When to Use DIY Rodent Traps vs an Exterminator


You hear a scurrying behind your walls or see rodent droppings in your pantry. If your first thought is to pick up rat or mouse traps at the store, you may not be using the most effective option against your rodent infestation.

Rodent traps are widely available for DIY rodent control with snap traps, glue traps, electronic traps, and other options. But getting rid of mice or rats is not as simple as placing a baited trap and waiting for the rodent to wander into it. Exterminating rodents requires knowledge, the right traps, and an efficient strategy, making professional rodent control the best option when you have rats.

Why Commercial Rodent Traps Don’t Work

Although they share many similarities, mice and rats do have some key differences when it comes to traps. Rats are larger, more cautious, and follow routine pathways. Mice tend to be smaller and curious. They also have differing food preferences.

Understanding these differences, as well as rodent behavior in general, can make the difference between effective trapping and wasted effort. If you have tried traps and they have not worked, or you are considering how to treat your rodent infestation, challenges can include:

  • Wrong Sized Traps – Because rats and mice can differ in size by several inches, you will need to know which one you have in your home. A smaller trap will be ineffective with a large rat.
  • Poor Placement – Rodents, especially rats, will travel most often between their nest and their food source. If the trap is not on that route, the rodents might not go near it.
  • Wrong Bait – Contrary to what television tells us, cheese is not the most effective bait for rodents. Dried fruit or peanut butter will better attract them to your trap, and it needs to be well attached to the trap.
  • Slow – Mice are fast breeders and many rodents are social. In the time it takes to capture one mouse or rat, you may already have several more. Before you lay traps, it is important to know the scale of the infestation so you can make an efficient extermination plan.
  • Inhumane – While getting rid of a rodent infestation almost universally means extermination, some traps are more inhumane than others by causing a slow and painful death. A humane rodent control company will use traps and techniques that minimize suffering for a more ethical approach.

Even if they are successful at catching the rats or mice inside your home, traps do not address the underlying issue. The items that attracted the rodents and the holes they used to get inside your home are still there and unless you take additional steps to correct them, rodents are likely to return.

A rodent control company can trap mice and rats and provide rodent exclusion to keep them from getting back in. At ExtermPRO, we have extensive knowledge of rodent behaviors and the most effective traps on the market, enabling us to exterminate rodents quickly and find all their potential entry points. If you have signs of rodents around your home, bypass commercial traps and give us a call.

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