combining two or three of the options listed above along with the use of repellents should not only solve your problem, but it should help keep new ones away. In the end, you will be able to reclaim your home rodent free.