One of the biggest challenges when trying to trap rats is finding an effective bait to lure them. Given that rats will eat just about anything, there’s no shortage of good bait options. But while rats aren’t fussy eaters, there are some foods that they find irresistible.
Thanks to cartoons, many people still bait their traps with cheese, believing this to be a rodent’s favourite food. But cheese is actually a pretty ineffective bait. Rats like sugary foods; you’ll have more luck using chocolate than cheese. Not only does chocolate have plenty of sugar, but it gives off a powerful aroma that rats love. Rats don’t encounter chocolate in the wild, so they are instinctively drawn to its unfamiliar smell.
Another food rats can’t resist is peanut butter. Not only are rats drawn to the scent of peanut butter, but its texture and consistency make it a very effective bait. It takes some time for rats to eat peanut butter from a trap; they can’t just snatch the bait and run away. Peanut butter is also a convenient choice; most people have it in their cupboards.
Like people, rats find the smell of bacon irresistible. Cutting bacon into small chunks makes for a cheap and effective bait. Both cooked and uncooked bacon are equally effective. Other meats also work well as well, but they will spoil faster than other types of bait. Rats will eat spoiled meat if they have to, but they prefer fresher samples. Meat that is turning will attract other pests that most homeowners don’t want to deal with; the last thing you want is maggots on top of a rat infestation.
Any of the foods above will work effectively as bait, but the list is by no means exhaustive. If you’re not having any luck with one type of bait, try another one. If you still have no luck, a professional pest controller can set up bait stations for you.