Best Rodent Control Methods in Your Home

Tomcat has you covered with a variety of options to catch a rat or trap a mouse.

Do you have kids or pets—or both? Are you looking for an indoor or an outdoor rodent control solution? Are you trying to catch mice or rats? Keep reading for more details on choosing the right do it yourself pest control option for your home.

Quick Guide to DIY Rodent Control Options

The best way to catch a mouse or install rodent control for your home depends on several factors, including your personal preference. Consider:

  • If you need to keep the control device away from small children, for instance, bait stations may be the best option.
  • Mechanical traps, while not necessarily child- or pet-proof, have an excellent reputation for effectively controlling mice and rats.
  • Glue traps also work well by holding the rodent in place when it scurries across its surface.

When you spot telltale rodent droppings in your pantry (gasp!) or on your kitchen counter or table, you want to employ the very best method for controlling mice or rats in your home, both efficiently and quickly.

Should You Choose Traps or Bait Stations?

Two of the most popular rodent killing solutions, traps and baits, can help you battle the pests in your house, but which is best? According to experts, both traps and bait are effective for killing rats and mice. Again, it's simply a matter of preference.

When using traps, you'll need to dispose of the rodent once the trap does its work.When using bait, though, the rodent typically disappears to die. Both of these types of rodent control should be placed out of reach of children and pets.

No matter type of do it yourself pest control solution you choose, be sure to use the products as directed and use enough of them to control your home's infestation. If the traps or baits you choose doesn't appear to be killing rats or mice, try moving them to a different location in your home.

It's very important to take action at the first sign of rodent activity. Because both mice and rats breed quickly, you'll need to control them as soon as possible, whether you discover them indoors or outdoors.

Baits and Bait Stations

Bait stations are a very effective form of mice and rat control. After a rodent nibbles some of the bait (which is poison disguised as rodent food), it will die within a couple of days. Mice are curious eaters and will likely accept the bait quickly. Rats, on the other hand, are more cautious, and it may take them slightly longer to make a meal of the bait. In both cases, however, the result is the same—the rodent will invariably succumb to the effects of the poison several days after eating a lethal quantity.

Bait stations should be placed along walls, in corners, and anywhere you see signs of rat or mouse activity. For an easy-to-use, no-mess solution to eliminate rats, try the pre-filled Rat Killer Disposable Bait Station, Child & Dog Resistant. A single 4-oz. bait block can kill up to 10 rats*. For mice, use the pre-filled Mouse Killer Disposable Bait Station, Child & Dog Resistant. Each 1-oz. bait block will kill up to 12 mice*. (Now, that's a lot of mice!). For rodent infestations, Tomcat also offers refillable bait stations for rats and mice.

For more information on using baits to get rid of mice and rats, read Using a Bait Station.

Mechanical & Glue Traps

When it comes to choosing the best way to get rid of rodents, traps have an excellent reputation. From old-fashioned mechanical (or snap) traps to glue boards, there are many traps on the market today that excel at pest control.

The Tomcat® Mouse Snap Trap and the Tomcat® Rat Snap Trap, for instance, are designed to catch a mouse or a rat quickly. Snap traps are inexpensive and easy to use. They should be placed along baseboards of walls where rodents frequently travel or near rodent nests and baited with peanut butter. Keep the sharp cheddar for yourself; while rats and mice will eat almost anything, their affinity for cheese is more of a myth and it's not the best mouse trap bait. Special bait gels like Tomcat® Mouse & Rat Attractant Gel will get better results.

Glue traps provide an option for trapping rodents without having to deal with the risk of snapping fingers or paws. They work by holding the rodent in place when it scurries across its surface; afterward, it will usually die of dehydration or suffocation. Once the rodent is caught in the glue, you'll need to dispose of both it and the trap.

Whichever type you choose, it's important to set up several traps in your home if you suspect a rodent problem.

Other Tips for Catching Mice and Rats

  • Mice and rats are exploratory sniffers.They can detect the scent of humans, so wear rubber gloves when handling their bait to throw them off your trail.
  • It's likely that if you spot a single mouse or rat scurry by, there may be many more out of sight. Whichever type of trap you choose, it's important to set up several of them in your home if you suspect a rodent problem.
  • Members of your family also come into play when choosing the right method of control. Bait stations are available in "Child & Dog Resistant" and "Child Resistant" levels of security to help make sure kids and dogs won't come into contact with bait. The stations have been tested to demonstrate resistance to access by dogs and children. (Placing bait outside the station is not recommended.) 

No matter which method you choose, Tomcat has the right product for you.

*Based on no-choice laboratory testing