Best Foods to Use For Rat Traps - Hama Pest Control (2023)

What are the best baits for catching rats? If you’re baiting your trap with food to get rid of this pesky menace, you need to know—is it peanut butter, cheese, bacon, or something else?

You might be wondering how to get rid of rats. Baiting your trap can be a frustrating endeavor, especially if the baits start to become expensive. It’s time to get rid of these rats for good, but how do you do it? Rats are similar to people, and what they want comes down to a personal preference, season, and availability. To catch a rat, you need to know the best baits.

Top 7 Foods To Attract Rats

Best Foods to Use For Rat Traps - Hama Pest Control (1)
  • Peanut Butter and Nuts
  • Food For Dogs And Cats
  • Meat (Bacon And Sausage)
  • Chocolate and Gummies
  • Fruit & Dried Fruit
  • Cheese
  • Unflavored Dental Floss

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter might be the best bait out there, for a few reasons. Peanut butter is sweet, aromatic, sticky, and salty, and fatty. Rats like to eat it—they’ll go out of their way to get it. Because rats love peanut butter so much, they’ll lick clean any surface that is covered with it. While peanut butter is a great bait, it’s not always effective—rats can lick peanut butter from a trap and never actually activate it. It’s a good idea to glue the peanut butter to the trap, to glue down some seeds, or use very chunky peanut butter to increase the chance that the rat springs the trap.

Food For Dogs And Cats

Rats like smelly foods, and you may have already noticed them messing with your pets’ food source. Rats will go out of their way to take any food in your home and run away with it, which is why pet food can be a great bait. If you leave pet food around your trap area, there’s a chance that your rat will trigger it, especially if you’re using a cage trap outdoors.

Meat (Bacon And Sausage)

Bacon is as irresistible to rats as it is to people—it’s fatty, salty, crunchy, and delicious. Rats have a keen sense of smell, and will smell the bacon from far away. They’ll tempt fate to retrieve it, which means bacon or sausage is a great bait for your trap. Glue your bacon down to ensure the rat springs the trip, and replace the bacon often when it goes bad so that it will continue to attract them.

Chocolates And Gummies

Rats enjoy sweets, and will leave their hiding spots if they smell something sugar. Sweets such as chocolates and gummies can attract rats to your trap, and can be a great bait when properly used. You can use chocolate syrups in a similar fashion to the peanut butter, or you can glue down chocolates and gummies to frustrate the rat into springing your traps.


Fruit can be a fantastic bait for rat traps, because it’s natural and a scent/taste the rats might already be familiar with. Try to use very common fruits, the kind you might leave out on your counter or regularly use when making breakfast or lunch. Try baiting your trap with bananas or strawberries, which are sweet and pungent.


While cheese is traditionally marketed in film and television as an effective bait, it’s not actually as useful as many of the other baits listed above. Rats don’t actually eat cheese—it’s not a common part of their diet, and they may not even be attracted to it as a food source when there are other options available. While we humans might find a particular cheese appealing, the rats might not enjoy the smell and you could become frustrated as they ignore the bait and traps. Only use cheese as a last resort, if at all.

Unflavored Dental Floss

Dental floss can make a good bait, not because rats want to eat it but because they desire it for a nesting material. When baiting your trap, using unspooled dental floss is a good way to attract them just by the nature of their needs. If they are ignoring your food baits, or finding food elsewhere, dental floss might be the way to go.

Tips and Tricks for Rat Bait

Best Foods to Use For Rat Traps - Hama Pest Control (2)

#1 – Let The Rats Sample The Foods Before Setting the Trap

Rats and mice are very suspicious eaters, and won’t take to some bait right away. To keep your rats from avoiding your traps, allow them to “sample” the baits first by leaving them out sans traps. Once the rats like the baits and return to them regularly, then you can set up the trap.

#2 – Use the Right Size and Shape of Rat Bait

Don’t overload your trap with too much bait, but also be careful of using too little—bigger rats will eat as much as an ounce of bait, without spreading it around to the other rats. You might have to do some reconnaissance to figure out what the right amount of bait is. Overall rats prefer longer, thinner foods they can carry easily.

#3 – Get Creative with Smelly Rat Food

Some foods are so pungent that they’ll attract rats right away—bacon, peanut butter, and some cheeses for instance. You may have to get creative and switch up the foods/baits to find the one that works.

#4 – Don’t Make the Bait Too Big

Rats need to see the bait as something they can carry off and store, or eat on the spot. Don’t make the bait too big, which might deter the rat from going for it.

#5 – Using Rat Attractants

There are rat attractants that you can buy to make baits or traps seem more appealing. Some of these attractants work, and some don’t. Rat attractants are often synthetic versions of the odor of a rat’s breath, used as a signal to tell other rats where safe food is located. If you use too much of this rat attractant or commercial bait, it might deter rights overall. Again, you may need to experiment with baits and attractants to figure out what works.

What Traps Can You Put Rat Food In?

Best Foods to Use For Rat Traps - Hama Pest Control (3)

You can bait any rat trap, from the traditional snap traps to more comprehensive electronic traps or live animal traps. If you’re baiting a snap trap, it’s a good idea to let the rat become used to the trap first, setting it up without the spring so that the rats become accustomed to the trap. This is the best way to trick them into returning to the trap, by having them believe that it’s safe with multiple baits before you eventually set the trap.

Whether you’re using indoor or outdoor traps, you can bait the trap with similar baits. If you’re having trouble beyond baiting rats, or the bait isn’t working, give the professionals at Hama Pest Control a call. With decades of experience in pest control, Hama knows how to deal with your rat problem safely and humanely.

Rat Control Experts

When it comes down to it, the rat control experts are going to be able to handle your rat problem in a way you can’t. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your rat problem or you want your rat infestation handled the right way, call the rat control experts at Hama Pest Control. Hama has decades of experience with rats and other pests all over Toronto and beyond. Hama uses only the most humane, up-to-date, and affordable methods and treatments, and are celebrated for their customer service and tact. Give Hama Pest Control a call today!

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Edwin Metz

Last Updated: 11/10/2022

Views: 6099

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (58 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Edwin Metz

Birthday: 1997-04-16

Address: 51593 Leanne Light, Kuphalmouth, DE 50012-5183

Phone: +639107620957

Job: Corporate Banking Technician

Hobby: Reading, scrapbook, role-playing games, Fishing, Fishing, Scuba diving, Beekeeping

Introduction: My name is Edwin Metz, I am a fair, energetic, helpful, brave, outstanding, nice, helpful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.