What sort of bait should I use for rat traps?

So many choices, how do you know which works best?

First off…

Most of the advice you’ll read is consistent on one point – you’ll probably need to experiment with different lures, as rats are pretty shy about new and suspicious food sources. That doesn’t mean changing it every day or week, but if it isn’t working for you, switch to something new.

Peanut butter

The usual recommendation for rats is peanut butter. Not only is it aromatic so rats will seek it out, it’s sticky and therefore they need to try to lick it off the trap, keeping them there for longer and making it very likely they’ll trigger the trap.

Hazelnut chocolate spread

You may find that hazelnet chocolate spread works better than peanut butter. It’s very high in fat like peanut butter, and also sticky so makes it likely they’ll trigger the trap. It’s often called Nutella, but there are other brands,


If you can get hold of rabbit blood, rats (and stoats) will come to check it out.

A live rat

Believe it or not, scientists have shown that the best lure of all is, yes, you read correctly, a live rat. A caged ‘Judas rat’ will attract other rats to the area. With a bit of construction ingenuity you can set up a trap so that the pest rat needs to pass through it to get to the ‘Judas rat’.

Professional lures

Invertebrates such as slugs and ants will also eat peanut butter, and so if you’re not catching anything but your bait is disappearing, consider buying a specially formulated rat lure from a hardware store or online. These are designed so that they will last a long time, sometimes months, without having to be replaced.

Simple foods

People also have success with the following.

  • Eggs
  • Dried or fresh meats
  • Dried or fresh fruit
  • Cereals
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7 months ago

I am experimenting with dribbling peanut oil over a peanut buttered slice of apple in my trap. Working well in getting attention and even see possum licking deck where I place the oil bottle down! Yum

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